Brighton Mod Weekend got off to a fine start for 2019, on Friday 23 August with 3 live bands: The Sha La Las, The Circles and the 79ers. A busy venue, Pryzm, loved the Mod sounds!
The 70ers 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) & 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 played by the people who wrote and recorded them.
1979 saw the emergence of a new wave of mod bands, influenced as much by the Clash as The Who.
It was a potent mix of influences, the energy of punk mixed with the sound and image of 60’s mod.The spearhead of this new movement was The Jam, closely followed by a trio of London based bands Secret Affair, The Purple Hearts & The Chords…Although the revival was short lived 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 79er’s play the soundtrack to that exciting time with tracks by the Chords, Purple Hearts, Long Tall Shorty alongside choice covers such as Knock on Wood, Midnight Hour & Gimme Some Lovin. The guys shared out some of the vocal work with Kip.
These guys were generating a fabulous sound, I hadn’t seen them play before, and that will not happen again! They were putting on a fab display and generating some terrific sounds as they performed from their fairly large catalogue of material.
The set selection from these guys was a mix up selection. Some old classics in the listing but also a selection from the bands from which some of the musicians came from, notedly The Chords and Long Tall Shorty. We had some old classics in there Gimme Some Lovin which served as the opening shot from the 79ers and a rather tasty rendition of Knock On Wood. Now its gone was in the list along with a couple of Who covers – 5.15 and Substitute. Other titles included Behind Blue Eyes, Jimmy, Frustration (damn I love that song – those guitars!) and Maybe Tomorrow. The set closed with The Chords classic Hey Girl and this was topped off with some face melting guitar fretwork from Simon ( nice to meet you outside) and some opportunities for the crowd to fist pump and yell!
From Wolverhampton ARE BACK with nearly an ORIGINAL LINE UP for the first time since they split in 1981. The only member not with them is Tony Howells but this space has been filled with Martin Ratcliffe from the band the Neon Hearts but has been with the Circles since they got back together in 1999.
Loved by Radio One’s Mike Reed and John Peel, the Circles were one of those bands that got oh so close! Seeing three singles, a re-release of one on Chrysalis Records and write ups in both Sounds and NME the question is WHY?
Why did the Circles not see their life follow the same path as the likes of the Chords and Secret Affair. But do we care? Hell no – there’s no doubt – the Circles were one of the best bands to come out of the ‘79 revival era, and tonight they were playing live in Brighton for the Mod Weekender. In preparation for their 40th Anniversary year, The Circles are recording an EP of new songs and playing a few select gigs. They are on the bill for Mods Mayday 2019 at Islington Assembly Hall, London on May 5th and the August Mod Festival in Brighton on August 23rd.
The 2019 line up will be close to the original with Mick Walker, Keith Allen, Glenn Tranter and Martin Ratcliffe all looking forward to a great year. The Circles have to say after witnessing their strong set at Pryzm in Brighton, they really are on peak form. I think they blew away any fans new and old during the set with their performance and song choice. We had a mini stage invasion at one point and the guys were called back for an encore. Their songs are still popular today, getting thousands of hits on YouTube. Mod music never really went away. The Circles are back and proving it!
The Sha La Las:
The Sha La Las:
With a swirling Hammond Organ and Vocals delivered with real purpose you know when these guys take to the stage. The Sha La La’s are a London based Four-piece Steeped in Mod and Soul Roots. Signed to Detour Records their 60s R&B influences are apparent but make no mistake, their sound is definitely their own and definitely NOW.
Founded by Darron Robinson (Vocals, Guitar) and John “Pax” Piccirillo (Drums) and with the line up completed by John Lee (Hammond Organ, Wurlitzer Piano) and Vere Osborne (Bass)
The Sha La La’s…… somewhere between Detroit and Canvey Island. The Sha La La’s provided a lively and entertaining 30 minute set. Thanks to the busy Brighton traffic I arrived a little late but got into the venue in time to see and enjoy most of their set. These guys played a real tight set. The sound they make is not “lets make it sound retro” for retro’s sake, however it is dripping with nostalgia for those who love those great tunes and sounds of ‘60s rhythm ‘n’ blues and soul.
Make no mistake however, the sound these guys make is still very much now and current. I was never really into the MOD scene and so missed many top bands, until tonight! The full venue made up of all ages will back that up. The Hammond keys placed at the front of the stage provides a whirlwind of swirls and sounds to delight the ear, again that nostalgia hits you with early The Who or Small Faces reflections. A great set, It is so rich with the sounds from all four. The Sha La La’s front-man, Darron Robinson, is non stop! He smiles, chats and bounces around the stage whilst effortlessly delivering those vocals and lead guitar.
After the fabulous live music there was an after show party from 10pm till late in the Disco room. The sounds were provided by dj Mod ‘n’ Soul and a guest dj ‘Jody Lee Hooker’ to keep the music alive and the party going!
I have to say well done to the Pryzm gig team – great sound and some good lighting (no smoke machine here which made a pleasant change) and, with a swift between set change over, made the evening tick over wonderfully. Good job to the teams on the bar and security.
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, a great time is pretty much guaranteed with these guys. You can find Black Rabbit Productions on the WWW
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