Brighton Mod Weekender – Lee Miller

Brighton Mod Weekender – Lee Miller

The Jive Five sang about “Main Street” where the In crowd stand beneath the neon lights, listening to the beats from the sidewalk cafés. Well, that sums up the sights and sounds of the corner of North Street and Gardner Street. With smartly dressed Mods from all over the globe, peacocking, checking out the next face walking toward the crowd, greeting friends and preparing for the Mod Weekender ahead!

This year’s New Untouchables events were, again, held at The Komedia. Doors now opening in the Studio Bar at 10pm, with happy hour bar prices, until the main event at 11pm. The bar filled quickly with faces from all over the globe! The DJ soon had the dance-floor moving, playing a mix of 6T’s Mod sounds from Ray Charles, B.B. King, Stevie Wonder & Jimmy Smith and many more.

The clock struck eleven and the main doors opened.. Behind the decks, the R&B assassin Sir Bill Kealy opened the weekend with Arthur Alexander’s – Black Night. Bill is a fantastic DJ who’s selections draws you deeper into the Blues then he rips your heart in two, with some dirty R&B grooves. (Copyright: AI – York). With Bill filling the dance-floor, deck duties were passed to Rob Bailey, who kept the floor grooving, with a great cross-section of sounds. After refreshment, a few hello’s and a long overdue pint with Kris Van Beethoven from Belgium. Next up to add to Friday nights shoe leather wear-down session was myself, bringing an across the board selection of 6T’s Soul, R&B with a bit of Motown thrown in for good measure. Glasgow’s King of Mod Cool, Paul Molloy took the torch and raised the game. Playing a great selection of dancers, with a great mix of Beat, Garage and some classic Mod sounds. 3am came around all too quickly, so off to bed to recharge and Sarah to soak those too hot to trot feet.

Saturday morning and the sun was shining, and so was the chrome. The Brighton air filled with the smell of two-stroke and the ting ting sound of scooter exhausts. The New Untouchables afternoon event was being held at The Volks on Madera Drive where they had also made arrangements for the parking to be suspended so the squadrons of scooters could be parked and displayed. Inside the venue, there were a plethora of stalls offering quality vintage clothing, rare vinyl and tailoring services. The soundtrack to the afternoon was being supplied by DJ’s Wolfgang from Weisbaden, Germany, Julian Rochfort from Frome, Paul from Reigate, Jon Clay from London and Rob Powner, the face behind the club, Wang Dang Doodle, who set my goosebumps off with Earl Connely’s – This Girl !!

The Baron, introduced the afternoons live music, which was delivered by London’s – The Baron Four, the UK’s finest quartet of classically influenced Garage-Punk maestros. Who took us on a journey through their latest album ” Silvaticus” and other great tracks, keeping the appreciative crowd entertained. My favourite being their take on Bo Diddley’s – I Can Tell with Kevin Smith wailing on that harp, what a musician! The second live act was – Men of North Country (MONC) – hailing from Tel Aviv! What a sound, their version of the 60’s Soul Monster – I’m Comin Home In The Mornin’ was absolutely outstanding. The rest of afternoon was spent playing catch up with various friends from around the globe who I see more than the blue mooners. The standard of sussed dress was impeccable, and great to see the New Breed showing some, how it should be really done!

The evening started with that view again, smart dressed Modernists gathered on, that, corner. Again, the NUT’s evening event started in the Studio Bar at ten. When I arrived about 21:45 there was already a queue forming.

Starting the evening’s soundtrack off with Wes Montgomery & Jack Mc Duffs – I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town, with other tracks from Joe Thomas, Jimmy McGriff & Chuck Higgins. Just as the dancers were finding their groove, it was decided that the main room would open at 10:30 as the queue was outgrowing the room capacity. So, record boxes in hand a quick rush down the stairs and let the main event begin, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, B.B. King & Ray Agee coming to the party. Again, Paul Molloy took to the decks, keeping the dance-floor, handclappin’ & footstompin’ to the sounds of original 45’s including, The Game – Gonna Get Me Someone. Tonight, Glynn Preece & Sean Chapman, hosts of “Out Of Time” joined the DJ’s over both floors. Glynn followed Paul in the main room, with some great R&B from Tiny Topsy, Sam & Dave’s great dancer – You Ain’t No Big Thing, Baby, ending his set with Chuck Miller’s – Look Out Mountain – with a great crowd showing their appreciation. Mr Bailey turned up the heat with tracks including The Rebel Rousers – As I Look, The High Numbers – I’m The Face, Johnny Watson – Say, I Love You and Gale Garnett’s version of You’ve Been Talkin’ ‘Bout Me Baby. The R&B assassin then made his mark on this event, giving the dance floor Danny Owens – You’re A Little Too Late, King Karl – Everybody’s Feelin’ Good amongst others. But the highlight for me was seeing Yasu from Japan in the “zone” dancing to The Drivers – Mr Astronaut. The dance-floor was a sea of dancing Mods, with handclapping and whistles appreciating every track played. Now as the song goes, “we came out here to party” – as the first bars of Booker T’s – Green Onions rang out a cheer went up from the crowd as the dance-floor filled, and there it stayed, to classics including, the In Crowd, Cool Jerk and many more great MOD dancers. Meanwhile, in the Studio Bar, Sean & Glynn with guests were showing all how-to party – Out Of Time style… Paul, Rob & Sean kept the sounds flowing in the main-room and the floor moving right up until 5am, with the crowd asking for more…

