Margate Scooter Run Fun

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Scooter Scene

There are scooter ride outs planned over the Whitsun weekend for The Margate Event with details below.

Blackheath Tea Hut is synonymous with all night revelry, fizzy drinks full of sugar and greasy food. Perfect for a Mod hotspot then! This listed institution has been serving the likes of original Mod Tony Foley (pictured) and the SE London lot who regularly used the tea hut as a point of congregation through the years. As with many traditions, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it so why not meet here to start a bank holiday ride out to Margate! That’s right, the New Untouchables team have revived the Margate fun and Bar Italia Scooter Club is leading the charge down to the coast for a long weekend rave up.

We leave at 10am SHARP on Sat 23 May (after consuming plenty of food and fizzy drink) and make our way along the country roads, via Medway scooters in Strood (at around midday) to collect more friends from the area, then on to the coast for a late lunch! Expect the usual high calibre of daytime events on arrival that will continue throughout the weekend.

For more information on the outer make sure you check back here or via the Facebook group Bar Italia Scooter Club London.

Full tanks please!

We at Thanet Area Scooter Services or T.A.S.S. as we are known were delighted to be asked to help and get involved in the Margate mod weekend, especially with the scooter ride out and custom show, and one of us being an old Nuts regular too. Obviously having a shop in Margate, selling, restoring and servicing everything Lambretta and Vespa, and a chance to show off our island (for once it was an island); we are very much looking forward to it.

So for those wanting to take part, here’s the plan. Meet up at the Piazza opposite Margate harbour, which is just near The Westcoast and Black Cat Club shortly before midday on the Sunday, when we’ll set off, with Roger and me from TASS and other locals leading the way, with help from members of The South Coast Pirates Scooter Club. We’ll lead you up out of Margate past The Turner Centre, following the coast road along the cliff tops to Palm Bay, before a short detour inland around Northdown Park, rejoining the small twisty cliff top road, then along the lane that runs through the middle of the golf course, round the bays and beaches of North Foreland and past the wonderful Light house and into the flint walled small streets of Broadstairs, Charles Dickens former home, and much still looking as if it was still the Victorian era. Then it’s back onto the cliff top road round to Dumpton, where we have to make another detour, before arriving into historic Ramsgate, with its magnificent royal harbour and Marina, the ride down into the centre is superb, past the waterfalls and sweeping along to the front, where we’ll park up for a time.

Once refreshed we’ll head up out to the Westcliff and lead you down past the Viking ship at Pegwell bay, before we head inland, across the island and through the middle of the Battle of Britain airport of Manston. From there it’s just a short ride back to the outskirts of Margate, where we’ll come in from the other end of town and parade along the seafront, arriving where we started… We hope.

Then hang out, enjoy the afternoon entertainment with The Faithkeepers and Turning live, DJ’s, market and food and refreshments, whilst our judges will wander through the scooters and deliberate on the result of Best Lambretta, Best Vespa, Lambretta and Mod scooters sponsored by TASS and Bar Italia. The trophy ceremony will be taking place at 3pm in front of the main stage. Don’t forget your cameras!

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Nicky Bubbles

Nicky Bubbles was bitten by the bug as a young lad in Australia. With the sounds of Otis, Diana and Marvin in the background of his youth, it was a deep seeded passion for Tamla that helped propel him towards the Mod scene in his mid twenties. The love of scooters was also apparent from a relative obsessed with Vespas. This led to Nicky joining and subsequently taking over the reigns at Central London’s only dedicated geared scooter club as ‘El Presidente’- Bar Italia SC. Based in Soho, the spiritual home of the Mod/ern/ist, the club meet on sundays at the iconic all night coffee bar, drink some of London’s best ground blend, and plan/ride through Central London throughout the year, as well as collaborate with fellow clubs in the South East region. The club, now approaching it’s tenth year anniversary as an official club, has a heavy influence by the scene and represents the more sussed part of the scootering fraternity. All other clubs are welcome, as well as any solo riders, Mod or otherwise.

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April 28, 2015 By : Category : Articles Cars and Scooters Events Front Page Style Tags:, , ,
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Le Beat Bespoké 10 – Review

This entry is part of 13 in the series Live!


Thursday: WOLF PEOPLE/PURSON  by Dave Johnson

I was very curious about the opening night of LBB10 having never seen both bands before. I had heard great things from friends and both bands were on my must see live acts list.

Would they live up to my expectations?

Purson certainly look the part and as soon as lead singer Rosalie launched into the first number I could see what all the fuss is about. She sings like an angel but looks like a devil and sure plays a mean guitar and had the audience transfixed. Purson romp through numbers from the album ‘The Circle And The Blue Door’ and the EP ‘In The Meantime’ with style and panache and won many new fans with tonight’s performance. Expect big things from this band in 2015.

A short interlude and some more great sounds from Wolf People tour DJ Richard Gibbons before the aforementioned band hit the stage. They apologise before starting by announcing they are a bit rusty having not played live together for a while. They shouldn’t have bothered, it was a masterful set peppered with numbers from the impressive back catalogue together with a couple of numbers I was not familiar that sounded like potential numbers for the forthcoming album which they are currently working on. Needless to say Wolf People reaffirmed everything I had been told by fellow music fans as a band not to be missed. Another fan converted and looking forward to hearing that new album.

After the live acts I headed into venue 2 for the DJ after show party where quality records one after the other kept the fun seekers happy until tomorrow night.


Mike Stax, the expatriate Brit with the full trans-atlantic twang, is in his element tonight: not content with simply fronting his own fine garage-powerpop combo The Loons alongside his cool and talented bass-playing wife Anja, he also gets to be in the headline band! Nice work all around… The Loons with their juxtaposition of ebullient originals (referencing influences from the Pretty Things to the Strawberry Alarm Clock) and classic covers, set the tone perfectly for a very special LBB indeed.

That said, the Toytown popsike of Peter Daltrey’s Kaleidoscope still resides worlds away from the fuzzed-up San Diego frat-house: in fact, despite the lineup’s heavy reliance (original percussionist Danny Bridgman notwithstanding) on a latterday Glaswegian infusion from alt-folkies Trembling Bells, “Dive Into Yesterday” “Flight From Ashiya” and “The Sky Children” remain as quintessentially English as a blustry day on Turnham Green, which is possibly where half of them were conceived to begin with. And, whilst undoubtedly a slightly less overtly ‘religious’ experience than last year’s Islington show, tonight’s vibrant performance surely reinforces Daltrey and Co’s vital upper place in the psychedelic tapestry: it might have been, at times, ever-so-slightly inaudible above certain segments of the audience, but this is also a club event too, and if Dave and Lisa from Penge want to catch up with Enrico and Xavier from Toledo and discuss their plans for this year’s Euro YeYe during the quieter passages of “The Murder Of Lewis Tollani”, then they have every right to. After all, the social aspect of NUTs has always been every bit as important as the music.

A few eyebrows raise when the Misunderstood kick off with their two best-known songs (“I Can Take You To The Sun” and “Children Of The Sun”), but with Glenn Ross Campbell’s squealing steel-slide-guitar-contraption-thingy exploding centre-stage, and Mr & Mrs Stax again vibing the freak angle to the max, quality is thankfully retained. Sadly, they DO have to resort, like Kenney Jones last year, to repeating two already-aired tunes, including the oft-trodden “Who Do You Love”, as an encore, but considering that said number features surprise appearances from original ‘Stoodster’ Tony Hill (also of The Answers and High Tide) and Ray Owen (co-founder, with Campbell, of Juicy Lucy) the issue is soon rendered irrelevant, and the band’s legend reaffirmed. Despite perhaps slight befuddlement as to why recognition has taken so long, Campbell looks like the happiest man in W1, and right now, he probably is. Magical!

Saturday Daytime and Night: NUTSMAG, VINTAGE MARKET, RECORD FAIR –  by Graham Lentz

After the euphoria that followed The Loons, Kaleidoscope and The Misunderstood, Saturday afternoon was a very nice tonic. The Vintage Market was set up and the stall holders had some quality wares on offer. From clothes to handbags, records to memorabilia, there was something for everyone.

By mid afternoon, the first of the two bands took to the stage. Magnetic Mind played to a packed Beat Basement who really enjoyed their brand of psych sounds.

The harmonized vocals of Ellie Foden and Paul Milne have great impact and with their Jefferson Airplane and Peanut Butter Conspiracy influences in evidence.

The set included their current single, ‘(Like You) Never Kept Me Waiting’, which for my money, is one of THE outstanding psych singles of the year so far and sounded even better live. They finished their set to much deserved rapturous applause.

