All Posts (152)


Barraloadasoul was a one of a kind event held at the famous Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom. The event brought the old ballroom back to life as a dance venue and was put together by Stephen Liddle of Somethins Kookin radio show. Filming was undertaken by AfroMic Productions.

As everybody will know, Emma Rosa Dias and AfroMic productions have already made some superb documentaries on the mod scene, which are a far more accurate reflection of the scene than anything that has appeared on tv. This is despite the limited budget AfroMic have had available as an independant company. With the backing of Somethins Kookin for Barraloadasoul there is a notable boost in the production value of this documentary..

The first part of the documentary explores the Barrowlands ballroom itself which is an iconic venue in the East End of Glasgow and has been the setting for many a mod night over the years, although nothing on the scale of Barraloadasoul. The quality of the camerawork throughout the documentary is excellent and the dark wooden interior of the ballroom has never looked so good or atmospheric.

Another particular aspect of all the AfroMic mod documentaries is the great choice of interview subjects, old and young, to tell the story. I know that Emma always puts a lot of preparation work into this and ensures the people she talks to are fully involved in the scene and can reflect on aspects of it. There is never those cringe-worthy moments you get on tv when your watching a mod documentary and they talk to the most ridiculous looking individual as the programme maker has no idea what an actually mod looks like.

In the build up to the event there is a large scooter gathering outside, which is an amazing sight to behold, and the atmosphere on the night is brilliantly captured in panning shots of the massive, crowded dancefloor, cut to totally pumped up djs and Stephen Liddle clutching walky talky and no doubt relecting on a magnificent night.

Barraloadasoul is now available from Amazon. Go and get it now and relive this historic night in Glasgow.

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Deserted Island Discs - Mark Baxter

My latest guest to be washed ashore on a lonely island in the sea is writer Mark Baxter... a former shop and club owner with a passion for '60s clothing, Tubby Hayes and Millwall Football Club.

If you know Bax, then you'll want to see his choice of five great tracks... and if you don't, check it out and you will certainly not be disappointed !

Deserted Island Discs

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Pete Townshend  may have been good at putting Mod feelings into words (the first couple of years anyway), but his group were never big favourites of my generation (pardon the pun).  When it came to British bands, for us it was always Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band or Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds that we would go out of our way to see. 

Later,  Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, Geno Washington's Ram Jam Band and Herbie Goins & the Night Timers (lead by the great Mick Eve) were always good value and did their best to give us their versions of the soul music we were all listening too by that time.  All of them featured brass in their line ups and all of them swung like crazy.  They also dressed like us, in band uniforms of sharp mohair suits or matching jackets, always with collar and tie, no matter how hot is was on stage.  By contrast, the Who and, later, the Small Faces, were really just good pop groups. 


Apart from Georgie Fame's albums, I don't remember buying records by any of the British based bands.  From an early interest in Blues and R&B, my taste had widened to include the soul music of Memphis, Detroit, Chicago and New York, as well as Bluebeat and ska.  45s were 6/8 each (33p), so you could buy 3 for a quid, and LPs were about £1.50. 

We were obsessive about our music and, with the weekly assistance of Record Mirror and sometimes Billboard, constantly searched out the new sounds - the more obscure and rare the better if it meant no one else had heard it !  It was not often that the music we liked bothered the British charts, but if one of our sounds did hit the Top Twenty, that was the last you heard of it in the Clubs. 

Then there was Radio Luxembourg with its late night programmes sponsored by record companies and the Pirate Radio Stations accepting payola to push obscure sounds, which also helped spread the word.

Malc and I also spent a lot of our spare time rooting through the piles of 45s and LPs that you could still find in Junk shops, searching out discarded copies of those elusive late 50s and early 60s R&B gems.


By 1966, the next generation were ready to take over.  The Guildford Ricky Tick closed in February 66 (the Plaza management decided that Bingo would make them more money !), although it did continue for a few months at the Harvest Moon.  Windsor Ricky Tick limped on until early 67 and featured early appearances by Cream, Hendrix and Pink Floyd.

The original Guildford Mods were growing up and settling down,  and my crowd began to feel like elder statesmen at the Harvest Moon as the place filled up with kids a year or two younger than us. 

Where we spent a month's wages on a suit made to measure to our exact specification, the local shops were now flogging readymade mohair 2 pieces, often in garish gold or bronze, for only a few quid.  Carnaby Street, which helped start the whole movement, now made clothes for tourists which were copied and sold to this generation of Mods - cheap materials, bad design, badly made.  As long as they thought they looked something like the Who or the Small Faces, they were happy.


In July 1966 (the weekend of England's World Cup victory) Malc, Will, Nick & I went to the Isle of Wight for a summer holiday.  I remember seeing Blueslogy with little Reggie Dwight, at the Disco Blue Club, but I also remember nearly getting in a fight with some other Mods.  The newer breed of 'Hard Mods' were now making their presence felt, getting ready to morph into skinheads in a few years time.  As far as I was concerned, this wasn't what Mod was about.

Soon after we got back, a crowd of us (including David B of 'South of London Mods' article) made our way to the South Coast for the weekend - the reason it sticks in my mind is that it was the last time I can remember our crowd all being together. 

Possibly the Mod thing had run its time for us (or perhaps just for me) and the Times really were 'A-Changin'.  I can't remember seeing Nick again after that weekend and only occasionally saw Will.  I met a girl soon after and stopped going out 'with the lads' so much, but  Malc and I remained close friends and still are today.  We've both still got our record collections too !


In 1967 Malc & I went to a new club in a Guildford pub backroom to see an up and coming group called Pink Floyd.  Not too impressed, mainly because they blew the fuses and ended up singing skiffle songs acoustically !  As there was no music before or between their sets there was a great lack of atmosphere that night and we convinced the promoters to take us on as DJs for all their future club nights. 

That's how we started as DJs and got to support some of the bands we'd previously paid to see - Herbie Goins & the Night Timers, Ronnie Jones & the Blue Jays, The In-Crowd and others.  We packed up after a couple of years, but then I started again on my own in the early 70s. 

By '76 I was resident at the Wooden Bridge - the same pub that the Guildford Ricky Tick had started at in 63 - I started out there playing classic Soul, and was soon found by a crowd of local Northern Soul fans, who used to take over Sunday evenings on their way back from Wigan.  A lot of the Northern sounds were those same 'rare' records I'd bought when first released, so I had the good basis for a playlist and this was augmented by reissues, bootlegs and any new tunes that the guys had bought over the weekend. 

Slowly this crowd got into the Funk-Soul of the late 70s, which suited me fine.  Black American music was always moving forward and in all its forms has always been my thing - Blues, R&B, Soul, Jazz, Funk - and I'd always bought and listened to the latest sounds - if it's good I'll listen to it, and I was only too happy to play it. 

A few years later the second generation Mods took over (The Jam were from Woking, just up the road and Squire, the mod revival band, were from Guildford) and once again, my original 60's records formed the backbone of my set.  Lots of fun for a year or so, but in those days they wanted the same records played every week, and I could only listen to 'My Generation' or 'My Boy Lollipop' so many times, and finally hung up my headphones in 1981.


Unless you were there in the 60s, it is impossible to comprehend how fast things changed - whether it was fashion, music or life in general.  New fashions would spring up overnight, someone would have a suit made slightly differently or discover something in an obscure clothes shop (or girls would make their own clothes on mum's sewing machine) and if it looked good, next week others would be copying and then it would spread through all regions in a few weeks.  Mod fashion wasn't dictated by the Fashion Houses or the major retailers until later.     

As for the music - imagine hearing 'Smokestack Lightnin' for the very first time, or 'Walking The Dog' or 'Papa's Got A Brand New Bag' or 'Midnight Hour' or 'I Can't Help Myself' or 'Respect'.   All being cooked up in greasy little studios across the USA as Blues changed to R&B to Soul to Funk and all totally different to what you'd heard the week before.   

