Literature

Musical & Magazine Reviews July 2016

All Or Nothing – The Mod Musical

nm_july_2016_all_or_nothing

At The Hawth, Crawley, West Sussex

I always have some apprehension when stage plays based on popular music appear. It either works or it doesn’t. It’s either brilliant or a disaster. So, it was with some trepidation that I went to this leg of the UK tour of this show. Tagging it as ‘The Mod Musical’ really had me concerned. I knew it was about the Small Faces, but if it was going to be a half-arsed concert, I’d rather go to see the Small Fakers who don’t do it half-arsed and they do it better than anyone. The audience was mostly of a certain age and I have to say, the parka, for all its associations with mod, should really be put in the dustbin of history. As a functional item of protection against the elements, yes, I can understand that, but it sure ain’t evening wear ! Rant over and on with the show. I can honestly say, this was really well put together, well scripted, directed and acted.

All the key elements of the Small Faces story were in there, but what really made the show was how the story was presented. Steve Marriott’s ‘ghost’ played by Chris Simmons carried the narrative while the rest of the ensemble played out the story. The choice of songs was a tad predictable, but this show is as much for non-fans who like theatre and may recognise the big hits. Carol Harrison has had much to do with bringing this show to the stage and I guess it is she we should thank for a script that is full of emotions. The aforementioned Mr Simmons, Ms Harrison and an old friend of mine from years back, Russell Floyd who played Don Arden were just superb. The rest of the cast was all extremely good, the ‘band’ all play their own instruments, so there’s no fakery.

If I had one criticism, I felt Mark Newham didn’t quite do it for me as the young Marriott. His acting was good enough, but something seemed lacking when it came to the vocals and performance. That said, it was well worth going to see.

Bananas Magazine

deadbeat_02

Issue 13

With so much online content around these days, it’s a refreshing change to have something tangible that you can actually pick up and flick through. What is left of the mainstream music print media is pretty dire, lacking in innovation, stylistically tired and don’t get me started on the content! Thankfully, there are some very worth-while exceptions available. Shindig and Ugly Things are the obvious choices, but Bananas Magazine sits nicely alongside those publications. There are no frills with this ‘fanzine’ styled mag, but the important bit is the content. If you are a garage/punk/60s/psych fan, this is definitely for you.

What makes it so interesting is the world-view approach. In this edition, we find articles and interviews about bands from Brazil, Denmark, USA, France, Portugal and Russia. Names like The Rosalyns, Missing Souls, Cavemen, Courettes and Karovas Milkshake all get decent coverage. Some earlier editions of Bananas were a little too random in their design and layout, but this is a massive improvement and I can honestly say it has done its job. I’ll be checking out a few of these bands based on what I’ve seen in this mag, so Bananas must be getting it right.

www.bananas-magazine.com
www.facebook.com/bananasmagazine
www.bananasmagazine.bandcamp.com


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 13, 2016 By : Category : Front Page Literature Music Reviews Tags:, ,
0 Comment

Record & Book Reviews – Dec 2015

SawdustCaesar1

Howard Baker

Sawdust Caesar – Omnibus Edition Book

There seemed to be renewed interest in mod from a literary point of view when this book was published in 1999 around the same time as ‘A Very British Phenomenon’, ‘Soul Stylists’ and ‘The Influential Factor’.

While these three were more factual non-fiction, ‘Sawdust Caesar’ (although based on real events) is a work of fiction.

Semi-autobiographical, (inasmuch as Howard Baker was a mod then went on the fledgling hippie trail to India), it is fair to say Tommy Spitz, the main character in the book, ‘wings’ his way through a variety of scrapes and situations.

He gets involved in petty crime with some unsavoury characters before moving onto what he hopes will be a more enlightened existence.

From the outset, you are in no doubt this will be an engrossing, but uncomfortable read. The Prologue is graphic and sets the tone for the work. Howard Baker’s attention to detail, like Tommy’s first experience with speed for example, is spot on, as are the chapters describing the seaside troubles of ’64.
It is difficult to feel any sympathy for any of these characters, as they all have failings and (in some cases) deplorable traits, but that is part of the attraction of this book; the fact that no one is perfect and a great many do ‘wing it’ through life with no contrived plan other than to survive.

All in all, this is well worth reading, as much for its social/historical content as for the story. BUY HERE!

rsz_nm_nov_2015_pretty_things

Pretty Things

‘The Sweet Pretty Things (Are I Bed Now, Of Course)’ – Album

Just for a change, I don’t have to fill you in with the history lesson about the band in question. If you don’t know anything about the Pretty Things, go to the back of the class now!

The current line up revolves around Phil May and Dick Taylor, ably supported by Frank Holland, George Woosey and Jack Greenwood. If you are new to the band, check out their early work first, that way, this album ‘makes sense’. If you are a devotee of the band, you will love this collection of 10 songs.

Essentially it is a rock album with all the band’s original influences subtly sitting in the background. Stand out tracks include ‘Renaissance Fair’, ‘Dark Days’ and the extraordinary instrumental ‘Greenwood Tree’.

Phil May is in fine voice and Dick Taylor’s guitar work is exemplary as you would expect. It’s not all ‘crash, bang, wallop’ though. ‘In The South’ and ‘Dirty Song’ are more laid-back, but of equal high quality.

If Robert Plant had done this album, the mainstream would be going bonkers over it. As it stands, fans new and old will feel fortunate they have a quality album by two living legends and three excellent musicians. The Pretty Things, 2015 vintage.

www.theprettythings.com

rz_nm_nov_2015_heavyball

Heavyball

‘Black Eye Diaries’ – Album

I first became aware of Heavyball about a year or so ago when they released a couple of singles. Since then, they have progressed nicely supporting Selecter and on tour with Kaiser Chiefs.

