Brighton: Mod Weekend 2022 – live!


 

The Circles, the 79ers, The 48K’s and The Veras. Chalk Venue 26 August 2022. Black Rabbit Productions.

Mod Weekender 2022: The sun was shining; the crowd was having fun, and loving this! Four live bands and DJ’s to thrill and entertain!

Brighton Mod Weekend got off to a fine start for 2022, on Friday 26 August with 4 live bands: The Circles, the 79ers, The 48K’s and The Veras. A busy venue, Chalk, and boy was the crowd ever up for some cracking Mod sounds! Let the weekend begin!!

1979 saw the emergence of a new wave of mod bands, influenced as much by the Clash as The Who. The spearhead of this new movement was The Jam, closely followed by a trio of London based bands Secret Affair, The Purple Hearts, Circles and of course The Chords. The “revival” was short lived but the sound of this new generation of mods endures to this day with fans old and new still following the bands and enjoying the music…..

The Circles:

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles from Wolverhampton were back in town. A bit of a line up change since we last all met but the band were back in town. Rest assured the brilliant Mick Walker was there, in front. He played and sang his heart out tonight. His sheer joy of being there was picked up by the crowd as we all shuffled in a bit closer and, well, just had a bloody good time!

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles have been doing their thing for around 40 years. They released a single Opening Up  and Billy on Graduate Records in 1979 which reached No. 3 in the indie charts and over the years has achieved cult status.  Both of those top tunes were included in the set in Brighton tonight. Their second single Angry Voices was released in 1980 and sold over 20,000 copies, but due to time constraints etc was removed from the set, and that was a shame. The band split up after their third single ‘Running Around in Circles’ in 1981. The Circles had the crowd running around in circles, singing, fist pumping and just joining in.

Click on Image to enlarge

They briefly reformed in 1999 to play the 20th Anniversary Mods May Day gig in London and record the ‘Looking Back’ album which contained new material and some reworked old favourites. SO good to see The Circles are still doing their thing, and doing it rather well!

What an atmosphere! The Circles played us awesome music, great to see everyone enjoying themselves after the last couple of Mod Weekenders being cancelled due to the restrictions and lockdowns. The guys closed things down with two more class tunes Opening Up and All or Nothing.

Click on Image to enlarge

The band got back together in 2019. They have continued gigging and recording. I last saw them back in August 2019. They released the “Our Time” EP followed by the lockdown EP featuring Gone Tomorrow, which was the quite magnificent set opener tonight. A newer single release Better Days was released in early 2021 and that was also included in the live set tonight.

Click on Image to enlarge

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles were outstanding tonight led by Mick. The Circles with out a doubt have a unique ability to craft miniature portraits of moments in time that are both specific and universal to us all. The band nailed it down tight. A powerful display and showed us why they are true mod legends. Please come back, we all need more Circles in our lives. Next year for the Mod Weekender? If so – it’s a date!

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Circles: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Well played The Circles for bringing the evening a fantastic climax.

The Circles are on Facebook here.

The 79ers:

The 79ers: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The 79ers: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The 79ers are a supergroup if you like. Just read the line up of band members! The band comprise of Simon Stebbing (Purple Hearts), Buddy Ascott (The Chords), Ian Jones(Long Tall Shorty) and Kip Herring (The Chords).

The 79er’s feature Members of Mod Revival Legends The Purple Hearts, The Chords and Long Tall Shorty….The sounds of the mod revival and more, played by the people who wrote and recorded them. There was even an ex Vibrator in there!

Click on Image to enlarge

It was a potent mix of influences, the energy of punk mixed with the sound and image of 60’s mod. The 79er’s play the soundtrack to that exciting time with tracks by the Chords, Purple Hearts, Long Tall Shorty alongside choice covers such as 5.15! Spot on fellas and you knocked that one out of the park.

The 79ers: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The 79ers: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

In the set was a cover of an old punk classic Baby Baby Baby originally done by Knox and The Vibrators. I love those guys and know them quite well. Well, 79ers this is one of my all time top tunes, a “Desert Island Disc” song and you smashed it. I really enjoyed your version, being more Punk than Mod, I may have stood out a tad whilst that one was blasting out! I never realised Kip was in the band for a while, you learn something every day!

On stage, there is an effortlessness to this partnership as their vocals, guitars and drums coalesce seamlessly on the tracks performed tonight.

Click on Image to enlarge

Other titles included the opener Now It’s Gone, Jimmy, and also Frustration (damn I love that song – those guitars!) and Maybe Tomorrow heralded sadly the beginning of the end. Top vocals, bass and guitars, Kip nailing and hitting some great poses and some fine guitar fretwork from Simon. All topped off with some quite spectacular crowd participation. It is my second time of seeing these guys, I really cant wait for the third encounter!