Meanwhile, the Beatles, Stones, Who, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Phil Spector and so many others were experimenting in the bigger studios, stretching the possibilities of popular music (it may not necessarily have been what we were buying, but it formed the background music to our lives).   

On top of all that, there was a constant stream of new Jazz sounds or the latest release from Jamaica on Blue Beat or Island Records.                                                                     

Everything seemed to change by the month then, whereas now I can't remember which decade it was that I last heard or saw something original or groundbreaking - but perhaps I'm not listening or looking any more.


During those fabulous, brief, years of Mod, dozens of young men and women entered my life and my memories, whether they knew it or not.  Some were/are long time friends, some were only in my life for a week or so, some for just one weekend or one night.  People disappeared or moved away, and too many died before their time.  

I still keep in contact with a few guys from those days and we all seem to remember different things about different events or different people.  Things that only happened a couple of times are now remembered fondly as a regular occurrence.  It's called getting old ! 

This is just my (probably faulty) memory of the days that shaped my life. 


Now read Part 1 and Part 2


The Kids Are Alright                The Who (1965)

Out On The Floor                    Dobie Gray (1965)

You'd Better Move On             Arthur Alexander (1962)

Footstompin'                            The Flares (1961)

Funny How Time Slips Away   Joe Hinton (1964)

Amen                                       The Impressions (1964)

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One good thing about being a Mod was that, because we always dressed so well, we didn't frighten adults !  I think my parents were quite impressed that I always went out in a suit, with collar and tie and shoes polished !  Even my hair was a neat 'College Boy' cut, not like those nasty pop groups on the telly !  Of course, we knew and they knew that our clothes were different, but we knew why and they didn't !

In the early days my wardrobe was done on a budget, but by carefully buying the right stuff for work, with a few additions it could see you right for the weekend as well. A good jacket, a bit like a conventional sports jacket but better cut, navy blue straight trousers, red socks, a decent shirt with a straight knitted silk tie and a pair of Hush Puppies or desert boots and you were set up.  You couldn't compete with the older guys, but it was enough to get you accepted as one of the crowd.  

As our wages went up, we were soon having suits made to measure (always three piece) and a lot of thought went into getting the details just right (vents just the right length, trousers the right width, pockets and buttons just so, lining the right colour) - the suit might take a few weeks to be made (including a couple of fittings) so you had to be sure that it was ahead of its time !  We also had separate jackets and trousers made to measure. Shirts were tab collared or Long John collars (long and pointed) in the early days and then American button downs by Tiger Foot or Brooks Brothers, later copied by Ben Sherman.  Shoes were mainly bought from little independent shops in London like Toppers or Ravel (before they expanded).  Blue nylon macs were useful in the rain (along with umbrellas from the British Rail lost property office) and long (full length or three quarter length) leather and suede coats or a smart overcoat kept out the cold. For more casual occasions, it was Levis with a Fred Perry or Ben Sherman topped off with a Madras cotton jacket or a Levi jacket in white or tan suede.

Harrington jackets in navy or beige came in a little later, along with Levi Sta-Prest trousers and Penny Loafers.


Back in Guildford, the Harvest Moon Club opened in early '65 and by the summer were holding all nighters.  The crowd weren't as hip as the 'Tick, and it was a year or so before they started booking decent bands, but it gave us somewhere to go if there was nothing else happening.  Apart from the All Nighters, it was also open seven days a week from late morning to late evening, so if you bunked off work or college there was always a place to while away the day where you would find a friendly face and get a cup of coffee or a coke.  Hardly any of the clubs that we went to were licensed for alcohol in those days, which meant that they could choose their opening hours and didn't need permission to stay open all day or all night if they chose to.

We rarely stayed there for the Saturday All Nighters, but often called in there in the early evening or on the way back in the early hours of Sunday morning.  The DJs always played good music and in the winter there would be a roaring log fire surrounded by old leather sofas.


The weekend really did start with 'Ready Steady Go', on between 6 and 7pm every Friday  - I used to tape it by sticking a microphone from my reel to reel player in front of the speaker.  Recording quality was rubbish, but at least I could listen to it again without my Dad's inane comments !  Some of the items included could be a bit embarrassing (mime contests and so on), but the music was usually as good as you got in those days.

As soon it was finished, it would be a quick change into the latest suit (never went out casual in the evenings), check the tie and hair and then a quick dash to the train station, meet Malc at the next stop and on to Guildford to meet the rest of the boys. 

Fridays were spent at the Ricky Tick because you simply had to be there.  I remember one cold December evening when Malc was unwell and his Mum wouldn't let him out.  Howlin' Wolf was on (backed by the Muleskinners with future Face, Ian McLagan) and Malc wasn't going to miss that.  He snuck out of his bedroom window and met me on the train as usual, looking like death.  By the time the evening was over, he had a serious chest infection and spent that Christmas (and his birthday) in hospital !  Like I said, you just had to be there!

Saturday mornings were spent with scooters or cars, keeping them roadworthy(ish) and then shopping in town, picking up records you'd ordered the week before, being measured up for your new suit, checking the (one or two) decent clothes shops for new shirts etc., or just hanging around town. 

Saturday nights usually started at the Harvest Moon, to show off your latest clothes or just to make sure there wasn't a good party to crash, before climbing into Nick's Austin A35 van and heading out of Guildford, often to Windsor and then on to the Flamingo All Nighter. 

After crawling home at dawn, Sunday mornings were spent in bed until lunchtime and then over to the Harvest Moon to avoid wasting the last of the precious weekend.  Unless there was a decent band on somewhere local, most weekday evenings were spent at each other's houses, listening to records and talking rubbish. 


At the office where I worked, each of us had to work a Saturday morning in rotation, and in exchange we got Wednesday afternoon off.  As no one else liked working Saturdays, I often covered for them to get as many Wednesday afternoons off as possible - because in those days most suburban shops closed on a Wednesday afternoon - except in London which closed early on Saturdays. 

The deal was that on a Wednesday afternoon I could meet up with any of the boys who worked in local shops, or on shifts, or who just bunked off work or college, and we would get the train to London for the afternoon to buy clothes and hang round Transat Imports in Lisle Street or some other record shop, listening to the latest sounds direct from the States, before deciding how many of them you could afford.


Pills didn't figure too much in our lives, although there were plenty of others who did indulge.  We would sometimes take them to keep us awake through the night, but I don't remember any of us ever getting to the 'blocked' stage.  We liked a drink, but never too much and, later, we would often share a joint or two.  Basically, I think we were all enjoying life too much to need stimulants.

One scam we devised was to buy a large jar of ephedrine tablets (helped with asthma, but also a stimulant) from the chemist - no prescription was needed - and then pack them up in little envelopes of 10 and flog them (at a great profit) to the younger Mods at the Harvest Moon.  The pills were legal, the kids didn't know any better, and if you took enough you could get quite high, so everybody was happy (ish)!


Bank Holiday and some other summer weekends were usually spent in Bognor or Brighton.  In Guildford High Street there was a Mod coffee bar, The Continental, and the lay-by opposite would be filled with scooters on a Bank Holiday Saturday morning.  Almost as one, everyone would leave the Continental, get on their scooters and leave for the coast in a crocodile line (yes- Quadrophenia got some things right!).  Our four would go in Nick's van (meant we could hang up our suits) and, once we got beside the sea, we'd meet up with old friends and make new ones from all over.  I don't know about 'Sawdust Caesars', but we sure felt like Kings for a few days. 