Their brand of what they term ‘New Tone’, is an infectious blend of two-tone rhythms coupled with guitar-based mod-rock. The eleven tracks on offer here comprise of the previously released ‘Hands Up’, ‘Lost Heroes’, ‘Black Eyed Friday’ and their cover of Bronski Beat’s ‘Small Town Boy’.

What I find most appealing is the lyrical content in Heavyball’s writing. There is no shrinking from awkward issues (‘Lost Heroes’ a prime example). They address issues both political and social with an honesty that is refreshing while avoiding the trap of sounding contrived.

Without exception, all the tracks are laced with catchy riffs and choruses that have you humming along in no time. I do like the use of those two-tone rhythms without sounding like a copycat. They have done the right thing by using their influences to create something new and different. And this is what sets them apart right now. No one else is doing what they are doing, so that is not a bad place
to be.

With such a strong debut album such as this, I will be interested to see how they get on with a second album. On this evidence, you may well see the name Heavyball turning up more often.

www.heavyball.net

facebook.com/Heavyball

soundcloud.com/heavyball

twitter.com/Heavyballreal


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

December 1, 2015 By : Category : Bands Front Page Literature Music Reviews Tags:, , , ,
0 Comment

Interview with Howard Baker (Sawdust Caesar)

As a Londoner, Howard Baker is the first to admit that he was fortunate indeed to have not only experienced those amazing years of the Sixties, but indeed to have survived them: from gang warfare to drug abuse and sexual emancipation, the opportunities for disaster were endless. The wise of course saw the period as one to be savoured and many are those who feel somehow blessed to have been part of that particular generation moulded by events now recognised as unique in our cultural history.

After the Sixties Howard jacked it all in and went off to explore the world feeling, like so many others, that life was there to be lived. On his return he found it impossible to re-enter the stuffy confines of conventional life and went to live on a farm in Wales where self-sufficiency was the order of the day. But as is so often the case, fate stepped in and he found himself on the road living among the gypsies with a young family to feed.

Years later and back in the mainstream, the chance to live in rural France arose. Now an organic farmer he lives the idyll which had earlier eluded him.

01. How did you get started in the world of words?

I was always good at telling stories apparently. Then my English marks, notably from an imaginative essay, helped scrape me through an otherwise unremarkable 11-plus examination.

02. Was it a struggle getting your first book published?

It was long-winded and fraught with chance: the work was originally a screenplay and a close friend managed to get it in front of Stevie Wonder’s agent, but they deemed it too violent for his image. So it came back and was passed on to an editor at X, a large, well-known publishing company, and he read it, thought it a potential best seller as a book, and asked if I could re-write it. But by the time it was finished the guy had moved on. So off it went to another smaller publisher known to another friend and they snapped it up. Despite promotion not being their strong point the first print run sold out and I wrote the sequel which hit the bookshelves the same day that the World Trade Centre was taken down and by the time the dust had settled the world had changed. Timing’s everything.

03. Where did you see the first piece you had written in print, how did that feel?

A letter to The Eagle comic when I was a kid. And it made me realise that each of us has a voice in the great communal scheme of things.

04. What was the main reasons that you started to write seriously?

I read a Hemingway book about his early life struggling as a writer in Paris, sitting in cafes, scribbling notes. And I was hooked.

05. What’s a typical working day like for you as a writer?

Living on a farm doing the self-sufficiency number, I have to be quite methodical, that’s to say, I write when I can. But when I lived in town I wrote nine to five, finding that easier than burning the midnight oil – although I do that if there’s a deadline.

06. What were your childhood experiences that helped to shape your later mindset?

What a question! Where does one start? Probably resistance to authority caused by shit schoolteachers.

07. What was it like to be an early Modernist, what were your pointers and outlook?

Dangerous, given the mass of bikers ruling the roost so to speak. But great when up the West End together; the recognition and camaraderie. And the beautiful chicks. Clothes and music were the two prime factors. And clubbing.

08. What was that early sixties period in London like for you as a young man?

Difficult. A mass of mixed emotions, school-leaving, adolescence, and shortage of cash. Parents who didn’t understand the changes going on. ‘64 onwards was better. Late Sixties superb.

09. How did the Media distort what was going on at the Seaside Towns and Resorts?

Some reporters staged scenes to photograph using cheap actors. They paid us for exaggerated stories of an offensive nature, constantly seeking a controversial headline pay-off day. When my first book came out I was approached by a well-known ‘social reporter’ looking for dirt to dig up.

10. What was the discovery of the ‘hippy trail’ and the druggy period like at the time?

The ‘hippy trail’ began with the Beatniks of the early Sixties and was followed by a few enterprising characters who bought clapped-out buses and vans to provide an overland to India service. But the main overland thing started around 1967 just as Flower Power began on a large-scale. It was an unbelievable time, hitching around, meeting others on the road, in cheap doss houses and hotels across Asia. Living on beaches in faraway lands long before mass tourism and politics came along and screwed everything up.

11. What other books do you wish you had written?

I still have a few on hold in my head, but I’d like to have written Hesse’s Siddhartha which is sublime. Or Gibran’s The Prophet; wisdom, beautifully written.

12. How has the internet changed what you do?

It provides a quick basic research tool and helps you get things right. But as a real research facility its benefits are limited, everything being old news as it were. Real research is a belt and braces, hands-on job. You have to get out there and discover stuff for yourself.

13. Do you have any advice for wannabe authors?

Keep a note-book. I’ve thought of so many startlingly amazing things and forgotten them. It’s gut wrenching to think about it.  Next thing is actually writing and sticking at it. And remember that the old saying ‘everyone has a book in them’ is actually a load of bollocks as inspirational advice: everyone may have a book in them but actually getting it down on paper’s another thing.

