An Archive With Soul: Gabriella Cilmi picks some soulful clips from British Pathé to celebrate new single Magic Carpet Ride

To celebrate the release of Shimmy Marcus’ latest film SoulBoy, British Pathé caught up with the gorgeous singer Gabriella Cilmi, whose new single Magic Carpet Ride features on the movie’s soundtrack. We’ll be giving away a copy of the SoulBoy soundtrack on our Twitter page @BritishPathe soon!

Some of you may know Gabriella for her 2008 hit ‘Sweet About Me’, whilst others may have seen her live on the recent Leona Lewis tour. We selected some clips to show Gabriella from the British Pathé film archive that relate to the 1960s Northern Soul scene. Here’s what she thought…

1) Rock Twice Around The Clock (1960)

Gabriella: Haha! I love this.  Some hot moves going on there-  they looked as though they weren’t enjoying it too much towards the end though… Not sure I’d be tempted to try it myself, think I’ll be sticking with disco….!

What’s your first memory of going out clubbing?

Gabriella: I’ve been performing since I was a kid so I guess I’ve been ‘dancing and clubbing’ weirdly before I knew it was cool! Going out in Melbourne was always fun, its really laid back and there’s always loads going on. Its great to be with all my old school friends on a night out in Melbourne.

2) Isle of Wight festival (1969)

Gabriella: What’s with the fat hippie?! loving “One of the biggest hippy happenings ever”! So funny, really random, I love the craziness of this!

The Isle of Wight holds some major festivals. Do you have a favourite festival that you’ve performed at?

Gabriella: This has to be the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury last year, its the main stage it was a really cool crowd. Everyone is just up for a good time and enjoying the music it makes performing scary but loads of fun! Then there is always the party after…

3) The Star Club in Hamburg (1964)

Gabriella: Pretty sweaty crowd, loving the buzz but not sure I’d fancy it, looks as though you’d get crushed! Funny how some of the guys look like the could be from East London- must be the hair cuts?

Do you speak German? Have you been to Germany?

Gabriella: Ja… Only joking – I speak very little German but have played there a number of times. It’s a great country and really cool arts and music scene-  can’t wait to go back!

4) A trip on Radio Caroline (1965) (Second half of this video)

Gabriella: So this was the birth of pirate radio?! I’d imagine it got pretty boring just floating about but exciting too when you realised you had a fan club!

If you ran a pirate radio station what would you play?

Gabriella: Sea shanties of course! Haha!

5) The Mersey Sound

Gabriella: Liverpool really led the way back then. Although I don’t agree with the narrator that the haircuts “baffle you as to a person’s gender”. I think they’re great!

The narrator of this clip is quite sceptical of youth culture. Do you remember any moments when your parents said ‘You’re not having your hair like that’ or ‘You’re not wearing that’?

Gabriella: Not my parents – they’re cool cats. If anything, I copy them!

Watch the clips that Gabriella watched by clicking on the thumbnails above. They’re hyperlinked to the correct places in the British Pathe free online film archive! Also – take a listen to Gabriella’s great new single Magic Carpet Ride below. Let us know what you think!

Words and interview by Jack Cullen | |

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

2 thoughts on “An Archive With Soul: Gabriella Cilmi picks some soulful clips from British Pathé to celebrate new single Magic Carpet Ride”

  1. She has an incredible voice, and sings beyond the boundaries of her age. I know I’ll be able to listen to her music years from now and not cringe, unlike most female singers her age who get played endlessly on end. She’s a gem.

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