Lovers of vintage soul and R&B – or partners of such people – will certainly be attracted by this personalised Be My Baby Card by The Design Conspiracy.
With all the hype surrounding the Soulboy movie still fresh, it's perhaps the perfect time to update a book on the subject of northern soul. That book is The Story of Northern Soul by David Nowell.
Published by Portico and now on the shelves (virtual or otherwise), it's essentially an updated version of the long out of print Too Darn Soulful, kicking off with the emergence of sould music in the mod clubs of the 1960s, working its way through the northern scene as it developed, throwing in some anecdotes, photos and flyers plus, in this new version, a chapter covering developments and changes since 1999, when the original book was first published.
Amazon has it in stock, with this 330-page book selling right now for just £7.67.
The genres selected range from the Twist to Acid House, so there's something for every kind of music lover. Each designer was only allowed to use one graphic element and one typeface, resulting in the restrained type of artwork shown here: Mark Boyce's take on soul and Duane King's depiction of New Wave. With their simple use of shapes and colour, the designs themselves are reminiscent of the work of someone like Romek Marber in the 1960s.
Each screen-print is A1 sized and priced $75. Or, if you're very musically minded, you can buy the whole set for $800.
Buy them online
There has been talk of a northern soul film for years, but 2010 could see at least two on the big screen. Alongside the 'in production' Northern Soul (indeed, ahead of it to be honest) comes Soulboy, which is heading your way very soon.
So, the plot as told to us thus far: 1974. Power cuts, strikes and boot-boy aggro on the terraces. Flares, Chopper bikes and beer at fourteen pence a pint. Joe McCain, 17 and restless, is bored with the flatline tedium of a life that seems like it's going nowhere. Enter Jane, moving to the beat of a music that Joe's never heard, a vision of loveliness who opens the door to a whole world of sound, movement and all-nighter dancing at The Wigan Casino – the home of Northern Soul! Swept along on this tide of pulsating dance and lust, Joe finally finds somewhere he belongs and the acceptance and true love he yearns for.
You can check out the trailer over the page. It's due to hit various cinemas over the summer, look out for preview screenings in your area before the general release. More at the website.
Update: The two-CD soundtrack is now available to buy. You can see the full tracklisting and more details at the Amazon website.
Further update: A review of the DVD is now online, you can read it here.