At Bognor  there was the Shoreline Club (which also had a 'Teenage Hotel' attached, where most of the girls would stay for the weekend) or a short ride along the coast took us to Brighton's One-O-One Club.  Both usually had one of the many British R'n'B bands that made their living in the Mod/R&B clubs in the 60s.  Nights (what was left of them) were spent under the pier, or in a covered park bandstand or even in the Salvation Army tent which they put up at Bank Holidays - if you wanted breakfast as well, you had to stay for morning prayers !


There was never the amount of trouble between Mods and Rockers as the papers made out.  I only remember one Mod from Reading who got caught on his own by some greasers in Bognor, who put him in hospital, but I also remember some reporter or photographer in Brighton getting Mods to pretend to fight amongst themselves (there were no Rockers around) and pose for a photo.  If you look at some of the newspaper photos of the time, you can tell that they are also 'staged'.  Locally, you had probably grown up with, or gone to school with, any local Rockers that were left, so you were hardly going to pick a fight with them.  We always tried to avoid trouble anyway, didn't see the point in getting dressed up, just to go and ruin your clothes by fighting.


The Ricky Tick, throughout 1965, continued to put on the best of the club bands, as well as visiting US R&B artists.  In May, the Who appeared for the first time, straight from an appearance on RSG to plug "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" and wearing the same clothes - target T shirt, Union Jack jacket etc. - almost fancy dress as far as we were concerned ! 

The door price was increased to 7/6 (37½p) and a guy who worked in the cloakroom at the time remembers all the local Mods walking out when they started playing !  I don't remember it being quite that obvious, but I do remember we were fairly underwhelmed by their act.  By the time they visited again in December, plugging My Generation, they attracted the younger generation of Mods and got a much better reception !   Mind you, even then you didn't hear their records played in the clubs, probably because you couldn't dance to them.

Now read Part 1

continued in Part 3


Shopping For Clothes             The Coasters (1960)

Shine On Harvest Moon          Mance Lipscomb (1965)

Seven Days Too Long              Chuck Woods (1967)

Shop Around                           The Miracles (1960)

Pills                                         Bo Diddley (1961)

Summertime                           Billy Stewart (1966)

I'm A Lover Not A Fighter        Lazy Lester (1958)

The Who Who Song                 Jackie Wilson (1967)

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I was a Mod - in my head, I still am.  With a capital M.  Once a Mod, always a Mod as they say.  I don't wear the same clothes as I did 50 years ago, but I like to think the sense of style is still there.

I was never a 'top' Mod (too young, not enough money) and most people I knew then possibly wouldn't remember me.  But for two or three years, I lived, breathed and slept Mod, nothing else really mattered apart from the freedom, the good times, the clothes, the music and especially my mates.  I've never thought too much about the 'origin of mod' - that's for the academics and revisionists - it was just a way of life that suited me then and has stayed with me ever since. 


I was born in 1948 in Godalming, a quiet Surrey market town, stockbroker belt/commuter land, roughly half way between London and Portsmouth. 

Being a kid in the 50s and a teenager in the 60s, I always think that I had the best years to grow up in (but then I never experienced growing up in any other decades !).  I spent the first ten years of my life on a new Council Estate on the outskirts of town, with lots of other kids more or less the same age.  The 1950s still had a aura of pre-war innocence where kids could run wild and, being surrounded by open countryside, the fields, woods and rivers were our playground and we were left free to spend our weekends and holidays doing just what we pleased - mainly playing cowboys & indians, war games or just kicking a ball around.

Television arrived in our street for the first time to show  the Queen's Coronation in 1953, but it wasn't long before the Westerns and cop shows like "77 Sunset Strip" gave us all a taste for Americana. 

Sweet rationing didn't end until I was about five, so we were mostly skinny kids - any one called 'Fatty' probably just had a round face!  We could play in the street as well because there were only  two cars in our road (one of which didn't work), so we all stayed pretty fit.

Harold McMillan told us in 1957 that we'd "never had it so good" and, by the early 60's, it was beginning to come true.

National Service was abolished in 1960, and the threat of having to spend 18 months in the army had disappeared.  Jobs were plentiful, so you could pick and choose what you wanted to do (if anything) with your life.  And from 1963 onwards, what I wanted to do was be a Mod.

I suppose I was almost middle-class, my Dad was an Architect for the local Council and I  passed my 11 Plus exam and went to the local Grammar School, which I hated.  I know it's often said that Mod was almost exclusively working class, but the majority of kids at this school who had any pride (!) were eventually Mods, at least fashion wise, and many of the Mod crowd that I eventually knew had good office jobs etc. and came from comfortable, let's call them upper working class, homes.


For me it started around the summer of 1963 when, aged 15,  I met up with some lads from Enfield, North London, in the holidays who were about a year older than me, and told me all about their local Mod scene - riding scooters, wearing berets and matelot shirts, listening to jazz and blues music, etc. - all sounded pretty exotic to a suburban school kid and a few of us back home soon started wearing the matelot shirts with bell bottom jeans with frayed bottoms and lovely square toed black lace up moccasins with 'crinkle cut' crepe souls.  The look was somewhere between art student and Mod.  There was also a fashion for royal blue anoraks with bright red linings that a lot of scooter boys wore for a while before the parka completely took over.


Starting back at school, September 63, there was a new kid, Bob, who had moved down from Southend, and who already had the Mod look and lifestyle completely sewn up, so it wasn't long before I, along with a few others followed his lead.  Record Mirror, the hippest weekly music paper, Merseybeat and the Stones, had already sparked an initial interest in Blues and R'n'B and Bob introduced me to the early soul of Solomon Burke, James Brown and Arthur Alexander.  He often went back to Southend at weekends and so knew all about the latest fashions and where to buy them.  Light grey crew neck jumpers with a good shirt and straight Levis became the order of the day.  Bob later worked in Squires when it first opened.


October 63 saw us at Guildford Odeon where, for 8/6 (42p) we got to see the legendary Bo Diddley (complete with The Duchess and Jerome of course) as well as the Rolling Stones (on their first UK tour) and the Everly Bros, but two months later, the music and the style came together.

In December there was a concert held in the local Civic Hall, promoted by the Ricky Tick guys and headlined by the Stones, supported by Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, The Graham Bond Quartet and The Yardbirds (with Clapton in full Mod style), the evening being compered by Johnny Gunnel from the Flamingo .  All for the princely sum of 8/- (40p) !

The audience must have included virtually every mod from a ten mile radius, a lot there to see Fame, Bond and the Yardbirds as much as the Stones.

That was the first time I saw Georgie Fame and, for me, he and the Blue Flames will always be the number one English band for Mods - the Who or the Small Faces wouldn't even get in my top ten. 


It was also at this concert I met my lifelong friend, Malcolm, who was introduced by a mutual friend who knew we had similar tastes in music.  Malc was 18 months older than me, was working, had money to spend and rode a scooter.  He was funny and gregarious and he also already had the beginnings of a great R&B record collection. 

I decided the only way I could emulate Malc was to leave school as soon as I could and start earning, so summer 64 saw me leave the Grammar School.  Some of my contemporaries stayed on for 6th Form and went to University, but I was just glad to walk away from what I considered the most miserable five years of my life with enough 'O' Levels to get me a decent job.

Later, Malc and I were joined by Will, who was bit younger than me, and Nick, who had been at my Grammar School, and the four of us set out to have as good a time as possible.  Many other friends and acquaintances came and went - some lasted a year or so, and some appeared almost from nowhere, had some fun, and then were never seen again.


Before I started work in a local drawing office (£4.10.0 a week !) I worked for a few months in a local timber yard.  There was an older teenager working in the yard who was obviously  a pretty sharp Mod (even in his working clothes) and I remember him saying to me, soon after I started - "I thought I was the only Mod working here" - which was very generous of him and I knew I'd cracked the look, even though I was still doing Mod on a budget !

