Friday, December 07, 2007

We Are The Mods

I wish this was a picture of my copy of this issue of Smash Hits but I'm afraid the whole ring-bound lot of them got shoved in the Aged Ps recycling sometime last year. Yes! That recently! Until then they'd been preserved in the bedside table of my childhood room, the table on top of which the red digital Bush clock-radio sat, radio dial lit up tungsten yellow at night as I listened to the Radio Luxembourg chart rundown till eleven, then the news and the 'powerplay', with the volume down low so's not to wake them in the room next door.

I can't be objective about this record because every time I hear it, I hear it that first time - it felt like ours, a statement from the side of the school disco who'd take a Tamla Motown tune over any other and had started turning up at proper grown up night clubs wearing our Dads' discarded thin, navy, 60s ties and v-neck pullovers and pointy shoes and officially not giving a shit.

The Jam were our Beatles and Secret Affair looked for a glorious, brief moment like they might be our Small Faces - tight and soul-flecked and sharp and purple-hearted up - and Ian Page was young, so young and cool.

They weren't our Faces. We bought or taped and danced to their singles but we didn't invest in their albums. The Jam kept movin' on up and even they were gone in a few years. We hit the Upper Sixth and a few of us started bringing jazz records in. Noodly huh? End of an era.

Secret Affair - 'Time For Action' (1979)


  1. Now that has brought back memories. i was never a fan of the Mod revival in the late 70's but Secret Affair were a fab band. My Dad (who is a jazz musician) played with the sax player who later joined Secret Affair. Rock 'n' Roll eh?

  2. i always thought they were tossers and wouldve happily thumped that bloody singer .he always looked so bloody smug. went to see them twice and bought the singles though for some reason. i've got a horrible feeling i had a badge too.

  3. Smug is cool when you're 14.

  4. Hello old lad.
    I saw From The Jam this week at Leeds Poly. (29 years since I last saw them there).
    To see Foxton & Buckler (with the 2other mighty fine musicians) really enjoying themselves was a thrill in itself. I can't recall ever seeing Rick singing along during all the times I saw them in their heyday.
    Ok, 75% of the 1000 folk there were 40somethings, but it was good to see so many under 21s - and many girls too.

    I was suprised how some (perhaps) lesser known songs really stood the test of time. 'Set The House Ablaze' and 'Little Boy Soldiers' for instance, blew the socks off.

    Rather than a support band, the beery hour leading up had songs such as 'Time For Action' played. (Twas like a C90 compilation we all spliced together way back in the days when the Fred Perry wasn't quite as snug fitting).

    For all the arguments on the two-thirds Jam reformation, all I can say is that I (and every other fucker there) simply loved it. If you're in 2 minds about the current UK tour, don't be. Go and dance and sing. Life's too short.

    Fick as Fieves!


  5. I had a secret affair patch on my parka and a picture of the band above my bed! Never saw them. A friend saw them on a revival tour a while ago and said they were so short of material they played Time for Action and My World twice over. I think the 'Glory Boys' album has turned out to be one of the thinnest things there is, although the few bits that are good are very very good, like this song.


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