A bit of a slower start on the Sunday, but a Full English soon put that right. Again, the sun shone and at The Volks, the dealers looked like they were doing a roaring trade, with many more scooters adorning the roadside, with many day-trippers, attending for the impressive ride out, and scooter competition.

More faces from all over the globe were in attendance, chatting, drinking, looking sharp & listening to the music being played by the afternoons guest DJ’s. Suit Yourself Modernist Culture hosted this afternoons selection of DJ’s, Ian Hurford from Basingstoke, Ian “Detroit Executive” Jackson from London, Alan form Brighton and Vinny from The Prince Regents.

Gary Milan and Doug Sturrock joined out host Rob for the in enviable task of judging the scooter competition which lined both sides of the seafront. The standard was truly incredible and it took well over an hour for the final results to come through. The trophies were presented in front of the slush puppy with Brighton Pier as the backdrop for photos, congratulations to:

Best Lambretta – Lee Maxey – TV175 series 2
Best Vespa – Paul Digby – GS160 mk 2
Best Mod – John Gibson – TV175 series 2

After the presentation, it’s time for the eagerly anticipated ride-out across the East Sussex cliffs. The sight, smell and noise of hundreds of scooters is truly incredible and sight to behold. The ride-out was one of the most enjoyable yet from all accounts with a short refuel at Smugglers rest before the return trip back to the Volks. Some riders went onto Beachy Head but were diverted with reports of a mysterious gas cloud, we are happy to say the cloud was not 2 stroke and nobody was seriously injured. Many thanks to judges and all those who helped with marshalling the ride-out, a superb job folks.

The final evening’s event kicked off at 10pm at the Komedia, with Mary Boogaloo joining us in the Studio bar with Brighton Got Soul in the main room, with Ady Croasdale, Chris Dale, Sean Chapman & Colin Baldock.

Mary treated us all to a fantastic Jazz set including Wes Montgomery’s – Swivel Hips. Alan from Suits Yourself treated us to some superb 60’s Soul including Kell Osbourne’s – Quicksand. Bill had the room blocking to some of the best Rhythm & Blues 45’s, including Arthur Griswold – Pretty Mama Blues. Paul played a mixture of Mod dancers finishing with Death In Vegas With Paul Weller – So You Say You Lost Your Baby. Mary & Rob kept everybody dancing, then I was back on for the last 30mins which also involved a bit of double decking with Bill, before closing the night off with Ray Charles’ – The Train.. The crowd then moved downstairs until sun up..

Another fantastic New Untouchables weekender, with the events full of Smart, Sussed Mods from all over the globe. Thanks to the NU team and the fantastic staff at the Komedia and Volks who look after us all weekend.

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See you next year… LEE MILLER


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Lee Miller

I've called myself a Mod since around 1980. I first discovered the scene through 2-Tone & The Jam et al. Throughout my 35 years, I have been on a musical journey through the world of "Mod Music" - discovering something new at every RPM. Started attending Mod Clubs & Rallies in 1985, and have never looked back. DJ spots at local events escalated to London and beyond. As well as guest slots, being part of the NUT's DJ team and residencies at The Mousetrap (20 years) I’ve been involved with the hosting of events - From, The Maidstone Brandy & Blues Club, The Sidewinder & Gettin' To The Point (Leeds) and The Dreamsville Mod Weekender (Lowestoft), to name just a few!

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September 19, 2017 By : Category : Articles,Events,Front Page,Reviews,UK Tags:, ,
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