In recent times Newcastle’s Smoove and Turrell have pretty much monopolised the local, live, Northern Soul/ funk scene with their sharp suited, styled, cut-some-rug bangers and live antics. And not to start a war, because the North East could do with all the scencester’s it can get, but Smoove’s dominance might soon come to an end thanks to the glorious soul ambitions of Alex Opal; perhaps the region’s coolest, new, soul act. Pairing up with vocalist ‘Jam Jam’, and centred around Motown rhythms, and Stax styled horns, ‘How’ aims squarely for the dance floor and delivers with stunning, upbeat, drum patterns and refrained instrumentation. Synergising with emotive vocals and refrains about broken love and broken promises, ‘How’ is a fully formed pop banger; giving us something both for the head and the heart. If this, as we are told, is the first of a wave of releases from Opal then we should all be very excited for the rest.