Archive for July, 2008

Retro TV W/C 1st August 2008

by Modculture 31 July, 2008


Barry Murphy returns once more trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 1st August to Thursday 7th August.

Highlights of the week

Thirty-one years after his death, the elfin, glam rock star Marc Bolan’s rise to fame is retold with a mixture of rare concert footage, home movies and contributions from friends in Marc Bolan: the Final Word (BBC 4. Friday 1st, 9pm) while British beat group Unit Four Plus Two are featured in The Way We Were (Sunday 3rd. I TV 1 – London/Anglia regions. 6pm). Fans of classic 70s British sit-coms are in for a treat this week with BBC 2’s Dad’s Army Weekend (Saturday 2nd, 5pm onwards) and The Liver Birds are the subject of this weeks Comedy Connections (BBC 1. Friday 1st,10.35pm – repeated BBC 2. Sunday 2nd,11.30pm).

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Bill Wyman 1960s Vox bass guitar

by Modculture 30 July, 2008

After 40 years, the bass created specifically for Bill Wyman by Vox has been reissued in very limited numbers.

The Vox Teardrop VBW-2000 has been recreated in almost every detail, with the same styling and the same unique parts. That means a semi acoustic body, a craved maple top with three-colour sunburst and a back and sides made from a natural finished mahogany.

There’s also a short 30.5-inch length, a very slim neck, a custom bridge with chrome cover, chrome knobs and scratch plate and to fit that custom spec, a fitted hard case. Only six will be available in the UK (and not many more elsewhere), with a price of £1,599. Follow the link to buy one of the UK’s few.

Find out more at the Nevada Music website

Image credit: Nevada Music

Via Retro To Go

Mod-friendly gigs at the Jazz Cafe

by Modculture 30 July, 2008

London’s The Jazz Cafe have announced upcoming live performances by Alton Ellis, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, and The Beat.

The ‘king of rocksteady’ Ellis plays the legendary venue on Sunday August 10th. Tickets cost £20 plus booking fee. Motown legends Martha Reeves & The Vandellas play for three consecutive nights on the 14th to 16th of August, with tickets costing £30 (plus booking fee). Finally Two Tone ska band The Beat (featuring The Specials’ Neville Staple) play on Thursday the 4th and Friday the 5th of September, with tickets costing £25 (plus booking fee).

For tickets visit See Tickets here, phone on 0870 060 3777, or visit the Jazz Cafe in person. Visit the Jazz Cafe website here.

Ray Davies set to star in own musical

by Modculture 30 July, 2008

Former Kinks frontman Ray Davies has written a musical about growing up in post-war London.

Davies composed 20 new songs for the production, which he is also set to narrate when it hits the stage later this year. Come Dancing focuses on the vibrant London ballroom scene of the 1950s. As a youth, Davies said he used to watch his sisters go to the capital’s ballrooms and dances every Saturday night. He would later write The Kinks song ‘Come Dancing’ about his eldest sister Rosie. Davies has been planning the musical for almost a decade. The musical is directed by Kerry Michael, who recently took the helm of the theatre production of The Harder They Come.

Come Dancing opens at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in London on September 13. See here for more information.

The Wrong Box in Blackpool

by Modculture 24 July, 2008

If you happen to be planning a late season break in Blackpool, you might want to check out The Wrong Box.

Taking place at West Coast Rock, Abingdon Street, Blackpool on Saturday 6th September, you’ll get a couple of live bands (The Valvetronics and Yeh Yeh), followed by the resident DJs playing vintage sounds – everything from soul to psych.

Admission is £3 on the door and if you want to know more, email [email protected].

Rhoda Dakar at Da Doo Ron Ron

by Modculture 24 July, 2008


Brighton’s long-running 60s girl group night Da Doo Ron Ron is having a special guest DJ – Rhoda Dakar (Special AKA / The Specials, The Bodysnatchers).

Actually, there’s two guest DJs, as she’ll be joined by Nick Welsh (The Selecter, Lee Perry, Prince Buster, Laurel Aitken, Judge Dread, Skaville UK) on the decks. The night is on Friday 25th July, running from 11pm until 3am at the Komedia in Brighton, with a playlist of 60s girl pop, soul and funk embracing 60s girl groups, Motown, Ska, Soul / Northern soul, Ye-Ye, Pop, Girls in the garage, Sister funk et al.

