The Periodicals bring Northern soul sound to Madison

MADISON, Wis. — One band is bringing a unique sound to Madison.

The Periodicals are a nine-piece band that blends old-school rock together with pop. London-born John Wedge formed the band alongside guitarist and vocalist Geoff Blake-Horst eight years ago.

“We had a conversation about music. Maybe we can start writing,” Wedge said. “About 18 months later we had a show.”

The group grew from there and now features an ensemble of drums, brass and even a violinist.

Wedge says the band focuses on a genre called Northern soul. A type of sound that hasn’t scored many hits in America, but found its niche in the dance halls of Manchester, Blackpool and other parts of northern England.

That’s not to say the genre has never found mainstream success. English synthpop group Soft Cell found themselves near the top of the Billboard Hot 100 after they made a cover of Gloria Jones’ Northern soul song “Tainted Love.”

“I grew up in music. Music is a sibling to me,” lead singer Nikko Murphy said. “This is something new for me, growing up in a church, now playing rock music. But I’m enjoying it thoroughly now.”

The group has been rocking out around Madison over the last few weeks, with shows at High Noon, the Memorial Union Terrace and, most recently, Olbrich Gardens. The group will have another show at the Orton Park Festival on August 27.