Before long, the Spanish psych outfit Fogbound were eagerly anticipated and steam rolled through record releases ‘Whispering Corridors’, ‘Purple Wax’ and ‘Come And See’ and a brilliant version of ‘Strange house’ by The Attack. The audience loved and the lads came back for an encore and made quite an impression on their London debut. It would not be too long before another total musical contrast for the Saturday Evening session, would be underway.

Saturday Night – by Graham Lentz

One of the real pleasures of Le Beat Bespoke is the way it opens its self up to something a bit different, and Saturday night traditionally tends to focus on rockabilly/rock & roll culture. It is great to see people with differing music and style all mingling together and no-one bats an eyelid. There in the packed main room were rock & rollers, mods, northern soul fans, psych and garage fans all there to enjoy the live music and everyone looked fantastic.

First on stage for the Wild Records Review was the extraordinary Gizzelle. Singing tracks from her two albums to date; ‘Devil Or Angel’ and ‘Rhythm And Soul’, what makes her extraordinary is how such a powerful voice can come such a petite frame?

Highlights included her rousing version of ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘I’m A Good Woman’ and such was the applause, she returned for a much deserved encore.

Next up was the equally formidable voice of Marlena Perez who fronts The Rhythm Shakers. Again, the contrast in delivery and style were evident. Gizzelle, giving everything, but with controlled assurance. The Rhythm Shakers, all power and passion. They really are one of the best rock and roll bands around right now. Their album of a few years ago, ‘Flipsville’, got a decent representation, but the focus was on the newer material on their current LP ‘Voodoo’. Both albums are as good as each other, which says a lot about the high quality of their writing. They too, were called back for an encore and both acts were virtually mobbed at their merchandise stand afterwards.

Cosmic Keith, Dr Rockin’ Blues and Julliette (the latter both from Paris) kept the rockin’ crowd royally entertained through the entire night.

Meanwhile, Alan Handscombe and Tim Ott-Jones presented their RnB123 Club in the R&B room, while Holly Calder joined Dr Robert and European guests DJ’s in the Beat Room until the early hours.

Sunday night: CROSSFIRE – by Graham Lentz

The grand finale of Le Beat Bespoke 10. The Crossfire Allnighter is a huge event on the calendar and this night was no exception. The queue outside was constant as the doors opened at 10pm. With Northern Soul in the main room, Mousetrap in the R&B Room and Paddy and Sarge and Rhys joining Dr Robert, Lolo and Traxel in the Beat Basement, this was a night primed to close the weekender with a bang.

Without doubt, the tone of the night was set by Les Grys Grys from Southern France, who repeated their explosive performance at the August Bank Holiday in Brighton last year. To say the atmosphere was electric was an understatement. The last time I saw the Beat Basement that packed was when The Strypes were on stage. Les Grys Grys ask no quarter and none is given. Theirs is a full-on assault on the senses and they really deliver.

As I said, they set the tone for the whole night in all three rooms and it was a fitting end to another wonderful Le Beat Bespoke weekender. Only another twelve months and we can do it all again !

Sundy night: LES GRYS GRYS by ‘Dashing’ Drewe Shimon


With short sharp bursts of frenzied drumming, plonking bass and off-the cuff maraca-shaking from their resident loonhouse blues harp wielder, French upstarts Les Grys Grys set out their stall immediately, purveying classic white R’n’B in the style of the Yardbirds, Outsiders (Neth), Pretty Things, Blues Incorporated, Them, Downliners Sect and (of course) the Stones: there’s also a hint of the howling acid blues of the Groundhogs, TYA and Savoy Brown, but that’s more in the crunching tone and hair-shaking antics of the lead guitarist than the construction of the numbers. As with the Strypes and 45s (although they’re considerably older and longer-haired than both) their material predominantly consists, at this moment, of covers – yet these Montpelier Mods have taken things one step further by showing as much deference to their blue-eyed heroes as the genre’s black American originators. Thus, “Neighbour Neighbour” rubs shoulders with “Mystic Eyes” and the Masters Apprentices’ “Hot Gully Wind” without batting an eyelid: of course, not everybody is an expert on the derivation of rock’n’roll, but this Le Beat crowd sure knows its blues from its snooze.

A frantic blur of fringe, deerstalker, tambourine and axe-fire, these eminent Grys (see what I did there?) are one of several currently emergent bands capable of reminding you exactly why you first loved these three things called blues, soul and rock’n’roll. The question remains as to what will happen when they start writing their own material, but it will happen, and the development will be, just as it was with those lads from Dartford and Erith 50 years ago, fascinating to observe: even if they never put pen to paper, they’ll still be unmissable live.

A win-win proposition, then, and a suitably butt-kicking prelude to the finale of LBB 10: despite nipping out after the Grys’ set for 3 hours, the party is still at full tilt in the Beat Basement upon my return, propelled this time by an equal mixture of faces and tunes old and new. All DJs were exemplary, but special mention must go to Rhys’ bold inclusion of “Is It Love” by Jon, a tune which I had hitherto believed myself to be the London scene’s sole fan of: indeed, whereas certain elements last year left me knackered, this was just one of many ways in which tonight found my muse rejuvenated. Roll on 2016.

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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, was born in East London in 1974. As a small child, both parents inflicted their musical tastes, from The Beatles and The Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, on him, and he was never the same again. Despite being born and bred a 'Cockney tosser', Drewe actually spent his teenage years in and around Birmingham, attending his first 60s/50s-themed nights there at The Ship Ashore, before "coming home" in 1993 to the South, where, with the exception of three years spent in Glasgow between 2007-2010, he has remianed ever since. In the almost two decades that have passed he has trod a strange meandering path from a shy 60s/70s-obsessed teen with no 'scene' to speak of to a Metalhead, sleaze-glammie, Goth, indie kid, glam-punker, garage-rocker, eventual Mod and psych freak (first attending Mousetrap in 2000) In that time he's also written for Shindig! Britmovie, DarkSide, Black Velvet and Get Ready To Rock, promoted various vintage and veteran acts at Camden Underworld, Glasgow Ivory Blacks and several other venues, DJed everything from psych, garage and soul to Metal at practically every well-known club in central London. Drewe is trying to build a time machine that will enable him to visit any period between 1960 and 1980 but still be able to use a mobile and Facebook. His ambition, aside from directing films and building said machine, is to morph into a cross between Jason King, Timmy Lea, Jerry Cornelius and Richard Hannay, and drift about the ether having adventures in a kipper tie, pinstriped flares and camel hair coat.

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April 27, 2015 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Fuzz Garage Psych Reviews RnB UK Tags:, , , , ,
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Rob Bailey on Margate Mod and Sixties Festival

I recently met up with Rob bailey, AKA DJ Dr Robert to chat about his joint new venture ‘Great British Music Culture’ (go to: and their first Event ‘The Margate Mod and Sixties Festival’ (full info here). Here is what he had to say!

01. What was growing up in the Kent area like and what are your first musical related memories?

Music was all around me from an early age especially at school with the ever so cool sixth formers and our home economics teacher Miss Potts (who was every young Mods dream) riding her Vespa to school. Quite a few of us signed up for her classes she was a bit like Fay Hallam of Makin Time but before her time this was 1982/83. The music followed on from the style at first.

02. Margate, Kent, the Medway area have all been a vibrant historical ‘musical delta’ over the years?

Being close proximity to London helps of course but growing up near Medway in the early eighties was exciting. Along with my short spell at Gillingham football club my other passion was music. We had that in abundance and attitude from local heroes the Prisoners and JTQ followed when the Prisoners split. We also had a great DJ’s like Graham Sage and Keith Rylatt who run Bogart’s Soul club, Jo Wallace at Churchill’s and the King Charles Mod nights. In 1985 the Cool Running Scooter Club started organizing its own nights in Maidstone where both Lee Miller and I started our DJ journeys. This was going on all over Kent we met the Canterbury lads Jake, Paul, Nick and Chris also the Llewellyn brothers and Matt, Tony and Simon from Thanet. All these areas had their own Mod related nights and scenes. Allan Crockford used to work in my local Our Price record shop during the day and be a Prisoner or member of JTQ by night!

03. Margate itself was quite a Modernist Weekender Mecca in the golden era and the New Untouchables used to stage events there, why did this stop?

Margate like Brighton is close proximity to London and hit the headlines back in 1964 and will always be synonymous with the Mod scene. It’s has a great beach and the first ever fun fair Dreamland which reopens its doors this summer.

In 2002 New Untouchables revived it for a couple of years with great success but the problem was the town was detioriating around us.

