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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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Darius Drewe

Darius Drewe 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:, , , , ,
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Modstock – The Album

Modstock – The Album (LP & CD)

Dubbed ‘21st Century Club Classics’, this compilation is unlike many others. There are none of the ‘usual suspects’ of mod. You know the ones I mean? The dime-a-dozen, seen-it-all-before compilations that tick all the stereotypical mod boxes.

As compiler Rob Bailey says in the liner notes, he wanted to put together ‘future club classics’. It’s fair to say he has achieved his aim with this album. It has obviously had a lot of thought put into it in terms of tracks and running order.

It also provides a platform for most of the bands who appeared at Modstock 3 at Easter 2014.

We kick off with the brilliant ‘It’s Gonna Rain’ by Gentleman June Gardner. I heard this for the first time at a club night years ago and it became one of my all-time favs. Likewise, the Teddy Mack song ‘Hey Hey Gypsy Woman’, Brenda Holloway’s ‘I Ain’t Gonna Take You Back’ and Dean Carter’s ‘Love’s A Workin’.

The addition of songs from current bands slot very nicely alongside the ‘oldies’ in the seemless fabric of this compilation.

The Mergers, Secret Affair, The Apemen and Les Cappuccino all get a look-in, but for me the final track on the CD from Stone Foundation is the pick of the bunch.

‘The Right Place At The Right Time’ can only be found on this collection and it is another example of just why Stone Foundation are one of the best bands around at the moment. I remember hearing this during a Stone Foundation gig last year and I was really disappointed that it didn’t make it on to their most recent LP. I’m really pleased that it has been included here so others can hear it too.

If you are looking for a compilation of ‘modernist’ tunes that looks forwards as much as to the past, you could not find a better collection anywhere right now.

Get a copy here: www.newuntouchables.com/nutstores


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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 8, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Reviews 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:, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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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:, , , , , , , ,
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Masters – Kenney Jones (Small Faces)

This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series Masters1

I managed to catch up with Kenney ahead of his performance at Modstock to talk about his life behind the drumkit with some of the biggest bands in the history of British rock and find out more about the new Small Faces boxset and greatest hits releases.

01. What got you interested in music and who were your early influences?

I was blown away after seeing Lonnie Donegan on TV playing ‘Rock on the line’. He was playing banjo. I just fell in love with the banjo! I remembered seeing a banjo in a pawn shop next to Bethnal Green Station. The next day I went to buy it but unfortunately the guy had sold it. A friend had half a drum kit with one and half drum sticks and that got my buds going. I was hooked. I bought my very first drum kit in a shop in East Ham on Green Lane call the J 60’s. It was a white Olympic old Jazz kit. My early influences were The Shadows; Jimmy McGriff and Booker T and the MG’s.

02. When and how did you first meet Steve and Ronnie?

I met Ronnie Lane in my local pub called The British Prince where Ronnie’s brother worked as a barman. Ronnie and I first met Steve Marriott in the same shop that I bought my drum kit where he worked on Saturday mornings.

03 What were the early shows like at Leicester square and the Marquee, and did you have a particular favourite venue?

The shows at Leicester Square and the Cavern were amazing. My favourite clubs at the time were ‘The Marquee’ and ‘The Flamingo’.

04. What was the original mod scene like and did you frequent any of the famous clubs like the Scene or Flamingo for example and do you have any fond memories you can share with us?

Well apart from my comments above it was a great place to meet up in a time when music and fashion were as one.

05. What other bands did you rate back in the sixties and are there any current bands you enjoy?

I liked ‘The Action’ in the 60’s and of course ‘The Shadows’ in the 60’s. I quite enjoy The Strypes and recently my 16 year old daughter Erin has got me into Plain White T’s.  She is great at playing me the most recent stuff and tries to keep me up to date! Some I like and other stuff makes me cringe! And of course I love the Red Hot Chilli Peppers – great drummer!

06. I have seen the Belgium TV footage from the early days at the marquee and also beat, beat, beat or maybe it was beat club in Germany which are both incredible, and did you prefer playing live or working in the studio?

I must say I like both. Live shows give you that buzz but studio work lets you be more creative and try new things.

07. Many fans claim the immediate era was the best small faces period would you agree with that?

It was probably the most creative and Andrew Oldham gave us more freedom to experiment. But I still think the Decca stuff is also great.

08. The manifesto of Immediate Records was a great idea trying to immolate the Stax and Motown hit factory in the UK, the Small Faces were and an integral part of that. What persuaded you to join Andrew Loog Oldham in the new venture and what was the atmosphere like at Immediate?

Immediate was like a family. We all looked out for each other and Andrew was boundless back then; his enthusiasm infectious. Most of us were. It was also the first independent label.

09. The infamous tour of Australia with the Who is stuff of legend, what were your memories on the crazy antics and any other humorous tales you can share with us on life with the Small Faces?

When the captain of the plane diverted the flight to Melbourne and had us arrested when we walked off the plane with our hands up. That was us, The Who and Paul Jones. My fondest memory of touring with the Small Faces and the Who was when Keith offered me a lift to the next gig in his white Rolls Royce and we ended up going down Edinburgh High Street.  Keith had a PA system fitted behind the front grille with a mike connected to this. As we drove down the high street he shouted “Rape, rape and dangled a set of blow up legs out the back window. A bus driver stopped his bus to come to the rescue. When we got to the other side of town a policeman arrested us. He was a mad man!

10. I have heard Macs account about Steve wanting Peter Frampton to join the band to create a heavier sound and eventually leaving as a result to form Humble Pie, however it seems to me The Small Faces were already heading in that direction?

That is a difficult question to answer. Our music was already taking a different turn from our earlier stuff but Steve was pushing for change too quickly. When he left and Rod and Woody joined our music took a different direction anyway.

11. The three Small Faces went on to form The Faces together with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, did you know them both from the mid sixties London scene and did you ever perform with the Birds, Steam Packet or Shotgun Express?

Our paths had crossed from time to time Well Rod was on the Immediate label so we crossed paths then. We never got a chance to play on same bill as the Birds. There were times when the Small Faces were rehearsing when Rod used to sit on the amps watching us. When Steve left I asked him to join the band.

12. You also played alongside Pete, Roger and John in The Who after Keith died, how did the Who job come about?

I had just started a new band and was just about to sign a record deal when I got a call from Bill Curbishley the Who’s manager. He told me that they had had a meeting and they wanted me to join the band as the new drummer and they wouldn’t consider anyone else. I initially said no I can’t as I had just signed a new band and we are about to sign a record deal, but I would think about it. Later that day I went to get a haircut and when I left the salon I was stopped by a gypsy lady selling heather. I tried to avoid her but she was persistent. When I looked into her eyes I saw Moony’s eyes staring back at me. She was saying take it, I threw her a pile of change and ran away. It was so freaky. I called Bill up and said I would join.

13. The Small Faces catalogue has finally been done justice by Rob Caiger with the simply stunning boxset, when did the project start and how long has it taken to produce?

We have been gathering all the lost tapes for over 3 years and Rob has been working tirelessly to produce.

14. There are some fascinating moments of you working in the studio on the boxset how did it feel to listen to those moments again?

I got very emotional and lots of memories came flooding back. I could also smell the studio and feel every moment we spent in there. To hear Steve and Ronnie at their best was quite poignant.

15. As a big fan having collected all the original albums and singles listening to this boxset you really get to appreciate just how prolific the Small Faces were in such a short period of time, was that down to living together at Westmorland Terrace, the live shows or the recording sessions?

Most of the above but we had a magical telepathy between us. You can hear some of that on the studio outtakes on the box set.

16. How do you feel about the bands incredible popularity still almost fifty years after you first began?

I am completely blown away. The older, original fans seem to have passed down their passion and legacy on to their children. Lots of the Brit pop in the 90’s was influenced by the Small Faces and it has just been a slow steady growth of followers.

17. Considering you have played with three of the biggest British rock groups which band is your favourite and why?

Obviously the Small Faces as it was the most creative and the most fun. It was all new and we were breaking new ground. I loved my time with the Who as it was the most exciting by the sheer nature of their songs. The Faces were just one big riotous party!

