Rock and soul nights keep the music flowing this weekend

The Old Courts
The Old Courts

The town centre is a fiesta of music this weekend courtesy of Wigan Live Festival but anyone getting to evening and requiring even more tunes are in luck.

The Old Courts is putting on two events this weekend with the regular Friday Night Live showcase of the region’s acts and the return of the popular Motown and Northern Soul celebration tomorrow night.

Tonight’s gig at the Crawford Street arts hub is certainly a varied affair, with two acclaimed Wigan singer-songwriters sharing the stage with an epic seven-piece group.

Named after an Adidas trainer (of all things) Shakedown Stockholm have been described as a 21st century version of Fleetwood Mac with their lush vocal harmonies set over driving and relentless rock anthems filled with aching lead guitar work.

Support comes from Dave Rybka, who has become a well-known presence on the borough’s music scene both through his solo gigs and with bands such as Victorian Dad and Deep Shade.

The bill is completed by young songwriter Rik Jones, who has just released his second full-length album The Hotel With No Name and has enjoyed a whistlestop 12 months including a dream support slot at the Liverpool Echo Arena alongside Bruce Foxton from The Jam.

Tomorrow night The Old Courts will hark back to the golden age of Wigan Casino as DJ Deano and accomplices Bob Richards and Steve Garner spin a vintage selection of Northern Soul and Motown tracks.

While the venue can’t put on an all-nighter along the lines of the music’s heyday four hours of floor-filling tunes should sate most fans’ love of soul’s unmistakable grooves.

Friday Night Live is from 8pm until 11.30pm and tomorrow’s Northern Soul night is from 7.30pm until 11.30pm. Both events are £3 to pay on the door.