04. So tell us what changes have been afoot in that Margate for those not from the local area?

Fast forward a decade and the new Turner Arts centre has transformed the town. Our venue the Westcoast and Black Cat Club in the heart of the old town is surrounded by vintage shops, boutique hotels, family run cafes, restaurants, tea rooms and even an old sweet shop. The UK’s first ever fun fair, Dreamland will reopen its doors for the first time in over a decade this summer. Margate also offers one of the best Beaches in Britain and one of the few places you can watch the sun rise and set.

05. So you have a new event called Margate Mod and Sixties Festival what is the new venue like?

The venue is fantastic space opposite the harbour in the heart of the old town and is a similar size and space to the Komedia in Brighton with two rooms and offers a great live music space. The smaller venue Black Cat is already hosting some great club nights that are Mod and Sixties friendly with Profumo, Wahoo, Face Up and the Soul Cellar. It will also be serving the best Caribbean food in town during the day all weekend.

06. What live bands have you got lined up for this Event?

We start as we mean to go on with a stellar line-up of live bands. Kicking things off Friday is closest you will ever get to hearing the Small Faces live. The Small Fakers have built a superb reputation as a must see live band for all things Small Faces. Saturday daytime is out Battle of the bands (go to: to enter). I can’t wait for Sat night and a chance to see Graham, Allan and Wolf in action playing all those songs I love from the Prisoners, Solarflares and Prime Movers. Sunday daytime we have two explosive young bands, the first from Spain the Faith Keepers are best described soulful dynamite and already blew the roof of in Brighton two years ago.  They will be joined by young London band The Turning who play 21st century Mod pop and recently supported mates The Strypes on tour. Sunday night James Taylor takes centre stage with those groovy Hammond vibes before our Northern Soul allnighter gets underway.

07. What about DJ Talent to fill those dancefloors?

We have a great mix playing of DJ’s playing across the board Mod and sixties sounds including the New Untouchables regulars along with local guys from the clubs mentioned above and special guests from the London area.

08. Anything else going on for Scooterists? Is there a meet up for those riding down from the London area?

There are two ride outs over the weekend. Our first ride out is organized by Bar Italia Scooter Club on Sat 23 May and leaves Blackheath Tea Hut on the A2 at 10am stopping at Medway Scooters in Strood and continuing down the A2 arriving at the Piazza opposite the Westcoast on Margate seafront early afternoon. Our second ride out is by the THANET AREA SCOOTER SERVICES to Ramsgate via Broadstairs, meeting at 12 noon on Sunday 24th at the Piazza. We have arranged parking in the Piazza with road closures on those days for scooters. The scooter Competition is sponsored by THANET AREA SCOOTER SERVICES, BAR ITALIA and THE PIRATES S.C and will take place at 3pm in the Piazza on Sunday 24 May 2015.

09. So there is a great outdoor area at the venue, tell us about that and how you will use it?

Our daytime events are on the Piazza opposite the Westcoast in the heart of the old Town right opposite the beach. We will have a stage with live music both days including battle of the bands on Saturday afternoon, open decks DJ sessions, scooter comp, market and record fair, food and drinks available at special prices for wristband holders.

10. How can folks buy a ticket and find out more?

The full program and tickets are online at:

If you want to enter battle of the bands or a trade stall or a spot at the Open decks session please contact us here!

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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April 29, 2015 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Interviews Music News Picks Scene UK Tags:,
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Fuzz for Freaks – August Bank Holiday in Brighton 2014

August bank holiday is synonym with the mod pilgrimage to Brighton, a massive migration of hyper accessorized and pimped up scooters, but this year something was lurking beneath the green tide of parkas and amongst the hip suited gents crowding the sunny little town: the fuzz sect was in for a blitzkrieg!

And I, was called, along with fellow high priests (introducing – George Martin  “Theme One”) Alexander Cozzi Lepri of Embrooks fame , Andy Roseaman and Our Lady Holly Calder of the Glaswegian Church of Lysergic, to celebrate the heretic ritual.

First act took place at the Volks, under the arcade on Brighton seafront. There was the usual buzz of mods gathering, some veterans of the night before, some others just arrived and keen to open up the weekend and start the prelude drinking antics in the warm afternoon sun.

To shake this nearly pantheistic idyll here they came, from south France, Les GriGris. Glowering under their fringes, a riotous gang of five took over the stage. Thrilling the air with their mendacious raw rhythm and blues, the way it was, the way it should be, these chaps made their sweaty set of classic covers and standards and, believe me, the word that first arose in mind was “Authentic”!

Singer was sporting a deerstalker hat, Don Craine style, and it was pretty obvious what they were going to deliver… harmonica fuelled stormers from the likes of “Baby what you want me to do” and “Maybelline”, the sort of trembling guitars and raucous vocals renditions that would make the Strypes cringe, and make the Pretty Things, the Primitives and  Wally Tax’s Outsiders proud parents; and with lead guitarist Romeo Kizmiaz casting  pure hendrixian virtuosity and staging raving stunts definitely the best R&B act since the Jaybirds ruled the 90s. Mods around gave their nodding and finger tipping appreciation.

So the first night of Fuzz For Freaks was due to start and, before getting changed I managed, with Ale to have our own initiation passage rite and see the deepness of the obscure knowledge that comes before or in other words a pizza dinner with our very own god of hellfire Berto ‘d Sera.

The Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, the venue chosen for the night, had a massive cellar complete with stage and a nice bar. At 9 the music was already on, with Lady Holly setting the pace and putting the beautiful people in the right vibe for what had to follow.

They say they hailed from Birmingham but they seemed more like being catapulted straight from the Middle Earth club circa 1968, ladies and gentlemen: The Exploding Sound Machine!

Organ propelled, these folks, who I already have seen at the Blues Kitchen in Camden, were just outstanding as both in the outfits and sound. You instantly got tripped up in a music journey, an all round whirlpool of psychedelic colours and kaleidoscopic noyze. Impressive in the use of all studio trickery, phasing and reverberation they built up the acid frame to inlay the rest of the night.

The venue was packed and the crowd we keen to sweat to the deceiving sound of the swinging sixties and shake their hair to garage punk stompers which the DJ crew was shooting at 1000mph.

At 3am we had to put the word end to the show, but the fun was yet to finish and we moved to the main venue, the Komedia and joined the rest of hardcore dancers till I dunno, but the sun was already up and the seagulls screaming…

No rest for the wicked, so after just a handful of hours I got back to the Volks, which if possible was even more crowded than the day before. The glare of the chrome on the hundreds of scooters in the sunset was epic. So it was the dinner later…one of those memories you always recall with affection, relaxed atmosphere and top, top people were sharing it with me (you know who you were). Back to the B&B to refresh before heading to Sticky Mike’s again.

Two bands were scheduled for the big final. Local band The Dials played an eclectic mix of genres from more gentle pop with a hint of 60s to stronger rock material. The atmosphere was a bit quieter compared to the night before, no matter the second band, The Hypnotic Eye, thought well to shake it up a bit, their way.

Keeping faith to their name, all the audience was indeed staring like they were hypnotized by the seductive vocals of their lead singer. Despite the frantic guitar riffs of Lindsay Murray, another devoted follower of the holy church of the Sixties Underground, I wouldn’t define them as a garage band they don’t fit the role of a revival band, but make their own sound which mixes well their ancestral heritage to the new millennium age.

Hipswinging tunes restarted just after the gig and despite the wreckage of the energies exhumed the night before, people seemed to be tireless so much that once again, captained by psychedelic Rambo Berto, strolled back to Komedia once again at 3 am…

Dr Rob was smoothly conducting the night upstairs and was relieved to see all of us back, and not lost through the Brighton alleys which given our state and the hour could have been a possibility…

If we ever needed to tone ourselves a bit more help was on hand from Mr Royston, who in his kindness, turned up at 5.30 am with a last serving of jagerbombs! We definitely wanted to make the final rush of the weekend at a cavalry charge pace and danced till death!

That was awesome and will be repeated next year. I personally wanted to thank all the night creatures that turned up, the New Untouchables DJ team and all those who managed to chat and put a wide grin on my face. May the fuzz be with you!

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Carlo Sesto is a witty and cheeky character and a mod scene darling from many years standing. He runs the Casbah Candy Records, a mail order shop specialised in mod sounds and beyond. He is the face behind the Italian “Impossibles” mod list and events like “A Hazy Shade of Winter”. An avid collector and an international DJ, his contributions are due on books and compilations.

