Friday, 29 April 2011

Single Life - The Secret Faces - Dreaming of You

"The Secret Faces will not be a secret for much longer, 
they are the finest most rip roaring band to come out of the valley since early manics, 
get to see them now so you have something to tell your grand children" - Jonathan Owen - (Svengali,Shameless,Torchwood,Nuts and Bolts)

available to download on itunes

a sublime piece of mod/pop, pleasant accomplished acoustic sound, if this is a foretaste of what is to come this band have a big future, wales next big thing? It left me wanting more!

The Secret Faces (Wayne Morgan) MIXTAPE

 "there is no real patten to the songs just songs i love"


the la's - timeless melody


the stone roses  - sally cinnamon

A friend played this for me when when I was about 15 it was on a mix tape, it stood out mile. I was hooked on the stone roses from that day.

The small faces - lazy Sunday

This is the first small faces song I ever heard, I then bought a best of tape and was amazed with Steve Marriott's voice ,i think he will always be my favorite singer of all time.

The Beatles - tomorrow never knows

There are so many Beatles songs to pick from, but this always ends up on the stereo.

The doors love me two times

The doors where a massive part of growing up for me one of my favorite bands.

The jam - pretty green

Sound affects is an amazing album,


Beady Eye - Man Of Misery

One of my favorite tracks at the moment,
The Kinks - Dead End Street

The Secret Faces cover this live,
Jimi Hendrix - Little Wing

60ft dolls - happy shopper

Saw the 60ft Dolls about 20 times in the 90s best band to come out of Wales
The Pretty Things -Don't Bring Me Down


Frank Wilson - Do I Love You Indeed I Do

Thursday, 28 April 2011

I discovered mod through bands like oasis,blur,ocean colour scene etc,what the media called britpop as did alot of people on the different mod scenes around the world,many are ashamed to admit that now,but it was a great time circa 94/97 and i embraced the whole thing,style,music,attitude the lot and will always carry a little with me till i die i guess. The bands at the time would name check their influences and id always source them out,bands like the small faces,the who,the creation,the beatles etc and i loved them all,still do.its also opened me up to even more obscure type music,like love,gram parsons,nillson i could go on forever as my passion for music of all types rages like a furnace and keeps me excited through the gems i discover on a daily basis,As for the style of clothes mods wear its a very individual thing,i mix it up with ivy league,psychedelic vintage,and comtemporary looks that form my own style and spin on the mod uniform,Hair and shoes are the starting block if you have shit hair and shit shoes forget it! whats more important than music and style absolutely nothing although my family come very close Ha haha..

darron j connett on how he took the road to a mod(ern) life

the darlings of wapping wharf lauderette

'the darlings of wapping wharf lauderette' should and is the first stop for the small faces! a magazine par excellence, full of exclusive interviews and information about the mod group, edited by the keeper of the flame, John Hellier.  From humble beginnings to a nice glossy magazine worthy of anybodies magazine rack!

john also has a wide collection of cd's from Steve Marriott worth having and available from the website (see link below)

John is also the co-writer of probably one of the best ever biographies 'It's All Too Beautiful' the life and times of Steve Marriott - i have all editions of this book, it's that good! His co-writer Paolo Hewitt is one of the foremost modernist writers - it's must read and never far from my bedside table as my nightime read of choice.

"This comprehensive biography of Steve Marriott is as close as we’re going to get to extracting the truth about Britain’s finest white soul exponent. From Mod antics with the Small Faces to his brief superstar tenure with Humble Pie and beyond, Marriott was a musical and psychological conundrum par excellence, the enigma of which still unravels to this day.

All Too Beautiful is an exhilarating, if infuriating, tale of Marriott’s chaotic lifestyle with a litany of relatives, ex-wives and partners recalling his menagerie of personalities and mood swings.

