Soul Boy: The teen who found a home on the dancefloor


“When I am at the dancefloor and Northern Soul tune is taking part in I believe like that is the place I lie, that is like your house.”

Anthony Flavin has spent maximum of his lifestyles rising up in care. Lifestyles used to be laborious for him for a just right whilst, however he credit his pastime for Northern Soul tune with turning the entirety round.

As the teenager approached his 18th birthday he used to be filmed for a documentary known as Soul Boy. He used to be presented to the administrators, Luke Radford and Toby Curson, via his key employee, Luke Greenhill.

Anthony and Luke on the birthday bus

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The documentary displays the shut courting between Anthony and his key employee Luke Greenhill (in background)

“One Saturday afternoon Luke [Greenhill] recommended we sign up for him at a Northern Soul tournament to fulfill one of the most new younger those that had not too long ago moved into the care house that he works at,” says Luke Radford.

“Anthony’s fearless power at the dancefloor and 1970s impressed outfit straight away captured our consideration.

“Over the distance of a couple of months, we advanced a courting with him and shortly realised his tale and adventure have been distinctive.”

Anthony doing some ironing

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Anthony wears garments with a nod to Mod tradition and the 1970s

The documentary displays the shut courting between Anthony and Luke Greenhill.

“Anthony has been in care since he used to be six so he is very, very used to it, greater than most youngsters that I do know,” says the teenager’s key employee.

“He’s an instance of [someone] that is been in care since they have been moderately younger and actually noticed the entire machine.”

Anthony and Luke in Blackpool

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Anthony and his key employee Luke pass to Blackpool all over the filming

[Luke’s] efforts to increase and beef up Anthony’s state of affairs used to be additionally one thing that stuck our consideration,” says Toby.

“Luke is going out of his solution to enhance Anthony’s pastime for Northern Soul, which has allowed him to increase social talents and for the primary time in his lifestyles really feel a way of group and belonging.”

Anthony in front of flats in Nottingham

In spite of being born within the early noughties, Anthony’s house in Nottingham is a shrine to the 1960s and 1970s, with icons like Steve McQueen and Jimi Hendrix at the wall.

He wears vintage Mod garments like Fred Perry tops and Harrington jackets, listens to American soul tune recorded within the 1960s and is going out dancing at Northern Soul nights.

“The primary movie I watched used to be Bullitt,” Anthony says. “In my eyes Steve McQueen is without equal cool of cool.”

Anthony with Richard Searling

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The filmmakers took Anthony to Blackpool to fulfill Northern Soul DJ Richard Searling

Luke says Anthony’s pastime for the style is exclusive.

“I have by no means had a teen in my lifestyles that is sought after to visit Northern Soul gigs however he mentioned he sought after to move, so we went,” he says.

“I will threaten him with Northern Soul if he do not behave. How again and again do I’m going, ‘you might be no longer going Northern Soul if you do not behave’?”

“A couple of hundred,” replies Anthony.

Anthony with Richard Searling

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Anthony needs to turn out to be a a success DJ himself

Luke says Anthony reworked after they began going to soul nights in combination.

“He introduced numerous difficult behaviour, not anything too unhealthy, however simply very more or less at a loss for words and yeah, it used to be laborious for a just right whilst,” he says.

“However actually from the primary time we took him out to Northern Soul he did truthfully exchange.”

Anthony says going to the occasions have helped him “hugely”.

“He is taking me to those, most certainly to construct my self belief, to construct my independence and to only make me really feel like I am satisfied, and to get out so I will revel in myself,” he says.

Is it running?

“Yeah it’s.”

Anthony with Pete "The Shoe" Bullock

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Pete Bullock mentioned seeing Anthony dancing used to be a “huge cause” for him

Anthony’s pastime for the tune and dancing has additionally had an impact on people, together with shoemaker Pete “The Shoe” Bullock.

“I had a have a look at myself after I began to get into my 50s and I knew one thing used to be lacking,” he says. “I abruptly realised I used to be getting a bit bit depressed.”

Pete had no longer been at the soul scene for a very long time, however seeing Anthony shifting at the dancefloor one night time deeply resonated with him.

“He have been so satisfied and I believed, ‘that have been me after I have been his age’,” he says.

“Inside of mins I would were given at the dancefloor myself then and one thing simply clicked and I realised, I am in my happiest days once more, I am dancing to Northern.”

Anthony at the Blackpool Tower Ballroom

Nisha Chopra, who co-produced the documentary, mentioned the filming used to be emotional from time to time – particularly when Anthony went to Blackpool to fulfill a mythical DJ.

“The entire group actually needed to hang again the tears when Anthony met Richard Searling, because it used to be moderately one thing to look a tender lad get this masterclass from a Northern Soul legend and for Anthony it used to be very overwhelming,” she says.

Nisha mentioned over the 2 months it took to shoot and edit the movie, the entire group contributors shaped their very own bond with Anthony.

“He is only a very distinctive younger lad.”

Soul Boy shall be broadcast on BBC One at 19:30 BST on 27 Would possibly.

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