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They were the Mods! And some of them still are

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Any opinions on what effect the Mod revivals of the 80s and 90s have had on the Northern scene? Did the slower or more R&B style sounds of say, Stafford gain more acceptance because of a big influx of mod revivalists for instance?

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I recall quite a few Mods at Stafford and the 100 Club but that's not going to make or break a venue's reputation or playlist. At least they brought a younger crowd into the northern scene in the 80s or 90s, although constant requests for 'The Snake' can get a little wearing if you're a DJ!!

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If you play "The Snake" a few times they wont ask for it so often!

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I guess I was one of them. I think musically the mod revival scene about that time had more clearly defined groups. I was a mod who liked Northern Soul above all else musically. Some of my mates didnt like Soul and preferred the bands of the day. Others were pure 60s bands and some liked that garage pop from the 60s which is a total mystery to me.

I remember lots of mods at Stafford, and one, n asian guy from Bradford who stopped going early on was one of the the best Northern style dancers I have seen.

Where the mod thing may have had influence, as we were young, lots of the sounds were new to us, even ones that had been played for 20 years. So maybe we were more welcoming to what was then termed 60s newies. I wasnt bothered if a DJ played Duke Browner - Crying over you, or Robbie Lawson - Mr Misery. I liked them equally because they are both great records. Some people who had been around a lot longer than me had very opposite views on the oldies/newies debate.

It is similar to some of the stereo-types people apply to Northern Soul now. To hear some people speak. Only oldies are allowed up North, and that lot in London dont even like Northern Soul. (I heard a top DJ say something along those lines about London on All Singing All Dancing one night.)

I cant speak for others but I like both kinds of nights. I visit both kinds of clubs, and still fcuking love both. Even a little crossover too. Must have been the Stafford influence.

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No, there is an insatiable demand out there in club land for 'The Snake', 'Nobody Like Me' 'Seven days too long', etc, etc. Despite my better judgement it's worth putting 'em on just to see those 18-year old female students strut their stuff though!!

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I was certainly a 1981 mod and was quickly brainwashed (thank god!) by rare and not-so-rare northern soul and R+B - Northern, 6Ts, 40s/50s/60s blues, Motown/Atlantic/Stax, the lot. It's been a long road from local mod nights via all-nighters in Thornton to the glories of Stafford (Lorraine Chandler live - oooh, yes please!), the 100 club, organising our own soul and r'n'b nights in Edinburgh, and so on until today when I still find myself unable to resist the lure of a £100 45 even though it's easier to get it on a £5.99 CD at HMV. I'm not a mod any more (too old and not enough hair for a backcomb!) but I bless the day I first heard Bobby Bland, Irma Thomas, Chuck Jackson, Mary Love (For Dancers Only LP - revelation time!!), Garnet Mimms, Impressions, Darrow Fletcher, Jackie Wilson, Arthur Alexander, Lorraine Chandler Keb and Guy, Ady, and on and on...

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I was at a soul night a few months back sitting at a table with ten of my mates who ive known for a long time.

Out of the ten,eight of us were mods in the early 80ts who have all drifted into the soul scene.

So i suppose a lot of present day soulies in their mid 30ts got into northern soul via their mod shananigans.

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I got into soul via the mod revival. The Jam, The Chords, Purple Hearts, Secret Affair, etc soon led to Tamla Motown, Wilson Pickett and then to northern soul. The NS oldies were new to me in the early 80s and I used to love "The Right Track", "Sliced Tomatoes", etc. In fact, they are still good records.:-)). I now listen to all types of soul but got quite excited when I heard the rumour about The Jam playing Knebworth next year. Never mind!!

Dave D

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Mods have always been involved in the Soul Scene from the mid 6ts.

I do laugh when i read things like mods requesting the snake etc...most of the real mods (my age group) from the early/mid 8ts (the second revival really) were well sussed on the so called Northern Soul Scene. Most people who attended soul clubs (London) were either from the mod movement or had been at some stage. I can honestly say i only heard things like the snake at really scooterists events as the Mod scene was well passed that record and many more like it.