A trip to the only club in Godalming showed Malc and I  that the local lads were more interested in fighting and drinking than looking good, so we decided that we would migrate to nearby Guildford where things were (slightly) more hip and there was a proper Mod scene.  From now on, if I mention 'town', I mean Guildford.


Our love of good music took us along to the Guildford Ricky Tick Club.  Apart from the main club in Windsor (originally opened in December 62) which had its own premises from May 64 on (the legendary Clewer Mead), the guys who ran the Ricky Tick circuit, Phillip Haward and John Mansfield, would book regular weekly evenings at various suburban dancehalls, and put on the best of the British R'n'B groups (they weren't called 'bands' until later).  Guildford was their second club, opening in February 63, and the most regular after Windsor, but they also held clubs in Reading, Harpenden, Hounslow, Newbury and several other towns.  As much as anyone, they were responsible for spreading good quality live R'n'B and soul music over the South East of England. 

A bonus was that a Ricky Tick Membership card would also get you into the Flamingo Club in Soho, Richmond Crawdaddy and the Birdcage in Portsmouth.

After 6 months at the Wooden Bridge Hotel (where they had the Stones on once a month) and 3 months at a local village hall, Guildford's 'Tick finally found a home at the Plaza dancehall (a converted cinema) where, every Friday, 5 bob (25p) would get you in to see the likes of John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Charlie & Inez Foxx, The Yardbirds, Graham Bond, Zoot Money, Chris Farlowe and, of course, Georgie Fame.  We also seemed to get John Mayall at least once a month, which was slightly boring (even with Clapton on board)!  Between the live music, a DJ played great R&B sounds, old and new.

The 'Tick was where all the local Mods met up to listen to good live music, check out the fashions, dance, and plan their weekends.  Malc knew a couple of them which meant that we were soon accepted by them all and quickly became fully fledged members of the 'Guildford Boys'.

We then progressed to the Windsor 'Tick, the Flamingo, Kingston Cellar, Portsmouth Birdcage and various other clubs in the south east.  Never went to the Marquee (not really our sort of music) or the Scene (slightly hostile).

Now read Part 2

and continued in Part 3


Looking Back                          Brook Benton  (1962)

Young Blood                            The Coasters (1957)

Point of No Return                   Louis Jordan (1963)

School Days                            Chuck Berry (1957)

A Shot of Rhythm & Blues      Arthur Alexander (1962)

Some Other Guy                      Ritchie Barrett (1962)

Yes I'm Ready                          Barbara Mason (1965)

Ricky Tick ("Rickey Tick")        Noble 'Thin Man' Watts (1958)

Read more…

BBC Four – Monday 26th May, 9pm

Fifty years ago, in May 1964 – as people enjoyed their bank holiday break - households across Britain were rudely awoken to the news that that all was not as it should be among the nation’s youth. Newspapers, radio and television announced the arrival of angry young men and women apparently converging on British beaches for pitched battles. Up and down the south coast, and at beach resorts around the UK, a new generation of teenage tear-aways burst into the public consciousness – they were known as the Mods and the Rockers.

Timeshift takes a look behind the headlines to find out who these Mods and Rockers were and to examine the unique set of circumstances that set the course for a head-on collision of ideas, styles and ‘fists’.

Cast by the media as two polar opposites, Mods and Rockers had more in common than was first obvious. But it was their differences that set them at odds with each other: sharply dressed Mods riding continental scooters versus ‘greasy’ leather-clad Rockers on dirty British motorbikes. What both groups shared was their fortune of birth; both groups grew up during a period of post-war prosperity; with more jobs, more money, more leisure time and, crucially, more freedom.

With first-hand accounts from original Mods and Rockers, ‘Timeshift’ presents a vivid snapshot of the moment this ‘youthquake’ changed the course of British popular culture. Why was society so anxious about these young people, ‘out of control’ and up all night in ballrooms and transport cafes throughout the UK? Why did they appear to behave so recklessly; Rockers risking their lives on the roads in their efforts to ‘do a ton’ and Mods dancing all-night fuelled by a cocktail of Purple Hearts and American R ‘n’ B. These rebellious young people were all the more threatening because they had something their parents never did – spending power. They expressed their new found freedom outwardly in their individual styles; defying convention and their parents to adopt new youth uniforms of mohair suits and leather jackets. With an ability to travel, either on Vespas or BSA Gold Stars, and spare time on their hands, it was only a matter of time before these young people met - as everyone did - on the bank holiday weekend, down at the seaside.

Whether the resulting ‘clashes’ reported by the press were minor scuffles or the riots they claimed them to be, the headlines captured the imagination of the British public and forever defined these youth tribes as ‘folk devils’. The events of May 1964 were, for many Mods and Rockers, a watershed moment. Some Mods decided they didn’t want to be associated with violence and labelled as social outcasts; for them it had always been about the music, dancing and wearing great clothes. Similarly, Rockers were not happy being vilified; their motivation was thrills via speed not violence. Both groups watched with dismay as the media and the establishment whipped the nation into a moral panic about our wayward youth. For that generation – the first baby boomers – they couldn’t have been born at a better time and, regardless of how history has recorded those few days of fighting on the beaches, they will always remember their days as Mods and Rockers as the best of times...

Produced & Directed by: Rebecca Whyte
Series Producer: William Naylor

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Adaptor Clothing

Adaptor Clothing is currently running a Photography competition.

"We want your cool, timeless photographs from the Mod, Skinhead, Rudeboy and Scooterist scenes, to be submitted to our competition to be voted upon by our thousands of fans on Facebook. In order to enter or vote, you must first like our Facebook page...You can then view our Competition app. The winner will be the photograph with the most votes by Saturday 10th May 2014. The earlier you submit your images, the more votes you will be able to accumulate before the closing date. Good Luck!"

Having already been a customer of Adaptor Clothing I can definitely recommend their suit range, which include Ben Sherman, Merc and more recently Adaptors own range of mod style suits.

On 11th May Adaptor are also running their first ever Scooter Rally event.

"Adaptor Clothing is pleased to announce our first ever 'Lazy Sunday' Scooter Rally event. This is our chance to throw a bash for our loyal customers and all those dedicated to the Scootering way of life! On Sunday 11th May, you'll be able to take advantage of 10% Off all Hertford Showroom purchases (10am til 2pm), pick up a voucher for a free burger from our good friends at the Dog and Whistle Pub (from Noon), Live music from the State Affair and the Adaptor Clothing House Band with DJ Kev Lock plus guests spinning the vinyl at the Pub (from 2pm) with classic Vespas and Lambretta all day!"

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Being a 15 year old Mod

Recently on this very site I have been reading peoples post who are of a similar age to me complaining about how there is a lack of mods there age near where they live.

when reading these I could completely understand where they were coming from as I only have two friends who are into the scene. I can even consider my self lucky as many of these poor guys were the only mods they knew of and were desperately seeking out  a scene.

Now the thing I am addressing is the lack of subculture in the  teenagers of today, I have many theories on this one being that in a teenagers point of view they are not needed any more!

Mod was a way of escaping from the grey and boring world of adult life, using music and style to stand out from the crowd but alas that is apparently not needed any more as seemingly in todays world teens have youth life served to them on a plate with pop music being one of the worlds biggest industry's and multiple high street shops catering to the many needs of the modern teen. No wonder then that there is a lack of imagination in todays youth and no need to stand out from the crowd as there is nothing to protest against....

or so we think! As we know history has a habit of repeating itself, and it occurred to me that being the rebellious teens we are we become tired of the norm and realise that we don't want society tailored to our needs. we  could reform back to youth culture as an escape from this just as those early modernist did from post war Britain.

so I tell you now don't worry about it as we might have a whole new wave of  subculture coming right our way! and I bet you some from of Mod will be one of them!


