MODS and Soul

60's Mods - ''A Day At The Seaside''

Mods and Soul went together like peaches and cream. Mods were a youth fashion and style movement that started in the 1960s in London England: the Mods adopted SOUL music as their own music. In those days Soul was underground and this had great appeal to Mods who were arrogant and had real attitude when it came to all things in their lifestyle.

The strange thing about the Mod movement is how it has lasted.

Obviously the original now mostly ageing tubby mods don’t look so stylish anymore, but glad to say that many youngsters are adopting their original styles and music.

Many events and clubs are available mostly in London.

In Manchester the Mods morphed into Soul Mods and the story of one of them is told in the book The Manchester Wheelers. They instigated what later became Northern Soul.

SOUL MODS were the ones who skept the Mod faith and the music too and the second club second to none other than The ;Wheel’ was THE BLUE NOTE CLUB.

The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds - For Your Love (1965) (Full version)

Good Morning Little School Girl – Columbia 1964
I Ain’t Got You
I Wish You Would (Orig. Billy Boy Arnold) 1964
Evil Hearted You 1965
Heart Full Of Soul
For Your Love
Shapes Of Things – 1966
I’m a Man
Over Under Sideways Down

The Yardbirds were among the first wave of UK original white blues, in fact their name comes from an old blues standard. Tragically, the original lead singer, Keith Relf, was killed by electrocution while playing his guitar in the basement of his home. This was long after the breakup of the group in 1968, however.

Other members of the group went on to form Led Zeppelin. Their version of the old standard Good Morning Little Schoolgirl was turned into what can only be described as a UK beat group pop song, redeemed only by some excellent guitar work by Eric Clapton. Nowadays, of course, the title and lyrics could be perceived as dubious to say the least and probably won’t get too many plays on the BBC.

They originated from Surrey and were big, big favourites of Roger Eagle at the Twisted Wheel in Manchester. He played lots of their tracks and booked them to appear live at the club at least twice, they were absolutely hugely appreciated at the ‘Wheel’.

The Yardbirds - For Your Love
The Yardbirds – For Your Love

Most of their early songs were copies of original American blues artists e.g. Billy Boy Arnold. Then they began to write their own great stuff. The blond one bashing his bongos madly at the Wheel was a great sight.

The line-up – Keith Relf (vocals), Paul Samwell-Smith (bass), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar), Jim McCarty (drums), and Anthony ‘Top’ Topham (lead guitar) who was soon replaced by Eric Clapton. Later they changed their line up to include Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, both first rate guitarists.

They toured with  Sonny Boy Williamson and cut a live album still available on CD.

The Yardbirds Official web site

Jeff Beck Dies – Guardian

The VIPs

The V.I.P.'s - I wanna be Free (Island 1966)

I Wanna Be Free – Island 1966

The VIPs were a UK Mod group produced by Chris Blackwell which appeared at lots of London clubs but never made it to the Twisted Wheel, although this single was played there. They originated from Carlisle.

The Action

The Action - I'll Keep On Holding On (TV)

The Action were originally a Mod group in the mould of The Small Faces (but without the success) that appeared at the Twisted Wheel in 1965.

Wikipedia: The Action

RSG – Ready Steady Go

the story of ready steady go (BBC)

RSG – Ready Steady Go – A Mod on a scooter tears off at the traffic lights, with a motorbike at the side. Pipeline by the Chantays starts to play… the Scooter and the Bike arrive at the London Weekend TV Studios. Its Friday night. It’s 7 pm. The weekend Starts here.


One intro was from Wilson Pickett. After watching off we would go down town Manchester and head for a Friday Night session at the Twisted Wheel.

54321 Manfred Mann and later it was “Baby Please Don’t Go” by Them.
The intro film and graphic sequences changed periodically.

READY STEADY GO was the ITV Television show that often had soul or R&B, artists performing (usually miming to records). Keith Fordyce, Cathy McGowan, and sometimes Kenny Lynch were the presenters. Keith Moon was omnipresent as was Donovan in his Bob Dylan rip off days – complete with acoustic and harmonica harness. But the programme rocked! If you were sixteen and a mod it was the closest you could get to a religious experience. The soul stars who graced the show with their presence was astounding. We suggest you go to the Videobeat and get as many shows as you can. It is essential viewing for anyone trying to understand was was going on in the sixties before everyone started wearing granny glasses and painting  their faces, man.

Wikipedia: Ready Steady Go!

Manfred Mann



Small Faces

The Small Faces - All Or Nothing (1966)

Sha-La-La-La-Lee – 1966
All Or Nothing
Small Faces
Small Faces

The ultimate Mod band, The Small Faces played live at the Twisted Wheel, where they had a large following due to their Mod credibility. The audience looked exactly like the group on stage except most of the lads in the audience with similar back combed hair were much taller than the Small Faces. Their name was descriptive and we joked that they back combed their hair to gain a couple of inches in height. I could’nt see if they had Cuban heels, but we did!

 What Cha Gonna’ Do About It was extremely popular with the Mods across the UK and of course at the Twisted Wheel with the ‘In Crowd’. Listening to this track today it was hardly surprising. Not only does it pass the test of time, musically it is brilliant – give it a go.

Sha-La-La-La-Lee was adopted at Manchester City’s Main Road ground as their theme at the time for supporting their star player Mike Summerbe.

Steve Marriott’s first role was The Artful Dodger in the Lionel Bart musical Oliver! His second was lead singer with the Small Faces. What was notable about this group was that Steve Marriott had a superb soul shouter’s voice. This became even more pronounced when he was in Humble Pie. Such a shame that Steve came to such a tragic end – he died in a fire in his house after returning from the US, allegedly from a cigarette. In the words of Ian Dury, Wot a Waste.

Wikipedia: The Small Faces

The Small Faces – Official website

The Brian Auger Trinity

Julie Driscoll Brian Auger & Trinity - Wheels On Fire (1968)

This Wheel’s On Fire

The Brian Auger Trinity were a regular act at the original Twisted Wheel on Brazennose Street, Manchester who was responsible for nurturing several performers who went on to become very successful.
The Brian Auger Trinity were a regular act at the original Twisted Wheel on Brazennose Street, Manchester. Brian Auger was responsible for nurturing several performers who went on to become very successful including Rod Stewart, Long John Baldry and Julie Driscoll.

Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll

He was a talented pianist turned organist who crossed over from jazz to blues and R and B in the early sixties.

His Trinity became Steampacket in 1965 and This Wheel’s On Fire (written by Bob Dylan and Rick Danko and originally recorded by The Band) which featured Julie Driscoll’s vocals is still often heard today. Also the song was used as the intro and titles sequence for the BBC TV comedy show Absolutely Fabulous.

Brian Auger – Wikipedia

Bobby Garrett

Bobby Garrett - w/The Brazos Valley Boys - Rose City Chimes - 1962

Bobby Garrett played steel guitar. He composed Rose City Chimes in 1958. A session musician. But is it the same guy who made this record that made it on the Northern scene?
Re released on KENT originally on Mirwood.

Born 22nd March 1935 – Dallas, Texas

Died 24 April 1999 – Tyler, Texas