Can You Judge A Man By The Clothes He Wears?

To answer the question, er, sometimes yes I think so.

I’ve always found the triple threat of Page, Beck and Clapton a bit offputting when it comes to The Yardbirds. But their modish roots, Keith Relf’s hair and their beat boom rocking blues can be more than fine from time to time. I’ve got a cheap vinyl compilation bought back in the late 80s and that’s about it apart from the odd track on compilations. Like this one.

You’re A Better Man Than I


No-one seems to split blogger/reader opinion quite like Paul Weller, and even some of the diehards are now suggesting the haircut should probably go for a man of his age. This year’s album (Sonik Kicks) had a cracking lead off single (That Dangerous Age), some krautrock influences, a dub duet with his latest missus, and various other things he wouldn’t necessarily have tried in the mid 90s. This song, Starlite, came out this time last year, a stand alone 12″. Listening to Sonik Kicks it’s difficult to see where it would have fitted. Musically it harks back to The Style Council. The voice may not be quite up to the tune, but it’s got a late summery feel that feels right.


In the picture he’s wearing the white version of his Fred Perry limited edition, signature range. I got the black with grey piping one cheap in an outlet a good while back. Mine’s numbered 948/1000, and as Arthog noted re: the Bradley Wiggins Fred Perry range, black Fred Perry’s always fade. But white ones will stain. What you lose on the swings, you lose on the roundabouts.

Here Wiggo

Superb stuff from Bradley Wiggins. Long may you continue.

Making Time

Hey Fellas Have You Heard The News?

Some thumping mod action from 1965 for the last day of July. The Birds, from West London, didn’t release much in their time (four singles) but this footstomper still rings loud and true. Handy message to the chaps as well- treat the women well or they’ll leave town.

Leaving Here

Tour De France

It’s about time a mod won the Tour De France isn’t it?
And while trying to ignore Murdoch and Sky’s role in all of this we could coo over the very lovely Bradley Wiggins X Fred Perry range of cycling/leisure shirts, available here, in pale blue, white and black. Pale blue for me I think.

With crushing inevitability, from their 2003 remake and remodel album, here come Kraftwerk.

Tour De France Etape 1

It’s The High Numbers Boys And Girls

This clip is from a film started in 1964 that was never completed. It shows The Who (who may or may not have been called the High Numbers at this point) playing US rhythm and blues live at The Railway, Keith Moon already steps ahead and Pete et al resplendent in mod threads.

But the crowd are the real stars here, some very well dressed, good looking boys and girls.

Modernism 3

Third in this mod mini-series, Millions Like Us by Purple Hearts, a buzzy single from 1979 with a cracking guitar riff and lyrics about belonging and inclusiveness. The Purple Hearts story has it that they formed with the sole intention of supporting Buzzcocks to perform their ‘rock opera’ Reg. They went on after the gig releasing several more singles and some albums before the mod revival petered out.

13 Millions Like Us.wma

Modernism 2

Mod revivalists Secret Affair’s 1979 debut single, Time For Action. ‘This is the time for action, this the time to be seen’ sang Ian Page, and thousands of Jam fans agreed sending it to number 13 in the charts and the cover of Smash Hits. Is it any good? I dunno. It’s fun but clearly indebted to others. Secret Affair reformed a few years ago and gigged last year sharing a double header with fellow mod revivalists Purple Hearts playing Brighton and Islington. Somewhat obviously.

15 Time for Action.wma


I love mod. I love the whole aesthetic- the clothes, the shoes, the coats, the hair, the outlook. It’s old hat I guess, but it’s made a deep impression on me, increasingly as the years go by. I was just old enough to be affected at some level by the Quadrophenia inspired mod revival of the late 70s, although I couldn’t claim to have been an eleven year old mod. Like Roots Manuva said ‘Brand new, you’re retro’- if you don’t want to dress like every other bugger in suburban south Manchester but want something that can work on a daily basis, mod works. I often find myself cooing at over-priced vintage coats, desert boots, Chelsea boots and brogues, three button jackets, striped blazers, the stuff in the Fred Perry Outlet.

One of the great things about the mod story is that the original mods of the late 50s and early 60s loved modern Black American music- r ‘n’ b, modern jazz, blues. Every mod revival since has been primarily guitar based, mainly due to the sounds created by the 60’s mod bands, who took their love of soul and r ‘n’ b and shook it up with guitar, bass and drums, The Who and The Small Faces being the best known. Ironically the source material isn’t too far away from the starting points of rockabilly, who favoured their Black US jump music crossed with country, but that’s an aside. In the 90’s Oasis and Blur and a succession of major label ‘indie’ bands pillaged mod for looks and stylings. A few years previously the Acid Jazz scene borrowed heavily, with a more authentic stress on Black American influenced dance music. The Jam did more than anyone to popularise it before that, and Weller had to reject it and his army of parka’d followers to move forward but The Style Council were as mod as anything else he did. As was the more trad mod stuff of the 90s- Wild Wood, Stanley Road et al. What I think some people have found suspect about it is the sense of style over substance, that the clothes were the most important aspect- but most British music/youth movements have been based around dress, which was one reason why everything seemed so dull, from say 1996, through to the early 00s. No tribes, no rules, no style. The last genuine, groundshaking youth movement in this country was acid house, and that had it’s own look and aesthetic, just as strong as mod. I suppose mod’s various revivals have been associated with guitar rock rather than forward looking dance music, which tends to attract a laddish audience and everthing that goes with that. More’s the pity.

In the 60s The Creation released several great mod records. Eddie Philips pioneered playing the guitar with the violin bow (and look what that led to). They looked sharp. They made music that was ‘red with purple flashes’.They had some great tunes, including this one- Biff! Bang! Pow!. This is souped up r ‘n’ b. It also gave Alan McGee the name for a short lived band and ultimately the name for his record label. Dig it. Youth explosion.

Biff! Bang! Pow!.mp3