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , ,
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Euroyeye 20th Anniversary

Gijon, Spain- 31 July 4 August 2014

Hundreds of Mods and 60’s lovers from around the World have gathered in Gijon every summer for the last twenty years for this unique festival in the northern Spanish province of Asturias. This means a great deal to us so we put probably the best line-up in our history together to celebrate this milestone.

Thursday kicked off in style with a free live gig in the main square of the city with local Spanish Soul band Attica Revolution warming up the 4000+ people with a great mix of originals and covers before Motown legend Brenda Holloway hit the stage for the first time in Spain and blitzed the audience with a magnificent performance. Brenda played almost the same set as Modstock covering big hits ‘When I’m Gone’, ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ and ‘You Made Me So Very Happy’ and underground hits ‘Reconsider’, ‘Starting The Hurt’ and ‘Crying Time’. Two encores brought the show to close eventually leaving many happy smiling faces waiting for more action.

In truth the festival already begun a couple of weeks before with various art exhibitions and 60’s cult films which are free to visit for a whole month visit the website to view the full program. The first of four allnighters was a short walk away from the main square and after some tapas washed down with local sidra I was ready for one of the hottest bands around right now The Night Beats from Texas. A loud hypnotic beat pinned by the bass and drums with psychedelic guitars and a great front man whipped the crowd into a frenzy and all too soon for me it was over. The night continued with DJ’s doing a sterling job playing sounds from cross the 60’s spectrum.

Friday morning came around far too soon, the first Scooter cruise was a big buzz as usual. The scooters gathered at the open day at Laboral with Lambrettas and Vespas from all Spain (and a few from abroad including Marco & Steve Groves & Friends from Scooter Emporium) at midday to enjoy the live shows, djs, stalls and exhibitions. After the acoustic gig of Nolan Porter and Neil Jones the exhausts of more than 120 scoots begun to burn west towards what some said was the best sights they had ever had on two wheels. A couple of hours everyone came back to the LAB for the exper-i-mental  Rubayat live 8:2 set, something that has never been done before in our scene.

Doors opened at 10pm for the second allnighter with UK band Stone Foundation which many readers here are familiar with making their Spanish debut. Needless to say they won the crowd over with songs from the fantastic new album ‘To Find the Spirit’ before another US Soul legend Nolan Porter also making his Spanish debut joined them on stage playing his scene faves and choice covers. After the live music the allnighter was wild with two dancefloors and the best mod and 60’s music played by over a dozen DJ’s from around Europe.

Saturday morning at 11am we decided to meet at a fantastic new place, all the vintage scooters gathered in what we call “El Rompeloas” (“wave-breaking wall”), in the sports port with the luxury yachts and fishing boats making a great background for nice pictures. After lots of shots and beers the long love (and loud) caravan headed East towards a “walk & ride” called the Claretian Route, almost coming to a stop at very old pathways in the hills near Luanco. The ride finished at the posh Golf Club of Castiello for a vermouth and great Asturian lunch, price giving, raffle and yet more beers, wine and sidra. Lambretta Club of Spain annual meeting also took place with interesting news for members, some of them I know you will love and enjoy very soon (agree, Andy?).

Then it was off to The Battle of the Bands as Sala Acapulco. After watching 4 great bands the winners were Gamonides, they will record a single at Circo Perrotti studios for free as well as getting the support slot at the allnighter on Saturday night. The heavens opened with torrential rain from early evening into the early hours of Sunday morning making an interesting evening on the terrace at the Oasis. Our headline band from La Coruna Fogbound with Fernando from the Elephant band on Hammond gave a great performance with strong originals and great covers like the Artwoods ‘In the Deep End’ which was appropriate for the Oasis swimming baths. The allnighter afterwards was frantic and really crazy ending gone past 8am with lots of people asking for more… not me.

My brains showed me white flag on the Sunday so no scooter action for me. Any fragile souls will have had their bones and brain shocked to the core when Graham Day & the Forefathers hit the stage ripping through over thirty years of Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares and Gaolers material. The Catalan support Los Retrovisores played a mix of US and Spanish Soul and Pop with clever covers and great arrangements of the scene classics. The last allnighter was a blast again with a short break for Mr & Miss YeYe which are always chosen for their party antics over the last four days. Worthy winners were Raul from Andalucía and Amanda from Brazil. Champagne popped and crowns and banners fixed and it was time to party like it was the last one ever at the Oasis. Dr Robert was scheduled to finish at 6am and after about 5 encores with Esther Phillips ‘Just Say Goodbye’ and The Animals ‘It’s My Life’ the songs I can remember, the party was over for another year.

A fantastic restaurant was booked for everyone Monday to enjoy the local dishes and Sideria before their journey home.

Join us next year from 31 July to 3 August 2015 for EURO YEYE 21.

Pictures by: Eva Lussina Lopez Guisaraga
More photos and news at:

Many thanks to all sponsors and all the artists, bands, djs and everybody involved in the organisation or simply everybody that made it to the yeye in these difficult times to create this unique atmosphere.

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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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September 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Clubs DJs Europe Events Front Page Music Reviews Scene Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , ,
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NUTs – August Bank Holiday in Brighton 2014

I think the first time I really had an idea about how big Brighton would be this year was sometime around the beginning of June. It seemed as if everyone I spoke to from that time, kept telling me they were going to Brighton. Social media was awash with people ramping up the anticipation and excitement as the weekend got closer.

Ticket sales for Komedia were sold out months ahead of schedule. The Volks Tavern nights were equally snapped up so a new third venue, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar was opened more on that later. By the time we got to the week leading up to the Bank Holiday, there were barely any tickets left for any of the venues. There was no better indication of how busy it would be as Friday approached.

Friday 22 August

I was at my day job for most of Friday and by 11am, I had to turn the sound off and put my phone away, such was the activity on social media regarding Brighton. All day I was receiving updates from those who got there early and every message I looked at said the same thing: Maderia Drive was packed with scooters and mods from lunchtime onwards. This was unprecedented for a Friday afternoon. There were always some, but never packed! I arrived in Brighton at about 8.30pm and made my way to The Dorset. It was busy already. An hour and a half later and it was heaving. I left to help get Komedia ready for the opening night party. It never ceases to amaze me how the Komedia staff are so well drilled that within minutes of the comedy night ending, the place is transformed and ready for a modernist party. The upper room was hosted by the Ham Yard DJs, while downstairs in the main room was the NUTS team including Chris Dale, Lee Miller and Rob Bailey and special guest Graeme Very.

Mingling among the smokers outside, even at midnight, there were still people desperate to find a spare ticket to get in! Needless to say, it was some party in both rooms and a perfect way to get the weekend started. As the revelers headed for their beds at 3am Saturday morning, thoughts turned to what promised to be a special day.

Saturday 23 August

Arriving at the Volks Tavern on Maderia Drive was something of a revelation at 11.30am. It was the first time the full magnitude of the weekend hit me. I could barely believe my eyes at the numbers of people and scooters already in attendance. There is no more impressive a sight than gleaming Vespas and Lambrettas lined up along that road, with the sea and pier as the backdrop. As the stall holders set up and the market got underway, the Volks became a hive of activity and it didn’t stop all day. Once outside, I went up the steps to the balcony walkway which is a popular vantage point to get a panoramic view of the masses below and what a sight it was! As someone mentioned to me, it was Saturday, but it felt more like a Sunday, such was the turnout. By 2.30pm, it was time for me to introduce the first band of the weekend. I confess I knew virtually nothing about them, other than Dr Robert telling me he had seen them in Spain some weeks before and they were awesome. It didn’t give me much to work with, but I blagged it a bit and Les Grigris hit the stage. They have that slightly shambolic late sixties Pretty Things look about them, but by heck they can play! It was not long before more and more people crammed into the Volks to get a glimpse of this band and their barnstorming set. It’s not just that they sound great, but these boys really put on a show, wandering through the audience whilst playing their full-on r&b laced, garage, freakbeat repertoire. They played two 45 minute sets and I think it’s safe to say their performance has already gained legendary status. As I said at the time when I returned to the mic at the end of their second set; “I think we have just witnessed one of those ‘I was there’ moments.” And I stand by that statement. The afternoon wound down at 5.30pm as everyone went off to prepare for the night to come. Les Grigris were the talk of the town for the next few hours at least.