18. What is your favourite Small Faces song and album and why?

My favourite song is Afterglow. My favourite album is Ogdens as it is so diverse and we were doing something that had never been done before.

19. We are honoured to have you perform at Modstock for our British legends show. What surprises have you got up your sleeve for the fans and who will be joining you on stage?

You will have to wait and see. My friend Jim Stapley is joining me on vocals along with Mollie Marriott who has an amazing set of pipes.


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drrobert

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: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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March 27, 2014 By : Category : Bands Events Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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The History of Northern Soul by Ady Croasdell

The Crossfire oldies allnighter in London on Easter bank holiday Sunday (20th of April 2014) promises to be something else with a stellar DJ line-up taking you on a musical journey through iconic Northern Soul venues like the Twisted Wheel, The Torch, Wigan Casino, Stafford and The 100 Club.

On our recent DJ adventure to the Mojo Workin’ weekend in Spain I managed to grab a chat with Kent Records and 6TS promoter and DJ Ady Croasdell for his personal account on ‘The History of Northern Soul’.

I first went to a rare soul all nighter in early 1969. It was in a solitary disused railway station about half a mile from the hamlet of Kelmarsh in north Northamptonshire, 5 miles from my home town of Market Harborough. I knew the big soul acts of the day whose records had made it to the UK – Otis, Wilson Picket, Carla Thomas, Temps, 4 Tops, Supremes, Fontella Bass, Brenton Wood Etta James – but the records I was hearing at the nighter were by the Esquires, Tony Clarke, Homer Banks and the American Poets who I had never heard of. The small function room soon filled up with 100 skinheads most of whom were dancing in groups or solo, so being on my own I felt comfortable to get up and move to the music. The crowd seemed intense but friendly despite my hair being longer than all the other blokes combined.

I told my mod/skin mates in Harboro about it and soon there was a crew of us going over, getting the pills down our necks while dancing to this alternate type of soul which we referred to as Old Soul. Who knew Tamla singer Kim Weston had recorded an uptempo soul mastepiece in ‘Helpless’ or the Velvelettes had cut one called ‘These Things Will Keep Me Loving You’? We made friends and recognised some of the other attendees as characters from Kettering, Corby and Wellingborough whom we’d normally avoid but here in this secret meeting place it was all cool and we had a shared love of the music and the speed.

It turned out there were outcrops of similarly minded youths around the country in Leeds, Wakefield, Manchester and Derby. Even handier for an impoverished student like me a bloke called Dave Godin wrote about it in the Blues & Soul magazine; complete with playlists and tips and recommendations of places to go to hear these secretive sounds. Eventually Dave would dub the scene Northern Soul in his Blues & Soul column and the name would stick.

The clubs were keenly watched by the dedicated drugs squads of the local police. Northants was supposedly one of the most serious in the country and they were getting pissed off at the number of chemists that were getting broken into around the county.

The raids they conducted eventually closed Kelmarsh and I mentioned it to Harboro’s local dance promoters who ran the Frollickin´ Kneecap nightclub. They started to then run all nighters at our town centre venue, renaming it the Lantern for those dances and making it a dedicated members club to get around the restrictive licensing laws. The scene was so small yet dedicated that there would usually be only one or two nighters on in the country at any time and when the Twisted Wheel in Manchester was finally raided early one Saturday night, the blocked up youths made the 100 mile drive down to Harboro to dance their blues away; in all senses of the word. The Wheel had been the total brand leader and the epitome of cool, style and sounds and its demise was a major blow to young go-getters across the country. Like the Lantern, a handful of other nighters would then spring up and be closed down as the drug taking soared and the squads simply clamped down.

The next venue to become the undisputed Mecca for the nighter goers was the Torch in Tunstall, Stoke On Trent. It was bigger than the traditional 100-300 clubs that had previously been host to the scene but the 6-800 capacity old music-hall, complete with balconies and theatre boxes, was ideal for the rapidly expanding clientele. Also it was dark as hell, dripping with atmosphere and sweat and the DJs were moving away from the classic mid to up tempo Chicago and Tamla beat to seriously stomping sounds that could keep pace with the drinamyl-induced pumping hearts of the mainly teenage audience. DJs, collectors and record sellers were finding more and more ways of getting their hands on the vast number of mid 60s soul releases that had not reached our shores before. Johnny Sayles, The Younghearts, Mamie Galore, The Fuller Brothers and the Cooperettes seemed to be even more glamorous soul names, none of which had ever got close to an English release.

The Torch lasted for little over a year but had accelerated the scene’s growth and demand so that when the next big all nighter started in 1973 it was more than big, it was massive.

Wigan Casino was a similar ancient music hall / dance emporium but about four times the size and more of a complex than a venue; you could house a small town in its many rooms. Early attendances were adequate but the place was far from full and in fact seemed a bit too big for purpose when I went to one of the early nighters. A few months later on my next visit it was rammed to the rafters, using the Torch´s blueprint of non-stop stompers its reputation had spread across the country and youths across the whole breadth of Britain, disaffected with both the teeny bopper and pompous undergound of the UK’s pop scene had become die-hard soul fans overnight. It was admittedly a certain style of soul starting at 85 mph and going up to 140 in extreme cases, sometimes the soul quotient was forgotten about. What the hell, there were thousands of stunning sounds out there in good ole black America just waiting for jaw-grinding scruffy UK youths to hop on an aeroplane and rescue them for their own personal kudos and wealth and for the edification of 2,000 kids moving as one, hand-clapping in just the right places. The scene was so big it could accommodate other big all nighters at places like Cleethorpes and Yate near Bristol as well as the big and influential evening events at the Blackpool Mecca and elsewhere. The Northern Soul weekend experience was so intense it would incorporate big Sunday all dayers so that reprobates need never see their parents between Friday morning and Monday tea.

It continued as a big noise throughout most of the 70s but the alternate punk, jazz funk and disco scenes creamed off many attendees and offered alternatives for potential new recruits: the scene was becoming jaded. In London in 1979 the mod revival was underway and a small club called the 6TS Rhythm ‘n’ Blues Society was showing those style converts what the original mod soul music was about.

After 18 months of moving around the capital, the 6TS ended up at the 100 Club slap bang in the middle of Oxford Street where it still runs in that distinguished basement club today. In a way it was back to the roots as a venue as well as musically and the classic dingy, smoke-filled, basement club was ideal for the nutters and fanatics who have slunk down those famous stairs over the last four decades. Musically though it started out as classic club soul with a dash of R&B, it reverted to the more standard Northern Soul formula once the all nighters were established around 1981. There was even a period when the rare 70s soul scene made an equal contribution to the musical playlist but that was reduced drastically when the club took up the gauntlet handed down by the 60s Mafia DJs of Stafford’s Top Of The World All nighters around the mid 1980s.

DJs Keb Darge and Guy Hennigan in particular were fed up with the staleness of constantly played oldies and reckoned there were still a lot of records, hardly known by the public let alone collectors, that could turn the scene on its head. Keb had a devoted band of followers who he would give cassettes of his new finds to so they would know his playlist when it was debuted at Stafford. They would rush to the floor to dance to records that otherwise would only have had interested looks. Guy was similar and mixed up the tempos a bit more than stompy Keb. He was the prime mover in big beat ballad scheduling and records like Tommy Navarro’s ‘I Cried My Life Away’ and Romance Watson ‘Where Does That Leave Me’ became massive. Keb also DJed at the 100 Club and Leicester nighters and soon the word was spreading. I was converted by the Latin sound of Bobby Valentine and spun a few down the 100 Club as well as big beat ballads like Johnny Maestro, Kurt Harris and the Trends ‘Not Too Old To Cry’. However what really put the 100 Club on the map, and helped the newies revolution, was finding some magnificent previously unreleased 60s soul tracks from the record company vaults. Melba Moore ‘Magic Touch’, Maxine Brown ‘Torture’, Chuck Jackson ‘What’s With This Loneliness’ started it and the Pied Piper RCA finds of Kenny Carter ‘What’s That On Your finger’, Willie Kendrick ‘She’ll Be Leaving You’, Lorraine Chandler ‘You Only Live Twice’ and Sharon Scott ‘(Putting My Heart Under) Lock & Key’ took it to a new level.

With the newies scene now established the super-rare scene started driven by one of Keb and Guy’s gurus the Stoke DJ Butch who had the best rare soul collection in the world and possessed records and later acetates so rare nobody could come close to him for 20 years (ongoing). It’s the territory of “how many of these are known in the world?”; the answer is usually less than five.

Stafford closed but the 100 Club kept on and new venues like Lifeline, Rugby, Burnley, Prestwich, The Dome, and others had their deserved moments in the spotlight. The 90s saw many returnees to the scene but a lot of those were happy to dance to the tunes of their youth and the rare scene has struggled in recent years. However the 2010s has seen an influx of new young faces and they are as keen on the new as the old, so there are signs of a revival in all areas and attendances are on the up again. A great new film on Northern Soul has been made by a Bury lass who has been a 100 Club regular for twenty years and the impact of that is eagerly anticipated.

Get down early and grab a space on the huge wooden dancefloor in the main ballroom and dance all night to 8 hours of the finest Northern Soul CROSSFIRE style. Tickets here: www.229thevenue.co.uk/modstock


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drrobert

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: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Clubs DJs Events Front Page Music Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
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Stone Foundation (NewBreed)

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Newbreed3

Stone Foundation started in earnest around 10 summers ago when the two Neil’s worlds collided, an instant mash. Ideas, songs and a vision formed but a band didn’t. Members joined and then left or were shown the door, a stable, solid line up took time. Any gang worth it’s salt (and pepper) does. This had to be right, more than music, a family affair. Once the team was in place they would still take the duration required to firmly knit the solid bond their hearts desired. The understanding between the seven was crucial. Yes, seven that’s right. We knew it had to be. Hammond, Horns over a solid soulful (stone) foundation, we didn’t want anyone just dipping their toes in the water. We were off to swim the channel.

Band Members:
Neil Sheasby (bass)
Neil Jones (vocals and guitar)
Ian Arnold (Hammond Organ)
Philip K Ford (drums)
Spencer Hague (trombone)
Lynn Thompson (trumpet)
Gary Rollins (saxophone/flute)

Discography:
‘Three Shades Of Stone Foundation’ album (2011)
‘To Find The Spirit’ album (2014)
‘That’s The Way I Want To Live my Life’ single (2014)

How did Stone Foundation get started?

Myself and lead singer, Neil Jones got together after I had become disillusioned with my previous band. We were kindred spirits and we started writing songs together, but it took a long time to find the right musicians.

We knew we wanted a horn section and a Hammond organ, so we knew the sound we wanted, but it took a couple of years really before we had a settled line up. It was important to find musicians who shared our vision of what Stone Foundation should be.

After a while we started recording and over the last three or four years we have found more and more people who like what we do and it’s just gathered pace from there.

What are the main influences for Stone Foundation?

It’s quite eclectic really. I’ve worked in record shops all my life so I’ve been open to lots of different things. Neil Jones’s Dad had a big record collection, so he inherited all of that, but it’s not one particular genre that dominates.

We are inspired by soul music, things from our youth like Dexy’s and The Jam, and then the influence of bands like Traffic and what we regard as the quintessential British bands. It’s lots of influences though. Not just one specific.

How did your association with the great Nolan Porter come about?

It started with a promoter who was doing things at Northern Soul events. He was bringing people over to sing live, but with backing tracks. One of the first guys that we came into contact with was Steve Calloway. The promoter said he wanted a band to work with him and he thought Stone Foundation fit the bill, so he asked us and we thought, well here is a chance to work with some proper, bona fide soul artists, so we jumped at the chance.

Steve Calloway was the first person we worked with, then Nolan came over and we just hit it off right away. Since then we have brought Nolan back ourselves and then we got Joe ‘Pep’ Harris from Undisputed Truth. It’s been a privilege and an honour to work with these people, and Nolan makes a guest appearance on our new album as well.

How does the creative process work for Stone Foundation?

Usually, it’s either Neil or myself who have ideas or, on occasion, fully formed songs, but for this album it’s been more of a collaborative process. Sometimes things have come through a jamming session, but everyone has had a part to play on the finished article, so it has been good from that aspect.

The band and your new album ‘To Find The Spirit’ are not easily pigeon-holed.

We have always been conscious of not wanting to sound pastiche or a parody of black American soul. As I said before, our influences are varied and our songwriting reflects that. We have jazz influences, soul, you name it, but what we always strive for is to sound like Stone Foundation.

You have become a much sought-after support band. Tell us about some of your recent engagements.

The arena tour with The Specials in 2011 was more by luck than judgment.

John Bradbury happened to be at Fiddler’s Elbow in Camden on the same night we were playing there. I think The Specials were looking for a certain kind of soul band rather than another ska outfit and we fit the bill. We got on really well with everyone and it has been one of the highlights of our career so far.

Since then we’ve supported The Blow Monkeys, The Selecter and The Beat. We’ve also got a support slot in the Midlands with The Truth, so we’re really looking forward to that.

You have also had some fairly high-profile names collaborating with you on the new LP.

Yes, we have been very lucky and it has been a privilege and an honour to work with these people. Carleen Anderson formerly of Young Disciples and Paul Weller’s band sang on ‘When You’re In My World’. Pete Williams from Dexy’s is a great songwriter. He plays on ‘Wonderous Place’ and ‘Stronger Than Us’. Paolo Hewitt does a spoken word piece called ‘Child of Wonder’.

Denis Bovell does a remix of ‘Don’t Let The Rain’ and Andy Fairweather Low was just great. His nephew, Lee, is a fan of the band and he kept on to Andy about doing something with us, and he agreed to do backing vocals, so we had a day trip to Cardiff and he sang on ‘Hold On’. It was great just to sit and chat with Andy and hear a few stories of those early days of modernism and the whole Sixties era.

You have recently returned from a mini tour of Japan, and now you’re preparing for Modstock. How was the tour and how hard is it to prepare for an event like Modstock?

Japan was an absolutely incredible experience, Tokyo is an amazing City, the crowds at the gigs we’re so enthusiastic too, culturally it is so different and leftfield to anything else you would experience.

The preperations for Modstock are underway, the only thing we have difficulty battling with are the time constraints of fitting it all in but we always manage to get there in the end.

How does it feel to be the house band on the British Legends Night, now you know exactly who you will be playing with?

It’s a great thrill and honour to be asked to be the house band and get the opportunity to not only meet but perform with people such as Kenney Jones and Eddie Phillips, who are artists that we grew up listening to, both the Creation and The Small faces made a great impact on our young tastes, I’m sure it will be a night to remember.

What expectations do you have for the British Legends Night and what can our audience expect from Stone Foundation and guests?

I expect it will be a lot of fun to play these songs with Kenney & Eddie and also get to do a Stone Foundation set and play a few of our new songs from the “To find the Spirit” album to an appreciative audience.

Neil Sheasby, thank you for talking to Nutsmag and best of luck with the new album ‘To Find The Spirit’ and the Modstock British Legends Night.

Web Links:

stonefoundation.co.uk
facebook.com/stonefoundation
twitter.com/stonefoundation
myspace.com/stonefoundation


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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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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , , ,
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Masters – Squire

This entry is part 19 of 20 in the series Masters1

Fronted by Anthony Meynell, Squire were arguably the best Mod act around when The Jam brought attention to this burgeoning scene in the late ’70s. With an impressive canon on timeless pop songs, as danceable as they are melodic, Squire sounded like no other band at the time and from their debut single onwards, Squire stood head and shoulders above anyone else. Squire were at the forefront of the ‘Mod Revival’, releasing the first single of the genre – Get Ready To Go, and kicking off the legendary Mods Mayday concert & live album. They released two fantastic singles for Arista – Walking Down The Kings Road, with anthemic Its A Mod Mod World on flip side, and Face Of Youth Today, and a fourth My Mind Goes Round In Circles featured Kirsty MacColl on vocals.

1. How did you get into mod?

My sister Kathleen is older than me. She was a mod in 1964 -65 and I was only six years old when this was happening. We lived in New Malden in Surrey and one of her first jobs was with Decca in the pressing plant and she used to bring home all the test pressings. I didn’t realise the relevance at the time, but we had adjacent bedrooms and she played these records while getting ready to go out as any 15 year-old would. My brother and I would sing along to these records, like you do when you’re five or six, because we loved the music. Anyway, at the time the Decca plant was pressing the Decca label, Immediate, Capitol, Stateside, Tamla and we were hearing these records before they came out. So in a way, it was unavoidable that I would be into that kind of music.

Although The Beatles were my favourites, I had such a soaking of soul music and I have still got all those records. A couple of years later, when my sister got married, I bought them off her for two quid or something because she didn’t want them anymore. She was a mod, but she lost interest when she married and settled down, so I had them, and until my brother and I could afford to buy our own records, these test pressings were all we played. That’s really how I got into mod. It was music mainly. As I got older I got into my own stuff, and then when I played in school bands it kind of stayed with me and between bands I started writing songs and that’s where it came out. I was still into the sixties sounds and I enjoyed writing songs, but with no band in mind, I bought myself a four track tape recorder and did a bit of over-dubbing and basically making demos, without realising they were demos.

2. How did you get involved with Squire?

By the seventies we had moved to Guildford and Squire came from Woking, which is only five miles away, but Guildford has it’s own music scene and if I was in any of it, it was in school bands from Guildford. Squire formed in 1974 as a bunch of friends from school and they had played together on and off for four years until I met them in 1978. I met them because my girlfriend Carolyn, worked as a hairdresser in the same shop that Enzo worked in. She mentioned that I had just left a band and had written some songs. I was writing stuff that sounded like The Crystals because I was very into girl groups. I did some demos and my girlfriend played them to Enzo who liked them.

He suggested that, as Squire wasn’t doing anything, why don’t we get together and do a rehearsal? So my brother Kevin and I went to Woking for the rehearsal. Enzo was ambitious. He had played in his band, but he wanted more and that’s how he and I connected really well. They had all gone to school with Paul Weller in Sheerwater and Enzo knew Paul quite well and I think Steve Baker may have been in the same class as Paul Weller. Anyway, Enzo heard the songs and wanted me in the band. They had a gig coming up supporting The Jam at Guildford Civic Hall and they didn’t want to do it as a three piece, they wanted to go as a four piece and do the songs of mine they had learnt, but they needed me in the band to do them. So I joined Squire, and they had Ross Dilanda, their original drummer back as well. Kevin had only stayed for the three weeks. The Jam gig refocused Squire. They wanted to do something, and they knew my songs were ‘poppy’ where they had been ‘punky’. I think the rest of the band was awkward about it and you can tell from the photos that there was the three of them and then me. I was in the band, but not part of it at that time really. The Jam gig was phenomenal, 1978, 1,000 people, The Jam at the height of their career, ‘All Mod Cons’ was just about to come out and they were on a roll. ‘A Bomb In Wardour Street’ was the song of the moment and we’re on stage with them in our hometown.

3. How did your role develop in the band?

It was a case of letting me write and get those songs into the set. That was the way it was going to go. The first songs we did were from the ‘Numbers’ demo tape. ‘Living In The City’ and things like that. They were quite punky, but they weren’t written with a particular band in mind, and I suppose some would say they were unsuitable. A lot of them ended up on a Squire fan club album as an interesting artefact because they were the first songs I gave to Squire to learn. We decided we were going to get a PA, get a demo tape together, do some gigs and see how far we could go. So Enzo and I quickly became friends and we did a demo, three of my songs and one of theirs. I think they wanted it to be two and two, but for whatever reason it was three and one. A friend of theirs became the manager and they sent the tape off to Rok Records who were going to put some singles out. They liked it and they wanted to put out ‘Get Ready To Go’ which

was one of mine, and their second choice was ‘Living in The City’ which was also one of mine. That kind of confirmed the fact that the songs that they wanted were mine and we found ourselves with a one-off record deal.

It was quite an important step for us, because it meant we could start getting into London and in 1978, it was a strange time because it was between punk and whatever was to come next.

4. So was there a pivotal moment when the fledgling Squire turned into the band we all know and love?

When the single came we knew we had to get the image right and next door to the hairdressers where Enzo worked was a clothes shop and the guy who owned it had been a mod in the sixties, heard the music and said we sounded mod. He suggested we wear Harringtons and Sta-prest and he would supply the clothes for us to go to London, so we did. When we went for the photo shoot for the single cover, we were a mod band totally, and we thought we were the only ones! Obviously we weren’t, but somewhere in London, something had happened and we discovered the more we played in London, the bands we heard that were like us. The first we heard about it was a snippet in New Musical Express that said a band called The Chords were playing a gig in Hampstead, so we went to have a look and there were twenty kids in parkas. This was our audience, we knew they would like us and Maximum Speed were there and we spoke to them. That made a big difference to us because we were in issue two of this mod magazine. We had a gig coming up in early 1979 at the Rock Garden Club which was upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s. The reason behind that was because The Jam had got a lot of record company interest by getting a gig upstairs at Ronnie Scott’s in 1976-’77 and they shipped two coach loads of fans up from Woking to be rent-a-crowd and invited record company people down who saw all these fans loving the gig and it worked for them.

So we decided to do the same and booked this gig and took two coach loads with us. By that time we had met The Purple Hearts and we did a deal where they would support us at the Rock Garden and at Ronnie Scotts and we would support them at their next gig, so they brought their crowd and there were all these people wedged into this small place but it was fantastic. We had crossed over and that opened the door into London. In a short space of time we had done The Jam gig, got the single, got the image right that suited the music and we were focused. It made sense to us. Mod had already started in London, mainly because of Jam fans, who were fanatics. They would go to every gig and they became the revival in a way. There weren’t many of them, but they had that in common and they dressed in parkas and so on, and that became the audience.

5.How did you get in to the Bridgehouse Mods Mayday gig?

We started to do gigs and took anything we could get and we did one with The Mods, who asked us what we were doing the following week. They told us about the Bridgehouse and how the gig was going to be recorded and they suggested we should go along. We said we hadn’t been invited, but they said we should go anyway. Enzo and I definitely wanted to go, but the others weren’t so enthusiastic, but we loaded the van anyway and went up there to blag ourselves a gig. We just thought we could get in front of an audience, even if they didn’t record us. When we turned up they told us to piss off, but as it turned out, a band called The Little Roosters were billed to play and didn’t show. So we were first or second on and there weren’t that many people there because it was the middle of the afternoon. Our entourage were making as much noise as they could and that’s how we ended up on the album, by sheer fluke really. I don’t think they quite knew where to place us. I mean The Purple Hearts, The Chords, The Mods, these are all quite obvious names and we weren’t from London, so we didn’t get the calls quite so much. Although we were getting gigs, we were building our own following rather than people asking us to play. Mod Mayday was actually a vehicle for Secret Affair. It was distributed by Arista and although it was on the Bridgehouse label, it was really an album to whet people’s appetite for Secret Affair before they were ready to launch at the end of September. The marketing was geared up to that. That same weekend The Chords and The Purple Hearts were playing The Marquee and this is the reason we didn’t go on the March Of The Mods tour. Asgard Promotions were doing Chords, Purple Hearts and Back to Zero and Arista was very interested in us and Secret Affair. So you had two camps effectively, and this kept occurring and crossing over wasn’t possible anymore because when you were doing a gig, they were doing a gig somewhere else and we didn’t get to meet up as much.

6. What was the inspiration for ‘Walking Down The Kings Road’?

It was simply that I had spent a lot of time on the Kings Road. It sounds corny, but it was that obvious. The Kings Road and that late sixties thing are close to my heart, because I came from New Malden, it was easy to get to. I’d been to Carnaby Street and Kings Road in the sixties as a kid, so I know what it was like. In the seventies, I still went there because the boutiques were still there and the vibe, but it was disappointing with all the punks. You wanted it to be the same although you knew it never would be, so ‘Walking Down The Kings Road’ was sort of a time tunnel, wishing you could turn around and it would be the sixties.

7. How do you feel about that song now? I mean arguably it’s the anthem for that time.

I’m surprised because it wasn’t conceived in that way. The b side, ‘It’s A Mod Mod World’ is a snap shot of my sister’s life. She went to Boxhill on a Sunday afternoon, she was a hairdresser, and all her money was for clothes. It was just a mod mod world. The songs were written from inspiration and they became a bit anthemic, which is a bit worrying, because you think it’s a novelty song and not taken seriously, but it was pop and I love pop, so it was everything I wanted it to be. Three minutes with a beginning and an end and it punched the air with enthusiasm. Then people enjoyed it, so it was a success and around the world it has become a bit of a catch phrase.

