Browsing Tag Mod

Author – Paul Hallam

This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Old Dog Books

01. How did you get started in the world of words?

I started my own fanzine ‘Sense of Style’ in 1983. It was sposed to be the professional word for the mod scene. It was all layed out to look like a mag rather than a fanzine. I think we spent too much time on the look and not enough on the content.

In 2011 I set up countdown books a publishing company with Eddie Piller and Cass Pennant. A year later myself and Garry Bushell began publishing Streetsounds magazine – now onto issue 13.

Old Dog Books is my latest imprint specialising in pulp fiction.

02. Has it been a struggle getting your first book published?

As a publisher I’ve never had one of my own published til now, with this photographic book of 80s mods. That came about in a weird way. Channel 4 contacted me to talk bout the mod scene back in my day. I showed the director Ewan Spencer my photos and he asked to borrow them. A week later he came back and said he wanted to publish a glossy art book using them. BUY HERE!

03. Where did you see the first piece you had written in print, how did that feel?

I wrote short stories about my youth for various books. I think my favourite pieces were in the book by Pete McKenna and Ian Snowball – Once Upon a Tribe. Since then I’ve written for quite a few books mainly about growing up a mod.

04. What was the main reasons that you started to write seriously?

I don’t often see the word serious and Hallam in same sentence.

05. What’s a typical working day like when you are writing?

There are no typical days.

06. What were your teenage experiences that helped to shape your later mindset?

All of them. Everybody has a story. I think it should be compulsary for every person in this country to be interviewed in their 50s and their
memories preserved.

07. What was it like to be an 80s involved in Modernism, what were your pointers and outlook?

For me it was amazing. It took me from being an average kid in suburbia and put me behind dj decks all over the UK and a large part of Europe. It gave me the confidence I exude today. It also gave me a big chunk of my close friends who are still here with me 30 plus years on.

08. What was that 80s period in London like for you as a young man outside of the Music world?

It was dangerous. the world hated mod for some reason. Every trip into a big town could be threatening. I got into more fights as a young mod than I ever have done at Millwall (usually on the loosing side). It was quite common to park my scooter outside my first job in Feltham and come back to find it kicked over.

09. How did the Media distort what was going on with youth culture at that time?

By the time I got involved 1980-81 the press had tired of mod. Occasionally they would write about something like the Untouchables band or do a bad story if somebody from eastenders had confessed to being a mod 20 years earlier – I think the Sun ran a story where Anita Dobsons head was stuck on a photo of Eddie Pillers parka in the mid 80s. Other than that they left us alone.

10. What music, films and books helped you to the pathway of all things alternative?

Music for me went in this order. Tommy Steele, Beatles, Solo Beatles, songs that the Beatles recorded by others leading on to…. the originals. So I would hear tracks from Please Please Me album. and then go check out Arthur Alexander, The Cookies, Isley Brothers. Which I guess lead me to mod indirectly.

Half A Sixpence is the best film ever. Quadrophenia. Loved it in 1981. Hated it in 1985. Finally understood it in 2012. Richard Barnes Mods book shaped my life. Why else would I have ever started drinking coffee?

11. What other books do you wish you had written?

I wish I had written all the books on Old Dog. I don’t have the attention span to write a whole book tho I do have an idea…

12. How has the internet changed what you do?

Makes things easier and yet harder. If I had started Countdown/Streetsounds or Old Dog Books back in the 90s I’d probably be selling 10 times more than we are now. But the other side of that is, we would have to be relying on shops and distribution etc. None of this mail order online stuff back then.

13. Do you have any advice for wannabe authors?

Do it with passion but for fun. Not many authors sell as many books as
JK Rowling.

14. Please tell us about your exciting new venture Old Dog Books?

There was an article in Streetsounds about 2 years ago on 70s Pulp books. Richard Allen skinhead books etc. Craig Brackenridge met up with me January 2013 and showed me a short story he had written called Pyschobilly. I read it in an afternoon. I loved it. I asked Matteo to write me a short fiction story based on growing up Mod in suburbia last September. I then forgot bout it. 8 months later he messaged me and said ‘’ve nearly finished the book!’ I read the first draft. Loved it and thought why can’t we do this for all music genres?

So Craig got out Psychobilly. Rewrote it. Added some more chapters and that became book number 2. Steve Pipers story is even odder. He turned up at my 50th birthday with his draft novel – all printed out and bound nicely and said read this. I did and bang that’s book number 3 sorted!

15. What has been the re-action so far?

Terrific. We thought lets print 1000 copies of each book. Sell online and in a few shops but we now have a sales/distribution company working for us so the books will be in shops all over the country in the new year. Id like to produce 6 a year – 3 in late spring 3 for Christmas. Long plan is to get some or all them made into short TV plays/Films.

ph_oddsand sods



Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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November 30, 2015 By : Category : Features Tags:, , , ,
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Interview with Dave Cairns

Dave Cairns guitarist with Secret Affair

I’ve been following the careers of Secret Affair main men Ian Page and Dave Cairns since their early days as members of the punk-era group the New Hearts. The fact that former Gorillas drummer Matt McIntyre was playing with them may have piqued my interest in them at the time but even after Matt left I stayed along for the ride with the song writing duo of Page/Cairns. Like many of the groups during the 76-77 era the New Hearts as a band were largely finished after only a couple of singles into their nascent career. Gig wise the young band played the likes of the Reading Festival and had the opening slot on the Modern World tour with the Jam but the New Hearts, as I previously mentioned, were done as a band in only about a year. Less than a season or so later however, Page and Cairns returned as the highly motivated and reinvigorated Secret Affair.

The song-writing duo’s time as the New Hearts, as brief as it was, was certainly not wasted in terms of both  time spent developing their song writing craft and in learning their way around a recording studio. Luckily for them the label had given the young duo seemingly free reign to get in and muck about the studio and where some may have just ended up drunk and sleeping under the piano it wasn’t the case with these kids. For a couple of keen youngsters the opportunity was a true blessing. A number of ideas and songs from this period in fact ended up as Secret Affair titles.

Secret Affairs’ career prior to their extended lay-off in the early 1980s is definitely one for the history books (try Garry Bushell’s new Time for Action, the Mod Revival 1978-1981 published by Countdown Books). The Importance the group played in the Mod resurgence of the late 70s and early 80s and the three albums they released on their I-Spy imprint (through Arista) helped them to build a large fan base which, it certainly would seem, has remained loyal and even grown in the years since – thanks in no small part I think to the many variations and generational discoveries of all things “mod” that has gone on since the band’s last release Business As Usual back in 1982.

After a couple of reunion gigs and some limited recording back at the beginning of the ‘00s Page and Cairns decided to give a re-vamped line up another go. So here we are now with a healthy schedule of tour dates, a brand spankin’ new album that is – in my humble opinion – easily as good, if not better, than anything they had previously released, and a fan base that has remained loyal and even continued to grow. My suggestion would be – don’t miss ‘em if they come to your town and be sure to grab a copy of the new Soho Dreams CD from your local retailer.

I had previously interviewed Dave for my Mohair Sweets webzine a number of years ago (around the time of the Scala show DVD release) and so it was very nice to catch up with him again. You’ll have to pardon the guitar nerd stuff but I’ve always rated Dave very highly as a guitarist and so I’m always keen to see what he’s using for guitars and the like.

Here we go… The Interview

01. Does it really feel like 30 years since the last Secret Affair album?

Yes it does! A lot of life has passed by since Secret Affair disbanded so it’s really quite extraordinary that we have released a new album on I-SPY Records and are back on tour in the UK right now.

02. Could you tell me a bit about the new line-up and how you came to make the decision on the membership?

Ian Page and I have always put together a band around us from the beginning and the current line-up is a mix of old and new members, with some players dropping out for various reasons and having to be replaced and come highly recommended through word of mouth.

03. Where was the recording done? Any opinions on the technological advancements since the last Secret Affair album sessions?

We recorded five of the tracks (and I won’t say which ones) at Peer Music’s own studio in London (who are our publishers), five years ago. The other six tracks were recorded at Kore Studios in West London 3 months ago where we had re-recorded ‘Time for Action’ for Save the Children last year. Ian Page produces Secret Affair and does an amazing job and like most bands and artists today he makes great use of Pro Tools software, which for a start, takes so much of the grief out of how recording sessions were 30 years ago.

