The Midlands’ First Northern Soul & Motown Bar Coming Soon To Birmingham

From Northern Soul The Film
From Northern Soul The Film

The Night Owl will be the Midland’s first Northern Soul and Motown bar and is set to open in Digbeth mid-July. Northern Soul isn’t just a type of music, it’s a way of life. The records, the dancing, the clothes, the lifelong friends made. No wonder people are still so passionate nearly 50 years since it started. Some of the incredible atmosphere and passion was recently captured in underground hit film ‘Northern Soul‘ which you may remember me shouting about some time back.

From Nothern Soul The Film
From Nothern Soul The Film

Richard Priest has been a Northern Soul fan since his teenage years in the 1970s, a regular at infamous all-nighter parties at legendary venues such as Wigan Casino.

Wigan casino
Wigan Casino

One night, Richard had a dream that he ran his own Northern Soul and Motown Bar. His wife thought he was crazy but it wasn’t long before he’d drawn out a business plan and partnered up with business investor Arith Liyanage.

Richard at Wigan Casino age 18 (white shirt)
Richard at Wigan Casino age 18 (white shirt)Richard at Wigan Casino age 18 (white shirt)

The Night Owl will have a sprung wooden dance-floor, making it safer for the acrobatics of the Northern Soul dancers. It will also feature a modern spin on the vintage interiors by Stax Creations, the people behind the quirky interior at Alfie Birds and the fantastic exterior of The Old Crown Beer Garden. The DJ booth will be kitted out with vinyl turntables and CDJs with a camera on Northern Soul nights to show the label of the record that is playing. The venue will be fitted with the highest quality sound equipment and an array of beers, wines and spirits will be on offer. Every Friday will be a pure Northern Soul night operating a tongue-in-cheek ‘Strictly No Handbags’ policy, thus making sure Soul fans know not to expect any mainstream soul. In contrast every Saturday will operate a ‘handbags welcome’ policy, with a large disco ball and DJs playing a range of Northern Soul classics, Motown, Soul, Funk, Ska, 60s r & b, and more. Of course, everyone is welcome both nights, with or without handbags, the phrase is more a reference to the music policy. Thursday nights will be Club A-Go-Go featuring DJ Sean Chapman. Open 7 nights a week with full listing yet to be announced, a wide range of events are planned including all-dayers, under 18’s events and live music.

  This is the venue that soul fans across the UK have been crying out for, opening right here in Birmingham. It gains its name from a classic Northern Soul record ‘The Night Owl’ by Bobby Paris.
The Night Owl is coming. Keep The Faith!   Opening mid-July: The Night Owl, 17-18 Lower Trinity Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B9 4AG Follow The Night Owl on: Facebook Twitter


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  1. What great news my brother in law is running northern soul nights in BIlston and Coven and has been doing so for quite a few years .Following a gig last year he had a visit from the press and ended up having a full page spread in The Guardian one Saturday !! He has also appeared as a guest dj on Sunday evening on The Bridge … A radio station in Stourbridge
    Maybe if the venue is looking for guest dj’s in the future you can get in touch with me and I could tell you the dates when his nights are and you could come and secretly check him out and his tunes.
    Many thanks I look forward to your reply
    Mobile 07931821139
    E mail


  2. Diana Mcgovern May 20, 2015 — 5:55 pm

    This is great news ..Birmingham has plenty of mod stuff but not enough of Northern soul and im sure it will be a packer,theres plenty of soulies in brum who travel out of brum to venues,now we can support our city and bring soulies from all over. KTF.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. do we need tickets to get in n how much will it cost.


  4. Hi Mazzy

    It’s Colin (retrosoundsdj)…WOW…just read your brilliant piece and cannot wait to see the club – the NIGHT OWL – perfect name! Will you be having a pre-opening event for fellow aficiandos, DJs (that’ll me!) and interested parties…? Perhaps you could kindly let me know.

    I would love to see the set up from a professional standpoint…maybe there’s an opportunity for a mid week slot (most weekends booked) – we are exclusively VINYL DJs and pubs and clubs are mad for it now…digital just doesn’t cut it for true fans who feel the passion for the era through the LABEL, the sound, the CONNECTION – and the sheer nostalgia of that magical time…

    As one club owner mused to me…”anyone can have a laptop and play digital…the skill and real love of the genre can only be experienced through vinyl and a dedicated DJ…”

    I wish you every success and will certainly support the club regularly and be happy to promote it to our following on future gigs.

    Stay in touch – KEEP THE FAITH!!!!
    Good Luck and best regards
    Colin – Retrosounds

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds good , Dj’d at bar 78 myself . Over the years Dj’d many Northern Soul Event in & around Birmingham &, Club a go go nights with Aceface Promotions. Dj at Out of Time Mod night in Wolverhampton also with Sean Chapman

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes Colin I’ll be in touch once the preview date has been finalised :) Thanks everyone for the feedback & always great to hear about good nights. KTF!


  7. hi
    Well what can I say , it’s about time
    Good luck to the night owl

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Please send me details looking forward to this opening this is the best look forward to it

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Please send me details… Thanks


  10. Great news for a venue in Birmingham,i used to go to alldayers at the Locarno many moons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. know where my nights out will be from july, cant wait!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. hi is this a wheelchair friendly venue plse?

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wendy Thackeray May 21, 2015 — 7:29 pm

    Looks like a great new Dance floor too try out ,,can not wait,looks like Bridgnorth Soulies will be joing me .K.T.F :)

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant can’t wait good luck I will be there!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Can’t wait to visit Birmingham first weekend in December, Northern Soul, Xmas markets and fab shopping……just perfect! We’ll be there on the Friday night for sure! X

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Buzzing for this!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wow! GREAT! I still to this day play all my old tracks. My daughters grew up listening to Northern Soul, Tamla Motown and love it. We will definately check this club out. It wouldn’t the old Dubliner property would it? …. rrraaarrrrr!! As soon as i typed that I imagined the Dubliner dance floor; although just bare floor boards its far too small for what i imagine will be sell out venues. Can’t wait for July.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Can’t wait grant news. I you to go to the gun barrels year ago looking forward to it

    Big tom

    Liked by 1 person

  19. So looking forward to the opening ktf

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Tracy Richards May 24, 2015 — 3:34 pm

    sounds great back in the day it was the outrigger, ship ashore or Sinatras in Birmingham

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi,
    I myself run a Trojan revival Ska/Skinhead night if you are interested in doing a Skinhead night please let me know, i run all music off MP3 as it is easier to get hold of the rarer oldies.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This sounds great, will deffo pay a visit. The location looks suitably ‘back street’. KTF !

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Forgot to ask – will it be open during the day as well ?


  24. roddy baldwin May 28, 2015 — 8:09 pm

    Hi great news of the new club, if you need dj’s with vinyl let me know been in the scene since the seventies, yate, wigan etc, love the concept good luck with it, regards rod.


  25. Carol Richards July 6, 2015 — 3:39 pm

    I’m truly looking forward to this event and on a plus side it’s local.xx


  26. Carol Richards July 6, 2015 — 3:40 pm

    It’s going to be well worth the wait.x


  27. Hi, very happy to read this and all the great feed back, Brum is only up the road from us, we live in Oxford, and two of our Northern Soul venues have closed, due to buildings being knocked down, so like many people on here we can’t wait, good luck with this.

    Debbie from Oxford


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