Ten Great Mod Revival Bands You Should Know

In my previous post ‘Six songs that inspired the Mod revival’  I looked at bands from the 60’s that influenced the Mod revival, let’s take a closer look at the bands that were part of the powerful Mod scene from 1979.

The late 1970s Mod revival combined musical and cultural elements of the 1970’s pub rock, punk rock and new wave music genres and had influences from the 1960s Mod and beat music bands such as The Who, Small Faces and The Kinks.

The revival was largely encouraged by the band The Jam, who had taken a stark Mod look and mixed the energy of punk with the sound of 1960s Mod bands.

As with any revival it was very nostalgic trying to capture the style of the music, the fashion of slim cut suits along with the scooters covered in mirrors.

I remember living in Chester in the early 80’s and seeing the Mods gather every Saturday in the center of town in a sea of green, of course I’m referring to the green fishtail parkas. I was just a little too young to be part of the crowd so of course I just looked on in awe. Thankfully we can still enjoy this great music today.

Here is the list of ‘Ten Great Mod Revival Bands’;

  1. The Purple Hearts – Jimmy – 1979
  2. The Lambrettas – Go Steady – 1979
  3. The Merton Parkas – You Need Wheels – 1979
  4. The Chords – Now its Gone – 1979
  5. Secret Affair – Time for Action – 1980
  6. Long Tall Shorty – Win Or Lose – 1981
  7. The Gents – The Faker – 1981
  8. The Truth – Confusion – 1983
  9. The Prisoners – Hurricane – 1983
  10. The Jam – Precious – 1982

Continue reading to find out more about both the bands and the songs.

1. The Purple Hearts – Jimmy – 1980

  • Formed: 1977 to 1982, 1984 to 1986, 1999, 2009 – Present
  • Location: Romford, England
  • Original Known Members: Jeff Shadbolt, Simon Stebbing, Bob Manton, Gary Sparks

The Purple Hearts released their single Jimmy which was taken from their debut album “Beat That!’ also released in 1980.

Although ‘Jimmy’ only reached number 60 in the charts the Purple Hearts are considered one of the best English Mod revival groups. This may be partly due to the NME calling them “one of the few mod bands to actually cut it on rock ‘n’ roll terms”.

After just 4 singles the band released ‘Plane Crash’ under the Roadrunner label in 1982 but after a failed American tour they broke up.

2. The Lambrettas – Go Steady – 1979

  • Formed: 1979 to 1982, 1990’s, 2009 – Present
  • Location: Brighton, England
  • Original Known Members: Jez Bird, Doug Sanders, Mark Ellis, Paul Wincer

If you were a serious Mod you either rode a Lambretta or a Vespa which was the chosen transport.

Here is a band who lent their name from the famous scooters, ‘The Lambrettas’, their debut single was Go Steady from 1979.

The single ‘Go Steady’ was released under the The Rocket Record Company Label which was owned by Elton John.

Although they split in 1982 they reformed in the mid 1990’s and again in 2009.

3. The Merton Parkas – You Need Wheels – 1979

  • Formed: 1978 to 1980
  • Location: London, England
  • Original Known Members: Danny Talbot, Mick Talbot, Neil Hurrell, Simon Smith

After the mention of parkas, ‘The Merton Parkas’ from south London released their single You Need Wheels in 1979. This is single was their most successful.

This band have a connection to one of the best Mod bands in my opinion. Now if you didn’t recognise the name Mike Talbot in the original known members – he was the keyboard player. He would go on to form the Style Council with Paul Weller (of The Jam) in 1983.

The Style Council a blue-eyed soul band would split in 1989 but not after a number of hits in the U.K. charts.

4. The Chords – Now its Gone – 1979

  • Formed: 1978 to 1981, 2010 – Present
  • Location: London, England
  • Original Known Members: Billy Hassett, Martin Mason, Chris Pope, Paul Halpin/(Brett “Buddy” Ascott)

The single Now it’s Gone was The Chords debut single and reached number 63 in the U.K. chart.

Formed in 78 and they were noticed quickly, one of their early supporters being Paul Weller.

Unfortunately, this didn’t guarantee success for the band. In 1981 they released what was to be their last single ‘Turn Away Again’. They reformed in 2010 to promote a new single ‘Another Thing Coming’

5. Secret Affair – Time for Action – 1979

  • Formed: 1979 to 1982, 2002 – Present
  • Location: London, England
  • Original Known Members: Ian Page, David Cairns

Released in 1979 Time for Action was their debut single which reached number 13. Time for Action was re-recorded by the band in 2011 for the charity Save the Children.

In just over 2 years Secret Affair posted 5 singles on the U.K. singles chart and amazingly released 3 albums in that time.

Although they split in 1982 they reformed in 2002 and continue to perform today.

6. Long Tall Shorty – Win Or Lose – 1981

  • Formed: 1978 to 1982, 2000 – Present
  • Location: London, England
  • Original Known Members: Jimmy Grant, Mark Reynolds, Tony Perfect

Here is a band with an interesting name –  ‘Long Tall Shorty’ with Win or Lose from 1981.

Long Tall Shorty were one of the earliest mod revival bands having formed in August 1978.
They had a monthly residency at the famous Marquee Club in London. and played the Reading festival in 81.

7. The Gents – The Faker – 1981

  • Formed: 1980 to 1989, 2010 – Present
  • Location: Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
  • Original Known Members: Martin Burton, Steve Chambers, Steve Kendell, Glyn Davies

‘The Gents’ released their debut single The Faker in 1981.

They began as a cover band, playing songs originally recorded by The Who, The Kinks, The Jam, The Lambrettas and even Madness.

This particular vinyl release was a limited run and copies can sell for up to 70 pounds today – so check your record collection – you never know.

8. The Truth – Confusion – 1983

  • Formed: 1982–1989, 2012–present
  • Location: United Kingdom
  • Original Known Members: Dennis Greaves, Mick Lister

When released in 1983 the single Confusion reached number 22 in the UK chart.

Confusion was not only The Truth’s debut single but also gained them their highest position in the UK chart. They had somewhat limited success in the U.S.

As a band, they were together from 82 to 89 but reformed in 2012.

9. The Prisoners – Hurricane – 1983

  • Formed: 1980–1986, 1997
  • Location: Rochester, Kent, England
  • Original Known Members: Graham Day, James Taylor, Allan Crockford, Johnny Symons

They formed in 1980 in Rochester, Kent.

Their 1960’s garage sound made them a regular live fixture in London’s underground “psychedelic revival” and “mod revival” scene of the early 1980s.

The Madchester sound of bands such as The Charlatans have said they took influence from The Prisoners  despite the limited success of the band commercially.

10. The Jam – Precious – 1982

  • Formed: 1972–1982
  • Location: Woking, Surrey, England
  • Original Known Members: Paul Weller

To play us out is the Mod Godfather himself in his first band ‘The Jam’ with the single Precious from 1982 having a distinct funk like sound that the band had not previously explored.

Precious was taken from The Gift which was to be their last album before Weller’s departure which of course shocked both the music industry and his band mates alike.

He would go on to form the Style Council in 83 with Mick Talbot.

Of course, it’s no secret that Weller would go on to have an amazing solo career which continues today.

Hope you enjoyed the list and the music.

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  1. My top three mod band were the merton parkas, secret affair and of the jam, I actually have an original sleeve of the merton parkas single you need wheels. Will now have look out for mod band compilations to check some of these bands, thanks again for the info

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