My evening started at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar where the Fuzz 4 Freaks session was held. It’s a perfect venue for our psych-loving friends, a basement room, low ceiling and a great acoustics. I was on hand primarily to introduce the Exploding Sound Machine, the Birmingham-based outfit that had the audience enthralled with their brand of rich, textured, early-Floyd inspired songs. If Les Grigris set the standard earlier in the day, Exploding Sound Machine matched them in quality of performance, albeit, in their own style. From Sticky Mike’s, I made my way to Komedia with Rob Bailey heading in the opposite direction. By all accounts the Fuzz 4 Freaks was rocking all night. It was the same story at the Volks Tavern. Sarge from Scootering Magazine told me he’d never seen the Volks that rammed and in full-on party mode. As for Komedia? Astounding. Both upstairs and in the main room. Just astounding. The dance floors were never empty and the DJs produced the goods time after time. The buzz was palpable.

Sunday 24 August

11.30am again at Volks Tavern and, although some were carrying hangovers, the mood was one of relaxed enjoyment. The sun shone and ‘family day’ was well under way. It really was like a family day, a mod culture family day. Children, parents, first, second, third and fourth generation modernists all mingled, chatted, laughed, took photos, made new friends and reacquainted with old friends. The scooters were admired, inspected and talked about. The spectators gathered as 2pm arrived and the scooter competition got underway. Rob Bailey was assisted by Gary Milan and Gary Wall as judges and what a tough task they had. Spectacular barely describes the turnout, especially the Lambrettas.

Finally, the awards were made:

Best Vespa went to Simon Neale from Leamington Spa with his Silver GS160 – Reg: 286XUT.
Best Lambretta went to Cameron McKinnon from Kettering with his Green and White LI150 and sidecar.  – Reg: VSY706
Best Mod Scooter went to Barry Hewes from Lincolnshire with his Red TV175. – Reg: 865YUA.

At 3pm, the rideout got underway led by Peter Edwards from the Bar Italia Scooter Club. There seemed to be some confusion on-route, but when you consider the estimates were that between 750-800 scooters took part, we will be looking for more stewards next year.

As the Volks afternoon wound down, there were already people asking about tickets for Komedia. The demand was staggering. And so to the grand finale of the weekend. I had the pleasure of introducing The Dials and Hypnotic Eye at Sticky Mike’s. For those that didn’t get to see them, you missed a couple of brilliant sets from two quality bands. I would have to say the NUTS team enhanced their reputation for finding top-draw live talent after this weekend. All four were outstanding.

As I left Fuzz 4 Freaks to head over to Komedia, I got word that Volks Tavern was in full flow again, which was good to know. However, the atmosphere in Komedia was unbelievable. The main room was hosting the Northern Soul night, while upstairs was pure mod r&b. A fitting end to a magnificent weekend.

Three nights, three venues, countless scooters and people and a brilliant atmosphere all weekend from start to finish. That in itself says as much about the people who attended the August Bank Holiday as it does about us as organizers.

Our thanks go to the management and staff at Komedia, Volks Tavern and Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. To our sponsors, Jump The Gun and Rimini Lambretta Centre. To the entire NUTS team, but most of all, to all of you who came to Brighton. You made it one of the most talked about events of recent times. Social media has been flooded with positive feedback and great photos. So here is a word of advice; don’t leave it until the last minute to book your tickets for next year. Subscribe for FREE to the NUTS network here  to get your early-bird ticket notification.

Finally, a date for your diary. 28-31 August 2015. That’s when we do it all again.

Photos by:  Carlo Sesto & Paul Boddy 

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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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September 3, 2014 By : Category : Articles Events Front Page News Picks Scene UK Tags:, , , , ,
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Modstock 3 Saturday Night 2014 Review

Modstock 2014: 50 Years of Mod

Saturday Night: Kenney Jones (Small Faces and Eddie Phillips (The Creation) featuring The Stone Foundation

Sat 19 April 2014 @ 229 Great Portland Street

So, another Easter weekender… only this time with a difference. Can it really be fifty years of Mod?  The fact the movement began before my birth, existed right through my youth, and continues unabated into my middle age, is flabbergasting. Also, while some talk with wry humour about how some Modernist culture can be viewed in 2014 as ironically quaint and/or retro, I would counter that like all things of substance, it remains timeless, and while other questions may surface (more of which later), tonight’s performances were a testament to that ideal.

House band the Stone Foundation (the best white soul act from the Midlands since Dexys) are not only a fitting warm-up, but an attraction in their own right: there’s an effervescence  about their performance and their own horn-laden, energetic material, particularly “That’s The Way I Want To Live My Life”, that even suggests possible potential in, horror of horrors, the mainstream market. And as long as they don’t end up sounding like Alice Russell in the process I’ll be behind them.

An interval precedes the arrival of our first co-headliner, the writer of the air-slashing riffs that shaped a generation, and the first guitarist to play with a bow, inspiring some geezer called Page in the process: Eddie Phillips (for ‘tis he) is an old friend of NUTs, but he’s also been inactive awhile, making his return more exciting for those who missed his last appearance. And what an appearance it is. Dapper, sharing powerful vocals with SF frontman Neil Jones, and still as commanding as in any vintage clip, he powers through whirlwind renditions of “Biff Bang Pow” “How Does It Feel To Feel” “Painter Man” and “Making Time” to our aural and visual delight: anthems one and all.

Kenney Jones has had less prior involvement with NUTs, but that in itself makes his appearance an event. Short of Ian McLagan guesting (which some were still hoping for up til the final notes) this is as close as it gets to a Small Faces show, and the crowd go bonkers to the opening strains of “Afterglow Of Your Love” accordingly. Therefore, it also matters not that his vocalist resembles not a Mod but a “Brother Of True Metaaaal”: he acknowledges as much in self-deprecating jokes anyway, quips about how he should’ve “had a haircut before coming out” followed by offers from Foundationers to “hold him down and get the scissors”. Yet ultimately, with flares, chest-length locks and mike-shaking attitood (dude), his closest resemblance is to Humble Pie-era Marriott, with the voice to a tee: close your eyes during “Tin Soldier” or “Get Yourself Together” and it really could be him. And at an event like this, surely that’s half the point.

Like Phillips, Jones also looks impossibly youthful, and, whilst other veteran drummers (Rob Townsend, Graeme Edge) now use secondary skinsmen to embellish their beats, he remains powerful enough alone, rolling across “All Or Nothing” like a barrage of friendly fire. He loses brownie points for not rehearsing an encore (“Rollin Over” “Song Of A Baker” “Itchycoo Park” – pick any from a prospective hundred) meaning the band play “….Soldier” a second time, but deserves credit for putting this together on the hoof.

Three rooms after the British Legends show and I head to the beat basement with Dr Robert and guests (including Carlo Sesto) spinning an invigorating selection, including an ear-syringing cover of the Moody Blues’ “Ride My See Saw” by Los Mustangs, several homages to the prairies of Texan garage, and an inspired choice of Turquoise’s “Tales Of Flossie Fillett” as the end-of-night anthem which I hadn’t heard since the old “two floor” days at Mousetrap. Yes, THAT long ago.


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Dashing Drewe Shimon

Dashing Darius Drewe Shimon, aka just 'Drewe' 'Druid' or 'The Shim' to his mates, was born in East London in 1974. As a small child, both parents inflicted their musical tastes, from The Beatles and The Moody Blues to Ella Fitzgerald and Miles Davis, on him, and he was never the same again. Despite being born and bred a 'Cockney tosser', Drewe actually spent his teenage years in and around Birmingham, attending his first 60s/50s-themed nights there at The Ship Ashore, before "coming home" in 1993 to the South, where, with the exception of three years spent in Glasgow between 2007-2010, he has remianed ever since. In the almost two decades that have passed he has trod a strange meandering path from a shy 60s/70s-obsessed teen with no 'scene' to speak of to a Metalhead, sleaze-glammie, Goth, indie kid, glam-punker, garage-rocker, eventual Mod and psych freak (first attending Mousetrap in 2000) In that time he's also written for Shindig! Britmovie, DarkSide, Black Velvet and Get Ready To Rock, promoted various vintage and veteran acts at Camden Underworld, Glasgow Ivory Blacks and several other venues, DJed everything from psych, garage and soul to Metal at practically every well-known club in central London. Drewe is trying to build a time machine that will enable him to visit any period between 1960 and 1980 but still be able to use a mobile and Facebook. His ambition, aside from directing films and building said machine, is to morph into a cross between Jason King, Timmy Lea, Jerry Cornelius and Richard Hannay, and drift about the ether having adventures in a kipper tie, pinstriped flares and camel hair coat.

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July 7, 2014 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Reviews Tags:, , , , ,

Rob Bailey Fuzz4Freaks (Brighton) Interview

01. Tell us about the name Fuzz4Freaks and the new event in Brighton this year 2014?

As the Mod weekender in Brighton grew over the last decade the need for a separate venue playing fuzzy sounds become apparent as tickets for the Komedia were snapped up by the Mods. We used to host these sounds in the Studio Bar at Komedia but folks of the paisley persuasion couldn’t get in last year.