14. What projects are you planning for the future and please feel free to plug your latest book?

Latest work ‘Meeting with Aoratos’ is a departure from the uncomfortable realism of my earlier work and focuses on New Age philosophy and its pitfalls. Another work is a collection of tales relating to the many varied and sometimes bizarre meals I’ve eaten and the circumstances around them; from dining alongside a famous film star to snatching a bite to eat at a roadside eating house with a murderous Pashtun tribesman and a wild dog for company. Other work in progress includes life in Wales as a drug-fuelled freak, and ‘On the Road’ – life with the gypsies; a sort of antidote to Ken Kesey’s vastly over-rated (imho) version.

Web Links:

Meeting with Aoratos 

Buy now: on Amazon


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

admin

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?

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 23, 2015 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Literature Media Tags:, ,
1 Comments

Book & Mags Reviews – Jun 2015

Bananas Magazine

rsz_nm_june_2015_bananas

Issue 10

Although it calls itself a magazine, this publication looks and feels like an old-school fanzine. Nothing glossy about this one, everything is black and white, eclectic typeface throughout, some real ‘art school’ graphics and the odd publishing oversight, such as where to order your next copy? The content though cannot be faulted. If the present day underground psych, garage and punk scene is your thing, this magazine ticks all the boxes. A nice interview with our favourite French beatsters, Les Grys Grys. Features on the Mystery Lights and Ugly Beats, not forgetting Groovie Records, Manglor Records and Festival Beat which is held in Parma, Italy and has been running 22 years. Add to this a clutch of reviews of recent releases from said scene and you have a tidy package. The cost is 2 Euros plus postage and all previous issues are available to order from the website address below.

www.bananas-magazine.com

Shindig Magazine

Layout 1

Issue 48

For those of you who follow this magazine and have seen the regular updates via social media, you will know it has been a pretty unsettling time for the publication. I shan’t bore you with the ‘ins and outs’ of it all, suffice to say it seems skullduggery was afoot and at one stage Shindig was on the verge of disappearing from our magazine racks, if only for a while until Messrs Mills and Morten had re-grouped. I’m sure I can speak for all of us at NUTs when I say, how happy we are that this magazine has survived its recent troubles and is continuing its excellent work. They may have a new publisher (Silverback), but the quality and quantity remains the same as ever, so the transition appears faultless. Issue 48 sees all the usual features; reviews, snapshot interviews with the likes of Paul Orwell, The Pretty Things and Hidden Charms. Great feature articles on Grateful Dead, Squire, Jorge Ben, Mother Nature and my favourite Supreme; Mary Wilson. The last three or four months have been a tad stressful for Shindig and its readers, but that is all over now. So, well done Jon Mills and Andy Morten. Onwards and upwards chaps !


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

July 8, 2015 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Nov 2014

rsz_nm_nov_2014_who_book

Pretend You’re In A War
– The Who And The Sixties

By Mark Blake

I must confess, there are times when I see new books about certain periods, genres or specific artists in music that make me wonder why?

Is there really any more unearthed information about The Beatles, Dylan, The Rolling Stones or Elvis for example? How much more can be said about a band or artist that hasn’t already been covered by numerous books before?

The Who are a band which fall into this category. So many books of varying quality have been written about them, is there anything left to say? Surely any avid Who fan will probably know all there is to know.

So, I began reading this latest tome by Mark Blake with a small degree of cynicism and suspicion. However, by the time I had finished the second chapter I was totally hooked.

Of course there is some familiar territory to go over, but that is unavoidable when writing about a band like The Who. Things have to be put into context.

What I particularly liked is Blake’s narrative writing style. Informative, concise, well-researched and written in such a way as to be a joy to read.

The early photos of the pre-Who days are great, but this is not a coffee table book.

Tracing the bands evolution from their humble beginnings and childhoods through to the end of the decade, this is by far one of the best books about The Who I have ever read.

Blake is much lauded for his seminal work on Pink Floyd. I think it’s fair to say this book deserves to be recognised in much the same terms.

With the festive season not too far off, this book would give a Who fan a very happy Christmas.

Published by Aurum Press
ISBN: 978-1-78131-187-5

rsz_nm_nov_2014_the album

The Album Book

By Jacqueline McFall

It is fair to say 2014 has been a big year for books about mod. Some have been much advertised in print and social media and rightly so, but there are one or two that may have escaped your notice.

The Album is one such; a 180 page photographic book documenting the mod scene in Northern Ireland. I have often heard people like Eddie Piller and Anthony Meynell from Squire speak very highly of their experiences in the region going back to the early Eighties.

Thankfully in 1983, a seventeen year-old photographic student chose the mod scene to be her subject for one of her projects and she chose to take only black and white photographs.

30 years on, and Jacqueline McFall can still be seen at mod clubs and events snapping away and documenting the scene with her camera.

This book represents most of the photos from her original published project from 1985 entitled ‘Mod Is Mod, Not Fade Away’. The second half of the book contains shots taken more recently. It was quite fascinating to see just how many of those very young faces were still on the scene today.

Just in case you were wondering, there are recent photos of both Eddie Piller and Squire playing live in Northern Ireland.

nm_nov_2014_quadrophenia

 

Quadrophenia – A Way Of Life

Inside The Making Of Britain’s Greatest Youth Film:

By Simon Wells

If nothing else, you can always guarantee that when Simon Wells takes on a project, no stone is left unturned. His particular field of expertise is film and British film from the Sixties and Seventies are his passion. Couple that with his life-long fascination with mod and you have a very capable candidate to write arguably the definitive work about a film that, over 30 years since its cinematic release, has retained the power to inspire and influence generation after generation and not just in the UK.

I’ll avoid the obvious and refrain from waffling on about the film itself. Heaven knows you should all be familiar with by now (sic). Neither will I go on about the continuity hiccups that are almost as famous (infamous?) as the film itself!

What is not in question though is Wells’ ability to wield both metaphoric microscope and shovel in his research.

Every key member of the cast and crew has input. The collection of unseen photos is quite extraordinary as are the selected script pages which highlight just how much improvisation and license both director Franc Roddam and the actors had with the storyline.

To give the film added kudos, Wells also interviews people for whom, the film and their involvement in mod has led to lifelong associations and therefore impacted on their lives.