Unfortunately, this is a complex story of extraordinary talent, missed chances, exotic highs and frightening lows and yet Marriott’s determination to remain in control at all costs marks him out as a Mod maverick of the highest order. While his peers were consolidating their finances during the 1970s, Marriott was dangling between fame and destruction; arriving in limousines with Humble Pie one moment and filching potatoes from fields and hot wiring his cottage from a pylon the next. Ironically, the mans most settled period came towards the late 1980s, with a hectic tour of pubs and clubs before he tragically passed away in a house fire in 1991, before Brit Pop could fully canonise his influence.

This book succeeds as much as is possible in detailing Marriott’s brief but eventful tenure on planet Earth and yet even these 400 pages aren’t enough to penetrate the complex mysteries that went into making up Mods most complex creation."

Simon Wells (from Record Collector)

John also is the author of another excellent Small Faces book, with contributions from Paul Weller. 'Here Come The Nice' is the ultimate small faces song book, a perfect companion to  'it's all too beautiful' and even better if you can sing or play guitar!

this book includes:

Paul’s intro. Explaining the influence the Small Faces have had on not only his career but his life generally……

Lyrics, guitar tab and chord sequences of Paul’s favourite, hand-picked, Small Faces songs (15 of them).

 Also an in-depth look at each of these songs by both Paul and John.

A Small Faces biography

Lenghty interviews with both Paul and John.

“From The Beginning” Jimmy Winston’s account of the early years.

Small Faces trivia (tons of it!).

Small Faces discography.

Even some Small Faces poetry (modernist style, of course!)

Plus loads of cool pics including previously unpublished ones of The Small Faces and Paul Weller . . . . . .

Visit John at

he's an absolute gent!

John Hellier: Dressed to Kill (life as a Mod in London in the 1960's)


Original Mods in the 60s listened and danced to mainly Black American artistes. That was seen as the real thing, it was fairly snobbish really. British bands in the main got their material from this source and even the early Beatles and Stones records are peppered with covers of American R&B classics. Very early Motown (pre- Supremes, Four Tops) records were particularly desirable to Mods, things like “Money” by Barrett Strong, “Shop Around” by the Miracles, “Please Mr. Postman” by the Marvellettes and the Contours original  “Do You Love Me“. James Brown records (pre-funk) were always popular particularly “I Don’t Mind” “Night Train” and “Please Please Please“. Also American blues artists like Jimmy Reed and John Lee Hooker would regularly be played in Soho mod clubs. Very few British artistes were held in high esteem.  There were many excellent British Mod bands playing the clubs at that time. Most of them never had hit records and disappeared into oblivion but as I said before their sets were largely made up of US Soul/R&B classics. This included the so called biggies such as the Who and Small Faces, whose stage acts back then didn’t include the hit 45’s.. They saved that material for pop package tours, doing the clubs was so very different. Mod bands that spring to mind include The Action, The Eyes, The Chasers, Scrooge And The Misers, who went on to become the Attraction (no, nothing to do with Elvis Costello) and the great Johns Children with whom I played, albeit very briefly. Their drummer Chris Townson walked out after a European tour, I got to replace him for about 3 weeks! Unfortunately for me he decided to come back! Chris had depped for Keith Moon on a Who European tour, that tells you how good he was. I had no chance! Chris was still a friend of mine right up until his sad death in February 2008. as is Andy Ellison, the lead singer. Johns Children re-formed for a performance at my Steve Marriott Memorial Concert in London in 2001.

By 1967 Mod turned into psychedelic Mod. The bands were no longer playing the R&B classics and the style was now very firmly influenced by what as going on in San Francisco. Incidentally one of the very best live acts on the London scene at this time was Winston’s Fumbs led by ex Small Face Jimmy Winston. Don’t let anybody fool you that he couldn’t play, this band really cooked!

What a lot of people don’t realize is that many of the 70’s superstars had roots in 60’s mod. Rod the Mod we all know about but David Bowie, Marc Bolan, David Essex (yeah, David Essex was the drummer in a very cool mod outfit called Mood Indigo) and even Status Quo were strutting the stages in their peacock suits! Check out pictures of Quo from 1968 with Rossi sporting a Marriott haircut!

