March Of The Mods 2017
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March of the Mods

Essex Arms, Brentwood

Billericay Football Club

24th and 25th of March


Well what a weekend that was, two fantastic days of live music. First of all on the Friday, we managed to get the only train from Chelmsford that doesn’t stop at Shenfield. So we had to go all the way to Stratford and then get a train back to Brentwood, this meant that we missed the first band, Marching Already. I was told they played a fine set so I will look out for them next time. That meant the first band I saw for the weekend were the fabulous Boss, I have seen them quite a few times now and they get better every time I see them. The Boss are a Mod revival band from the 80’s who play a very full on energetic guitar driven set which included their single from back in the day “One Good Reason” and the Jams “Non Stop Dancing.” They always put a punk one in so finished with a full on version of “Pretty Vacant.”

Next on were Mod Supergroup, the 79ers, an amalgamation of the Chords, Purple Hearts and Long Tall Shorty. Another powerful set which included “Now it’s Gone” and “One More Minute” both songs from the Chords, “Jimmy” from the Purple Hearts and lots of other great songs from their back catalogues. A great set from a powerful band with lots of attitude. Thinking about it, Paul and I were probably quite lucky that we messed the trains up as it saved drinking an extra 2 pints, I had the hangover from hell in the morning. Next was the Saturday event, this was at Billericay Football Club. It was an all day festival but with discretion being the better part of valour we got there half way through at about 5 o’clock. A shame we missed a couple of bands but this was the earliest that I have ever got to MOTM before. When we arrived the Theme were playing, a super band who I have seen before. A bit of a different sound to most of the bands that were on over the weekend. They have the 60’s influence but also nod towards 90’s indie. A great combination and we enjoyed their set.

Next were the fabulous French Boutick who I thought were going to be the best band of the weekend. I have meant to go and see them before but every time they have been over here I have missed them. I didn’t have a clue of any of the songs or what they were singing as it was all in French but they were just right and sublime, not as in your face as the British bands a bit more subtle. They were also the best dressed and any band that boasts a Hammond Organ cant go wrong. Highly recommended and I will definitely see these again.

Another band that I have seen before came on. The Scene, a good time, good fun band from the 80’s. I always enjoy these when I have seen them. They sound nothing like them but I always think of the Rezillos when I see them and are also highly recomemended. My favourite band of the weekend came up to the plate after the Scene. A Hammond Organ fuelled group with overtones of the Small Faces. They started with a cover from one of my fave groups, “ Can’t get next to you,” by the Temps. I really enjoyed this so much, everything was right about it. They rattled through a fantastic set, ending with the French Boutick on stage jamming with them. They also had a guest singer at the end, Ian Parkins, Blue-eyed soul? Probably not but everything that man has done for the music scene, I hope he enjoyed it.

The last band of the weekend were Northern Soul tribute, the Signatures. An excellent party band that had the whole audience dancing. Starting with “The Night” and rattling through a set of solid Northern standards they were a fitting end to an outstanding weekend of music.

Summing up, I have been looking forward to this weekend all year and it never disappointed for one minute (apart from the extended train journey Friday night).If I have to have any highlights it would be “Pretty Vacant” on Friday, the Sha La Las on Saturday and hearing “No one could love you more” by Gladys Knight. Nearly £4000 was raised for charity so I would like to thank all of the bands, DJ’s, sound men, bar staff and everyone who has put all the hard work in to make the event happen, most of all though I would like to thank Ian Parkin before he rides into the sunset for giving my pals and myself so much enjoyment over the years. As most of you know this is his last gig (unless he can be persuaded to do another MOTM next year), so for all the fun, new mates I have made, never seeing a duff band and for being a fellow Gooner, Good Luck and Cheers. Some things that may interest you in the next couple of months.

Rubbersoul at the Bassment on the 30th March

Double Barrell, reggae, hopefully vinyl downstairs, Chelmsford soul club, will definitely be vinyl upstairs. Both at the Asylum, Chelmsford, 1st of April.

Mar V Lus soul club. Bar Zero, Billericay. Northern soul on the 5th of April.

The Signatures with Tommy Hunt, Maritime Rooms, Southend, 5th of May.

Austen’s 60th Birthday bash with the Kubricks at the Asylum, Chelmsford, all welcome 6th of May.

KTF, the Regent Ballroom, Stanford Le Hope, 6th of May.

And one that will be pretty special, Junior Jump and the Bottom Line, the Bassment, Chelmsford, 3rd of June.

There are lots of other events so support them to keep them going.

Duncan, March 2017.

Photo's Paul Eagle.