This really is a fascinating, enjoyable and informative piece of work by Simon Wells. If you thought you knew all there was to know about Quadrophenia, read this, then you really can claim to know it all.

Published by Countdown Books
ISBN: 9 780992 830441

nm_nov_2014_ugly_things

Ugly Things Magazine

It’s been a while since I reviewed and edition of Ugly Things, the half-yearly publication from Mike Stax based in La Mesa, California.

The one thing that can always be guaranteed, is that every edition is packed with really good interviews and features.

Although the Fall/Winter edition is due out soon, this Spring/Summer 2014 version is a classic example. From the outset, the Pretty Things are a key feature with a thorough and interesting interview with Phil May. There follows an extract from Mr May’s forthcoming autobiography looking at the band’s experiences at the infamous Star Club in Hamburg.

For Small Faces fans, another equally absorbing interview with Ian McLagan followed by a reprint of Robert Haagsma’s interview with Steve Marriott a year before his death retains your attention with ease.

Other notable articles include Thursday’s Children, Carl Douglas and The Big Stampede, The Gears and the song-writing team of Carter and Gilbert.

With a whole host of music reviews as well, Ugly Things magazine is a mighty and very worth while publication.

rsz_nm_nov_2014_soul_up_north

Soul Up North Fanzine

With the advent of social media, the era of the fanzine has been on the decline somewhat, so it was a welcome surprise to see ‘Soul Up North’ arrive at the NUTs office. It would be great to see some more fanzine’s!

Edited by Howard Earnshaw, this is one for the dyed-in-the-wool Northern fan.

Features include the Jessica Records Story (pt 1), The Trey J’s, an interview with Marvin Smith lead singer with the Artistics.

Martin Scragg continues his series of unveiling ‘cover-ups’ and loads of info and reviews of songs supplied by the likes of Steve Plumb, Wayne Hudson, Julie Molloy and Craig Butler to name a few.

Soul Up North fanzine is available by mail order only and at three quid per issue, it’s very good value.

rsz_nm_nov_2014_manifesto

Manifesto Magazine

October 2014 Issue

Perhaps unsurprisingly, with all the hype over the film, Manifesto is loaded with Northern Soul references.

We have a great interview with writer and director of the film, Elaine Constantine and a nice feature about the film by Gareth Sweeney.

In addition, there are features on Ann Sexton and Leroy Hutson, a review of the Cleethorpes Weekender and the wonderful columns by Keith Rylett, Sean Chapman and Soul Sam (who is playing the NUTs NYE Northern Soul Celebration this year).

If you are a fan of all things soul-related (Northern or not) this is a must-have magazine. Its contributors are first-class and in Mike Ritson, it has a dedicated and highly knowledgable editor too.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

November 16, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Sept 2014

nm_sept_2014_northern_soul

Elaine Constantine and Gareth Sweeney

Northern Soul – An Illustrated History

The scene has been awash with books this year. Evidence, as if it were needed, that mod culture is at an all-time high in terms of popularity. Every area is or has been covered and Northern Soul is no exception. This book is off the back of a new film of the same title due in selected cinemas very soon.

It is a creditable effort. The photographs are very good. Much of the written content ticks all the boxes from the preceding years of mods fascination with soul music to the Twisted Wheel and beyond. All the names you would expect to see are in there as well. Dave Godin, Roger Eagle, Ian Levine, Ady Croasdell and Richard Serling to mention a few.

I suspect this is more a coffee table addition to the dyed-in-the-wool Northern Soul fan. For those just discovering the music and the scene, this is a good grounding to find out more and lead them on to more detailed and specific works.

nm_sept_2014_50_years

Scootering Magazine Supplement

50 Years Of Mod In The Media

There was a modicum of mainstream coverage of the events of 1964 on the beaches of Brighton, Clacton and Margate. After all, it is 50 years since then, but was it really worth ‘glamourising’ what went on? Reminiscing about punch ups and the like?

Thankfully, Scootering Magazine got it right, (as they usually do) with a special supplement in the August edition. Titled ‘Celebrating 50 Years Of Mod In The Media’, it was placed in the very capable hands of Mark ‘Sarge’ Sargeant to pull the whole thing together and what a fine job he did too.

Outlining the whys and wherefores with his introduction, there follows a series of special interviews with mods from down the generations and brief overviews of key periods over the decades.

With the likes of our own Rob Bailey, Eddie Piller, John Hellier, Ray Dredge and Maria Veall not only supplying interviews, but some great photos, this is hardly a ‘usual suspects’ edition.

If you didn’t manage to get a copy, you could probably obtain it from the Scootering website, but I would highly recommend it. It is a wonderful addition to any collection of mod memorabilia, and there is also a nice piece on a mod author by the name of Graham Lentz (who ever he is !)


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 18, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Feb 2014

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

Mojo Magazine

March 2014

Every-so-often, one of the hard copy magazines seems to put out an ‘almost total’ mod edition. Given that there is no-such-thing as a ‘mod culture’ magazine available at your nearest shopping centre (we don’t have high streets anymore do we? It’s so last century !) This issue of Mojo is one of those occasions where mod is the dominant force mainly because of a few major events in music happening at the same time.

Front and centre are the Small Faces. The Immediate box set ‘Here Come The Nice’ being the focus of the main feature, while Mojo itself, comes with a very handy 15 track cd of Small Faces-related material. Actress Maxine Peake gives us a glimpse of her musical tastes, which is neatly timed as she can be seen in the upcoming film ‘Svengali’ with Jonny Owen, Vicky McClure and Martin Freeman.

There’s a great interview with Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltry about their recent collaboration and a ‘must read’ article by Bob Mehr on the Hi record label that gave us Al Green, Ann Peebles and O.V. Wright.