8. Squire broke up in 1980. What happened after that?

That’s when Hi-Lo Records started because the distributor said we still had a deal and if I recorded material, they would distribute it, and slowly I built it back up to being bigger than it was before. We had to use the name Anthony Meynell because we couldn’t use the name Squire. I had the demos of Arista stuff and other things we had done and that became the Anthony Meynell album. The distributor took it on but it fizzled out and I went back to college for about six months. I couldn’t let it go though and someone wrote a letter to me saying they had this record and it was Squire, so we stickered it as the Squire album and the distributor by now had become international and was sending it to really odd places like California and loads to Ireland.

What became apparent was that mod hadn’t died, it had just gone underground. I went to see the Purple Hearts in late 1980 or 1981 just to see what was going on and it was pretty dead in London. They were playing in front of 50 people again. I couldn’t get a band together to do the old stuff because no one wanted to play to 50 people, but I was still writing and I had a name and my brother was drumming, so with multi-tracking, we did another single called ‘No Time Tomorrow’ which was very much what I was into then. More psychedelic. I had gone from ‘Hard Days Night’ to ‘Revolver’ and I was very into Small Faces, Kinks, Creation, The Action. So ‘No Time Tomorrow’ as a result was psychedelia in 1980.

9. But it didn’t end there did it? Tell us about your travels around this time.

What we realised was that there was a third generation of mods out there in 1982. We did Eddie Pillar’s All Dayer and went down great. We went to Northern Ireland and went down a storm. We had a thousand people in the hall, we were on television, it was like being in The Beatles. We had a police escort to the record shop where we signed autographs and all of this was on the back of an independent label. It was phenomenal. It was nothing like before, where we had played second fiddle to somebody else. It was all our own doing and the Northern Ireland visit is still talked about today. I met David Holmes about three years ago in Tokyo and if anything what he and the others are doing is probably mod now without being revivalist, but he said he remembers that gig in Northern Ireland. Then we got some mail from California that convinced us to go there. They had the Anthony Meynell album, but they didn’t know what the difference was between Anthony Meynell and Squire.

Mod there was pop really. There was a band there who knew everything and they wanted to back me and it was a huge success. I was in the middle of recording ‘Get Smart’ which was going to have strings and horns on it and I thought, I’m not going to miss the chance of mixing this in California. This was in 1983.

I went to Ocean Way (formerly Western Recorders), where The Beach Boys did all their stuff. What an experience! I fell in love with the place and they fell in love with me. I did a couple of gigs with this band and although The Jam had been and gone, and I think Secret Affair had played there once, there was a scene, but no focus to it, but suddenly I was giving it importance by almost being an ambassador and what I was doing was pop. I did cable TV and radio. Rodney Bingenheimer is an important deejay who broadcasts to 12 million people in the LA area on KROK. He was famous in the sixties for being Davy Jones double in the Monkees and he is also a complete anglophile who went round San Francisco with George Harrison in the late sixties and he loves English music. He wanted to interview me and the week before it had been Culture Club who were huge then and the week after was The Bangles who were just coming up, but in the middle was me and I was treated just the same. They thought me and Boy George lived next door to each other over here or something. They played 22 Squire records back-to-back to 12 million people and you just can’t buy that kind of exposure. They just loved the music and when they ran out of records, they gave me an acoustic guitar and I sang live because they wanted to hear more.

My influences have always been power pop and when I was in America, I was very aware of the psychedelia there, the Rain Parade, the Bangles, The Three O’clock. I got to meet them all and they had an influence on me, then there was The Plimsolls, The DB, The Twenty-Twenty and I found a kinship with those bands because there wasn’t another band like Squire in the UK anymore. The Americans liked ‘Girl On A Train’ and the ‘Get Smart’ album because it wasn’t overtly mod, but Squire was a pop band and we were well received. Although we looked mod, we were pop as well and the mod idealism was still there. The idealism that I knew was one of really enthusiastic people, all doing something. They’ve got a fanzine, they’ve got a label, they’ve got an attitude, they want to go somewhere, they want to create something, it’s very important and they had a style, which, if it’s not dress, it’s just self-esteem, or they strive to that anyway.

10. It is curious how this thing we call ‘mod’ based in British subculture has taken root around the world.

I’ve had mail from all over the planet and there really are mods everywhere. Where there’s a mod there’s a fanzine, there’ll be clubs, music, something happening, silly arguments about what you wear or listen to. For me it’s about someone discovering music and maybe going back in time to discover where it came from, getting into it, forming your own ideas and taking it on, but it’s not a bad starting point, and it’s such a wealth of music. I discovered fifties and forties music, blues and everything. That odd section called ‘mod’ is quite funny and endearing to me because I’m part of it in some respects, but I’m pleased it has longevity. It has tried to reinvent itself and I think some people do get confused by the sixties imagery of mod and mods in the seventies who were really soul boys. Mods in the eighties were probably, not Blur, but someone else and mod now is….well who cares? If you’re looking for style and attitude, they are there. If they are having fun, then more power to them because they will evolve into something else, but as soon as you say ‘I can’t go there because mod didn’t’ your dead in the water.

11. So here we are in 2014 and the 50 year celebration of that pivotal year of mod history, 1964. How does that feel to be a part of that mod history?

I like the fact that the 50th Anniversary of Mod concerts acknowledge not only 1964, but that the subsequent revivals and reincarnations belong under the same umbrella. Its interesting because the 79 Mod Revival is closer in time to when The Beatles were together in 69, than when Brit pop existed in the early 90’s so the Revival is almost part of the early history. I was writing songs about Kings Road and Carnaby Street from memories of actually being there as a child in the 60’s rather than from a book or a photo. And I think the mod revival plays a pivotal role in the longevity of Mod, with the many books, records and media documenting Mod, produced by people who first discovered mod at that time, for others to discover it again further down the line. I’m astounded also by the number of bands from the era that are still playing in close to original line up, celebrating the camaraderie and original intention, perhaps grateful of the niche audience that is always there for them. But then Mod has always been about individualism in the face of mainstream adversity! And its International.

12. You are appearing at Modstock 3 with your old label mates Secret Affair. How do you feel about that?

I’m excited to play with them again. We complement each other on stage and it was always a fantastic event when we played together in 1979. That was the last time! This will be truly a one off experience for anyone who wished they’d seen us back then because we’ll be celebrating with the same songs, and I expect they will as well, and I expect the audience will go nuts!

13. So what can we expect from Squire on the night?

Well, the last two concerts we played were Los Angeles and Madrid and we’re on a roll at the moment. I’m under the impression, and I think you can see from the various videos that appear online, that we are playing better than we ever have. We’re playing early this time, 8pm on the dot so everyone get in there early because it being the first performance of the entire Mod celebration, I wonder if you can guess what song we’re going to kick off with …?

Web Links:

squirenet.co.uk
facebook.com/Squire
twitter.com/squiremod


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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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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , , ,
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Modstock Fashion: A Dandy in Aspic

I am Caspar de la Mare great grandson of Walter de la Mare English poet/writer and owner of A Dandy in Aspic vintage clothing we sell true vintage from ’39-’79 with a heavy bias towards menswear we have a very large collection of 1960’s men’s and women’s clothes and accessories as well as many classic earlier pieces find us online HERE!

01. How did you get into the whole Mod thing and 60’s style vintage clothing?

I have had a liking for all things (especially music) from the 60’s, for many years (I lived through the tail end of it, albeit as a toddler) it probably really started In the 80s when I was totally into soul (and funk) music and getting big into Northern Soul and I love anything with a Hammond groove. I would search out any clubs that were playing this kind of thing and becoming a regular patron, soon you start to get to meet people there and you start to find out more about the different scenes. As the years have gone by my musical tastes have broadened somewhat and I have grown to like a lot of different styles genres, Garage, psych, rock etc. The clothes came with the music I always wanted to look like the music I listened to. I have never pigeon holed myself style wise although I always try and  go for a 60s flavour nowadays it is more dandy .taking inspiration from the peacocks of the day and also from other eras (as did the 60s dandies)

02. When did you start up A Dandy in Aspic?

I began selling clothes on Portobello market in the mid 90’s, and continued there until  around 2006 before moving to Camden Market.

03. What sort of people come to your boutique/shop? Aspiring or existing Mod and Dandies? Describe what you think your typical customer is like?

I have many types of customers, mods ,dandies, actors and musicians and stylists to fashion designers, but one thing they all have in common is style over fashion. I have a growing number of younger dandies who are heavily influenced by the late 60’s peacock period and are very knowledgeable about the music and style of the time, many of them are in bands or aspiring musicians.

04. You are a respected Stylist, what type of advice do you offer to aspiring Dandies?

As the late Hardy Amies wrote in his book “the A to Z of Men’s Fashion” a gentleman should take time over his appearance to make it look as though he has taken no time at all “Choose your clothes carefully, put them on and then forget all about them”. Find your own style don’t just follow the herd, dare to be bold in your style choice, (but sometimes less is more). And with regards to personal style/ taste, it suits the wearer not the starer.

05. Is your stock formed by your personal taste? Do you go for specific styles  and designs, or do you like to experiment?

Yes my stock is very personal. I tend to go for things that appeal to my personal taste as well as some  classic styles that have a broader appeal . my stock is not  influenced by current trends.( Although I do keep an eye on what’s happening fashion wise.) “Fashion is for the masses. Style is for the individual” and my customers seem to like my taste/style. I like to experiment by mixing different eras, which is what the dandies of the 60’s were doing, even they were inspired by the past.

06. Which designers have you been most influenced by?

I am not really influenced by designers. For me its all about the look. I think people can be too brand obsessed.

07. Where else do you get your inspiration?

I take my inspiration from many sources. Usually from other stylish people, take some of their look and make it my own.

08. How would you describe your own style?

Dandy.

09. Favourite item of clothing?

My wedding suit, a 3 piece made by the legendary tailor Tommy Nutter.

10. How can people that want to hire your services as a Stylist best approach you?

They can come and see me personally for a consultation in my shop  A Dandy In Aspic  in Camden or they can email me HERE! and arrange a consultation.

11. What do you think of the way young people generally dress today?

There is not much individuality, there are more followers than leaders, and I am not a big fan of Hipsters and all that facial hair.

12. Who are your hero’s from the wider world of culture and who are your zero’s?

There are too many to name them all but my biggest hero is Brian Jones he was a real 20th century dandy.

13. What do you do to relax? What makes you laugh?

I love the theatre and movies and I like to watch live stand up.

14. Tell us a bit about what you’ll be showing at the Modstock fashion show?

I will be showcasing some of my collection of men’s and women’s original 1960’s clothing. Many items are new old stock and have never been worn. I will be showing a variety of styles from the very early 60’s  ivy/mod look through to the beginning of the swinging London period.

15. You are also the floor manager for the Modstock fashion show, are you looking forward to the day itself?

I am very nervous as I have never done anything like this before, but yes I am looking forward to it.

16. What plans do you have for the future?

Watch this space!

17. We hear that you are a sometime Thespian, tell us more?

I am a fully trained actor, 3 years classical training at drama school and 2 years private tuition in Method acting. I still act when the work is there, these days I spend more time with my business which I love as much.

18. You were heavily involved with the READY, STEADY, SEW! Documentary from Modstock 2004, what are you memories of this?

I had a lot of fun working on the narration and going with Sean Michael Wilson and Angie Smith to interview  John Pearse from Granny takes a trip.


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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?

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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Events Fashion Front Page Interviews Style Tags:, , ,
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Les Cappuccino (NewBreed)

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Newbreed3

Les Cappuccino was formed late 1995 by Tommy (guitar) and Marie (organ) in Kobe, inspired by Jimmy Smith, Booker T, Manfred Mann and J.T.Q. A year later they got a bass player Chiggy joined. Till now various drummers had been joined. They reproduce perfectly the tone of British & French pop of the 60’s. And their looks are just like slip away from Courréges catwalk, this group brings perfect “Mods” balance to the Pop scene. Considered as the most interesting group of the Mod Sixties scene in Japan. The band has been playing at lots of Japanese mod/sixties events, Mods Mayday in Osaka, Kyoto, Nagoya, and Fukuoka and March of The Mods in Tokyo since they was formed.

Band Members:
Guitar – Tommy
Organ – Marie
Bass – Chiggy
Drum – Watashiban (Support)
Percussion – SE Groove Unchant

Discography: 2002 – Album ‘Ultra Kitsch’ French FGL Production, 2005 – 7” Vinyl ‘My Generation’ UK Detour, 2009 – Compilation Album ‘Hammond Street4 ‘ Acid Jazz Label

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

In the early 90s, I (Tommy) was a guitarist for a garage, surf-instrumental band, but when I first came across a record by Booker T, Jimmy Smith and J.T.Q I decided that organ-based bands were cooler. In 1995, started Les Cappuccino with organ player Marie. The bass player Chiggy joined when she saw a flyer.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

60s films, fashion, music.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

The Hammond connection and The Absolute. The Absolute play soulful songs as well as Revolver sounding original songs.
The Hammond connection, their main feature is the stylish and pop sounding girl’s vocal.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

In the 1980s only Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya had a Mod scene, in the 1990s the rest of the main cities started to have Mod scenes. Nude Restaurant in Kobe which is famous for Northern Soul started at that time.

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Early J.T.Q mixed with France Gall, Twiggy and Pete Townshend.

06. What are your live shows like?

Hot and the coolest!

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

I’m really into 60s beat, The Beatles, The Small Faces, Manfred Mann etc. We would like to play club music with the instruments these bands used.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Well, for me every influence comes from 60s musicians. Manfred Mann’s beard and the glasses. John Lennon’s hat, glasses, everything.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

I (Tommy) write all songs, except when I write lyrics I ask some help from best friend Phil Hopper (former 5:30 drummer)

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

We like to play “ Blow up” “Move Move Move” at gigs because they are so excited to play. From our original songs I gonna choose the songs we play “Blue Bird” “This Girl” “I Touch the Sun” “Madison Agent 005”

11. How would you describe the current underground scene? Do you participate?

In Kansai area, Nude Restaurant and Mods Mayday are famous, and in Tokyo area, there are many events from big one to small one, we often go to Tokyo to play.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

After Tokyo’s (almost every month) gig we drove 600km back to home straight away. We try to be economic.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

Now Chiggy and our current drummer live in Tokyo and Yokohama, it is difficult to rehearse often. Instead of rehearsing, we do play at gig every month. A Japanese Mod band’s compilation album we joined will be release by Acid Jazz Label in this June or July. A tribute album of Japanese Freak Beat Band called The Private will be released on 25 Apr. Now we have got lots of original vocal songs we really want to make a record in this year.

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

60s club music are not major. People love 60s music, they come to see us to experience real 60’s performance.

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

Hmm… The Mayflowers! I recommend our friend band “The Mayflowers” which is the quite well-known Japanese Power Pop band.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Acid Jazz, Detour… anyone who understands our music.

17. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

We want to play our original songs as well as Hammond cover music. Our next big gig is of course Modstock3 @ Easter (April 2014) in London! After we come back to Japan, our annual regular event, Mods Mayday in Osaka and Nagoya. More interesting gigs are coming up. Please check our Website.

Weblinks:

lescappuccino.com
facebook.com/lescappuccino
twitter.com/LesCappuccino


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drrobert

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: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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The Turning (NewBreed)

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Newbreed3

The Turning are a 4-Piece Mod/Indie based in London. Formed in March 2013, by April 4th they produce and record Magazine Street and did their first sold out gig on the 13th April in the old John Bull in Chiswick. Their first city Centre full house was at the Blastbeat UK Finals event in the 229 Club on July 7th when Josh from The Strypes joined them on stage for the last song. The Turning are heavily influenced by bands from all decades such as The Beatles,The Kinks,The Doors, The Jam, The Who, Oasis and many more. The Turning have an EP on iTunes including Debut Single “Magazine Street” and new single “Stand Clear of My Mind” and will be gigging around the UK throughout the beginning of 2014!

