NORTHERN Soul – the music and dance movement that emerged in the north of England and the English Midlands in the late-1960s and 70s – will have struck many music lovers at the time as an unlikely phenomenon. Was American soul music – with its roots in the gospel song of the Black churches of the United States and the hits factory of Motown Records, Detroit – really finding an expression in the clubs of Stoke and Wigan?

Unlikely it may have been, but the fact was that a new movement – with its somewhat political symbol of a clenched fist and its slogan “keep the faith” – was on the rise. Indeed – as the show Northern Live: Do I Love You at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow next Sunday, December 11, attests – it’s a transatlantic movement that continues to inspire music lovers today.

Boasting an 11-piece band and four lead vocalists, Northern Live promises to showcase more than 30 hit numbers from one of the richest movements in 20th-century popular music.

Northern Soul fans can expect to hear renditions of much-loved songs such as There’s A Ghost In My House by R Dean Taylor, Out On The Floor by Dobie Gray, Tainted Love by Gloria Jones, and, of course, Frank Wilson’s Do I love You (Indeed I Do).

It’s hard to over-estimate the influence of this music on the wider pop and rock music scenes across the UK. For example, synth-pop duo Soft Cell released their famous cover version of Tainted Love in 1981. There’s A Ghost In My House was covered by the great Manchester post-punk group The Fall in 1987.

My colleague and Sunday National columnist Stuart Cosgrove is, perhaps, Scotland’s best known Northern Soul fan.

A very active participant in the movement back in the 1970s, Cosgrove is the author of the acclaimed book Young Soul Rebels: A Personal History of Northern Soul.

Two years ago he spoke to Scottish Field magazine about the improbable beginnings – in his hometown of Perth – of his obsession with the music and dance movement.

“The origins of my interest in music were in a small hotel on Atholl Street in Perth called the Corina,” he said.

“It had a back room and, from the age of about 16 through until about 21, I was one of a group of five or six people who ran the Perth City Soul Club. We played soul music, mostly Tamla Motown, then Northern Soul, by which time I had graduated and was going from Hull to the Wigan Casino.

“I had access to these rare and obscure soul records and I used to play them at the Corina in Perth.”

Cosgrove’s initiation is familiar to Yuri Prasad – a writer, former DJ and self-confessed “Black music obsessive” – whose love of Northern Soul endures to this day. “Most people, when they think of Northern Soul, fixate on records with a fast-paced Motown beat from the mid-1960s to the early 1970s,” he tells me.

“That’s why when Northern is on the radio or the TV, you invariably hear Frank Wilson’s Do I Love You (Indeed I Do), Gloria Jones’s Tainted Love or Chuck Wood’s Seven Days Too Long. These are all fantastic records... but the scene has always gone far beyond that sound.

“Northern also incorporated soul from the late 1970s that sailed close to disco. In fact, there’s a whole sub-genre called Modern Soul.

“I’m a massive fan of Millie Jackson’s House For Sale and Connie Laverne’s Can’t Live Without You, for example.”

The quickest of online searches will bring up the little known Laverne’s 1974 track.

A brilliantly produced number with a strong dance beat, harmonised backing vocals and Laverne herself in glorious voice, it’s a number worthy of any dance hall at any time.

“Some of the records that were a hit at Northern Soul nights from the 1970s onwards got a second life during the Rare Groove revival that began in London in the mid-80s,” Prasad explains. “That’s where as a teenager I first heard records like Voices of East Harlem’s Cashing In.

“We thought we were discovering some of these records for the first time. It wasn’t until years later that I found out, from listening to original Wigan Casino DJ Richard Searling, that he’d been playing it out more than a decade before we ‘found it’.

“For me, Northern has always been about the expression of raw emotion... Sometimes when I hear Little Anthony and the Imperials’ It’s Not The Same, or Freddie Scott’s Hey Girl, I can feel a knot tightening in my stomach.”

Prasad speaks for Northern Soul fans everywhere, I suspect, when talks of the “raw emotion” that still draws him to the music. That emotion promises to be much in evidence next Sunday night in Glasgow.

Northern Live: Do I Love You is at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow, December 11: