The New Untouchables were formed In Autumn 1997. (NUTs) are based in London, England. However we are an international organisation that promotes Mod and 60s-culture World-wide through our website, magazine and events and sometimes in association with other like-minded organisations, run by people equally as passionate about this wonderful lifestyle. This includes club nights like Crossfire and Mousetrap, compilation albums ‘Le Beat Bespoké’, fashion shows, weekenders, visuals, art exhibitions, scooter competitions and cruises, cult films, live bands and festivals, including the recent and hugely successful Modstock and Le Beat Bespoké events in London and Euro Ye Ye in northern Spain. Bands we have had the honour of working with include: STAX feat Steve Cropper, Duck Dunn and Eddie Floyd, The Sonics, The Action, The Undertones, Eli Paperboy Reed, Yardbirds, Horrors, Creation, King Khan & The Shrines, Buzzcocks, Little Barrie, Pretty Things, Arthur Brown, Arthur Lee & Love, Jim Jones Revue, Martha Reeves, James Hunter, The Remains, The Fuzztones, PP Arnold, Maxine Brown, Dean Parrish, The Flirtations, The Prisoners, Herbie Goins & the Nightimers, Brian Auger, Zoot Money, Rupert’s People, The Poets, The Sorrows, Chocolate Watchband, Billy Childish, The Strypes, and Jacco Gardner to name just a few. Our mission is to promote all aspects of this wonderful lifestyle that has touched the souls of thousands of people all over the World for over many decades and onto a whole new generation and continue to provide a platform for the converted.
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Time flies when you’re having fun…!
The New Untouchables Mod/60s team was set up to maintain the standard of earlier groups, with a new spirit of openness and approachability, welcoming an array of interested people. In 1997, the Britpop music movement was at its apex and people who had become interested in music through this very modern genre often found they were interested in Mod. Having done the research into the influences Britpop was inspired by-such as 1960s Beat and Pop groups, and further along, the Rhythm and Blues artists that had inspired said groups. The time was just right for a new surge of Mods and 1960s fans and The New Untouchables were there to encourage them with newsletters, club flyers, club nights, national and international weekenders, scooter runs, clothes and record markets and the relatively new medium of the internet. The best thing about the NUTs was the constant good humour this has kept going to the present day. The NUTs have never been afraid to try new ventures. Locations were changed from time to time, coastal resorts changed and even dropped in favour of London weekenders, the coastal constant being Scarborough in the North and the August bank holiday event changing from The Isle of Wight, to Margate then to Brighton. New bands and DJs have been actively encouraged and supported. The media has been assisted when the inevitable Mod stories have been the flavour of the month, the scooter flag was kept flying, extras have been rounded up for period productions on TV and in films-The NUTs have even helped in scene weddings!
A brief history of a very Nutty time:
1997 – New Untouchables established by Rob Bailey and Jason Ringgold. The first event an alldayer at the Dragon cave club with Downliners Sect, Voodoo Boiler and the Aardvarks live plus the ever present DJ team of Pid, Lee Miller, Chris Dale, Speed, Gav Evans, Nick Hudson and Mark Ellis. Paul Owers joins early 1998. John’s Children play for the New Untouchables at the magnificent Notre Dame Hall, London.
New Untouchables Newsletter begins circulation.
Yardbirds play at Hastings Easter weekend.
Regular London club nights include the Purple Pussycat, Hipsters and the Mousetrap spawn a new generation of young Mods and 60’s fanatics.
1998 – Doug Bannon joins. New Untouchables tongue-in-cheek nickname ‘NUTs’ coined.
Rob secures the services of THE ACTION to play at the Isle Of Wight, 750+ scenesters get through door in just over an hour to see first complete Action line up play since 1967. Yardbirds and Quant also play, with NUTs DJ team supporting.
Rupert’s People play at Hastings and in London, Circle records release a Rupert’s People compilation.
Brian Auger plays in London.
New Untouchables co-promote Euro-yeye in Gijon, Spain with Spanish ‘Trouble and Tea’ organisation, convoys drive from England with vans and scooter escorts. These rallies are a great experience, like minded people from all over the World meeting in sunny Spain for allnighters, live bands including the Downliners Sect, The Action, P.P Arnold, James Taylor Quartet, Billy Childish, Masters of Groove, Crazy World of Arthur Brown and many more. Many feel this is the best international event of the year. In the UK the Isle of Wight ambience was the pinnacle of weekender Mod rallies before the scooterist invasion arrived en mass.
NUTs co-promote ‘Autumn Stone’ Mod rally in Cattolica, Italy with Smart Drivers organisation.
1999 – NUTs promotes ’6699′ rally in San Diego USA with John’s Children, Quant, The Chocolate Watchband and local US groups.
Rallies and events are held at Hastings, Brighton, Bournemouth, Scarborough, Birmingham, Clacton, Weston-Super-Mare and in London, NUTs DJs also support events across the UK and Europe.
‘Welsh’ Steve Garland joins NUTs team.
2001 – Jason Ringgold returns to USA. Mary Boogaloo joins NUTS team and takes over the magazine and design. New Year 2000/2001 celebrated in Clacton-on-Sea with a cameo appearance from NUTs’ Paul Owers as Elvis singing a raucous version of ‘Suspicious minds’ and ‘Bossa nova’ with the Elephant band.
James Quinlan joins NUTs team.
Big Jon Godden joins NUTs team.
Zoot Money Big Roll Band and Herbie Goins and The Night Timers play IOW rally, incredibly well received by audience.
Nick Rossi Set and The Elephant band play 2000 IOW rally, two bands of totally different styles, yet equally appreciated by punters.
The usual Xmas fancy dress night extends to Thames River cruise-hilarious outfit’s order of the day.
2002 - Isle of Wight rally replaced by Margate weekender, featuring allnighters and hotel doubling as the venue. Herbie Goins and The Creation are among the bands.
Mary Boogaloo returns to Italy and Barry and Denise of Pip! Pip! assist with ‘new era’ brand creation, ideas, events’ design, media, art direction, video, website and newsletter. Dickie Lewellyn and Angie Smith also join NUTs team.
London events begin to replace coastal weekenders.
2004 – Margate replaced by Brighton with new approach-differing venues throughout the weekend, Brighton being the symbolic destination of Mod-the original annual pilgrimage. Ellie and Bertie join the NUTs team.
Modstock on Whitsun bank holiday 2004 was the NUTS most significant event to date with Pip! Pip! driving the creative strategy behind the scenes. The first event celebrated in Saarbrucken, Germany ten years earlier. The London event held at the Rocket celebrating ’40 years of Mod’ not from its birth but a pinnacle year in its history was a huge success with over four thousand people attending the weekend from all corners of the World. Live acts included the Action, The Creation, the Prisoners, the Pretty Things, the Aardvarks, Solarflares, Les Cappucino’s (Japan), Gene Drayton Unit, Fur Delux and the Apemen (Germany). Allnighters with international guest DJ’s with 3 dancefloors. Guest club nights, a fashion show and film commissioned and tailored for the event ‘Ready steady sew’ by Sean Wilson, Angie Smith and Pip! Pip! A scooter run, vintage market and three days on non-stop partying in the capitol of Modernism.
A compilation album of rare underground 60’s dance club winners was tailored for the event called ‘Le Beat Bespoké’ out on Sanctuary records complied by NUTS DJ and head honcho Rob Bailey to critical acclaim from major magazines and radio station DJ’s. Volume two came out on Circle records in 2006, the third followed for Le Beat Bespoké 4 in 2008 and Volume four issued Easter 2010 is the most recent edition.
In 2005 a New London event was born, Le Beat Bespoké (with Pip! Pip! Firmly on-board creatively as early co-promoters) followed closely along the lines of Modstock but with a wider variety of vintage musical tastes catered for. The legend Arthur Lee played his last ever London show accompanied by fellow Love legend Johnny Echolls in a magnificent show. Other bands included US garage band the Chocolate Watchband plus the Fuzztones, Yardbirds, Billy Childish and the Loons to name a few. Over four thousand music lovers came from all over the World, yet again to enjoy one of the most enjoyable events to date so far.
Carla joins the NUT’s team and starts the New Untouchables myspace page.
2006 – ‘Le Beat Bespoké 2’ saw the Remains from Boston, USA play the first ever show on UK soil. The Remains picked by Sir Paul McCartney to support the Beatles on their last ever tour, playing venues like Shea stadium done a great show. Weekend bands included Mastica (Italy), The Horrors, Circulus, Doll squad (Australia), the Victorians (Italy) and the Frank Popp Ensemble (Germany).
2007 - Le Beat Bespoké 3 saw seminal 70’s punk rock band The Buzzcocks headline with Vincent Vincent & the Villans, the Sugars, the Ripps, Five Aces, the Urges, thee Exciters, Dutronc and the Hollywood Sinners live at new Central London location. The Venue changed to www.229thevenue.co.uk opposite Regents Park, and home of leading London club night Crossfire.
Crossfire was born at this venue in January 2003, bringing together the promoters of 60’s London club nights a couple of times a year for a gigantic party celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of the London scene. Each event attracts hundreds of music lovers from all over the UK and beyond making the pilgrimage to this very popular night.
2008 – Onto our new year’s event held at the same venue runs along exactly the same lines as Crossfire with Northern Soul in the ballroom with a Mod/R&B room and Underground 60’s room with a capacity crowd of fun seekers.
‘Le Beat Bespoke 4′ the biggest and best NUTS event to date. The first ever performance outside of their native America garage gods the SONICS rocked London and brought all the tribes together for one incredible three day party in London over Easter 2008. Other artists included the Horrors, the Jaybirds, the Staggers, the Excellos, the Phantom Keys, the Good Time Charlies, Los Chicos and the Branded! Plus a DJ line-up from around the globe spinning discs from dusk until dawn.
Three new club nights started in 2009 Timebox at the Strongrooms in the buzzing Shoreditch area, Zoo Zoo at new Camden venue the Blues Kitchen and Volcano at Charlotte Street Blues W1. A bestselling book entitled I’m One-21st Century Mods featuring photos from Horst who had spent over a decade travelling all over the UK documenting the modern mod scene at our events. Comment from Pete Townsend, Paolo Hewitt and Rob Bailey completes the book.
Weekenders included Hotwax in Leeds, Le Beat Bespoke 5 in London feat Pretty Things performance of SF Sorrow, The Flirtations and the fantastic Montesas amongst others. Brighton weekender gathers momentum with a sell out crowd of sharp folks on Saturday and Sunday. The official launch of I’m One-21st Century Mods exhibition adorned the walls of Sealife in Brighton with 20 x 15 foot canvas prints. Whitsun bank holiday was the Buckingham Palace Scooter run attended by over 300 scooters. A startled general public looked on in amazement as we weaved out way past tourist hot spots and great London landmarks finally finishing with an alldayer at the Timebox venue with live bands, DJ’s and a hot barbeque. 2009 saw many new faces from the Capitol join our annual pilgrimage to Spain for Euro Ye Ye and experienced a wild weekend and have never looked back since.
2010 – started with a bang and another super NYE party was quickly followed up by Le Beat Bespoke 6 festival featuring the return of the mighty Sonics to UK soil this time at 229. Also on the bill Punk pop favourites the Undertones plus James Hunter, The Polecats and a wild performance from Wau Y Los Argggs. The fourth volume of the acclaimed compilation series also entitled Le Beat Bespoke. Buckingham Palace Scooter run and Brighton Mod Weekender were sold out events again.
2011 - saw the Mousetrap celebrate its 20th anniversary at the same venue with the same owner, an incredible feat in the fickle word of club land. A fantastic amount of scene fave rave records started life at the club and the annual free 45 featured Mike Leslie- Right or Wrong, a long time Mousetrap end of the night spin with Knut Kieswetter on the flip. Terrific NUTS servant, Circle records MD, ace DJand all round good guy Speed hang up his DJ boots and went out with a bang as we finished very very late.
Another all start line-up for Le Beat Bespoké 7 with Eli Paperboy Reed, King Khan & the Shrines, The See See, Flamin’ Groovies 1st UK show and the Dragtones feat members of the Hives and Luis & The Wildfires. An amazing atmosphere all weekend at our annual Brighton event on the August bank holiday, with sell out crowd all three nights this year at the fabulous Komedia Theatre. A film crew attended so look out for a future documentary on Sussex to appear in 2012 featuring many folk from the scene. New Untouchables hosted the Queen Elizabeth Hall on London’s Southbank for the Vintage Festival celebrating the 60th anniversary of the ‘Festival of Britain’ in July. Talking of July the Euro Ye Ye was phenomenal once again and featured the fantastic Maxine Brown & the Pepperpots, King Khan & The Shrines, The Bongolian and an appearance of the newly reformed July who performed most of the favourites from the 68 album with great authenticity to a very appreciative audience. The end of the year saw our online magazine NUTSMAG launched and a new chapter in NUTS history begins.
Despite all the doom and gloom on the news everyday 2012 proved to be a seminal year in NUT’s history. Firstly I would like thank Eron Falbo for all his help editing the NUTsMAG over the last year and wish him well in Brazil. We welcomed two scene stalwarts to the Magazine both with considerable pedigree, our new editor Scotch Martin and reviews editor Graham Lentz of “The Influential Factor” book fame. We also welcomed another new member to the NUT’s family our social media man David Savage who some of you may have met online and in the flesh at recent events. Le Beat Bespoké 8 was arguably the strongest line-up ever featuring a heavyweight bill of original artists including July, Arthur Brown and The Electric Banana aka The Pretty Things on Friday for the “8 hour technicolour dream”. The fantastic Jim Jones Revue kicked off the weekend Thursday with maximum rock n roll and on Saturday The Trashmen finally made their UK debut after a fifty year wait. Sunday saw legendary Scottish band the Poets make their final UK performance after the sad passing of lead singer George Gallagher later the same year. Brighton was a massive success with the Komedia selling out two months prior to the weekender and a second venue was added and also sold out on the Saturday. Young Irish lads The Strypes grabbed the scene by the scruff of the neck and shook things up making a big impact on their London debut at the Timebox weekender in May at 229. The lads got a similar reaction at Euro Ye Ye in Spain and also at 229 again for the recent performance at Crossfire. New Untouchables celebrated fifteen years in the business of human happiness last November with a fantastic dinner followed by a wild night at Mousetrap where the last record spun round at 7.45am. The god of hell fire Arthur Brown performs live at our Nutty New Year ball with a magical live performance at midnight.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved down the years helping out and apologies to anyone I may have missed.
Jason Ringgold, Paul Owers, Doug Bannon, Steve Walsh, Walshie, Mary Boogaloo, Horst R Friedrichs, James Quinlan, Big Jon, Dickie Lewellyn, Barry & Denise at Pip! Pip! for new website and total brand design, Eron Falbo, Roberto Russo, Angie Smith, Stevie B, Ellie Eames, Carla Alvardo, Kolorz. All those who stuffed thousands of newsletters in envelopes Jayne Pountain, Clara, Karin Johansson, Jack White, and anyone else that have assisted over the years…
you are all stars.
Cheers Rob Bailey