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Being a POOR MOD

Look, I don't wanna be the same as everybody else. That's why I'm a Mod, see? Jimmy's quote from Quadrophenia.  Everyone seems to stick to the same brands of clothing, Barracuta, Fred Perry, Merc and now Pretty Green. There are MODS out there that cannot afford the top brands. I'm 43 have a mortgage and a car and only work part time. Why are people criticizing mods, just because they cannot afford the top brands I have an M65 parka, couldn't afford the 51, i have a Ben Sherman Harrington, cant afford Barracuta. It seems to me that you cannot be poor and be a MOD. If you love the scene, the scooters , the music  your a mod in my eyes. I don't care if you don't have the top brands.  EBAY can be helpful, but you'll probably be mocked for wearing second hand goods, even if they are practically new. Its the same for scooters, I'm a mod and i don't have a scooter. I'm happy to admit it. What some Mods out there don't realize is, to have a really decent scooter you need to spend at least £2000 just for scooter, by the time you have lights and mirrors and paint job if you want, its £3000. For me there are two things that say Mod. The scooter and the parka. Yes you have the music as well, but if your on scooter or wearing parka people know instantly your a mod.Many cannot afford the scooter, so get a really decent parka, save up and buy a M51, if you can, Or like me the M65. This is mine and i'm proud to wear it and proud to be a POOR MOD.

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Stone Foundation: To Find The Spirit

To Find The Spirit

A gentle organ opens this album, then guitar and horns build the feeling and singer Neil Jones climatically announces 'Find the spirit' - thus an epic soul journey then begins.

It's a journey through memories - you'll think of 'time is tight' and you'll think of 'my girl' and you'll smile at the musical hints in Bring Back the Happiness and When Your in my World - but mainly it's a journey into the soul and by the time you get to Dont Let the Rain you'll already be completely absorbed by the spirit of this record which is ultimately that of positivity.

Nolan Porter guests on the album with an outstanding version of his song Crazy Love, which was a highlight of the recent short film Keep On Keeping On, documenting the re-ignition of Nolan's recording career. The fact that this song slots easily into To Find The Spirit and does not overshadow the Stone Foundation originals is testament to the quality throughout this album.

This is a fantastic Soul record and an amazing accomplishment for a UK band with no record company, no manager and no budget. 'To Find The Spirit' is already at number 33 in the Official UK Indie Album Chart. Go out and Find The Spirit now!



1. To find the Spirit
2. Bring back the happiness (feat. Nolan Porter & the Q Strings)
3. That’s the way I want to live my Life
4. When you’re in my world (feat. Carleen Anderson & the Q Strings)
5. Stronger than us / Don’t let the Rain
6. Crazy Love (feat. Nolan Porter)
7. Telepathic Blessing
8. Hold on (feat. Andy Fairweather Low)
9. Child of Wonder (feat. Paolo Hewitt)
10. Wondrous Place (feat. Pete Williams)
11. Don’t let the rain (Dennis Bovell Dub Mix)


"To Find The Spirit" from amazon, iTunes and all good record shops now. Available on vinyl, cd and download.

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Terry Webster was EMI recording artiste Tony Brook in 1964 and writer of MEANIE GENIE. At the same time Terry (Tony) was also The WES MINSTER 5  lead singer and bass player on 'MICKEYS MONKEY b/w STICKS N STONES on the CARNIVAL Blue Beat label. Shame no videos of those days. The Wes Minster band couldn't even afford photos. Wes was so tight he deducted the price of marker pens from our wages. These were used to write 'Wes Minster 5' around his Volkswagon caravanette that transported us.

EMI boobed with the  title of the B side Oo Poo Pa Do....and avertised another guys record with my picture........Help!!





My long forgotten song Meanie Genie was heavily influenced by Ray Charles and seems to have been recognised as a Mod era classic according to Internet sites. Never earned me a penny as EMI deleted it after poor sales. 3,000 was the usual figure for a flop.

When we were based in London in the early 60's my sister was a quite well known singer Patti Brook so I decided Terry Brook would be better sounding name than my real name Webster.  EMI producer Norman Newell decided Tony would sound less girlish than Terry  .......hence Tony Brook. Uh?

THE BREAKERS were really rhythm blues band WES MINSTER 5 of which I was lead singer and bass player at the time 1964. We played all the places that mattered The MARQUEE  100 CLUB OXFORD STREET,  KLOOKS KLEEK...Stringfellows MOJO club Sheffield

I was spotted by producer Norman Newell at Abbey Road studios as we did a session for a sax player friend of Wes Minster who had written an instrumental. I sang 'Oo Poo Pa Doo' as a sound check. Norman was bowled over at my vocal delivery and just about signed me on the spot. Later disappointed at my quietness as a normal guy from Yorkshire.  My manager asked  "Could you bubble more for Norman?" I didn't want to bubble thanks as I began to dislike Normans dated ideas... He and the management put me out on TV's THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS without a band or a bass guitar in my hands.

Wes Minster Five line up1964: Vocals and Bass guitar Tony Brook alias Terry Webster Jim Ellis drums  Paul Martin Raymond  keys Clive Burrows baritone sax  Wes Minster guitar     Blue Beat label Carnival was aimed at the London West Indian/Carribean market.

The WES MINSTER 5 did sessions for Carnival records and we were the second line up to the original band. They were buddies with the ZOOT MONEY band. My first encounter of Zoots band was sharing the stage at an open air gig on Weymouth pier one wet rainy summer evening. A faithful few were determined to enjoy themselves braving the weather and stomping in puddles to the beat. Zoot was good laugh and great showman. My bedsit in Fulham next to the A4 was a stones throw from the Zoot band digs. Zoot enticed our sax man Clive Burrows to join him. Their guitarist at the time was ANDY SOMERS (POLICE). I was invited to sing my record O0 Poo Pa Do with them on stage at the Flamingo Club.  Never been so nervous in my life. The drink and drugs didn't work and found myself repeating the chorus over and over as I had a mental block. The band assured me it was okay but I was embarrassed and left.

Andy gleefully rung me after my EMI record release to say that a record shop window in Fulham High Street was crammed with my pictures.'Fame At Last!! I rushed excitedly down there to find my pictures advertising 'Latest record release!  Simon  Somebodyorother? latest record! ???   I returned to my bedsit deflated and annoyed that the great EMI could be so incompetent to get my pictures mixed up with this Simon guy.  Andy found it amusing as a 'Gotyer!' but at the same time sympathetic at my bad luck. Even he was a poor struggling musician at that time.

Mods were a quite a new bunch to us over 19's  although I may have had Mod tendencies as early as 1960. Up in Yorkshire  I owned a Lambretta motor scooter at 16 rather than a motorbike. In '63 Glen Hughes our 'JETBLACKS' sax  man got me into the fashion of 3 button Ivy League suits with huge button down shirt collars a la Dean Martin.  Glen fancied himself as Dino as he had thick blue black hair.  He later joined Georgie Fame but died in a tragic fire accident.

I first saw a small bunch of these new Mods huddled in the corner of discoteque called The SCENE just off Great Windmill Street in Soho 1963/4 where I was a regular listener rather than dancer.  That is where I heard The Isley Brothers ' TWIST N SHOUT' that blew me away.  If I had got that contract with EMI sooner would have been my first single and a surefire hit. I bought the American import disc of Twist n Shout from a small record shop on Old Compton Street before the record had ever been heard over here. Raid the American charts before they got released here, that is how most bands got in the top 10 in those days.   I would include Twist n Shout  in our JETBLACKS (Pre Wes Minster 5) dance set 3 times in a night and people went crazy for it every time....... missed opportunity!   DO YOU LOVE ME The Contours another one and then OOH POO PA DO that was my B side to my own song MEANIE GENIE maybe should have been A Side but Wes Minsters guitar solo was a bit weak (Sorry Brian) and I would have been embarrassed with it.  Wes was a jazz guitarist so not suited to gutsy blues stuff.  I remember we were support band at an allnighter at THE MARQUEE for LONG JOHN BALDRY AND THE HOOCHIE COOCHIE MEN FEATURING ROD 'THE MOD' STEWART. As the bands packed up at dawn Long John threw a tantrum followed by a chair across the empty club room.... Not sure why?.Maybe his Heartaches had begun.......Now that was a SCENE!

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In the Street Today

The Modern World, through the eyes of a 17 year old mod

About three years ago, I got a text, a text that to this day has changed my life for the better. The text was from a friend asking if I was coming out to Leeds and me just having left a small time (only played four gigs) Beatles Tribute band sat doing nothing in the middle of summer said yeah why not. The following few hours were the weirdest and most eye opening of my life. It was the first time I came across a mod. One guy with an old m-65 fur lined hood and a tonne of patches in thin blue Levi's with a blue cardigan with red and white stripes and a white Fred Perry. I was in awe at the coat alone. 

It spiraled from there, by the time I finished high school I was wearing sta pressed trousers, red socks, had taken my blazer to a tailor and had it turned into a four button masterpiece. And going into college I am pretty sure I've got a decent collection of suits, trousers and shoes. mostly from charity shops, lucky ebay auctions, or as a present. And this is what I really want to be talking about here. How hard is it to be a mod today?

Fashion wise you will find yourself in hell, but every now and then it's brilliant. For anyone that is younger and can't afford a trip to the local tailor. I find that charity shops are better than most off the peg stuff, as if you can find something that fits you a tailor can work to your rough  design. Every now and then though it's nice to go shopping for something precise, like a polo shirt or a boating blazer. In these cases I've found Ebay to be more than helpful. Or other online shops. Personally boating blazer wise I've found MadCap to be great as sometimes they can be too bright and garish however these are not. And with more clothing brands being created it would suggest there is a lot of choice. But the one that is cornering the market as 'THE' 'mod' brand, is Pretty Green. And you'll see tonnes of people in entire outfits bought from Pretty Green. Personally I find their stuff vile, really vile. And nobody wants to be paying over five hundred quid for a coat, when you can get a pretty nice Ben Sherman suit for a fraction of the price.Plus a lot of the stuff I wouldn't consider mod. I mean a leather parka, I like leather overcoats, in Beatles style of them, but a leather parka is (to me) an act of hypocrisy. Say you don't want pretty green so you carry on looking you'll come across David Watts. I like their shirts, and scarfs. But their blazers look like they are piped in masking tape and their parka, which I initially thought was a joke, are not great (to put it.politely) so I would reiterate that Charity shops, vintage stores and ebay are a young mods best friends.A lot of people have a 'weller cut' personally I'm not a fan. I prefer a Brian Jones style basin cut, but I prefer the weller style cut to this ridiculous quiff that some people being used as models for clothing have.

The next thing is that you stand out. It's inevitable, because let's be honest you stand out. (See the picture, really spot the mod isn't that hard a game )but say you go out in a parka you're going to be in a crowd of other parka wearers. Perhaps it is because you may have it coated in patches, or have a band painted into the back of it, but there tends to be two defining features, hair, and clothes. There is forever those that will be nice, some that will reminisce. Like everything there is another end to the spectrum and having been jumped twice and chased a few times some people see you and will decide 'he looks a twat, let's kick his head in'. But the less said about them the better. idea that binds you together. You can't expect everyone to understand it and they don't. You will get strange looks and even questions "just been to a funeral or why you in a suit?" being the two most popular. Other people will try to avoid you or purposely try to walk into you, I don't understand this mentality, But there are some-people that will talk to you, some that that will reminisce. Like anything else there is another end to this spectrum and that is a violent end, having been chased numerous times and jumped twice it's fair to say some people understand it more than others.

Personally for me mod is everything. It's wanting to be different and acting on it, ultimately it does come down to clean living in difficult circumstance, and I've happily described it as that before, because it is an incredibly fitting description of mod life in 2014. This is a time of stupid hair styles and clothes that look like you have shit yourself. But among the hoards of hipsters you'll find the odd person in a parka a pair of levis and loafers,or you'll find the odd person still strutting down the high street in a grey three button, mods are still out there and there are four just at my college, (that doesn't sound impressive but that is more than there are goths or skinheads) and I know that there younger mods than me. To say that it's still going with only one revival is  impressive. Yes, it's difficult to be one in the modern world, but there are loop holes. I don't think it has sold out either, people use mod to sell clothes (pretty green) but in the most case it is still a very individual organisation. I know quite a few young mods, and not just in Britain, I know a few in Belgium, on a school trip to Spain I ended up meeting a few in a Spanish mod shop, and I know of some in Paris, Berlin, America, Canada, basically all around the world there are mods, and many of them are young. So it's obvious that regardless of people not getting why you're wearing what you are wearing, and regardless of companies trying to sell to you expensive clothes that aren't even that good, young mod life today is pretty simple, but there are various complications.

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A Rural Mod

Life as a 60s rural Mod

It has been of great interest to read articles from other member regarding their Mod activities in the 60s. These in the main seem to be centred around larger towns and I decided to write something about life as a Mod in a rural area.

I moved to Norfolk from the Midlands in 1961, my parents bought a rural Post Office in a tiny village with just 100 inhabitants. Nearest town, Cromer, was nine miles away and the nearest city was Norwich, twenty miles away. No buses, no trains.

I started at a grammar school in North Walsham , ten miles away.

I soon became aware of a group of pupils who were slightly different from the rest...unifoms were 'tweaked' to look different, shoes although black were sometime suede and they spent lunchtimes listening to jazz.

On reflection...were these modernists?

So, 1962 dawned and I began to mix with some of the interest in jazz and blues had been started in me by my Dad, who had a large collection of 78s and vinyl.

Also at this time, one of the group, who had moved to Norfolk from Romford, arrived back from an Essex visit with check trousers, shoes with centre stitching and a cool line in button down shirts.....I was enthralled.

Now the hard bit. Clothes had to be bought by pocket money was 2/6 per week (12 1/2p in todays money)

The school continued to be split between Mods and Rockers but as were were all mates anyways, and living in the same villages, there was no real animosity, just differences of opinion on choice.

Getting to anyplace for a social gathering was well nigh impossible unless your parents were happy to cart you about. It wasn’t until I passed my driving test in 67 (was not allowed to have a scooter) that I began to see live bands although on two occasions when I got a lift I saw The Action and Long John Baldry at The Links in Cromer.

Once mobile that extended to Chris Farlow and PP.Arnold in Dereham and also followed Geno Washington wherever he was locally.

I can remember seeing The Kinks and The Small Faces in Norwich at a Jazz Festival but just can’t remember the year.

Clothing could be a nightmare if your parents would not help out.

Pocket money, as I have said was minimal. Summer jobs like fruit picking filled the coffers and a bus trip into Norwich brought a visit to Harry Fenton’s. My sympathetic grandparents funded my first pair of Tattershall Check trousers and a cord jacket. Thought I was the dogs.

Levis I think were about £4.19s 6d (£4.97p in new money) and being in the county of several American airbases, Parkas were easy to come by..

My first suit after starting work at Jewson’s was made at a Tailors called Chadds…..still going. It was three piece, blue Mohair. Cost £34 made to measure….I earned just under a fiver a week so good old Mum loaned me the money.

Pair of black loafers by Eaton……superb.

Saturday nights were spent at The Samson and Hercules in Norwich with a live resident band or trecking to see Geno if he was fairly local.

Thursday nights was the same venue only over 21s (I looked older)…good old ‘grab a granny’ night.

Unfortunately I really cannot comment on whatever the Mod scene was in Norwich as we only ever visited for a gig or dance.

We had our own scene out on the coast…..nothing exciting…but mates with a like mind.

Recently my interest and faith have been restored by finding quite an active scene in Norwich …mostly folk from the revival periods…but good stuff. Plus the opportunity to buy vinyl that we could never afford back in the 60s.

Mod never leaves you.

Style outlives fashion

Shoes feel better when polished!

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Gangs of Dublin


Formed in July 2012, Dublin mod band GANGS have been on the rise non-stop since their humble beginnings that short time ago. Gigging actively since 2012, the band's first big step up came via a supporting slot for Palma Violets in Bruxelles, December 2012. Playing regular slots and selling out many of Dublin's leading venues: The Academy 2, The Village, The Grand Social and more - these teenagers have been making much noise across the pond.
Last month the band featured on the world renowned Other Voices Trail where they performed alongside names like David Gray and John Grant. The latest achievement was headlining the Whelans ‘Ones To Watch’ festival in The Village, Dublin last week. The track 'Saviour' is one of their latest tracks to the bands evolving sound, watch them perform it live in Dingle, Ireland at Other Voices.


Gangs will be launching their single at Whelan's, Dublin on Feb 21st. You can also connect with them on their facebook page: or via Twitter:



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To answer the question am I a Mod?

I recently read a post saying I’m not sure if I’m a mod because I don’t like Northern Soul? So here is my reply…

Firstly It’s not just about the music.

Being a modernist for me is all about style, music, art and the art of being stylish, sexy and cool. I consider myself as being a progressive Mod, the Zero point One percent on the planet that pushes the envelope and creates something new and exciting like ModFest.  

Paul Jobling and David Crowley called the mod subculture a "fashion-obsessed and hedonistic cult of the hyper-cool"

My philosophy is that Modernism tips its hat to the greats that have gone before and then envelops and evolves all that is great about music, art & fashion and Modernises, it pushes the envelope by creating something new, but with a great expectation of what that something is? Because of its heritage. The past is the past; we still love it, the historic Mod music, art & fashion is the worlds to enjoy, but ours to use as a bench mark to create our new Mod future.

I believe you have to have great taste, but also make a lasting impression on the people that you meet, not just by being the coolest of the cool, but by giving out that confidence of knowing who you are and what you stand for! The best part of being a Mod for me is the art of helping others while maintaining my cool, dressing handsome and looking great.

I feel that a mod should be that one person, that Zero.1% that people tell their friends about, that guy or girl that stands out from the crowd and that Mod who can inspire the next generation of Mod’s! That is what makes us the faces in the crowd.

That is what it means to me to be a Mod and that is why ModFest is a festival that, by design is for all the family! It does not matter if you are Mod or not! Mod’s are not (as Sir Bradley Wiggins has shown to the world) just a bunch of Parka wearers. Mod is the pinnacle of good taste and all great Mods push the envelope on fashion, music and art, Mod is a sub culture aimed at being "cool, neat, sharp, hip, and smart" by embracing "all things sexy and streamlined", especially when it is new, exciting, controversial or modern. Brighton ModFest is a chance to show off what it is to be Mod to the rest of the world.

What I have seen over the last year while working with my good friend Simon and booking new talent for ModFest is that modernism is very much alive and the next mod generation have a lot to offer us.

New young bands like The45s, Sisteray, The Tones, The Spitfires, The Assist and The Order will be performing, and by giving these bands a chance to play to the masses, plus with having Dress Handsome Sunday and the Scooter Run through Brighton to. I hope that ModFest will go a little way to helping Modernism constantly push that envelope.

All the artist at ModFest will be performing their own songs, plus I’m sure there will be some spectacular covers to. We need your support to make this festival a success not only this special year, but every year! and that is why our sponsors MERC clothing have agreed to extend the discount code to the 14th of February just use MERC2014 for 20% off the list price today

We are also holding free mini gig on the world famous Brighton Pier Sat 18th Jan at 2:30pm follow us on twitter for all the latest news @ModFest2014

I have had quite a few reservations in posting this article? But I said to myself J! Keep the Faith modernism is all about acceptance and progression.

KTF! & be part of the Zero.1% 


PS. As Matt Berry said on the ModCast.  ModFest is a celebration of 50years of clean living under difficult circumstances. (love it Matt thanks)

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Looking For Ferdy At The Jelly Roll Club

 DJ Julian ‘Julz' Roberts – The Jelly Roll Club (Peterborough)


A hardworking, super cool stylist, DJ, club night organizer and promoter who has been carrying the original vinyl flag with passion and honour for more than a decade. Known as someone who stands out from the crowd, is the locally renowned and understated Peterborough DJ and The Jelly Roll Club boss, Julian Roberts aka Julz.

‘Julz’ shows a smooth coolness, with a sharp style and knowledgeable forward thinking, when it comes to producing dance nights to enjoy and remember. And that from a person of few words with a deep sense of himself and respect for others. 

He's an approachable person with a sincere focus on his family, friends, musical goals and ambitions. Julz doesn’t label himself mod but you can clearly see that he is, with a capital M. He has stylish, modernist credentials that are 100% chrome plated. And if that isn’t enough to sway you, he is also the proud owner of one of the coolest rides in the country, a beautiful, 1960 Vespa GS 150 vs5.

As a Mod Generation member Julz takes timeout to answer some questions to give an insight into the boss of The Jelly Roll Club nights.


1. Who or what inspired you to get into promoting and organising The Jelly Roll Club dj/vinyl nights?

Originally, we started off the club nights because a few of us who were going to smart mod/skinhead events around the country, found that we all had very similar styles and tastes in music. But felt there was a genuine gap in the local club scene that we could fill.

Peterborough already had a healthy northern soul scene, but we wanted our own club night, in our own city where we could hear soul/rnb/ska/reggae. So I sourced local dj’s that enjoyed playing outside the box and hey presto! We had a wide selection of vinyl to cover all the genres selected. When Oxford Paul, Dave Woolley and Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman joined us and started to dj on a regular basis, it was then that we knew we had something special and with depth to create what became known as The Jelly Roll Club.


2. How do you see The Jelly Roll Club in terms of style and music policy and why?

We attract a mixture of mods, skinheads, soulies and smart casuals to the club, which only adds richness to our nights.

Our music policy is quite diverse from the late 50s right through to early 70s which incorporates rnb, soul, ska, reggae and a dash of early funk. The Jelly Roll nights are always morphing and unpredictable but always uniquely good. A night that definitely has its very own heartbeat.                                                                                                                                                          


3. What are your views on the current mod/stylist dance music scene?

The scene is definitely healthy at the moment with clubs all around the country. You don't have to travel to far to get your fix from the black slate. I would really like to go to more club nights around the country but The Jelly Roll Club and family commitments keep it limited to a select few events these days. I do have fond memories of going to most club events and dancing the night away to great dj’s and sounds at The Untouchables/New Untouchables/Dreamsville/Underground Mod Rallies/ Scorcher and the Pow Wow Club. 


 4. Where and how do you see The Jelly Roll Club in 12 months time?

Once we have firmly established ourselves at the Burghley Club, which is an excellent venue. I will be looking over the next 12 months to select and invite good dj’s to play at The Jelly Roll Club.                                                                                            


5. How would you improve or change it, if at all?

There is not much that I would change with The Jelly Roll format. A little tinker here and a little tinker there. The rest is classified information, lol!



6. Who have been your favourite dj's over the last 12 months?

Going by what I have heard out and about this year, it has to be Alan Handscombe, Mary Boogaloo, Oxford Paul, Dave Edwards & Lee Miller.                                                  


7. Ideally what would be your perfect dj line up and why?

Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman, Alan Handscombe, Roger Banks, Mary Boogaloo, Lee Miller Mik Parry, Mike Warburton, Pid, and Phil Bush. All these dj’s have their own individual styles for selection, playing and delivering with a passion, their music to the people.                  