Mark Paytress does the honours with the Small Faces, while Jeff Dexter gives an insiders view of 60s Mod as Mojo celebrates 50 years since Mod hit mainstream consciousness, all of which is finished off with our very own Rob Bailey talking about the Modstock Easter weekender. Mojo March 2014 edition is one of those ‘keepers’ me thinks.

 

Scootering Magazine

nm_january_2014_scootering

February 2014

The ‘bible’ in terms of our beloved two-wheeled motor transport has had something of an editorial shift. Gone are the music based features that were, for me, one of the many things I loved about Scootering. The decision to refocus on solely scooter-related matters may be something of a calculated risk. Only time will tell.

That said, the features are still quality, although I would beg to differ with Andy Gillard on the pros and cons of social media’s impact on the scene. He makes a well-thought out case, but I’m not sure I would agree. The ‘Another Man’s Cause’ custom Lammy GP is a treat and the reviews of ride outs and club nights are still going strong, but I hope this refocusing project doesn’t have any adverse impact in the future.

 

Shindig Magazine

SD36-Mock3.indd

Issue 36

Shindig is without doubt one of the magazines I buy on a regular basis. As with all good magazines, it always has something interesting and informative about music from a certain perspective. Unlike its nearest rivals, Shindig  gives time and space to more contemporary bands and this issue is no different to past publications.

Along with some updates and info on Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Wicked Whispers, there are also some great features on Black Power music, The Purple Barrier, The Artwoods, Country Joe & The Fish and my personal fav, a terrific piece by Carl Tweed on Big Jim Sullivan.

The reviews section is always packed and consistently fair. If you haven’t seen this magazine yet, I suggest you grab a copy of issue 37 when it’s out. It will be money well spent.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

March 7, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Nov 2013 (Part 2)

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

Tadhg Taylor

Top Fellas – The Story Of Melbourne’s Sharpie Cult

This was a very pleasant and thoroughly enjoyable surprise when the postman dropped it into the Nutsmag office. It is the third edition of a book that came out in 2004 and is an in-depth look at the ‘Sharpies’. They were a kind of youth cult that was not quite Mod, nor Skinhead, but somewhere in between and was uniquely Australian. More specifically, it was uniquely Melbourne. Tadhg Taylor has done a brilliant job obtaining the interviews with the key characters from the early sixties when it all started, through to the late seventies and early eighties when it finally lost its appeal to new young recruits and fizzled out. Being something of a consumer of Mod and youth sub-culture history, I found this book to be hugely entertaining, but more importantly, informative and interesting. A book like this is important because of its historical value. It highlights the rise of mod due to immigrants from the UK arriving in the early to mid sixties and bringing their style with them.

‘Sharpies’ were the Australian interpretation with their own style and became almost a fore-runner of what we in the UK might liken to a Soulboy/Skinhead hybrid look. One thing is for certain though, these lads were as hard as they come and the gang rivalry is quite frightening, even on the written page. While it is true, there are not a vast number of photos in this book, the ones that are included are also of historical importance. ‘Sharpies’ had their own favourite bands as well. The Easybeats, Billy Thorpe, Max Merritt and the Meteors, Chelsea Set, Purple Hearts featuring Lobby Loyde. Then into the seventies Coloured Balls, Rose Tattoo and…. yes…. AC/DC.

‘Top Fellas’ is 121 pages of insight into a fairly unknown sub-culture and for that reason alone, it is well worth buying. Now, does anyone know where I can get an original Conny cardigan? BUY HERE!

Blues Magazine

nm_november_2013_blues_magazine

Issue 9

If you like all things Blues, then this is the magazine for you. Packed full of great features and interviews, it also comes with a cd sampler. Of particular interest in this issue are the great pictures that accompany Claudia Elliott’s article on photography legend Gered Mankowitz, who has an exhibition and book of his career out now.

I also liked the comparison piece looking at three interpretations of the blues standard ‘Need Your Love So Bad’, the story of Howlin’ Wolf’s recording sessions in London in the sixties and a look at the life and times of Ike and Tina Turner. The mag does keep up with the current movers and shakers on the scene now, so you always know what’s going on.

Scootering Magazine

nm_november_2013_scootering

October 2013 Issue

I know I don’t review every issue of this ‘instituion’ because anyone with even a passing interest in all things Scooters or Mod will know about it and read it. However, there are times throughout the year when I do need to bring certain issues to your attention and October’s issue is one such. As well as all the usual features and Scooters, they have continued their wonderful ‘Scooter Sounds’ page with Bad Manners’ ‘Ska ‘n’ B’ in focus. Also of particular interest are the two reviews of both Euro YeYe at Gijon and the Brighton August Bank Holiday. Our thanks to Sarge, for the coverage.

Shindig Magazine

nm_november_2013_shindig

Issue 35

With Jon Mills and Andy Morton at the helm, Shindig never fails to produce the goods. The second part of the Nilsson feature is as superb as the first. Also included are interviews with Young Sinclairs (who I rather like), the venerable Mike Stax who has been a stalwart of the US scene and the man behind ‘Ugly Things’ magazine and a double-header of sorts: a terrific piece on the bands and LPs inspired and influenced by The Beatles, followed by an in-depth interview with Neil Innes about the career of The Rutles. In some ways I wish this mag was published a little more often, but you can’t deny the quality.

Ultimate Music Guide Magazine

nm_november_2013_ultimate_small_faces

Small Faces

The last time I reviewed an edition of this magazine was almost a year ago when they did one on Paul Weller. This time the Small Faces get the full treatment and again, you will not be disappointed. The premise is to reproduce original articles and interviews with the band from their earliest days and although it is titled as the Small Faces issue, the mag continues after Steve Marriott left the band, and looks at the careers of Humble Pie and Marriott after that band fell apart. It also examines The Faces, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane’s solo career and with Slim Chance. The photos are fantastic as are the original interviews which really put you at the heart of where the various bands and members were over the years. I wonder who will be next in the ‘Mod legend’ category to get the ‘Ultimate Music Guide’ treatment?


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

November 25, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , , , , , ,
1 Comments

Book & Mags Reviews – Nov 2013 (Part 1)

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

A Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess

Published in 1962 it is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain whether the literary masterpiece that is Anthony Burgess’ ‘A Clockwork Orange’ has had the impact on youth (sub)cultures that many proclaim it has, or indeed whether it is Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 cinematic portrayal with it’s heavily modern/pop art influenced stylising, fashions, sets and architecture. A portrayal quoted by Burgess as being “badly flawed”. Kubrick’s film was interestingly the second adaptation of the book – the first being the little known ‘Vinyl’ directed by one Andy Warhol.

Due to the conflicts of aesthetics between the two one could strongly argue the latter – its main participants being dressed in black with waistcoats and cravats. A far cry to the visually aped-by-many attire of the young Malcolm McDowell .

Having first read A Clockwork Orange during the early 1990’s, at a time when Kubrick’s film was still officially banned in the UK, I was immediately thrown and confused, yet enamoured, to the (I now see) wondrous use of’‘nadsa’ – the street tongue dialect of our antihero, Alex and his wily gang of cohorts, affectionately and tribally referred to as his ‘droogs’.

Set against a dystopian and futuristic backdrop, Alex is the atypical 15 year old young man, whose desire and pursuits in life firmly revolve around the satisfaction of desire – be it sexually, violently, psychotropically or aurally – through his passionate desire for the music of Beethoven, whose music makes Alex stir, feel moved, driven and alive – a comparison easily levied against most or all sub-cultures since their post-war emergence with the Teddy Boys and Mods.

Set in three parts, each detailing a significant and specific part of Alex’s life, part one begins at the Korova Milk Bar, where our gang of unruly droogs sit drinking the establishments finest Milk Plus – a little concoction made of milk and laced with whatever chemical stimulant one requires – whilst plotting their nights activities. A night which invariably will encounter the vilest of antisocial behaviour from rape to theft to gang warfare to senseless and opportunistic violence on whomever crosses their paths.

Burgess perfectly portrays young Alex as the iconic face of anti-establishment, the ultimate anarchist, the cock sured teenager with an answer for everything and not a jot of remorse for his actions and who they effect. The literary genius of Burgess now comes into play as the figure you feel you should revile, despise and hate throughout the books 200 or so pages very quickly becomes ‘your’ hero in the tale as he takes on the system in his determined battle to exercise his own thought and his freewill.

Ultimately, and not surprisingly caught out in his activities, the second and third parts all revolve around Alex’s time spent with the authorities – his gang of droogs having deserted him – and the innovative aversion therapy used to kerb his desires, triggered by the sounds of his beloved Wolfgang Amadeus.

Initially published with twenty-one chapters, the UK release of the book saw the omission of the final chapter in which Alex realises the error of his ways and ultimately that all he thought was right was wrong. Now available in either format the omission or inclusion of this concluding chapter has both its faults and merits, and that is ultimately a matter for the reader to decide.

What A Clockwork Orange in it’s literary form has done more than anything is to shape and influence all those who come into contact with it. Be it Warhol’s surreal adaptation or Kubrick’s iconic visualisation or the sensibilities of all youth cultures that followed, with its scripture of being accepted, of being part of the tribe and fervently adhering to the principles and uniform of whichever one you choose. Life choices that we all make in the bloom of our adolescence.

So, what’s it going to be then eh?

Publisher: Penguin; Re-issue edition (7 April 2011) ISBN-13: 978-0241951446 BUY HERE!

Absolute Beginners

nm_nov_2013_review_absolute_beginners

Absolute BeginnersColin MacInnes

Colin MacInnes’ Absolute Beginners is the book, more so than any other, which has stamped its place well and truly in the annals of modernist history. Though heavily referenced and recognised to this day, I am very surprised by the amount of people I meet who have never indulged in the pages of this landmark novel set in Soho (amongst other notable locations) in the summer of 1958 at the birth of the movement.

Like many, I was never eager to read the book myself – having seen the somewhat neon glow and wooden cinematic portrayal of the story starring David Bowie, Ray Davies and Patsy Kensit, amongst other celebrities of the early eighties. However, with my own tastes and styles edging more towards the late 50’s and modern jazz as a musical genre, thought it about time I did.

Arguably containing the first cultural reference to mod culture – describing young style obsessed, Modern-Jazz loving Brits with a passion for smoky clubs and coffee bars as ‘Modernists’ – Absolute Beginners is the tale of the nameless narrator and central character’s quest to living his life on his own terms. Striving to stay a step ahead of others in terms of wit, mentality and most of all, style. Whilst avoiding the pitfalls of the post-war adult generation that surrounds him, our narrator makes a living as a freelance photographer to the straight, the crooked and the seedy of London.

MacInnes captures the essence of the period detailing the birth of the ‘teenager’ and the struggles they face, which makes one realise that though times, politics, cultures and fashions have developed, Absolute Beginners is as relevant today as when it was first published.

Though not a book that is truly defined as having any great and gripping story, its main and central theme appears to be the narrator’s wish for us to view his life, his eclectic friends and aesthetic surroundings through his own eyes. The references to Jazz are many and one can sense the passion our narrator has for music – a theme that has stuck firm throughout the history of mod and its many incarnations and generations that followed.

Of what plot there is in Absolute Beginners is the peppering throughout of the narrators ongoing desire and attempts to rekindle his relationship with his ex-girlfriend, Suzette, who is on the verge of entering into a marriage of convenience with her boss.

What is most striking and defining and ultimately special about the book however, is its portrayal and literary visualization of a piece of London’s past that has remained paramount to the foundations of a youth culture that has endured half a century. The snapshot created whilst reading of this now semi-mythical view of the smoky streets of Soho only serves to clarify the visions dreamt up in the mind of the birth of Mod, before its explosion into mass consciousness via the media in 1964 – a period of the movement that has been rarely captured on camera.

