Belgian Popcorn from Laid Back on Vimeo.
Belgium's 'Popcorn': the last underground music scene in Europe
excerpt: "Popcorn has a very similar timeline to northern soul: it started as a regional phenomenon in the 60s and peaked commercially in the 70s before going back underground in the 80s. The main difference between the scenes was the tempo of the records, with Popcorn crowds needing records with a drowsy feel; DJs even played 45rpm singles at 33rpm to obtain the requisite atmosphere. "It was driven by beer rather than amphetamines," says Brewster. "But culturally Popcorn and northern soul were very similar."
In the summer, the scene would move en masse to Ostend, Belgium's equivalent to Blackpool. DJ Freddy Cousaert played at the Groove, a late night downstairs bar frequented by US marines, tourists and prostitutes – it was Cousaert who later looked after Marvin Gaye during his 80s sojourn in Ostend.
The music he played at the Groove included ska, Latin jazz and even Broadway songs such as Stranger in Paradise, or Whatever Lola Wants from Damn Yankees – in the hands of Cousaert or other pioneering DJs such as Gibbe Govaert and Jeff Callebaut, this odd menu made sense. Ostend also had a club called the Versailles, which had direct access to the beach, leading sweaty clubbers to run drunk and naked into the North sea.