8. Dress style and music often compliment each other, is there a dress style and music that you prefer?  

I like the sixties sharp dresser look. My music preference at the moment is what we play at The Jelly Roll and I am not shy about jumping outside of the box to absorb other grooves to improve my knowledge and love for music.


9. Is there any contemporary artists or labels that you like at the moment?

Sharon Jones. Gregory Porter. The Excitements. Robin McKelle. Charles Bradley. James Hunter. Mario Biondi. Alice Russell


10. Last but not least give us 3 tunes that you would always dance to? 

Barbara Dane - I'm on my way -

The Wailers - Simmer Down -

Linda Griner - Goodbye Cruel Love -

Three superb yet understated tracks. Now that’s what I call thinking outside the box! (Photos courtesy of

Sounds that I'm sure you will get down to in the crowd at The Jelly Roll Club this coming Saturday.


Thank you Julian for taking the time to answer these questions for The Mod Generation.

I leave the last words to you. Gary D’


Thanks go out to all the dj’s and friends who have helped at The Jelly Roll Club over the years, it is well appreciated.

And I dedicate this article to the memory of Mark ‘Nogsy’ Newman and Dave Woolley who are now djing up in heaven. Bless!

                                                                            Julian ‘Julz’ Roberts

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Countdown to Christmas!

5-4-3-2-1 Countdown Books

 If your currently looking for some mod-related stocking fillers then make sure you check out the fantastic selection from Countdown Books

Countdown Books was founded as a wholly independent publishing press in London 2011, originally as a sub-division of the Acid Jazz record label.

Time For Action: The Mod Revival


200 pages with unseen photographs of  The Chords, The Jam, The Purple Hearts and Secret Affair.

Night Shift/All Souled Out by Pete McKenna and Ian Snowball

The first edition of Nightshift by Pete McKenna was published in 1995; at the time this was the first book to have ever been written about the infamous Northern Soul scene in 70’s Britain.

Dance Craze: Rude Boys On The Road by Gary Bushell

“Your last chance to dance before World War Three” Specials singer, Terry Hall.

An exaggeration of course, but 2-Tone did serve up the most perfect pop music since Trojan reggae had dominated the UK Top Ten a decade before.

Ogdens Illustrated by Matt Sheehan

An illustrated journey through the Small Faces album Ogdens Nut Gone Flake. Beautifully illustrated by artist Matt Sheehan, the book takes us on a visual trip through Green Circles to Mad John and back again Ogden's Nut Gone Illustrated Flake. Illustrated by Matt Sheehan a Small Faces fan For all Small Faces fans across the globe .

You can order any of these books direct from Countdown Books (also check out the rest of their great titles) or through Amazon.

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Talking Quadrophenia

Talking Quadrophenia  - A Fans View

Producer/presenter Emma-Rosa Dias has an in depth discussion about Quadrophenia with super fan, Kieran McAleer and author, Simon Wells. Talking about the Music, the inspiration for Jimmy's character and one or two things you might not know about the film!

This is an Afro-Mic Production from Emma-Rosa who is putting together a series of documentaries relating to the mod scene and has already given us the unmissable Glasgow and N Ireland Mod Weekender films.

What's immediately clear from this and previous Afro-Mic Productions is that Emma has carefully researched the subject beforehand and also has a genuine interest in what her interviewees have to say. This gives them the confidence to talk openly about the subject.

Kieran and Simon talk about their favourite moments from the film and it's well documented mistakes but also, more interestingly, the often overlooked background theme of a teenager struggling to work through their social dilemmas and suffering from mental illness.



To keep up with Emma's Mod productions follow her on Twitter: @EmmaRosaDias

Simon Wells book "Quadrophenia - A Way of Life" will be released in May 2014

Dont forget to check out the other mod-related films from Afro Mic Productions:

Glasgow Mod Weekender Film

Bangor Mod Weekender Film

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Why ModFest?

James Bibbey & Simon Wady were both born in the late sixties and got into modernism during the revival of the 80s. Dressing handsome and great music have always been central to their lives, and now with excellent new bands like The 45s inspiring the next generation, they felt it was time to celebrate the culture that continues to inspire them, with their very own festival.

Supporting charities was always at the forefront of their minds as soon as they sat down and discussed the possibility of holding ModFest. The Teenage Cancer Trust was their first choice as, sadly, both of their families have been affected by cancer and they’re incredibly proud to able to support this wonderful charity with a vision of a future where young people’s lives don’t stop because they have cancer. Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. They need expert treatment and support from the moment they hear the word ‘cancer.’

Teenage Cancer Trust are the only charity dedicated to making this happen, funding research and working with partners in the NHS, government and organisations both nationally and internationally, striving to improve survival rates.

As soon as Simon read about Be One Percent and then told James about this wonderful charity there was no way Modernist Promotions would not be signing up to give 1% of all profits to help some of the world’s poorest communities. James and Simon urge you consider joining this giving revolution.

ModFest 2014 is a celebration of what it is to be a Mod.

We will be covering all aspects of modernism: lifestyle, fashion, literature, cinema, art and, of course, music – with top live acts and incredible DJ sets.

The festival is not just a revivalist weekend but looks forward while respecting what has gone before. This is why our choice of bands, film and art is a mixture of established and new talent. This is shown on our main stage where established acts like Steve Ellis’ Love Affair rubs shoulders with upcoming stars like The 45s. New bands will be given a chance on our Carnaby Street stage and while our DJ line up is headlined by Norman Jay, MBE and Eddie Piller, new DJs can show their skills during open deck sessions.

Our philosophy is carried through to our cinema. We’re delighted that Rita Tushingham will be with us to introduce such classics as The Knack…And How To Get It and A Taste of Honey and take questions. But we’re also proud that we’ll be showing Lee Cogswell’s < strong >Keep On Keepin On – a marvellous film about Nolan Porter’s tour with Stone Foundation followed by a discussion with Stone Foundation.

The incredibly talented Pete McKee will be bringing his A Month Of Sundays gallery to Brighton and will be with us all weekend, giving a talk on British subcultures.

And there’s so much more to be announced. Author talks and signings, fashion shows, Scooter Competition and run, our “Dress Handsome Sunday” competition.

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The trouble with Speakeasy

Speakeasy - Trouble

It would be no exaggeration to label Speakeasy a mod supergroup. They are a potent combination of members from some of the best mod groups to have ever walked down the Kings Road, with Mark Le Gallez on Vocals (THE RISK / THEE JENERATORS), Simon Stebbing on Guitar (THE PURPLE HEARTS / RT4 / HEARTS ON FIRE), Brett 'Buddy' Ascott on Drums (THE CHORDS / THE RAGE / POPE) and Ian Jones (long Tall Shorty/The Affair) on Bass. And, as if that wasn't enough to prove their mod credentials, previous contributors to the band have included Fay Hallam, Hammond organ (MAKIN' TIME / PRIME MOVERS / FAY HALLAM TRINITY) Mike 'Ace' Evans (THE ACTION / MIGHTY BABY)  and the ubiquitous Mic Stoner (RT3 / POPE) on Bass.

The cd blasts out the speakers with a few tracks that could have come straight off any one of the mod revival era albums you have tucked away in your collection. And it's no surprise that the sound of power chords prevail throughout this album but it's more rhythmic points like "It doesn't matter to me" "Train to Glory" and in particular "Inspiration" that really stand out - proving that these guys aren't just delving into their past but are creating a new sound for today's audience that has lived through mod revival and Britpop and come out the other end looking for trouble - which they've may just have found!

Get hold of Trouble by Speakeasy through Heavy Soul

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