I was hearing things from mod/suedehead dj's like liz lands,ron baxter,bobby kline,jerry ganey,joannie summers,troy dodds...loads of Stafford stuff etc etc. I think you might hear things like the snake maybe at the Bizz (great mod p1ss up club)but not at Sneakers/pheonix/dublin castle/69 club/drummons/Crown & Scepter etc.

It was quality rnb/ska meets rare 6ts soul, funny thing is really that most of the Rnb biggies of today came from those small mod clubs. Even today when i go to the Mousetrap (mod allnighter) i hear great new rnb tracks for the first time (way ahead The Northern Soul Scene). I still love the Snake but really Mods are not interested in hearing/asking for that record to be played. Even today most of the clubs (including the 100club) are attending by mods in good numbers. Some of the best clubs have been run by mods ex. capitol soul club (myself & alan). The best new little club is Shotgun which is always packed with mainly mods and is run by mods playing some of the best 6ts soul around.

ps even Crossfires main man is a 100% mod.

Long live the mods i say and may there support grow and continue at venues like the CSC,100club,mousetrap,shotgun,crossfire,These old Shoes,shake,needles etc....voom voom i'm outta hear.

Carefree and Merry xmas all

greg

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Great post Greg.. i have been on the scene from 79/80 and i think without the new mods the scene in London would be nothing. It would still be based around oldies in the north. Great to see a good mix at the last crossfire and lets hope it continues. The mod revival helped bring through the new 60s sound and i can't imagine life without them now. One day i heard Rodger Banks play and he turned my bitter into sweet from souless stompers to real cool mid tempo soul/ballads/Rnb..

Steve.. Manchester...

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I can't say that the 'WE ARE THE MODS!' parka brigade were terribly welcome at Northern venues in say, 79-82, (not that I minded, but plenty did...). But with dwindling numbers on the scene after Wigan died they kept things above water for a lot of promoters and record compilers (How many Mods bought the Kent or Inferno compilations along with The Jam, I wonder?) and an awful lot of them got really sussed on rare soul really quick. I always found it funny that people who didn't like the new Mod kids were the ones who denied that the whole rare soul scene was an offshoot of the 60s mod scene anyway or that legendary clubs like The Twisted Wheel etc, were ever mod clubs - which they certainly were! Anyway Merry Xmas everyone!

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...and at what venue is that..................

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Mod was a massive part of my life for a good 5 years of my life (hey, I'm only 24!). I got into soul before I was a Mod, but the sounds I acquired during that time were among the best I've ever heard. It was certainly the Mod movement that made me the soulboy I am today.

Mod DJ's tend to live in a collective(sic) world of their own with regards to their music. They won't let their prices be dictated by the current monster play on the Northern Scene, tho they keep a very close eye on everyones spins and are vital in breaking their own. In the last 5 years, the Northern Scene has more to thank the Mod scene for than it ever knows.

Things like Big Daddy Rodgers trading hands for £400 was unheard of till it escaped the sweaty pits of Brighton Beach and the Mousetrap. Same for The 5 Royals (£40), Don Garner(£40). The most influential spin from the suited and booted for years was Larry Trider. Everyone I know was scrambling for one, it hit the soul scene, then the price went stellar! Most of the Mods I know have amazing taste in soul and these are thankfully refected in the music they play.

Shotgun recently was a big eye-opener for me, with old Mod stalwart Rob Messer playing some blinding tracks I'd never heard. Same quality in the back room at Crossfire.

And if you want some real top soul, get yourself down the Mousetrap in January to hear Mark Thomas' set. Don't forget to ask him for The Ivorys......or Sugar & Spices, or Dottie & Millie....

Matty

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JUST TO PUT THE RECORD STRAIGHT ABOUT THIS MOD REVIVAL THING.ALL THIS 79-82 THING BEING THE MOD REVIVAL,I REMEMBER STANDING IN THE FRIDAY NIGHT CUE OUTSIDE THE CASINO AND HEARING THIS STRANGE NOISE COMING TOWARDS US UP STATION ROAD FROM THE SWIMMING POOL.IMAGINE OUR FACES WHEN THE SAID NOISE TURNED OUT TO BE AROUND 40 SCOOTERS COMPLETE WITH NUMOUROUS MIRRORS,HEADLAMPS,TANK ARIELS AND TIGER TAILS AND WITH THEIR GIRLS ON THE BACK.A REAL SITE TO BEHOLD ESPECIALLY AS IT WAS 1976.MODS HAVE BEEN PART OF THE NORTHERN SOUL SCENE LONG BEFORE 1979.ASK THE LADS FROM SELBY,MARKET HARBORO,ST.HELENS ECT.BY THE WAY THOSE LADS WHO CAME OVER THE HILL THAT FRIDAY NIGHT IN WIGAN WERE THE PRESTON WILDCATS.

