Friday, 1 July 2016

DIRTY MOD. Seleced finds for filthy minds.

'Sure, mod is about clean living under difficult circumstances, okay, I hear you, but sometimes you can put too much starch in your collar. From the very origins of the modernist scene, faces got down and dirty; box-suited and aloof in smoky Soho joints; ruining their chukkas in rhythm & blues crowd frenzies; dance-floors heaving with a heavy fug of hormones and hair lacquer; the blur of adrenalin and perspiration; blocked and bloodied as all-nighters spilt into weekends, sand in the hair and blisters in boots. Beatles or The Stones? I'll take the latter, the swivel-hip sex appeal that made bad girls screech, maddened and moist, torn hair in tufts, fitful nights of turning and tossing, crying themselves to sleep with guilty, filthy thoughts. The history of mod is sweat soaked and ear-splitting, limbs and microphones flaying; the loudest bands, the proudest; high-rise volume, distorted, disjointed, under the influence, pounding twelve bar, gritty rock and roll soul music that has influenced the groups on this compilation album; turn it up, jump, hump, shout and get busy ... to Dirty Mod!' (Searle, Dirty Mod, (2016)).

Featuring, the Uks finest garage rock bands, The Fallen Leaves, Dave's Doors Of Perception, and Eight Rounds Rapid. Parisian minxes, The Buns. Swivel hip rockers, Maker, and and The Sons Of Mod. Grunge Blues hipsters, The Monkey Gland Blues Band, The Beatniks, King Mojo and The Get-Go, enthusiastic youthful soul from Samuel Rogers and his band, plus another great cover version from The Third Degree, (the band that had that hit with Duffy's Mercy); Dirty Mod has little to do with the self-conscious preening of the generic spat of 'mod bands,' concentrating instead on the hard-grafting, gritty R&B outfits that splintered the boards of the original mildew stained nightclubs and jazz-bars of a scene first inventing itself in passion and sweat . This is a great compilation album.
Track listing:
1.The Samuel Rogers Band – Liven Up.
2.The Monkey Gland Blues Band – Shake It Down.
3.The Third Degree – Toxic.
4.The Buns – Thrill Me Up.
5.THE FALLEn leaVES – Did You See Her.
6.Eight Rounds Rapid – Bully Boy.
7.The Get-Go – Rockin' Girl.
8.Maker – Move Your Feet.
9.The Beatniks – CC (Love Surprise).
10.The Sons Of MOD – This Is Sound.
11.The Outcrowd – Booze Monkey.
12.Dave's Doors Of Perception – Sex & Drugs & Armed Revolution.
13. King Mojo – Ejector Seat.

Play Loud!

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The Third Degree - TOXIC

The Third Degree was the band that fooled the nation that Duffy's hit record, Mercy, was a cover version of an older, much better, Northern Soul original; were you fooled?

Another modern classic gets The Third Degree treatment; this time it's Madonna-snogger Britney Spears' turn to be outclassed with this audacious version of Toxic, re-imagined as a heavy soul rocker. 

Sounding like the mutant lovechild of seventies stadium fillers, Chicago and Meatloaf, with a guitar riff reminiscent of The Knacks My Sherona, a driving bass line similar to The Spencer Davis Groups Keep On Runningplus moody horn section and soulful vocal, this red hot seven inch vinyl funk master-class will be an instant DJ deck essential, getting dancing shoes spinning on polished boards in late night dance joints everywhere.

The flip side is I Kissed A Girl, the song that made Katy Perry famous ... But whose version came first?




Taken from the forthcoming Well Suspect Records compilation album Dirty Mod.
Available from wellsuspect.com. 

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Generation Mod

Mod created the world in six days ... and it was good. On the first day, the be-suited sharp set distinguished themselves from duffel coated 50s traditional jazz fans (Trads) by identifying with the caffeine fuelled heartbeat of modern jazz; the Moderns established a precedent in music and style that spilled into the next decade. On the second day, a crowd of working class kids discovered 60s soul, invested their disposable income on multi-coloured amphetamines and gathered at all-night rave-ups; an offshoot clique of suede headed peacocks broadened the musical palette with Jamaican ska. On the third day a parallel of punk rock, with a fresh faced mod-father as its feather headed spokesman, inspired kids to stitch targets to musty parkas and glory to the new wave; this mod revival swelled in ranks and battled through to the early eighties. On the fourth day, a new decade witnessed an independent record label christen a music genre of the same name, as a family of beat bands reclaimed mod in all its acid jazzy moods and fancies. On the fifth day, a gathering of mid-nineties musicians re-invented lad-rock, reclaiming it as British. On the sixth day, inspired by the moderns, the suedes, the revivalists, beatniks and the brit-popper - yet another batch of bands site mod as their musical motivation. These bands and their fans are… Generation Mod! (Searle. Generation Mod. Well Suspect Records (2016)).

No matter how you choose to define your modernist self; be it Italian shoe obsessed, or mohair suit specific; three-finger button-down slim-fit fanatical, a bouffant comb-overed middle-aged polo-shirt wearing scooter enthusiastic... or simply a kid in a target T,  the mod scene has, and always will be, about the music; Generation Mod is a celebration of that fact.
       Released on the fresh faced Well Suspect record label, this compilation features an eclectic and contemporary musical reach that will appeal to most mod tastes, soul, ska, beat and psych.
Featuring:
Dogtooth - Get In Get Out; they are only 13,14 and 16 years of age and they rock!  A band to watch. 
Dave's Doors of Perception; south London's nastiest noisiest garage psych band, make their Farfisa drenched debut with Falling.
Motown legend, Martha Reeves, called Samuel S. Parkes "the genuine spirit of Northern Soul," Samuel opens side one with Let Me Go. 
Dirty rock slags, The Get Go, turn their attentions to the Ike and Tina Turner classic, Nutbush City Limits
Italy's finest, The Mads,offer the melodic stomper What I Need.
French Boutik, reinvent the torch song with Mieux Comme Ca.
Men Of North Country get extra Northern with They Don't Know.
      
There are a total of fourteen tracks including fine offerings from Andy Lewis, The Moons and New Street Adventure, but possibly the highlight is the track, also released as a limited edition seven inch single for Record Store Day, Private Jones - I Got By In Time; if you don't manage to get yourself the seven, then order Generation Mod now; it's gonna be hot!  

   

Monday, 21 March 2016

Men Of North Country: This City.

It’s been 3 years since Tel Aviv’s indie-soul outfit, Men Of North Country, released their critically acclaimed debut LP, The North, on Acid Jazz Records. In the meantime they have been keeping themselves busy, touring Europe no less than five times, including Germany, France, Italy and the Czech Republic and were greeted with excitement all over Europe’s Mod and Soul scene; that hard work has apparently paid off.

MONC's much anticipated second album, This City, won't disappoint; it still contains the sixties inspired dance floor killers of its predecessor, but the musical palette has broadened, sonically its a much harder edged record, yet the lyrics and vocals convey a spectacular soulfulness; it turns out that the bands 'tricky second album' is a masterpiece.

The band describe their sound as 'space mod lounge music that emerged from the Bauhaus inspired architecture of Tel Aviv and a thousand other influences:most of them unexpected'. Twelve tracks infuse Northern Soul, Post-Punk and Nu-Wave influences into heady visions of the city’s buildings, streets, bedrooms, clubs and bars, while remaining dedicated to their brass section extravaganza and the three-minute pop-nugget charm.

Side one of the vinyl kicks off with Running, a track that Craig Charles has championed, (resulting in a digital single release of the song with two extra tracks not featured on the album).
Track two, (this reviewers favourite track on the album) is a tribute to obscure Stax singer and Wu Tang Clan favourite, Wendy Rene, an epic heart thumping monster of a soul song with a horn arrangement of omnipotent proportion.
Track 3, All In, sounds like a hit record waiting to happen, and track 4, Boy, is the kind of song that raises the small hairs on the back of your neck, puts a lump in your throat, and haunts your every moment with a melody that is near impossible to shake from your head.

If you didn't manage to get a seven inch copy of the bands storming cover version of Lou Pride’s Northern Soul classic, I’m Com’un Home (In the Morn’un), then stop stressing; it kicks off side two.

This City is an exceptional recording by a remarkable, if little known band; believe me when I say... you need this records.


The Skateboarding Mods are back!

'We are the Skateboarding Mods... we are the Skateboarding Mods … we are ... we are ... we are the Skateboarding Mods.'
       So, sang the feather-headed faces on the hills, slopes and skate places of England's grey and concrete land. The skateboarding modernist scene famously peaked in 2012 when crews of sharp skaters formed into mod squad crews; some even sponsored skateboard events, riders and races ; but what are they doing now?

The skateboard clothes industry cottoned onto the skateboarding mod culture pretty quickly, sharper cut sk8 threads appeared more frequently on the racks, and sixties graphics adorned the shoes and shirts of skate-park dwellers as skaters embraced the tidier lines of the skateboarding mod image, rather than the generic scruffy sk8-punk look that had become tired and clich├ęd. Many skateboard components developed similar clean-cut styling, wheels, and decks especially; but the mod teams and crews have taken a back seat of late. We tracked down some of the original mod skaters to investigate.

Probably the most well known skateboarding modernists were the Blackheath Pandas; Jason Danger, (not his real name), a late-comer to the group, admitted that he only purchased a skateboard to be accepted by his Panda peers.
       He said, when inebriated..'I carried it around, looked sharp and that, but never actually road the thing. Their f**king lethal'. Jason is no longer a member of the Blackheath Pandas.

Rob The Mod, a Panda who has competed in official UK slalom skateboarding races commented on the potential hazards of the sport. 'I've had a couple of 'offs' I crashed on my first race, cracked a rib. I was wearing my favourite Onitsuka Tiger Nippon 60 trainers, they look book but have bad grip on the board. I slid off the deck.... I won a prize for the 'best bail'.
      Vans, the traditional sk8ters shoe of choice (currently celebrating their 50th year) have introduced a number of 'mod friendly' designs, cool suede's and chukka boots, to help prevent skateboarding mods, such as Rob, from similar injury.

Founder members of the Self-Proclaimed British Skateboarding Association have also embraced the slalom skateboarding culture, racing internationally as well as competing in domestic events. The spBSA have evolved from a simple skateboarding mod crew to a skateboarding mod business, launching a slalom specific skate company, Slalomskateboards.com. Based on retro design and mod friendly imagery, the multifunctional hybrid slalom deck, simply called The One (a nod to the pea-cockery and one-upmanship essential in becoming a mod 'face') looks set to introduce some modernist style into this seasons slalom races.

So, dig out that old Fred perry, turn up your 501s, grab yourself some waffle sole chukks boots and race those slalom skaters on the sharpest new skateboard in the pack; you too, can be … The One.