Band Members:
Luke McLaughlin (Vocals and Guitar)
David Bardon (Lead Guitar)
Louis Gilbert (Bass)
Ruben Kenton-Harris (Drums)

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

The band has been going for about a year now… Ruben, Louis and myself (David) have been playing for about 4 years all together but we met Luke at a gig that our manager had put on and asked him to join and he was up for it so that was the start really…

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

Influences range from a lot of stuff from early blues music to modern indie style music. We’re all into 60’s R’n’B and the garage stuff but are also like T.Rex, The Jam, Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Kasabian.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

Not really unfortunately!

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

There’s not an awful lot really in West London, which is a shame as so much of the early R’n’B stuff in the 60s was going on round the corner but there’s a few people our age who are into the Beatles, Stones, Kinks etc but it’d be hard to call it a scene unfortunately!

05. How would you describe the style you play?

I’d say it’s quite like a punk band doing R’n’B and Rock ‘n’ Roll tunes!

06. What are your live shows like?

It’s normally about half half of our tunes and old Rock ‘n’ Roll/ R’n’B tunes! We like to mix the new with the old!

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Our main influences are 60’s bands like The Beatles, The Stones, The Who etc but we like to track those bands back to their influences, so we get quite a bit of Chuck in there and lots of 50’s Rock ‘n’ Roll tunes.

It’s easy to slag off bands like One Direction and the modern pop music scene but at the end of the day, that stuff has and will always be there, what we do is a completely different thing and we don’t despise anything particularly because music is not about despising what other people do. It’s about doing your own thing and making other people enjoy that!

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

We’re all big footy fans which manages to keep conversation flowing on tour a lot of the time, generally we’re also into politics (so un-Rock ‘n’ Roll perhaps?) and stuff like that which we all find quite intriguing!

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

David writes most of the tunes but Luke also chips in with riffs/ideas and works on the vocal melodies as he is the singer. I (David) don’t really focus on trying to have any particular theme to my writing but write about things/people I see and meet and try to write in a way other people can relate to, but generally there’s no underlying theme to what I try and write about.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Well we’ve just started doing What I’d Say by Ray Charles, which is sounding really cool but maybe that’s because it’s a new one! We also do a tune of ours called ‘How to Play the Game’ which is pretty cool and really fun to play live!

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

We are all massive fans of what The New Untouchables are doing and could all say its opened our eyes (ears) to a lot of great 60’s bands and songs that we never knew existed! We’ve been to Mousetrap a few times and it’s just blown our mind, the vibe is cool and it’s great knowing there is somewhere in London that guarantees good music and great people that are all on the same wavelength!

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

I think the biggest challenge is the whole thing really…becoming a great live band is a really hard skill to craft but we’re just trying to do it the old school way but just writing, rehearsing and gigging and trying to create a buzz! It’s a hard job being in a band but I think we all believe if we feel we are good enough it will happen and we aint gonna stop until we are good enough!

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We generally try and rehearse every day for about 2 hours and just go over songs and try and make them better than they were at the last gig! We play live, on average, about twice a month but we are always flat out on the rehearsals. We hope to be recording just before our Modstock gig. We would of just done a 5 day stint in a bar in Lanzorote playing 1hr and a half a night so we should be really tight and at our best by then so hope to record the tune we mentioned above, ‘How to Play the Game’ which hopefully should be our next single!

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Well probably the wrong music gets the most coverage but I think that can change if we get a scene buzzing and we feel it is happening with bands like ‘The Strypes’ and Jake Bugg who seem to dragging people back to listening to proper music but of course it takes a few bands to make this scene work, but when it does, the media will be all over it!

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

The Strypes are probably the best live band in the country at the moment! I (David) saw them first at Le Beat Bespoke last year and they just blew my fucking mind, musically and as people they are just lovely lads! Temples are also great, great songwriting and a really cool neo-psych sound! Underground-wise Sisterray and Hypnotic eye are really cool, the main thing is all the good bands getting the attention they deserve.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

Abbey Road studio 2 has gotta be the one (excuse the cliché). That room must have some crazy drug in there that no one knows about!

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

Gigging is really the priority at the moment and just perfecting the live set nailed! We’re planning quite a few shows around the country in July so we should be getting to some places we haven’t been yet. I guess all our ambitions is to just make a career playing music and not have to get a proper job!

Weblinks:

theturningofficial.com
facebook.com/TheTurningOfficial
twitter.com/TurningOfficial 


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drrobert

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: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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April 4, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Alex Butler and the Opals (NewBreed)

This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Newbreed3

Alex Butler has always stood out from the crowd. Standing six foot six in his Cuban heels, he’s classically tall, dark and handsome. There’s his taste for sharp Sixties suits and oversized retro specs. And then there’s the unicycle. Growing up in Newcastle, Alex was torn between two careers. He could have run away to join the circus, like his acrobat grandma who taught him how to walk the tightrope. Or he could concentrate on his music. It is the circus people’s loss and our good fortune that the 20 year-old singer-songwriter chose music.

Band Members:
Alex Butler – vox and guitar
Adam Hope- vox and guitar
Alex Blamire – vox and bass
Giovanni Velez – drums

Discography: ‘Turn’ EP available on iTunes

01. How long have you been active for and how did you get together?

I was picked as Nick Grimshaw’s up and coming artist about 6 months back. I formed the Opals a short while after this. I started to get a lot of press attention, I knew I had to put together a band with a massive live energy. Our drummers Italian and the rest of us are Geordies, I think that’s a magic combination.

02. What influences do the band members have in common?

We are all massively influenced by 1960’s music, I think that’s the common thread. The addictive melodies of Motown and Stax have had a massive effect on my writing. I’ve always believed that a song has to have an irresistibly catchy chorus at the heart of it.

03. Are there any other bands you’d recommend from your area? Why?

We’ve bumped into the lads from the heartbreaks a couple of times since we moved to London, I really like what they are doing at the moment. I love the way they have a sound that’s firmly rooted in the past with a modern twist.

04. What’s the 60’s/underground scene like where you’re from?

There is a small but passionate mod crowd in Newcastle. Everyone into 60’s and rock and roll tunes hangs about at the Dog and Parrot. It’s the my favorite pub in the world it’s a place you can escape from the monotony of shit house music and chart tunes…

05. How would you describe the style you play?

Melodically driven New Wave.

06. What are your live shows like?

We believe you have to absorb yourself in the song when you are performing. If you come to see us you can expect a passionate performance.

07. What are your main influences in music? Who do/would you play covers by? And who do you despise?

Phil Spector’s ‘wall of sound’ production is the definitive 60’s sound for me… The feeling captured in his recordings has been a huge source of inspirational to me. The tunes released on Stax, Motown, Chess and Trojan have also been massively influential. We don’t generally play covers but, if we’re sitting round the house with acoustic guitars we sing a lot of Everly Brothers numbers. The majority of pop is pretty horrendous at the moment… I despise this whole house music movement. Josh Homme from ‘Queens of the Stoneage’ is a pretty tragic character as well. He wears sweat bands… enough said.

08. What are your main influences outside of music?

Outlandish 3 button suits, Cuban heel Chelsea boots and 1.5 litre bottles of Lambrini.

09. Who writes your songs and what subjects do you deal with?

I write the majority of the material, recently we have started writing together and it sounds brilliant! Having been influenced by the likes of the Kinks and the Beatles melodically, growing up in Newcastle the subject matter is somewhat different. The kinks casually observed the Waterloo sunset, I had drunken orange girls in enormous heels to inspire me.

10. What’s your favorite song in your repertoire currently? What’s your favourite song by another artist?

Our next single is a song called ‘Bye bye love’ we close our new set with it and it sounds spot on! My favourite song of all time is ‘Be my baby’ by The Ronettes, it’s just perfect in every way…

11. How would you describe the current underground scene?  Do you participate?

I feel like there has been a massive lack of exciting guitar bands in the last few years. In the last few months I’ve seen and heard a load of exciting new sounds and signs of a fresh talent emerging. I love the new wave of psychedelic bands, that’s something which has caught my attention.

12. What has been the biggest challenge to date?

We have faced a few challenging situations as a band… None quite as challenging as trying to fit all our amplifiers and guitars into the back of a Ford Galaxy Taxi one night after a heavy night on the lash.