02. You have some great young live bands playing?

We have three great young live bands from all over the UK. On Saturday young Psych band from Birmingham, the Exploding Sound Machine are getting a great reputation and have recently played a local festival with legends Donovan and Arthur Brown with glowing reviews. Check out their interview here for a better idea on what to expect from them.

I discovered local Brighton lads the Dials driving home listening to Radio 2 at 3am after Zoo Zoo one evening and heard this song which sounded like the early Floyd. The song finished and the DJ said that is a track from the Dials new album. The next day I got up and googled the band and found out they were from Brighton so it was fate that they should play, I am really excited to see these guys. Check their interview out on here also.

The Hypnotic Eye will add plenty of fuzz to the party proceedings with strong originals and some choice covers. All the bands have products available over the weekend and we recommend you save a few quid and support these acts.

03. What about the Venue?

I planned to use it last year but it never worked out. As soon as I saw it I was sure it would be perfect for this event. It’s a basement venue with low ceiling, wooden dancefloor, stage and well stocked bar at reasonable prices for a club. It’s reminds me very much of a Mousetrap but with a live music set up as well.

04. Can we expect a full on trippy lightshow?

You can expect kaleidoscope visuals and fog in the true psychedelic tradition.

05. What kinds of sounds will we hear? A top 5 perhaps to wet our whistles?

I picked a good cross section of DJ’s who all have their own style, cover a wide variety of underground sounds and will make everyone happy. Expect the party choons alongside new discoveries as well as the current in demand biggies.

Check out some of the other DJ’s profiles on here and our facebook event page will have regular songs posted HERE!

Here are 5 choons you can expect to hear from me over the weekend.

Black Lightening Light – The Shy Guys

Polka Dotted Eyes – The Snaps

High Flying Around – Legay

Now I Know – Met & Zonder

Lucifer Sam – Pink Floyd

06. Where can folks get their tickets from?

We got 200 tickets up for grabs each night and almost half have gone already. You can get your tickets HERE!

07. What is the current ‘Fuzz’ scene like and how has it changed?

There is a great mix of youngsters and scene stalwarts, always a friendly vibe and exciting times. Music is always amazing!

08. What kind of clothes will folks be displaying? Will it be quite ‘Dandy’?

No dress codes as some folks just dig the sounds and not the entire lifestyle but there will no doubt be plenty of dandy’s and dolls strutting their stuff.

09. Why Brighton and why this particular weekend?

It’s a great town easily accessible from all over Europe with great restaurants, a very continental café culture and plenty of accommodation. You can also travel back to nearby London throughout the night by train.

10. Any advice on places to stay? for a range of accommodation to suit your budget. There is a student residence at Sussex University a short bus ride or taxi ride from the centre with a variety of rooms available from £18-£35 per person a night some rooms are also en suite HERE!

11. What about daytime things to do?

We have free daytime events both days from 1-5pm at the Volks with a mix of 60’s sounds, a market and live music on Saturday afternoon. Brighton is also great for shopping check out the various clothes and record shops in the lanes including the fab Jump The Gun. You also have all the tourist attractions like the Pier, Brighton Eye, Miniature railway and copious great restaurants all over town.

12. Will Fuzz4Freaks appear in other places at some point in the future, maybe even a Tour?

Who knows? Watch this space…

Web Links:

Next Events 2014:

Sat 6 September: MOUSETRAP ALLNIGHTER ‘Fuzz for Freaks’ @ Orleans 259 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DD (10pm-6am) Primest Garage/Freakbeat and Psych on the planet! DJ Dr Robert & guests

Sat 11 October: CROSSFIRE Allnighter London, 9pm-6am @ 229 The Venue,
Great Portland St.

Sat 13 December: MOUSETRAP ALLNIGHTER ‘Fuzz for Freaks’ @ Orleans 259 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DD (10pm-6am) Primest Garage/Freakbeat and Psych on the planet! DJ Dr Robert & guests

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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July 4, 2014 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Interviews News Tags:, ,
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Modstock 3 2014 Review

Modstock 3, 17 – 20 April 2014

What a weekender Modstock turned out to be! Even those of us lucky enough to be part of the ‘on site’ team here at Nuts HQ had no idea just how great the event would be.

It all began with Squire, The Apemen and Secret Affair headlining on the opening night on Thursday 17th

229 The Venue looked spectacular after its recent makeover. The sound quality in the main room has improved no end and the stage looks even more imposing than it did before.

As the doors opened to the sizable queue that waited patiently outside, you could sense something special was about to take shape. It wasn’t long before our MC and DJ for the evening, Eddie Piller, arrived on stage to introduce the first band.

For those of the ’79 Mod revival era, Squire were just one of the unsung heroes of that time. Their brand of catchy mod-pop may have gone un-noticed by the mainstream at the time, but it certainly gained a large and loyal following throughout the 80s.

Frontman and songwriter Anthony Meynell, got things underway with ‘It’s A Mod, Mod World’ followed by another classic, ‘Face Of Youth Today’.

The crowd didn’t take long to warm up as Squire ran through a selection of their best material. Needless to say, ‘Walking Down The Kings Road’ was one of the highlights for many, but the set was also a reminder of just how good a songwriter Anthony Meynell is. “September Gurls’, ‘Jesamine’, ‘Does Stephanie Know?’ and ‘B-A-B-Y Baby Love’ mod-pop gems one and all and a great way to get Modstock off to a flyer.

Next up, The Apemen from Germany. By contrast to Squire, The Apemen were full on rockin’, rollin’ R&B. They ripped through their set which included ‘Getting Closer’, ‘Mrs Applegate’ and ‘Desdemona’. At one point the lead singer decided to jump off the stage and join the crowd (which is not uncommon with The Apemen), all of which went down very well.

Then it was time for the headline act. I have seen Secret Affair many a time over the years and like all bands, I’ve seen them have good days and the odd not-so-good. This performance, however, was quite possibly the best I have ever seen from them.

There was Ian Page, all confidence and assured vocal delivery. Beside him, Dave Cairns, the electrifying bundle of controlled aggression on lead guitar. Backing them is a very fine and talented band.

Secret Affair’s set was effectively split in two. The first part included tracks from their most recent LP ‘Soho Dreams’ mixed in with a few covers, the crowd-pleasing ‘Do I Love You? Indeed I Do’ had everyone singing along.

As Page and Cairns left the stage, the band played an instrumental ‘Black Cat’ from the aforementioned LP and it served very neatly as an intermission before Page and Cairns returned to deliver the classics of yester-year. ‘My World’, ‘Time For Action’, ‘Let Your Heart Dance’, ‘Glory Boys’, ‘I’m Not Free (But I’m Cheap)’. It was a fitting end to a fantastic opening night of live music followed by Eddie Piller spinning discs until 2am.

After the show I spoke to Dave Cairns;

“We are very happy with the way it turned out. They were a great crowd and we were really enjoying it out there. I think everyone else did too.”

Friday 18 May was quite extraordinary in so many ways. I’ve seen queues outside 229 The Venue before, but not quite like this.

Neither had I ever met so many people, who had traveled hundreds of miles without a ticket, turning up an hour before opening to make sure they got one of the last remaining tickets for the Tamla Motown Night.

Once the doors opened and the main room filled very quickly, the atmosphere was something special. It was not long before the house band arrived on stage. Most of the band were made up from members of a cracking outfit called Speedometer. Joining them was ex-Style Council member Mick Talbot on keyboards.

The glamourous Brenda Holloway was next to arrive on stage, resplendent in her silver sequined dress and opening with ‘Just Look What You’ve Done’.

If there is one trait American entertainers have always been very good at, it is being able to work a crowd. They know how to establish a rapport very quickly and show a certain amount of class in the way they carry themselves on and off stage. They understand what being ‘a star’ means and what responsibilities come with that status. As Brenda’s set gathered pace with hits like ‘Operator’, ‘Reconsider’, ‘When I’m Gone’ and ‘Every Little Bit Hurts’, it was a joy to see a true professional at her craft enjoying the moment as much as the crowd were. She was in fine form and fine voice and she finished her set with an amazing rendition of a song she wrote with her sister Patrice, Frank Wilson and Berry Gordy; ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy’.

It was a huge hit for Blood, Sweat and Tears of course, but hearing Brenda sing it, the tune took on a new dimension. It was wonderful.

