Archive for March, 2009

Nouvelle Vague season at the BFI

by Modculture 27 March, 2009

Nouvelle Vague, or the French New Wave to you and me, is being explored in a two-month long season at the BFI Southbank.

In the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s a small clique of directors set about changing the way film was made in France. Varda, Godard, Truffaut, Resnais and more jettisoned narative structure in favour of surreal, non-linear stories and dialogue to startling effect.

50 years since its birth and the BFI Southbank in London will screen a number of films from April 9th onwards. April looks at some of the films which inspired the new wave to come, as well as films by the first wave directors of the new approach. Then in May the Southbank features films made by what is known as the rival tendency, the 'left-bank' group, alongside other a selection of other great 1960s movies that carried the same spirit.

In addition two films have been selected for nationwide release: The 400 Blows (Les Quatre Cents Coups) is released on April 10th, and Jean-Luc Godard's final nouvelle vague piece Pierrot Le Feu opens on May 22nd.

For more information and to book tickets visit the BFI website here.

New band: Tommy Atkins

by Modculture 27 March, 2009

No, not the Billy Childish-influenced DJ at The Acid Gallery (that's Tommy 'Gun' Atkins), instead this is new mod revivalists Tommy Atkins.

Formed early last year in London by Spencer Taylor, they blend Hammond organ with elements of soul, punk, and power-pop. The four-piece have not hung about and already have recorded their debut album Powdered Water, which is available to download now. On first listen tracks like 'Searching In The Wilderness' sounds reminiscent of The Charlatans at their early 90s baggy peak, whilst 'Tell It Like It Is' takes The Chords and The Prisoners as inspiration and creates a great swirling, three-minute pop song in the process. Playing regularly around the capital, catch their live show to get a truer flavour for the music.

Hear Tommy Atkins on Myspace here.

Darron Connett band & free album

by Modculture 25 March, 2009

That stylish man-about-town you keep seeing around London is one Darron J Connett. Over the past couple of years his live show has been much in-demand.

Now things have developed fast for him over the past few months. A new band line-up has seen him trading as Connett, and his shift from acoustic outings to a full-band seems to have paid off, as it’s a musical step up from before. The classic rock and power-pop influences are still there, but much more besides. 

Seven-track mini-album Waging War On The Obvious adds sitar sounds to the crunching guitars (on 'Son') and orchestral flourishes (on 'Can't You Hear Me') to great effect. Elsewhere his Small Faces and Kinks influences are still strong. Also Darron can be heard showing off his soulful voice on The 24ths 'space age lounge sound' track 'Think I Know'.

Connett have plenty of gigs lined up in the coming months, including the Mods Mayday event, the NUTS Brighton weekender, and the annual Small Faces convention. Meanwhile if you want a free copy of the album get in contact with Mono Media at [email protected]

Hear Connett on Myspace here.

Motown Funk Brother Jones RIP

by Modculture 25 March, 2009

Uriel Jones, Motown musician and one of a trio of drummers of the house band The Funk Brothers, has died in Michigan following a recent heart attack. He was 74.

He was brought into Motown in 1963 at the insistence of Marvin Gaye, and played on a string of hits for him and other artists. He was instrumental in driving forward the 'psycehdelic soul' sound that Motown pioneered in the late-60s. He toured the world several times with the band, and appeared in the 2002 Standing In The Shadows Of Motown documentary. Up until then his work and place in musical histroy was still relatively unknown. The Funk Brothers were given the lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2004.

The majority of the main players in the Funk Brothers have passed on – Jack Ashford, Joe Messina and Eddie Willis are the remaining trio, and still play live from time to time.

Jones is survived by a wife and three children.

French Connection Roundaboat Dress

by Modculture 24 March, 2009

French Connection's recent designs have been steeped in vintage aesthetics, and they just keep coming. Specialising in classic design that's well made ans uncomplicated, this Roundaboat Dress is typical of the high street shop's recent output.

The dress looks classically sixties, with a simplistic shift cut that's a perfect Mod style. The simplistic A-line shape and block white colour is given some interest with a lace overlay to add texture. Without looking like a cheap imitation, this takes Quant style to the high street to great effect.

It's available online for £150.

Find out more from the website

Via Retro To Go

Mods Mayday event: final line-up

by Modculture 23 March, 2009

We previously previewed the upcoming Mods Mayday event in Birmingham, but here is an update on the line-up.

The 17 bands roster previously mentioned has now expanded to encorporate 26 acts over three days and nights. Here is the line-up in full:

Friday May 1st, 8pm-4am 

9.30pm – THE ACE

Saturday May 2nd, 1pm-4am 
1.45pm – UPPER FIFTH
2.45pm – MIKE WALKER
3.45pm – DC FONTANA
4.15pm – YEH-YEH
7.00pm – MODUS
10.45pm – SQUIRE

Sunday May 3rd, 1pm-3am
1.45pm – THE COOPERS
2.15pm – THE ITCH 
2.45pm – THE LAYNES
3.45pm – THE ‘Q’
4.45pm – STA PREST
7.00pm – BRESSLAWS
7.30pm – TRINITY 
8.00pm  - CONNETT
9.15pm  - SMALL WORLD
10.00pm – THE RISK
10.45pm – RT3

Tickets for the weekend are now running low, so to be sure of getting into this sure-to-be-memorable event either contact the venue The Sound Bar on 07834 039992, email [email protected], or pay via PayPal by visiting the Myspace page here.

Limited Little Walter 5CD box-set

by Modculture 23 March, 2009

Much loved Chess Records harmonica man Little Walter has a new and comprehensive boxset anthology out now.

The Complete Chess Masters: 1950-1967 is a limited edition 5CD set, covering all aspects of his recording career. Walter had fourteen top 10 R&B hits between 1952 and 1958,
including the number ones Juke and My Babe. The 126
recordings here include nine previously unreleased recordings, including a pair of songs recorded with Bo Diddley

The majority of the songs contained within have sadly long been out of print, making this release something of a special occasion. The set also contains numerous photographs and extensive liner notes by Little Walter biographers' Tony Glover, Scott Dirks & Ward Gaines.

The Complete Chess Masters is an American release. Amazon UK has copies listed on its Marketplace here, but if you have no luck there you can go straight to the source at HipOSelect here.

It's A Shingaling Thing! this weekend

by Modculture 20 March, 2009

A bit last minute, but if you're in the capital this weekend, you really should try and make it to It's A Shingaling Thing!

It's on Saturday March 21st, with resident DJs Will Bourton, Mark Ellis, Jo Sadler and French Fred, joined by guests Ben Olins ( Stag ‘O’ Lee Appreciation Society) and Richard Karstrom (Sweden) The downstairs is offering up smoking platters of Dancefloor Jazz, sizzling Latin Boogaloo and deep-fried side orders of cooking R’n’B with a dressing of red hot Jamaican Ska, A heady, steaming gumbo of Girl Group, Twist, Frat, Instrumental and Beat will also be available in The Watusi Room, upstairs. There's also a live Latin dance performance by those sisters of sass, The Actionettes. 

The venue is The Apple Tree in Mount Pleasant, with festivities starting at 8 and finishing late. A £3 door tax and you’re in. Want to know more? Check out the MySpace site below.

Shingaling Thing MySpace site