04. Were you able to capture much of the musicians playing together or did scheduling require you to grab guys when you could and such?

We rehearsed the last six songs at length with Ian Page as MD – which had just been written by Ian and I – and so it was all very fresh and exciting but with the recording session coming up at Kore Studios it did get a bit tense getting it right…

Ian is incredible in his vision of how the production is going to sound and knows all the overdubs he is going to need prior to the recording session, a talent I sadly lack so there is no mucking about or debate in the studio, it’s like an industrial process with Ian producing – he’s a much underrated producer in my opinion and should be producing other acts.

05. You and I both like to talk guitars and stuff so – do tell! What did you use on the sessions guitar and amp wise and what are you using live now for the most part?

I used my 1968 Tele which I bought for £165 pounds in 1976 having worked as a student in a nursery growing carnations and roses in industrial greenhouses – I’ll never forget it because it was the hottest and sunniest summer we have ever had in the UK that I can remember and while all my college chums were basking in the sunshine, I was sweating under the glass of the greenhouses and up to my neck in pesticides as a summer job and at the end of it I was determined to buy that damned guitar. In a funny sort of way, I have to chuckle that my Tele has been with me longer than any girlfriend and is the only possession that has been by my side all these years so every time I play it I’m reminded of all those memories, good and bad.  Funny thing is that when I bought it, it was a relatively new guitar and now it’s a classic and long after I have gone it’ll be a vintage and hopefully in the hands of another player who can enjoy it… but I ain’t going any time soon!

I also used my Guild D55 acoustic with a slide on the Ry Cooderish track, ‘Lotus Dream’. This guitar is beautiful and hand-picked for me by an old friend at Fender (who own Guild). It’s a dreadnought series guitar built to the same 1950s spec in antique sunburst and sounds like heaven to me and walks all over the overpriced and over rated Gibson acoustics – only a top of the range Martin could top it.

Amp wise I have a beautiful old tweed Fender Hot Rod Deville combo (2 x 12) which was a gift from Fender UK and it is a real one off. I crank it up with a lot of gain and it’s as sweet as anything with a tone that only a classic Fender amp can deliver. I have a Fender Hot Rod deluxe combo in reserve that’s pretty pokey too.

Effects wise I use:

1. The amazing Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. pedal that gives you classic slap back delay (and all multiples) but with a powerful pre amp boost for lead work. 30 years ago I had a couple of Roland Chorus Echo units with real tape echo but when I went back to hiring them in a few years back they kept breaking down because you can’t get the original tape anymore and the tape the hire companies use gets jammed up so this little box is incredible!

2. Boss Chorus Ensemble pedal – for that classic old fashioned chorus that you can hear on the original SA albums.

3. Cry Baby Wah Wah – I just got the new switchless Cry Baby which is sprung and not operated by  switch and has a kick in pre amp button for extra level and true by-pass- I can’t tell you how cool this pedal is…

4. Line 6 wireless system – this is all you need in wireless technology, not expensive and does the job every time.

5. TC Electronics Polytune – this is the first polyphonic tuner on the market and tunes held chords as well as single notes and true by-pass too – bloody amazing when you think about the Conn strobe tuner box which was the best pro tuner on the market 30 years ago (and somebody nicked it from my dressing room one night, such a shame).

That’s all I use pedal wise but I’m in the less is more camp when it comes to pedal boards and frankly if you can’t plug a guitar into a valve amp and kick up a fuss then no amount of pedals are going to help you.

06. I know too that when the band was in Japan a while back you picked up a Telecaster there. Any experiences of guitar shopping – or otherwise touristy – in Japan? And the gigs? Any surprises there?

Secret Affair played Japan for the first time back in 2010 and I flew into Tokyo without a guitar with the intention of buying a Fender Japan Telecaster and playing it at the shows. The guitar stores in Ochanomizu Street are pure guitar porn. I was after a 1952 re-issue until I picked one up and found the neck so thick I couldn’t play it, but then that is how Leo Fender started and the necks got thinner going into the sixties. So I opted for a 1962 re-issue, ebony with a rosewood neck and USA vintage pick-ups. Let me tell you, the Japanese Fender boys make guitars so close to the American Fender custom shop models that they aren’t allowed to export them so I’m just as happy with a Fender Japan guitar than an overpriced US original.

We played two nights at the same club in Tokyo and you can’t beat flying into Japan, hunting down a guitar the night of the gig with my tour manager (Andrew Gilbert) and flying home with it. Every time I pick it up I think of Tokyo and that’s what guitars are all about, memories – if a guitar doesn’t have a history it probably isn’t worth playing.

07. Well if those answers don’t get the guitar pervs  goin’ then nothing will. Back to the album, the industry has changed so much since the last Secret Affair album so what are the plans in terms of getting physical copies in the hands of the people and what is I Spy’s plan for download, video and all the rest?

Ian Page and I have revived our I-SPY Record label and we are now distributed by Code 7/Plastic Head in the UK who are best indie guys to be with. I have also done a worldwide digital deal with them so we should already be available on all digital download platforms. In the UK we got HMV store approval so we are on the racks at HMV record stores across the UK and thru the website: – which is great news.

08. Don’t suppose you guys play “Teenage Anthem” do you? Do you sometimes think about those early New Hearts days and the explosion of “punk”?

No we don’t I’m afraid but we did play ‘Love’s Just a Word’ in Dublin one night a few years ago! I never  think about  Punk at all but there have been some great documentaries recently about those times and the American connection and it kind of makes a lot more sense about how false so much of it was and the people manipulating it behind the scenes. But then who cares?

09. I’m always curious about folk’s locales and day to day stuff. Got any fave spots in your neighbourhood for a quiet breakfast, lunch or coffee? Feel free to keep ‘em secret cause I know how a nice spot can suddenly be ruined. Maybe more just what you like about them if you want to keep the name quiet.

I’m always on the road and traveling but The Alpino Cafe in Chapel Street Market is a real gem and I lunch there most days when at home in Islington. It’s run by a lovely old retired Italian couple and their son who does the cooking. They present amazing Italian dishes for less than a tenner and now word has got round you can’t get a table at lunchtime so keep to yourself OK? I reckon I know most of the classic pubs in the City and East London so too many to mention.

10. I know that you spent some time in Memphis. Not too sure how many Secret Affair fans know about this. Any lasting impressions or musical influences you find have crept in to your style as a result? Ian (Page) mentions being a massive Otis Redding fan so I wondered too if you felt compelled to do some more in-depth historical searching and the like while you were there?

I worked for Gibson Guitars for over 9 years back in the 90s and was transferred to Memphis back in 1998. I lived downtown in an art deco apartment overlooking the Mississippi river and had some classic Gibson guitars littering my apartment. It was on the banks of the river that I wrote the guitar parts to ‘Lotus Dream’ on our new album. During my time there I got up onstage in one of the Beale Street bars and played the blues with Preston Shannon and Blind Mississippi Morris playing a classic 335, and on Christmas day too!

 11. I mentioned Ian and I just finished reading his very entertaining self-interview on the Secret Affair site (interview). I must say it filled in some of the years in between albums quite nicely. He mentions the aborted P.P. Arnold session which sounds like it was very frustrating but I wonder if there were any other artists you would really love to get into the studio with?

I have made two other albums since Secret Affair in the 80s and had great players like drummer Steve Feronne, bassist Nathan East and keyboard supremo Richard Cottle playing on my records which was terrific (‘The Flag’, Scotti Bros/CBS 1986 & ‘Walk On Fire’, MCA Records 1989). Artists? Too many to mention.

 12. How is the tour going? Are the audiences reacting well to the new material?

The tour is going great and new material is going down very well which is very encouraging and drags us back out of the pit of just being a nostalgia act for a nostalgic audience.

 13. I have to say Dave that I think the new album is really incredible. Ian seems to have really pushed himself and worked incredibly hard at the phrasing and tone of his vocals. I’m really impressed.

Thanks, I’m glad you like it! Ian’s vocals on the new album are excellent in my opinion, there is a definite maturity and depth to his voice that I guess comes with age and experience that adds an additional quality and texture to his performance.

14. On Secret Affair’s previous records the piano sometimes played an important role but the use of various keyboard and organ sounds really added to the sound. Who’s responsible for the various textures and ideas there?

Ian has always played the keyboards on our recordings but in addition to the various keyboard parts on the record we had guest Hammond player, Andy Fairclough, delivering some fantastic Hammond playing – Andy is one of that rare breed of Hammond specialists and not just a keyboard player ‘who can play a bit of Hammond’ if required…

Ian as producer has it all mapped out in his head what the overdubs are going to be prior to going into the studio which is essential if you are pushed for time as always, I just turn up and try and play the best guitar I can on the day.

Many thanks to Dave for taking the time to do this in between tour dates and his busy days getting the new album out.

Also thanks too to TrACEy Wilmot for her help getting the interview together.

Secret Affair:

Photos by: TrACEy Wilmot and Secret Affair’s Fans

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : Features Front page Genres Interviews Modernist Music Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – The Sons

This entry is part 18 of 20 in the series DozenQ

The Sons new single,their fourth release ‘Down by The U-V Lights/Acomplicess’ out on iTunes and Spotify. Recorded at RAK studios with Richard Woodcraft engineering (Arctic Monkeys ect) and mastered at Air studios by Ray Staff who worked on ‘All Things Must Pass’ and has just remastered ‘Ziggy Stardust’.

01. How did you get started in music?

Just by hearing music on the radio and TV, the transmissions must have affected me in some way and connected!

02. Where did your direction come from?

Mainly 1960s and 1970s music, the feeling you get from hearing music for the first time it makes you feel strange slightly wired.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

The Small Faces, The Beatles, Otis Reading, Reggae, The Creation, The Sex Pistols = influences. I don’t really despise any groups more the reason there making music and the people behind them, I just tune them out.

04. What inspires you to make your current type of songs?

Certain things that make me glad I have something to protest about its a good thing to subvert challenge learn excite… the way banks and financial institutes are trying to make you believe money is something else I hate their adverts, thats my main point of annoyance this week.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

I think the audience and musician relationship is a thing that needs to be repaired, its all got too corporate and distant, I can’t stand festivals, no subversion anymore, I want to excite at gigs, I can’t stand audience in-difference, I want people to remember gigs as special places in their hearts.

06. How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I will compile musical ideas things I haven’t tried before, chord progressions rhythms and melodys act, look for themes and words that are new territory yet keeping in mind continuity then work really hard at it.

07. How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Well its pretty much the same platform yet more sophisticated not in a poncey way I mean in a textured way, I think youre always chasing that mantle.

08. What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

Musically? I set the challenge every time I compose otherwise theres no point, always try and get to the peak of where you’re at.

09. Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Personally yes, I play other songs all the time thats how its passed on and awakened then it comes out as you hopefully, I havent really thought about covers being recorded though.

10. Where did you envisage being in five years time?

I’ll always be into my culture, my art.

11. Who would you most like to record with?

Well probably the people that have done it all and whose influences I’ve absorbed I’d just like to be in their presence, you know, I guess calling them legends is rock star cliche bullshit so I’d avoid that description.

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

What I always try, my very best.




Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Front page Indie Interviews Music Pop Post-punk Tags:, , , , ,
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DozenQ – The Substitutes

This entry is part 15 of 20 in the series DozenQ

The Substitutes are a four-piece mod covers band from South Wales who are enjoying an incredibly busy year headlining gigs and supporting the likes of From The Jam. They cover songs from iconic bands including Small Faces, The Who, the Jam, the Kinks while throwing Tamla Motown, 1960’s soul and Northern soul into the mix. They’re not after the big time, they just want to play music they love and expand the Welsh mod scene. They’re not averse to spreading their sounds elsewhere in the UK, so read what Dan Owens and Jon Amos told Eyeplug and check out their links.

Band Members:

Paul Cobley: Guitar, vocals
Daniel Owens: Bass, vocals
Jon Amos: Guitar, backing vocals
Steve Roberts: Drums

01. When and how did the band form?

Dan Owens: I bought a Hofner bass and two days later Jon called me up and asked me to join. Getting the chance to use it properly and playing with Jon again was too good to refuse!

Jon Amos: A bit of a long story, but myself and Dan had been in bands together previously, I was also in a band with Paul a few years back and Paul and Gareth (our original drummer) had also played together in the past. After a six year break from being in bands, due to having kids, I was asked to join a band last year. I played a couple of gigs with them but it wasn’t really my thing and it didn’t work out. Having got the guitar-playing bug back, I came up with the idea of putting together a mod covers band. The first people I called upon were Dan and Paul because of their mutual love for all things mod. Paul suggested bringing in Gareth as our drummer. Everyone was up for it and that’s where it all started

02. Do any of you come from a musical background?

Dan: My parents are big music fans, I was raised on Dylan, Beatles, Bowie etc but my dad’s tone deaf, so he never played but my mum had piano lessons as a kid. Both their fathers were musical, one played piano and the other played accordion

Jon: I’m from a big musical family with my father and grandfather both playing in brass bands for many years, but I decided to do my own thing when I was about 14 years old and took up the guitar. I think it was more a rebellious thing than anything else!

03. Who are your major influences and who do you swerve?

Dan: 1960s mod, psychedelic, blue note, jazz, country and blues. As long as you can tap a foot to it, I like it. Also, I gotta believe in the singer’s vocals. Take Jonny Cash, when he sings “I killed a man in Reno just to watch him die”, I believe him. Sam Cooke is another. I think it’s called Soul.

 Jon: My biggest musical influences are the obvious ones, Paul Weller, Steve Marriott and Steve Cradock. Ocean Colour Scene was probably the first band I got into that was mod-influenced, and it was from them that I started to discover all things mod related. My musical influences started around 1995/96 and sort of went backwards. I swerve anything that’s manufactured or comes from one of the TV talent shows

04. You cover mod classics including Tamla and Northern Soul, which song do you most enjoy performing and which song is the most challenging?

Dan: Barrett Strong’s ‘Money’. I’ve mixed up the verses a few times and the rest of the band can never stop laughing before we get to a verse. Most challenging is The Action’s version of ‘I’ll Keep On holding On’. Reg King was such a great vocalist, and playing bass and nailing his vocal is ridiculous!

Jon: Most enjoyable for me are either ‘High Heel Sneakers’ or ‘Biff Bang Pow’. Both dance floor fillers. Most challenging has gotta be ‘Money’. Trying to play guitar whilst in hysterics at Dan forgetting the words is very difficult!!

05. What can someone expect from your live shows?

Dan: Fun. Our main objective is to enjoy ourselves at our gigs. If we’re not having a good time then how the hell are the crowd? I’ve left the stage a few times to dance with the crowd, I get so carried away. We’ve had people jump on stage with us, whether it’s singing or playing inflatable guitars. It’s a party!

Jon: They can expect to see a band who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, having fun and playing some classic mod tunes.

06. What is the mod scene like in South Wales?

Dan: Well, up until a few years ago, I could count the mods I knew on one hand. Since we’ve been playing, it’s opened up to a lot more. We played in Cardiff recently and it was full of mods of all ages and immaculately dressed. I think we’re bringing nods together with our gigs, which makes the whole thing even more enjoyable. Everyone gets to wear the clothes they probably wouldn’t wear down their local on a Saturday afternoon and they can let their hair down.

Jon: I wouldn’t say the mod scene in South Wales is thriving but we’re hoping we can do something about that.

07. Is there a gig that you wish you could have attended?

Dan: James Brown at the Apollo. The way he works that crowd gives me goosebumps whenever I listen to it – the band, his voice, and most importantly, the show. I was lucky enough to go to the Apollo recently, it was like a pilgrimage.

Jon: I would have loved to have seen the Jam live; unfortunately I came into the world at the wrong time!

08. Any plans to play outside of Wales?

Dan: Yes! We’re planning big things for next year. We’ve had interest from all the big cities and I’m getting asked daily on Twitter. We’re booked up until Christmas 2012, so we can’t fit in anything as yet

Jon: Yes, soon. We’ve had numerous offers already but this year is mainly about getting our name around the South Wales area and getting gigs under our belts. But keep an eye out for us at a venue near you soon!

09. Do any of you write your own songs and do you have plans to perform them alongside covers?

Dan: I’ve been writing for a while but I’ve never taken it seriously, it’s just for shits and giggles. I’ve got no patience, so if it’s not done in an hour, I won’t go back to it. The great thing about iPhone is that I can record it there and then, and upload it to Soundcloud, so I don’t forget it. I’d never perform my songs with the band; it would be so out of place next to the perfection of a Marvin Gaye track.

Jon: Dan writes and records his own stuff but no we have no plans to play them or any other original songs as the Substitutes. We played in original bands for many years but we are more about the gigs and the fun of it all, rather than any record contract.

10. Where do the Substitutes envisage being in five years time?

Dan: Taking lunch at The Ivy

Jon: Still together hopefully!! We haven’t really planned that far ahead and are just taking things in our stride. Playing our music all over the UK would be nice

11. If you could play on the same bill as three other bands in 2012, who would they be and where?

Dan: Steve Winwood is a hero of mine, so that’s my number one. I would be crazy not to say McCartney as he’s my favourite ever bassist (he could write ok, too). I think a jam with Cornershop would be ace. They blend so many eras and genres of music into their albums and keep it sounding fresh, they’re a mind-blowing talent. The most current bands that I’m into are mates of mine that I’ve been lucky to play with, such as Henry’s Funeral Shoe, El Goodo, Broken Vinyl Club etc.

Jon: Again, the obvious ones, I’m afraid: Small Faces, the Jam and probably Otis Redding (not technically a band, I know!!). If you mean current artists, it would be Paul Weller, Ryan Adams (not mod but the guy’s a pure genius) and possibly Miles Kane. Where? Anywhere! My back garden would be good!

12. What should we be expecting from you in the near future? Please feel free to plug your gigs.

Dan: I’ll leave that to Jon, he’s the switched on one. I have to ask him where we’re playing the night before the gig!

Jon: Loads and loads of gigs, we are adding more mod classics to our set each week, so hopefully our set is going to go from strength to strength. We have a big ChristMod night lined up in one of the larger Cardiff venues in December and we’re also part of March of the Mods next year in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.  Our website is due to be launched in the coming weeks but, in the meantime, you can keep an eye on our Facebook page to see what we’re up to and where we’re playing. Hope to see a lot of you at our gigs in the next year, come and say hello, we don’t bite!!


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Michelle ‘MimiVonTussle’

A child of the 50s, remembers the 60s, partied in the 70s and was hung-over in the 80s. Used to sit in David Bowie’s garden, Biba’s shop window and leaned on the jukebox in SEX, stood up occasionally. Raised in Fulham by very cool parents and a stone’s throw from The Nashville, The Greyhound, Hammersmith Odeon and Kings Road. Still mourns the Speakeasy and Wardour Street’s Marquee plus other deceased London music venues and greasy spoons. Worked for Mary Quant in the 70s and enjoyed the social scene that went with it. Was surrounded by punk squats in the mid-70s and hung out at Beggar’s Banquet basement studio watching bands drink and rehearse while avoiding electrocution. Went to Lindsay Kemp’s mime classes with punk goddess Jordan, we were both rubbish. Grew up with Paul Cook and got hit over the head by Sid’s guitar at the Speakeasy. Saw many iconic gigs back in the day including New York Dolls at Biba’s Rainbow Room and Ziggy Stardust’s farewell show at Hammersmith. Lived in NY & LA in ’79, mainly went to gigs and posed in a leather jacket. Worked in live events production for The Hippodrome in the 80s and produced and directed fringe theatre while working in film and TV in the 90s. Still dabbles in publicity work and writes scripts which gather dust. Works at Ealing Studios and recently formed a film production company. Always listening to music and reads constantly, re-learning guitar and loves all things creative. Still writes with pen and paper. Started to talk to people at bus stops.

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June 16, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Eyeplugs Interviews Modernist Music Tags:, ,
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