Sunday, 1 September 2013

Modern World.

I found the key to my time machine – it turned out to be an original pair of narrow toed 1960’s suede shoes, a straight tie, a black jacket and a shirt by Mr Ben Sherman. It’s Saturday night, I’m all dressed up and ready for The Sun Inn, Engelfield Green.

Who? What? Where?

The where was the middle of nowhere  (no - it really was).

The what was MOD night.

The who was a band called ‘The High-s’ and here they are;

 This was a mixture of the 1960’s and the MOD revival of the 1970’s – my time.

First number up was ‘I can’t explain’ by The Who, and they came up all through the evening, but the 60’s were also represented by The Small Faces (What you gonna do about it), The Spencer Davis Group, The Kinks and more Who (Substitute, Pinball Wizard.

There were ‘High Heeled Sneakers’ and a hard as nails version of ‘green Onions’ by Booker T and the M.G.’s.

For me, you can’t beat The Jam – from just up the road at Woking – ‘In The City’, ‘This is the Modern World’, ‘David Watts’ and a hard, fast, toughened up version of Martha and the Vandelas ‘Heatwave’ that sounded to me as though it came from The Jam’s ‘Beat Surrender E.P. but I haven’t looked it out to check it yet.

There was a lot of soul as background music for the gaps – Motown and Northern Soul. In the crowd I recognised at least one feathercut from a SkaSouls gig– what a double bill that would make. And the crowd loved it – the dancing ended up fairly chaotic and the band wandered out. A good night.


Technically they were far better than Wellar and The Jam were in 1977/8, with better instruments, and technology no one then imagined possible. Good sound.

If there’s a ‘but’ coming, it’s because The Jam had something else as well – we were all punks too, not just MODS – that gave it a speed, an edge and an anger that was missing tonight.

Different people, different times, and life today is a lot easier and kinder than it was in 77. Then again, The Jam started off looking back at the 60’s before they did their own stuff and just flew.

In this area alone there seem to be about 5 or 6 MOD bands – I think there’s a scene - I’ll keep an eye on as many as I can and this group from Camberley (a dull town but there’s soul underneath) have a way to go.

While I’m able to, I think I’ll string along for the ride.

Neil Harris

(a don’t stop till you drop production)

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