Tickets are £5 in advance (from Komedia) or £7 on the door.

Da Doo Ron Ron MySpace

New band: Nicole Willis

by Modculture 24 July, 2008

Ah yes, another female ‘retro-soul’ singer appears on our doorstep. But Nicole Willis And The Soul Investigators are no cash-in, just a very talented band.

Hailing from Finland, Willis has the sort of modern soul voice which unites the nu-soul and 60s soulie crowd. The production on tracks like ‘If This Ain’t Love’ and ‘Feeling Free’ is straight out of the late-60s/early-70s textbook, mixing northern soul, soul-jazz, funk, and disco with ease. Whilst it isn’t particularly original it is very accomplished, thanks greatly due to the wonderful nine-piece band The Soul Investigators. Debut album Keep Reachin’ Up is available now on Timmion Records, with a new record expected next year.

You can hear more from Nicole and the band on their Myspace page here and website here. Alternatively just sit back and watch her latest video below…

Retro TV W/C 25th July 2008

by Modculture 24 July, 2008


Barry Murphy returns once more trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 25th July to Thursday 31st July.

Highlights of the week

The undoubted television highlight this week, perhaps this month, is BBC 4’s Stax Records night. Respect Yourself – the Stax Records Story (Friday 25th, 9pm – repeated Sunday 27th, 11.55pm) charts the history of soul music’s most influential record label alongside the tumultuous events of the Civil Rights movement in America. Featuring comprehensive interviews with all of the label’s major players including Stax founder Jim Stewart, Isaac Hayes, Mavis Staples, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, Eddie Floyd, William Bell, Rufus Thomas, Carla Thomas, David Porter, Duck Dunn, Sam Moore and Al Bell, this excellent documentary also includes lost performances and footage from the legendary 1967 European Stax/Volt revue, as well as the landmark 1972 Wattstax concert.

And if that wasn’t enough, one of the most thrilling concerts ever caught on film is shown straight after in Stax Volt Tour of Norway, 1967 (Friday 25th, 10.55pm – repeated Sunday 27th, 1.10am). Filmed on April 7th,1967, near the end of the legendary three week European tour when all the artists were at their very peak, this is an hour of absolute dynamite. Featuring Booker T & the MGs, Sam & Dave and Otis Redding. Unmissable.

Elsewhere, Tony Palmer’s mammoth music documentary series All You Need is Love continues on More4 (Friday 25th, 12.50am). This second programme looks at the origins of American popular music, bought by the enslaved people from Africa and developed into jazz and the blues.

On the radio this week, former Monkee Micky Dolenz looks at the making of classic road movie Easy Rider in Movie Outcasts: The Making of Easy Rider (Tuesday 29th. BBC Radio 4. 11.30am), while Steve Lamacq looks at the legacy of Liverpool’s late-70s music revival in Eric’s – the Story of a Liverpool Club (Mon 28th/Tues 29th. BBC 6 Music. 12Midnight).

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The System (1964) DVD reviewed

by Modculture 23 July, 2008

Mentioned this a while back, but The System (directed by Michael Winner and starring Oliver Reed and David Hemmings) is now available to buy – and we have a review online.

This lost 60s gem focuses on the exploits of a seaside gang who practice ‘The System’ to meet as many women as possible during the holiday season. But when Reed’s character Tinker Taylor gets hooked himself, things start to go wrong.

If you fancy it, you can pick it up for around a fiver from Amazon. But check out our review first in the slightly revamped film section.

Modculture film and TV section

San Paolo Napoli cord boots

by Modculture 23 July, 2008

I rarely spare much time for PR and press sheets, but I’ll paraphrase the one promoting the San Paolo Napoli range of leather and cord boots just to offer some background.

These are the brainchild of Paolo Hewitt – or rather, whilst visiting his family in the Naples area, he apparently discovered a small shoe shop called Scarpe Di San Paolo. The owner designed and made shoes he recalled from his youth, adding a few modern touches along the way. Liking the designs, PH brought them back to London, producing them via Ikon under the umbrella of the San Paolo Shoe and Boot Company. 

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