13. How often do you Rehearse? Play Live? Record? Anything interesting coming up?

We rehearse and write a good few times a week… We have a ton of fantastic live dates coming up. We are very much looking forward to playing the Modstock event, its brilliant that the lineup includes legendary Soul artists and some of the best up and coming mod acts about…

14. What do you think of the music coverage in the media?

Having had a lull in guitar music over the past few years I think some of the music press have struggled to report anything particularly ground breaking. There seems to be a constant stream of magazines with The Smiths on every cover. NME released their top 500 songs of all time a few weeks back… When John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ is around 400 and Eminem’s ‘Stan’ is in the top 100, there has to be some questions asked!

15. Do you rate any current mainstream or underground bands?

I think Temples are absolutely brilliant…Their image and songwriting are an inspiration to all the up and coming bands influenced by 1960’s music. We’ve all grown up listening to the Arctic Monkeys so Alex Turner is always going to be a favorite of ours.

16. Who/Where would you most like to record with and why?

We’d love to record with Phil Spector but the logistics of setting up a studio in his prison cell would probably be a little bit of a nightmare.

17. What should we expect from you in the future?  What are your plans and ambitions? What interesting gig dates have you got coming up?

You can rely on us for a steady flow of irresistibly catchy tunes. We have a whole host of brilliant dates coming up across the UK, you can check them out on our website.

We are so excited about playing at Modstock3 in April 2014 (Easter), in London. We play on the Saturday afternoon (12-5pm) the 19th of April. As part of the NUTsMAG showcase in Venue 2.

Like any other young musician my ambition is to headline Glastonbury and get a few Brits for the mantelpiece. When I get a bit older I’d hope to live in a large house full of beautiful long legged models a bit like Hugh Heffner. I’ve already got the smoking jacket, I suppose that’s a start.

Weblinks:

alexbutlermusic.com
facebook.com/pages/Alex-Butler
twitter.com/butlerchat


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drrobert

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: newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare vintage vinyl.

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March 18, 2014 By : Category : Bands Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Rob Bailey Modstock Album Interview

I managed to catch up with Rob Bailey DJ and compiler of the ‘Le Beat Bespoke’ series about his new project Modstock-21st Century Club Classics album.

01. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the Modstock Event to get us started?

The first Modstock was in 1994 and held in Saarbrucken, a small town on the German border. Mods from all over Europe came for 3 days of non-stop fun. The second Modstock was held in London in 2004 and was a very ambitious project that included all aspects of Mod Culture including fashion, art, music and transport. We will be showing for the first time ever footage from Modstock2 and also 1994 in our bespoke film tailored especially for this event.

02. What were the driving factors to get the LP and CD in place for the event in 2014?

I wanted the Modstock album to different from my ‘Le Beat Bespoke’ series.

At the start I wanted to do create an underground version of ‘20 Mod Club Classics’ but quickly realised all those songs had been compiled many times before and already in most people’s collections. As I started to go through my own collection I realised just how many great songs given the right exposure could be ‘21st Century Mod Club Classics’.

03. How is the CD different from the Vinyl LP?

At the start I wanted to include one recording from all the artists performing at Modstock-50 on both the vinyl and CD. Sixteen tracks (eight each side) is just about the maximum you can include without losing too much quality on the pressing. I also wanted the album to sequence like a DJ set with only small gaps so it could be played at your house party as well as your car. With the wide variety of Mod inspired music spanning over six decades this was near on impossible, especially when you factor in the time restraints. So I opted to add tracks from the band playing at ‘Modstock 50’ onto the CD with the exception of Brenda. There are some exclusive studio tracks from a couple of the bands on the CD version.

04. Where did you produce the Project?

I found a great studio called Art Space close to home in Brixton Hill where I live. We recorded some tracks directly from vinyl and others from the masters with great results. I’m very pleased with the sound and also the bespoke artwork by BazDen at Pip! Pip! It’s a great package and one that I’m proud off.

05. You are working with Dizzy and the Team at Detour Records on this one? How comes?

The first Modstock album was released on Detour Records in 1994/95 and featured two live tracks from each band recorded at the original event. For the 50th anniversary I wanted to create a different project this time focusing more on DJ selections as well as studio recordings from the live bands for the CD version.

06. Run us through some of your fave picks from The CD and the Vinyl?

It’s great to be able select from the more authentic Mod club sound spectrum as well. It also meant I had to revisit my entire collection where I found some gems that have been in my collection over twenty years that I had completely forgotten about like The Gass, Quartet Tres Bein and The St James Group. The new sounds I am very impressed with The Stone Foundation version of the Bobby Bland classic which is an exclusive for the project.

07. Are there any really rare tracks included of note?

There are some really rare tracks some things I have never seen again like UK releases from The Ranglers and The Gass. There are some tracks from masters as well as super rare records like the Undertakers.

08. Have some of the tracks been well received from the Dancefloors of various NUTs events?

I’m very happy to see tracks like ‘Love’s A Workin’ make this collection as I had been playing it in my DJ set for quite a while and it was always well received. The album is a mix that includes a couple of classics like Teddy Mack and Gentlemen June Gardner as well as current sounds and new discoveries.

09. Where can folks grab a copy and will there be any more in the series in the future?

The album will be on sale during Modstock; advance orders are available now from the Nutstore and will be posted out shortly after Modstock.


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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?

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March 7, 2014 By : Category : Front Page Interviews Tags:, ,
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The Apemen Interview

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Movers and Shakers

Though founded in Saarbruecken, Germany in 1992, the Apemen’s music would fool many into believing they are a homegrown UK bunch with their pure British sound. Influenced by early British R&B and Beat bands and describing themselves as “mad chimpanzees on speed” – The Apemen’s sounds is an uncompromising assault from the offset that has gained them a reputation of one of the finest, precise and most exciting live bands on the European circuit.

We caught up with members Nuss and Brix, as they prepare to kick off the entire weekend’s festivities at Modstock, to find out more about the band.

01. Where is the band from?

Our hometown Saarbruecken is located in the south-western part of Germany, sandwiched between France, Luxembourg and Germany.

02. How did the band come together and what got you inspired to make music together?

Some of us already met at primary school. Music is a force you can hardly resist once it catches you.

03. What is the mod scene like in Saarbruecken?

The regional 60’s/undergroud scene in was huge in the 90s. The very first Modstock ’94 event was started in Saarbruecken. Today our singer Tom is running his regular Allnighter once a month, with big success.

04. How would you describe the style of The Apemen?

Wild and raw!

05. What can the uninitiated expect from you live?

Our shows are like a mission. It’s a Beat-Blitzkrieg, nothing for the Kindergarten!

06. Who has influenced the band? Who do you draw inspiration from when writing or playing?

Too many to put into a short list. Probably The Who and The Small Faces are the most prominent to mention.

07. What are your main influences outside of music?

Beer, Chartreuse, Jägermeister and the local Pubs.

08. What subjects do you deal with when writing?

We write our own songs. They are mostly about romantic topics.

09. What’s your favorite song in your setlist currently?

Our favourite song on the setlist? – Always the last, then we’re sure we survived the show and can go back to the… you may already know.

10. What has been the bands biggest challenge?

To fit back into the stage outfits after nearly 10 years…

11. How often do you rehearse and play live?

Rehearse? What do you mean? Sometimes we play together, most of the time some people – less or more – are in front of us.

12. With who and where would you most like to record and why?

Michael Jackson on his crazy ranch. That would be fun.

13. What should we expect from you in the future? What are your plans as a band?

We are strongly looking forward to Modstock 2024…

14. Who are you most looking forward to seeing on the Modstock bill?

We’re only there for the girls after the show… sadly we have to fly back to Germany on Friday… but of course its a great honor to support Secret Affair, funny enough “Time for Action“ was our intro during the 2013 Reunion Tour.

15. What can we expect from your Modstock performance? What have you got in store for us?

A couple of mad Germans running around in circles.

As protagonists from the first Modstock event 20 years ago we are pleased to welcome The Apemen to the Modstock bill with the honour of kicking off the whole weekend.

You can find out more about the “mad chimpanzees” at www.the-apemen.de


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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!

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March 7, 2014 By : Category : Bands Beat Front Page Interviews Music RnB Tags:, , , ,
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