The 79ers are on Facebook here.

The 48k’s

A huge shout to these guys. A new outfit for me. They are a British five piece Indie/Rock/Mod group who pride themselves on catchy original songwriting, memorable hooks and tight vocal harmonies. And yes you can put a check mark each of those!They have released a couple of albums and are working on a 3rd release.

Click on image to enlarge

The 48ks took to the stage led by frontman Ryan. They put on a great display as the guys bounced around the stage as if their lives depended on it. Bass and drums were in perfect unison and the guitars were sublime. An interesting set of self penned material included Time and Again, Cyclone and Don’t Let Go.

Click on Image to enlarge

The 48Ks have released a couple of singles, but they made us wait for those tonight! Wishing Well and as drums and bass started up we had the fabulous Heartbeat. Both cracking tunes with great vocals and guitar work on display for those. The band sound edgier live as the vocals and sounds filled the venue.

The guys gave us a great set giving an experience of style, coolness, live excitement and electricity! It’s hard not to be swept up by what these guys do. This is a great sounding outfit and well worth catching them live.

The 48ks: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The 48ks: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The 48Ks are on the WWW here.

The Veras

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

“Love a good tune, something so catchy you can’t help but grin from ear to ear? Then raise three cheers for The Veras, four fellers making music with just that reaction in mind”. Tonight the Veras were stripped back to a three piece. We had some expertly played guitars and bass and a thumping rhythm from the drum kit.

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

But wait! Hang on a minute!! I recognise these guys! The Small Fakers!

Matt – Guitar and vocals, Neil – Bass and vocals and Dan – Drums and vocals

Click on Image to enlarge

Clearly out doing their own material. What you have is that wonderful background of talented guys performing their self penned music. Matt is an absolute joy to see perform. He didn’t keep still from the get go. His joy and exuberance from being on that stage propelled him for the entire night! He seriously didn’t stop for a second! Fabulous front man, and did a great job. And just as tricky to photo as he was whilst in his Steve Marriott persona. It was wonderful to be there and get caught up in the cool vibe and atmosphere these guys generate.

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Veras got in two live shows in before the pandemic restrictions kicked in, the first supporting Glen Matlock & Earl Slick, the last being at 229 Club, London. Impressive stuff indeed!

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Veras: photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

A great set list that reflected some of their single releases. They have an album out on vinyl, but a delay meant the vinyl version was delayed and had not made it to the venue in time. I am going to grab a copy from you next time I see you. Its gotta be vinyl for me. Opening up tonight The Veras played a rockier sounding Sevens and Nines. OK, safe to say you hooked everyone in the venue with that one. Their Spaceman was in the set and sounded great, even though the atmospheric keys were missing for this set. Next was a ramped up Bad Dreams and this was delivered totally on point. You might get the impression I enjoyed their set, well you are 100% correct.

Click on Image to enlarge

The guys closed down with yet another single release, time for a breather perhaps? Not at all as the song starts slow and gradually fires into a bouncing rocky track as Neil hits you with the overriding bass line, Paper Cups Telephones. And finally The Veras left us with Shoot All.

The sun was shining; the crowd was having fun, and loving this! I loved the Small Fakers, but this incarnation of the musicians is something special. You really do need to see them live.

“This is the sound of the future, with the past and the present in mind!”

The Veras are on the WWW here.

THE DJ’s!

The Dj’s were Steve Bowden and Mark Foxon. No laptops or memory sticks tonight, this was all genuine. Turntables and boxes of precious vinyl goodness. What a rich choice of music and sounds they put out for the crowd. A true delight to hear some of those tunes tonight! Well played you guys!

Steve and Mark have a page on Facebook here.

And finally..

Thanks to The Circles, The 79ers, The 48K’s and The Veras.

Thanks to Black Rabbit Productions

Thanks to Chalk Live!

Words and photos by Ian Bourn.

 

Black Rabbit Productions hosted the evening. They work hard promoting live music on the south coast. They are a promotion company with years of experience putting on music shows. Tonight was superb. They have some great gigs lined up! You can find Black Rabbit Productions on the WWW 

We work hard with the artists, the venues and the crowd to bring you the best photos and reviews across the area. Keep Music LIVE! Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

Please note all original images / video are copyright, please do not copy. If any of the featured artists/promoters/venues want copies of the images – or more if available – please just get in touch.

All original pictures / video – copyright to IANB/MEDIA WORKS/ SCENE SUSSEX – Ian “The Lens” Bourn 2022.

Got an event coming up? Need some gig photography, promo shots, previews or reviews? – please get in touch! See you down the front – come and say “hi!”

 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *