mercoledì 30 marzo 2011

Into the streetlife parade.

If The Jam were largely accepted by the new mods but they were essentially a (post)punk band, Secret Affair were loved and adored as "the mod band". They became the spearhead band of the mod revival and surfed its success.Time For Action, Secret Affair's debut single became mod's anthem and reached 13 in the UK charts. Then Ian Page became spokesman for the mod revivalists etc... Maybe because of his total alignment to Mod subsequent Affairs singles never topped Time For Action's (mod)erate success. This is probably why Mods had made more enemies than friends especially in the newspapers & magazines. And Two-tone was the new mod. Oh but what an album was their first one. Great songs, big tunes, fantastic, enthusiatic playing... but it wasn't enough. Their return was even better and "Behind closed doors" is one of my all time favourites! I completely disagree with people sayng that their second album was not as good as Glory Boys, also if it failed to set the tills kerchinging and only spent four weeks in the LP chart. Then came tensions in the band but also another great album too "Business As Usual", incredibily deleted after only 11,000 copies.... Barely three months later, unable to shake off the mod-revivalist tag, Secret Affair split... 25 years later as all the makers of passionate music for passionate people, they are not forgotten... still gigging together with their gabicci's cardigans and parka with their name on it... long live The Secret Affair!

martedì 22 marzo 2011

Going underground

Underground Arrows were figureheads of the italian Mod Revival scene of 1973/87, which still enjoys a minor cult following in our country. As far as the mainstream music press – and media in general – was concerned, the 1979 mod revival fizzled out in a matter of months, but nothing could have been further from the truth. It returned to the underground from whence it came, but it also thrived, particularly in the north in the UK, and in small but dedicated scenes around the world. Here, I enclude a collection from one such outfit, Italy’s Underground Arrows. The Italian mod scene was strong, with bands such as Statuto, Kickstart, The Coys and Lager but, in their decade-long existence, The Underground Arrows proved to be one of the best. The Jam influence was there, of course, but The Underground Arrows were surprisingly eclectic, even if most of their influences fall loosely within mod parameters. They also had a very 2-Tone feel, sort of Specials-meet- Madness, and an (un)original Hammond-driven 60s-style mod. Don't forget they were the first italian mod band to play uk in 1986, two shows in London together with Four by Arts, another italian legendary mod oriented combo. Hear the Arrows playing their best tracks and look further for their new material!!!

domenica 13 marzo 2011

There's a place with a name

There was something about The House of Love... Back in 1987, they were the indie music’s hottest property they had just defined the original Creation sound. They were originally signed to Alan McGee’s label at a time when Noel Gallagher and crew were still in diapers. But then something changed, maybe the mirage of mainstream career, maybe the infinite ego of their singer Guy Chadwick... I really don't know... History said that the following year, the band left Creation – run by Alan McGee, who was also managing them – for Fontana, in a £400,000 deal, and the future looked so bright. But it wasn't...They could have been bigger than The Smiths, they could have been more fascinating than The Jesus & Marychain, they could have been... but they weren't. You know there is no justice in music biz. But i'm still in love with their melodic shimmering songs- "a sophisticated multi-layering of guitars ascending to lyrics that observe life with an alternate vulnerable and world-weary eye". An epiphany of sound that justapoxes a wall of feedback against lush vocal harmonies. But no shoegazing, no Madchester, no Bloody Valentines or Sonic Youth guitar echoes, thanks. Just great songs with a unique atmosphere. Haear them playing live at the Paradiso in 1990... there were something about them and it still remains...