Though not filled with the kind of references one is so used to in a book with mod as it’s central subject, there can be no doubt that Absolute Beginners was not only a manuscript that detailed the birth of a movement from the eyes of a protagonist, but was, and has remained the original style guide for modernists for well over five decades.

‘College-boy smooth crop hair with burned in parting, neat white Italian rounded-collared shirt, short Roman jacket very tailored (two little vents, three buttons), no turn-up narrow trousers with 17-inch bottoms absolute maximum, pointed toe shoes and a white mac lying folded by his side.’

As a document that gave us everything else to come, Absolute Beginners has stayed the test of time for good reason. We should all own it.

Publisher: ALLISON & BUSBY (13 Jun 2011) ISBN-13: 978-0749009984
BUY HERE!


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Lord Savage

Bitten by the bug as a child in 1981 after being fed a mix of his fathers rock n'roll and his brothers 2 Tone records, David became involved in the Mod scene through a healthy diet of the revival, the Buzzcocks and Dexys Midnight Runners. Having first attended the Mousetrap in 1997 and spending time at both the New Untouchables and, the now defunct, Untouchables events he took a period of scene paternity leave in 2003 to rejoin again and find things as healthy, diverse and as vibrant as his obsession with hair straighteners. Now proud to be in the NUTs fold, David began working as the New Untouchables Social Media Manager in September 2012 and can generally be found chasing people around the depths of the Mousetrap with his dodgy pink camera. Crate digger, OCD hooverer, vintage shop raider, jazz listener, scooter tinkerer, wine drinker and cheese enthusiast. Sums it up nicely!

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

November 13, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Sep 2013

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

Mods! A Very British Style by Richard Weight & published by Bodley Head

This book has courted controversy within mod circles so I was keen to read it and make my own mind up. The author Richard Weight has tried to analyse and put together a convincing case that mod culture has had a lasting and continuing effect on British cultural life and social change. My initial thoughts were why? Why would anyone but an academic attempt to do such a thing?

The other big question is: Who is this book aimed at other than the academic community or those studying sociology? There is a Mod related book released almost every month now and herein lies the problem I suspect as the author has tried to come at the subject from a different angle. Sadly it just doesn’t work or inspire me. The other annoying thing it is littered with factual inaccuracies and written in such a dense style as to be almost unreadable.

While it’s true that the authors Hewitt, Rawlings and Barnes feature heavily in the extensive notes, for the most part, the other sources with a few notable exceptions (Piller, Savage, Elms etc) are simply more people from the academic world.

Finally there is far too much emphasis placed on Sixties icons like Quant, Hulaniki, The Beatles and The Who. To sum up I found the whole book a struggle and would have been a bit disappointed if I found this in my Christmas stocking.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

September 20, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Feb 2013

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

nm_feb2013_scoootering_feb 13

Scootering Magazine  – February 2013

Sadly, time and space prevented a review of the January issue of this great mag, but thankfully, I did manage to get February’s edition in time for the latest NUTSMAG updates. So, we begin by looking at the usual features and this month, the ‘Scootering Sounds’ (records that shaped the broad church we all love so much) focuses on the Virgin Records reissue of The Who’s ‘My Generation’ in 1980. Like many, I too bought it at the time and still have my copy. And I agree that it had a massive impact, ‘Out In The Street is still one of my Who favourites. Moving on, Sticky’s tongue-in-cheek feature on how to spot other road users had me roaring with laughter. For all you Lammy owners, you may well enjoy the tribute to the series one. Sarge has been as busy as ever covering the Northern Noise event at Southend and the Christmas Mod Ball at the 100 Club with Steve Craddock headlining. Wolfy jetted off to the USA to catch up with Mr Townshend and Mr Daltry as they begin their mammoth world tour of ‘Quadrophenia’. My pick of the featured scoots is the Lammy GP 150 at the back of the mag. It’s a beaut. To cap it all off, there’s a free double sided poster to go alongside the calendar from the January issue.

 

nm_feb_2013_blues_magazine_issue_3

Blues Magazine – Issue 3

One of the primary reasons for reviewing this publication, is due to the feature article by Claudia Elliott on the impact of the blues on British bands favoured by mods during the first half of the sixties. As you would expect, all the usual suspects get a mention. Small Faces, High Numbers / The Who, Yardbirds, Meaden, Guy Stevens, Scene and Eel Pie clubs etc. Authors; Barnes, Hewitt and Hellier all get a nod, and on that basis, any reader who does not have prior knowledge will be well informed by this piece. The link between Alexis Korner and Cyril Davis’ contribution in launching many careers that started with a love of blues is a fact often over-looked and it’s inclusion here adds weight to the argument that without them, British music may not have been the powerhouse it became during the decade. That said, the article is accurate with the facts and for those who know nothing about this aspect of mod, it’s a good starting point for the more inquisitive reader who wants to find out more. If you are into blues music, then this magazine will be of interest though. Three other very good articles on John Mayall, Chris Barber and the Blue Horizon label feature prominently and South London’s mod/blues purveyors Get Go have a nice one-pager. Blues Magazine is published by monthly by Future Publishing.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

February 4, 2013 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, ,
0 Comment

Betty Beat 4 – Max Galli

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Betty Beat - Max Galli

‘Betty Beat Continues. Betty Beat is an extra terrestrial 18 year old girl who comes from Planet Kromos. The action is set in the 1967-1968 period, with loads of ‘Swingin’’ London imagery.

There will be many funny characters coming along as Betty lives her adventures on planet Earth!’ I hope you enjoy getting to know Betty Beat.