With barely a moment to catch our breath, the Velvelettes were on stage and more than matched the standard set by Brenda Holloway.

Polished without being corny. Professional without being kitsch.

Norma, Barbie, Cal and Millie gave the audience exactly what they wanted. ‘Lonely, Lonely Girl Am I’, ‘These Things Will Keep Me Loving You’, ‘Nowhere to Run’, Everybody Needs Love’ and of course, ‘He Was Really Saying Something’.

The Velvelettes again showed their presentation skills with a scintillating intro to the final song of their set. I hope the cameras were rolling because ‘Needle In A Haystack’ has to be heard to be believed.

They left the stage momentarily, but returned with Brenda Holloway to complete the finale with ‘I’ll Keep On Holding On’.

Afterwards I asked Mick Talbot for his views on the show?

“It was fantastic and a real privilege to play for these ladies. You know, they and Motown have been such a massive influence and presence in my life, it has been an honour. You never think for a second that one day you will be sharing a stage with people you have spent a lifetime listening to.”

I also managed to have a quick chat with Brenda Holloway. What did she think of the show?

“Oh it was wonderful! I love coming to the UK and singing for you guys. You never forget and you all seem to have such knowledge and appreciation of the music. It really is a special place and it has amazing fans. I would come back anytime to sing in the UK. It’s been just great.”

Saturday 19 April

229 The Venue was a hive of activity by midday as stall holders were preparing for an afternoon of trading in clothes, memorabilia and records.

The Beat Room was getting ready to host the Nutsmag Showcase session and outside, the Bar Italia Scooter Club was organizing the scooter rideout.

It is always an impressive sight watching well over 200 scooters moving off in unison to tour around London. When they completed their circuit, it was time to move into the Beat Room where yours truly was playing a selection of new sounds that have been reviewed on the Nutsmag website.

The two young bands on show have massive potential and Modstock was very pleased to present them. First was Alex Butler and The Opals. This was a rip-roaring set from the Geordie (plus one Italian) line up.

With songs like ‘Turn’, ‘Stole Her Away’, Come Out Of Your House’ and ‘***k it She Will Do’, it did not take long for the audience to warm to them, but Alex and his band got a well-deserved send off as they closed their set with ‘Bye Bye Love’.

The second band was The Turning. Where Alex Butler is more melodic new wave, The Turning are Beat and Rhythm and Blues, but in common with Alex Butler, there is a youthful energy and excitement about The Turning that has lifted their profile in recent months.

Their set included tracks from their debut EP; ‘Stand Clear Of My Mind’, ‘The Painful Art of Dreaming’ and ‘What You Think Is Right’. By the end of the set, the crowd demanded an encore and were treated to a red-hot rendition of ‘Gloria’.

A few hours break and it was back to the main room for the hotly anticipated ‘British Legends’ Night. Getting proceeding underway were the ‘house’ band Stone Foundation who played a selection of songs from their current album ‘To Find The Spirit’.

It is easy to see why they were chosen as the ‘house’ band. They are a very tight unit musically and with their brass section, they can produce an impressive wall of sound. Their brand of Northern, Jazz and Soul influenced tunes really left their mark and set things up nicely for the first of the legends.

Enter Eddie Philips, frontman of The Creation (with bow in hand) to take us through the classics; ‘Painterman’, ‘How Does It Feel’ and ‘Making Time’ among others. From my privileged vantage point, it was clear he was having the time of his life on stage and very humbled by the rapturous reception he received.

A short intermission was followed by the entrance of the one and only Kenney Jones at the drum kit. The man given the unenviable task of vocal duties was Jim Stapley. Having met him earlier in the day, I rather liked him.

However, his arrival on stage was met with some curious reactions as Jim’s appearance and stage presence was more rock than mod. After the first couple of numbers Jim spotted this dichotomy and made light of it with the audience who warmed to him afterwards.

That said, the set was a ‘greatest hits’ selection of Small Faces numbers and Mr Jones was clearly enjoying the experience. As the band left the stage at the end of the set, an encore was demanded and witnessing the discussions backstage was quite something. A reprise of ‘Tin Soldier’ brought the show to a close and the crowd seemed genuinely pleased. See another review HERE! with more videos.

Sunday 20 April

Another ‘early’ start for some of us! At 1pm I was at the entrance to the Pier on the South Bank to welcome those who had booked for the River Boat Party. The weather could have been better, but it didn’t dampen spirits one jot.

Once we were all aboard and underway, our DJs Lee Miller, Carlo Sesto, and Michael Wink got things going right from the get-go. The atmosphere was fantastic with a packed dancefloor throughout the afternoon and after we disembarked, it was nice to see the likes of Norman Jay MBE joining the fun.

With the Boat Trip concluded it was time to head back to 229 The Venue for the grand finale of the weekend.

That wrapped up the afternoon session, but it was not long before it was time to move to the main room for the Fashion Show curated by A Dandy in Aspic.

The assembled audience were thrilled by the show and gave all concerned a rapturous send off, see the fashion show article for in this edition for a in depth review. HERE!

There was a definite air of anticipation in the main hall as the room filled and I had the pleasure of introducing our first live act, The Mergers from Germany. As with all the bands across the weekend, The Mergers gave it their all playing tracks from their fantastic album ‘Monkey See, Monkey Do’. Their hybrid sound of The Remains, early Beatles and British Beat made quite an impression on the crowd. They loved them.

Following them on stage were the equally marvelous Les Cappuccino from Japan with their Hammond-heavy grooves and unique visual style. They did not disappoint either.

Within minutes the stage was set for the Crossfire Allnighter. The main room was packed solid for ‘The Story Of Northern Soul’ provided by a line up of specialist DJs that has rarely been assembled before. To say the night was immense is an understatement. The Beat and R&B rooms were equally packed out until the early hours. Crossfire really is one of the great events of the year and this night reinforced that reputation.

So that was the end of Modstock 3, 2014. It was memorable for so many reasons and the highlights were too many to mention. I’ve read many other reviews and comments about the weekend. A small handful pointing out a couple of minor grumbles, but the overwhelming majority were very positive and glowing in their praise about the event.

It was a great weekend, a fantastic effort by Rob Bailey and the New Untouchables Team. Stuart and his staff at 229 The Venue and all the bands, DJs and Bar Italia SC who provided the entertainment and rideout and A Dandy In Aspic for the fashion show.

We hope you had a great time too.

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Graham Lentz

AKA ‘The Baron’ - Like many of his generation, The Jam started Graham's love affair with all things mod back in 1977. He is the author of 'The Influential Factor - A History Of Mod' which was originally published in 2002. An extract from the book was re-printed in Paolo Hewitt's 'The Sharper Word - revised edition' in 2011. Being a self-confessed 'broad-church' mod, Graham's interests range from Modern Jazz to today's up-coming new bands and everything in between. Although he has a passion for mod history, he also has a passion for the new. Whether it's music, clubs, media of every kind, clothing, scooters or art and photography, Graham supports, promotes and encourages as much as he can, because that's how we keep going. 'Give it a chance' is his motto. If it's not for you, that's cool, at least you tried it.

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July 4, 2014 By : Category : Bands DJs Events Front Page Music Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Modstock 3 Fashion Show Review

Back at Modstock 2 in 1994 Pip! Pip! with the full blessing from Dr Robert at NUTs HQ came up with the novel idea and concept of a Modstock Fashion Show, not as a lecture or guide as to how to be a ‘mod’ but more as a way of showcasing some of the great fashion, style and clothing that is out there now, inspired by the Modernist tradition. That mixed with a nice dose of performance ‘art’,  scene sourced authentique models, onstage scooters and so on, it all rolled into place alongside the live showing of our bespoke Fashion Documentary ‘Ready, Steady, Sew!’ (big thanks to Angie Smith, Pete, Caspar De La Mare, and Sean Wilson & Alex Rupprecht from Boychild and The Gene Drayton Unit Soundtrack) we felt we had a decent shape of an evening that was fresh and fun!

So when Modstock 3 in 2014 came about we thought we would rinse and repeat but with even more fun and games! Enter Caspar de la Mare from Camden vintage clothes shop, A Dandy in Aspic, was given the task of staging the Modstock Fashion Show he knew he’d have to give us more than just a simple catwalk.