As for songs about the London mod scene well you’ve got the fairly obvious Kinks “Dedicated Follower Of Fashion” and the Small Faces “Here Come The Nice” but much more importantly check out the REAL mod anthem which has to be “London Boys” by David Bowie from 1966. An autobiographical account of pill-popping Soho in the mid sixties.


Far from it. The media were influenced by what they read in the newspapers and Mods and Rockers fighting on beaches was all that the press were interested in That type of headline sold papers. There were two types of Mods really. The first (and the one I would associate with) were Faces. Faces were very vain and would never even contemplate a fight for fear of damage more to their clothes than themselves. Blimey! I wouldn’t even sit down in an empty railway carriage for fear of losing the crease in my trouser! There was no way that a Face would scuff their shoes by kicking a tin can let alone another person. The second type of Mod were more Scooter boys than Faces. This was more street level and these guys were always happy to cause a riot! Real Faces disassociated themselves with the second type but it was the second type that the public would ultimately associate Modernism with. 

"Please note from the 1966 pic that I sent, my dedication to the cause of copying Steve Marriott.  I had wavey hair but used to have it straigtened (a perm in reverse) to get the effect"


 Recently I was telling somebody that I got to see all the major players from the 60’s and 70’s  live but thinking back on it now I overlooked the fact that I never got to see the Kinks play. Of course, I rated them very highly and still do in fact I don’t think I know anybody that doesn’t like them. Ray Davies was a real wordsmith and just about all the self penned singles and most of the albums were real classics. The Kinks were very much part of that whole Carnaby Street set of the mid sixties. Particular favourite numbers of mine are “Waterloo Sunset”, “Set Me Free”, a wonderful b side called “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” but most all the truly wonderful “Lola”. A song about a guy who picks up what he thinks is a gorgeous looking woman in a Soho bar only to find out that “she’s” a transvestite! Ray Davies writing is certainly right up there with, not only the best from that era but, the all-time greats. Other than the Kinks I saw all the leading British bands and lots of American ones. I even got to see Blues legend Howlin Wolf in a pub in Dagenham!!


 Favourite venues eh! I loved the Wardour Street Marquee. Very intimate atmosphere where the only drink on sale was Coca Cola (well it was back in 65/66). I saw many bands there that went on to superstardom including the Who, Small Faces, Cream and Jimi Hendrix Experience. Also saw the first gigs from Humble Pie and the Faces in there. I loved the Scene club just off Great Windmill Street in Soho. That was pretty elitist and very snobby and owned by the guy that ran Radio Caroline. You’d only ever hear original American artists in there, with the possible exception of Georgie Fame, Chris Farlowe or Zoot Money. That was where I first met Pete Meadon, a fast talking, over the top sort of guy who managed the Who in the early days as well as working with Andrew Loog Oldham and the Rolling Stones. Pete was a mate, perhaps more of an acquaintance really. He was a bit of a pain and the type of guy you went out of your way to avoid if you could. He died young and has now achieved legendary status amongst Mods. Dieing before your time is certainly the way to achieve that!  Other groovy clubs of that era include Tiles in Oxford Street, Billy Walkers Uppercut Club (he was a famous boxer) in the East End and the fantastic Lotus Club in Forest Gate. There were also some great venues near to my home in Romford such as the Wykeham Hall and Willow Rooms, tiny places but very atmospheric.


 I’m not really clued up enough on today’s bands to answer this one really. I hear a lot of 60’s influence in some of the new guitar bands but a lot of the mod bands that I’ve been associated with over the past ten years or so including a lot of the bands that play Conventions for me are probably more influenced by the Jam than say the Small Faces or Who but there again the Jam got their influence, well a lot of it anyway, from the 60s. So I suppose it goes around in circles really. Going back to the original question though, in my mind none of the current crop  make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up as say, the Small Faces and Who did  (and still do), they’re now part of my DNA!
NICE, I think so…….