Max Galli – 2012


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

More Posts - Website

November 22, 2012 By : Category : Comics Europe Front Page Literature Media Picks Scene Style Tags:, , , , ,
0 Comment

Book & Mags Reviews – Nov 2012

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Book Reviews

The Action – In The Lap Of The Modsby Ian Hebditch & Jane Shepherd with Mike Evans & Roger Powell

With any book about music, film or subculture, the first thing I look at are the photos and graphics. Rest assured, no stone has been left unturned when it comes to the photos and graphics here. This book comes in two formats. The standard edition and the boxed set, which includes the main work plus ‘Where The Action Is’ a meticulous gig guide and press cuttings compilation and a replica test pressing of ‘Why Do You Wanna Make Me Blue’.

Ian Hebditch had spent years working on this project. Sadly, he passed away before it was completed, but his partner Jane Shepherd decided to carry on and finish Ian’s work and what a fine tribute to both Ian and The Action this book is. Intros from Mike Evans and Roger Powell and a Foreword by Sir George Martin CBE set the tone. As you would expect the story of The Action comes in chronological order from the very early days as Mark Twain and The Strangers, which included Keith Moon in the line-up, through to Sandra Barry and The Boys, which was the basis of the band celebrated herein.

The story of The Action is not remarkable in the context of their contemporaries from the Sixties. Many had similar experiences, but in terms of influence on successive generations and having a knack of avoiding the recognition they deserved, it is of particular interest. The interviews with band members and others, such as Pete Townshend are terrific. It’s not always easy getting people to recall events from decades past (I should know, I’ve done it myself) and it is even harder to get them to talk about the difficult times, but Hebditch seems to have managed this. Instead of being a read-it-all-before scenario, I particularly liked the way Ian did not rehash oft-told mod history in the conventional sense. By relating mod history to his own experiences growing up in Portsmouth, the local club, The Birdcage (which The Action played many a time) and Ian’s other mod experiences, it all makes for a refreshing and valid viewpoint.

The story of the band does not end in 1969. They split up and some formed the Mighty Baby. Alan King joined the band Ace with Paul Carrick on vocals, and then many years later our own Rob Bailey begins the painstaking process of getting all the band back together in 1998 for some gigs that will live long in the memory and rock folklore. Perhaps fittingly, the epilogue is provided by long-time fan, Phil Collins. It is a pleasure to read, a joy browsing the photos and interesting absorbing the details of an often-overlooked band. If you ever want to know about The Action, this is the only book you will need.

 

Record Collector – October 2012 Issue

Not every issue of Record Collector is of interest to us, but as and when an issue does appeal, I’ll happily review it. October’s offering is one such issue. The Kinks are on the front cover and with good reason. Within the pages of the mag is the first of a two-part special about the ‘Muswell Hillbillies’. Ray Davies gives a fairly candid account of the technical side to Kinks songs. The production, the studios, the technicians… all fascinating stuff.

Aside from The Kinks, there are another three great features of interest; Bunny Lee, The Dells and The Merseys.

 

Scootering – October 2012 Issue

The institution that is Scootering Magazine comes out with all guns blazing for the October issue. The ‘Scootering Sounds’ feature has been a very enjoyable and welcome addition, this time looking at The Clash’s ‘London Calling’.

Then we move on to a really good feature on the inside story of the Olympics closing ceremony and those 50 scooters, but without doubt, huge thanks goes to Sarge for a terrific three-page report on the NUTS Brighton August Bank Holiday. Plenty of great pics (as you’d expect) and we have the first sighting of a new descriptive term: comedy mods. Those of you who were there and witnessed the comedy mods will know what Sarge was taking about. He concluded by saying this year was the best so far, many would agree.

Further in to the mag and we find a nice two-pager on Euro Ye Ye, an interview with Bruce Foxton and Russell Hastings about Bruce’s new album ‘Back In The Room’ and a very nice review of the Strypes EP ‘Young Gifted and Blue’ by Paul Hooper-Keeley.

To top it all, this issue includes a 48 page supplement looking back at reports about the Isle Of Wight Rally from the past. October 2012 will be one of those collector editions I suspect.

 

Ugly Things – Spring Summer 2012 Issue

For those of you with Garage/Psych/Freakbeat tendencies, you may well know about this very substantial publication from Mike Stax based in La Mesa, California. At $9.95 (£6.21 at time of writing) plus postage, this is quite an impressive offering. I freely admit, I’m not as into this music as some, so I did wonder what there might be to grab my interest.

How pleasantly surprised I was to find some fascinating articles about the San Francisco scene, an interview with Johnny Echols (former member of Love) and my favourite, an interview and article on the Craig (who were formed out of the King Bees).

Meticulous in its research, thorough in its interviews and great photos. A must for anyone who is in to the era.
Website: www.ugly-things.com
e-mail: uglythingsmag@gmail.com

 

Uncut – Ultimate Guide to Paul Weller 

When you think of the most high-profile influencers on mod and pop culture of the last 35 years, there is only one name that springs to mind, Paul Weller. Love him or loathe him, his impact on British music is without comparison.

So this major retrospective of his career is a timely reminder of the astonishing output spanning over three decades. Every album, from ‘In the City’ to ‘Sonic Kicks’ is re-evaluated. Key interviews are reprinted and there are lots of photos.

This is just about as ‘ultimate’ as you can get for a magazine guide to Weller’s career, whether you’re a long-time fan or someone just discovering Weller for the first time, this publication is a ‘collectable’ in the making. Coming from someone who has been a fan for 35 years, that’s saying something.


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

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.

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook

November 16, 2012 By : Category : Front Page Literature Reviews Tags:, , , , ,
0 Comment

Betty Beat 3 – Max Galli

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Betty Beat - Max Galli

‘Betty Beat Continues. Betty Beat is an extra terrestrial 18 year old girl who comes from Planet Kromos. The action is set in the 1967-1968 period, with loads of ‘Swingin’’ London imagery.

There will be many funny characters coming along as Betty lives her adventures on planet Earth!’ I hope you enjoy getting to know Betty Beat.

Max Galli – 2012


 Powered by Max Banner Ads 

Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

More Posts - Website

August 11, 2012 By : Category : Comics Europe Front Page Literature Media Picks Scene Tags:,
0 Comment