We also invited Adam of London whose fine line of British Classic ready to wear was to opening proceedings with a nice classic  no nonsense approach and appeal that rightly displayed the sheer quality of their cloth making experience at its zenith. A few tech hitches aside (our deepest apologies to Adam and his team), their segment of the show set the bar pretty damn high. The mix of pin-through cotton shirts, knitted and silk ties with matching pocket squares, exsquisite cut suits that hung to perfection, the cut and silhouette meant that they simply did not have to try too hard at all to get the message across. Their clothes do the talking, end of! Well done chaps for pulling it off! Their music and visual selections melded nicely into their show and left everyone to seek them out at their stall for more information. A job well done all around! Our thanks to Ritchie, Adam & Jeremy,  a big tip: seek them out for you next round of shopping chaps!

Next up was the longer and much more theatrical and arty approach of one of the scenes’ great characters Caspar and his team of dedicated believers.

After a few exchanges between Pip! Pip! and Caspar by the magic of Skype, he managed to come up with a piece of  true mod theatre. Based around a day in the life of a mod couple who go on a day’s shopping trip to London, the show featured a hand-picked group of models who Caspar knew from in and around the scene, Each who wore a selection of original 60s vintage clothing from Caspar’s own emporium and menswear specialists Adam of London.

“I decided to make the young couple the main focus of the piece with all the other models as extras showing a cross section of 60s styles from the early to the more swinging styles of Carnaby Street as would have been seen on streets of London at the time,” says Caspar. “I was trying to paint a picture of what it would have been like during that time and capture some of the spirit of the era using a fairly minimalistic and stylised approach aided by a carefully chosen projected slideshow and soundtrack.”

“This was a piece of entertainment that seemed to bring back fond memories to many who were watching as it reminded them of what it was like in the early days of the mod scene”

The A Dandy in Aspic segment of the Modstock fashion show was an unexpected (and highly enjoyable) piece of theatre with four scenes revolving around two central characters, a young well-dressed mod couple on a day trip to London to buy some fab new gear, hang out in a Soho coffee bar and then go to a nightclub to show off their new clobber. (A very familiar scenario played out across the decades within the mod scene).

In three of the scenes they remained frozen in time whilst all the action goes on around them with all the other models as extras. Showing off a cross section of fashions as they would have been worn in the 60’s ranging from early styles to the more swinging Carnaby Street variety. And lastly finishing with a simple but, well- choreographed group dance number. In between the scenes whilst the stage was being set we were treated to Jimmy Smith’s ‘Organ grinders swing’.

The show began with a well-lit stage, and a row of eight empty black and white chairs, with a backdrop slide show depicting various images of 1960’s London, a very visual opening. Next came some sound effects, which, slowly became clear as that of a train arriving at a station. Complete with made up station announcements. At this point twelve models, six men and six women, all wearing overcoats in a variety of colours, patterns, fabrics and styles entered the room in single file and stood on stage with their backs to the audience. After a very familiar “mind the gap”, the women turned and sat in the chairs holding up magazines and the men turned sideways and stood staggered in front of them with one arm up in the air as if holding a handle on a tube train, and the scene was set… very very clever indeed!

The voice of a young man came over the PA and a young mod couple then came running onto the stage through the audience and took their place on two vacant seats. The sound of ‘Go-Go train’ by Mike Stevens and the Chevelles filled the room and the models began moving as if on a travelling train with the exception of the young couple who remained frozen though out. At various intervals the name of a made up station was announced and all sound and movements ceased. A model would leave the scene followed by another and then a third.  Each time a catwalk pose was struck at both ends of the stage to show off their outfits, before they exited and disappeared behind a screen. This continued at each ‘station’ until there was only the young couple left. They then left the stage having reached their “destination”, and the lights went down. The audience responded with a very enthusiastic applause and cheering. That was great! Very clever staging

When the sound of ‘Jimmy Smith organ grinders swing’ could be heard, and the slide show changed with the chairs being replaced with other props it became apparent that more was to follow.

The lights came back up and we could see two full clothes rails at each end of the stage, with two mannequins, one male and female each dressed in a stylish long double breasted coat. A simple and very effective way to represent a boutique. After another voice over the young couple entered and made their way over to the two rails and froze into position. The sound of ‘Swinging London’ by The Hazy Osterwald Set then began to play, with each model taking their turn entering the boutique from behind a curtain (dressing room) and admiring their clothes in an imaginary mirror and then walking over and checking out other gear on the rails, to try on. Before coming back to the mirror with another  outfit in hand. The action continued around the couple until the music faded out and the young couple were the only ones left on stage. They each held an outfit and walked over to the mirror before exiting through the curtains. The clothes shown in this scene were mostly of the later swinging period and very colourful. Ladies trouser suits, culottes, men’s dandy jackets, candy striped blazers. In the background a slide show of 60’s boutiques, fashion and mods/people trying on clothes helped add to the boutique feel. Again huge applause and cheering as the lights went down.

The slide show then changed to images of 1960’s coffee bars and girls in mini-skirts .And the stage was re-set. The lights came back up, and we could see four black and white tables with black and white chairs. After a voice over with reference to ‘frothy coffee’ the young couple entered with coffee cups and shopping bags and sat at a table. ‘music to watch girls go by’ (an instrumental version) set the scene and the stage was transformed into the exterior of a Soho coffee bar, with models entering the stage and  sitting down for coffee or disappearing into the cafe. A succession of mini skirted models walked across the stage in a highly choreographed fashion striking poses from left to right. All the while, being admired by two seated male models drinking coffee. Another couple were looking through newly purchased (original) 60’s LP records of soul, jazz and rhythm &’ blues, another model reading a newspaper. Before leaving the stage each model showed off their outfits to the full. A good cross section of mod, beat, and classic 60’s styles with a summery flavour and some classic sunglasses in tow. An extremely stylish scene .One of the best performed segments in the show. It really made you feel like you were outside in the summer sun enjoying a frothy coffee with them. Good job!

The final scene wrapped up the show within a nightclub, to the sounds of ‘The in Crowd’ by Dobie Gray and ‘Burt’s Apple Crumble’ by The Quik in front of a backdrop slide show, of 60’s night life  and dancing. On a stage were six chairs and a black and white chequered dance floor.

This was performed in two parts. Beginning with models walking on stage as couples, to the sound of Dobie Gray, and criss-crossing each other from left to right, striking a catwalk pose at each end of the stage, highly stylised choreography. The men were all wearing Italian cut three buttoned suits in a variety of complementary colours, very sharp, and stood to the right of the stage, as if standing at the bar. The women who were all wearing various evening outfits of silver, gold, black, all sat down on the chairs.

The scene ended with the young couple entering the stage to the sound of ‘Burt’s Apple Crumble’. Wearing the outfits that they had in their hands in the boutique scene. After walking to the front of the stage to strike their catwalk pose. They then start a very simple clapping dance. With each of the other couples joining in until they are all dancing in unison. As the music began to fade out, each couple bowed before exiting and then reappeared through the curtains to line up along each side of the stage. They all turned backstage and gestured for the creator of the show Caspar de la Mare, who then came on through the curtains, took a bow and proceeded with all his thank you’s as he was also the compere too!

This was a very simple story, but presented in a very stylised and stylish way and really gave one the feeling of being transported back to the 1960’s with great attention to detail from the make-up and authentic hairstyles provided by Jenny Green to the props, original magazines and newspapers (Evening News), original 60’s A to Z, coffee cups/saucers etc. and of course all the original 1960s clothes that were being showcased. Judging from the rapturous applause at the end, the audience enjoyed it as much as the models did performing it.

All in all a very entertaining and enjoyable evening was had by everybody. Massive thanks to all that were involved!

Photos by: © Ramees Farooqi

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Claire Mahoney

At the age of 13 mod made perfect sense to me. I liked the look and the attitude - but most of all I liked the music. Secret Affair was my entry point, but they were soon playing second fiddle in my affections to The Jam. Paul Weller, of course, proceeded to break mine and many others hearts in 1982, when he put an end to that particular musical roller coaster – but what it meant was that, uninterested in anything else that was happening in music at the time, I had to look back. I was lucky enough to be given two plastic bags full of 60s 45s by my uncle who used to stock the jukeboxes back in the day. Their contents included a number of Stax originals, plus the Who and the Small Faces, as well as Motown classics from The Four Tops and the Supremes. So, when Phil Collins charted in the mid 80s with 'You Can't Hurry Love' it was nice to be able to say: “I've got the original of that!” It became quite an irritating habit of mine over the years. These days I still enjoy discovering new, old music, be it soul, rnb or jazz, as well as witnessing mod taken another turn among today's youth with bands like The Strypes. My day job as a journalist means I am lucky enough to be able to write about music and modernism now and again. Other than that you'll find me mostly on the dance floor or on eBay still looking for that perfect A line dress.

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July 8, 2014 By : Category : Events Fashion Front Page Reviews Style Tags:, , , , , , , ,