The 2 words Mod Revival when put together in a sentence might conjure up images of young bands dressed in freshly purchased outfits from Carnaby Street trying to look and sing the part whilst playing a Rickenbacker guitar. Mod or Modernist are however so much more than a one hit wonder, their choice of clothes, the music and the books they read are chosen are careful consideration of it will add something new to their way of life. It is however the aforementioned revival period that Acid Jazz head honcho Eddie Piller has compiled an expansive new 4 cd box set, released via Edsel, that features a wave of bands that you would immediately label as mod revival and some that you might not immediately link to mod, but none the less have the seal of approval from Piller.
Starting off with The Jam I Got By In Time, a spritely almost northern soul number taken from their 1977 debut In The City album, maybe it was the fault of Weller, Foxton and Buckler that we even had a mod revival what with their short sharp 3 minute anthems that resonated from the 60’s anthems of The Who and The Kinks, Weller trying to rewrite My Generation and Waterloo Sunset, the kids watching all this on Thursday nights on Top Of The Pops wanted their piece of the action.
Amongst the best of the bunch here includes the 4 minute soul blast of The Jolt I Can’t Wait, the juddering r’n’b floor filler from The Inmates Dirty Water, the well-known revivalist Secret Affair with their instant anthem Let Your Heart dance, pre Merton Parkers band The Bureau with Let Him Have It, those well-known 2 Tone records nutty boys Madness with their vital ska number The Prince, pre James Taylor Quartet band The Prisoners who were reverenced in many Mod homes for their straight up authentic organ powerhouse tunes dip in with The More That I Teach You whilst The Heartbeats ask you to Go.
On a personal note it’s disc 4 that I resonate with the most, having been a keen follower of all things mod in and throughout the early 90’s the likes of Inspiral Carpets with their Seeds like Saturn 5 groove, Ocean Colour Scene’s anthemic singalong ballad The Day We Caught The Train plus the powerhouse trio of Five Thirty with Abstain were easily favourites of the period. But it was the like of The James Taylor Quarter with the organ bending One Way Street, Corduroy’s sassy groove of E-Type, Mother Earths nudges towards Indian Rope Man on Stoned Woman plus the authentic mod band The Clique with their show stopping Wormin’ that provided life lines to young mods up and down the British shores and further afield, the sound of the B3 organ instantly hits the right chord.
The package comes expertly, colourfully packaged with Piller providing liner notes and scans from his personal scrap books, the set feels instantly personal and affectionate towards the mod movement, something Piller has been an advocate of from birth. Priced in and around £20, this is possibly the best last word on the mod revival topic.
The Mod Revival can be purchased via the following link