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I used to have a mag about the mods at the casino. Had a black guy on a scooter on the front. Probably circa 1979. had interviews and a piece on the £500 record Frank Wilson!!

Can also remember after Casino closed, lots of people in mags asked for top 3 nites at Wigan. Many many chose the mods allnighter from, I think, 76??

Mental note, new years resolution, dont lend sentimental stuff to anyone. In last 2 years have lost that mag, copy of video for Leicester oddfellows first anny, with myself and 4 mates walking into sunrise to finish, and a copy of Keb and Guy, Pat and Dave djing at the 2 1/2 anny at Stafford!! All irreplaceable. All told by people 'We have given you them back'!!

Sorry that wasnt meant to be a rant. May be something with having to work NYE to hit a deadline.

Happy new year

Mikey

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Mod influence.... I could write a book on this topic, but Paolo Hewitt got there before me. Charlatan!

But back the question Mikey raised, here's a quote from Dave Shaw's "Casino" -

"Another special was the 'Mod All-Nighter' in 1979, to cater for those who had seen the film Quadrophenia, and liked to dress-up in ridiculous clothing bought from Oxfam shops. I did not attend that night, so cannot comment upon it's musical content, however, the more astute reader will have guessed that this was probably not one of the Casino's finer moments"

As someone who wasn't allowed out to play on their own till 1981, I'm not sure if this Wigan boy represents the majority view at that time... I hope not.

By the way Mr Gibbs, if it makes ya feel any better, I'm at work today too.

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When I took my English oral I used the term 'dancing decendents of the mods'. I'm sure I got that from some soul publication, probably Blues and Soul. Its how I have always viewed the Northern scene. That quote shows, whoever wrote it, a lack of knowledge about mods.

Sorry you have to be at work too kolla. its torture isnt it.

mikey

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Hmm you're right Mikey. I dance completely diffrently now I ain't a mod. Not conciously, but different shapes for different sounds I guess. Tonight Matthew I'm going to be....... a teapot.

Being at work today sucks. The only consolation being that tonight, when the bell tolls midnight, I'm gonna have 800 people dancing to my tunes......

Soul on through the night....

Matty.

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Where ya gonna be tonight, Matty?

I am guessin it's the same Matty from Preston now in Leeds.

S**t, I hope I haven't blown ya cover!

Shane

Sheffield

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It's funny to hear all those old places mentioned. I feel that the dedicated mods/suedeheads brought new life to the scene. To me, music will always be club soul and ska/rocksteady.

The snake? Wasn't that scooter scum music?

Black music and sharp dressing is a common thread going back to the Flamingo, Twisted Wheel, Roaring Twenties et al is it not?

I have always abhorred the music of the mod revival, but in London in the eighties, there were plenty of sussed mods and suedeheads. I always found the 'psychedelic' types in aqua shirts and "Tony Hart" cravats, waving their arms around quite amusing/disturbing though!

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Flip the Snake over...... Who Could Be Lovin' You exc track..

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in town Mikey wrote:

When I took my English oral I used the term 'dancing decendents of the mods'. I'm sure I got that from some soul publication, probably Blues and Soul.

I first heard the phrase used by Janice Long on radio 1 more years ago than I care to remember. Whether she knicked it from Blues and Soul or coined it herself is another question.

When did English start having an oral part to the exam? (Seems a bit pointless to me)

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in town Mikey wrote:

When I took my English oral I used the term 'dancing decendents of the mods'. I'm sure I got that from some soul publication, probably Blues and Soul.

I first heard the phrase used by Janice Long on radio 1 more years ago than I care to remember. Whether she knicked it from Blues and Soul or coined it herself is another question.

When did English start having an oral part to the exam? (Seems a bit pointless to me)

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