It’s a Wednesday night near Old Street station and the in-crowd have stepped out of the shadows and met in the plush surroundings of the Golden Bee for the launch of Garry Bushells’ musings on the mod revival scene. Garry was of course in the front line, reporting from the heart of the battle, stood alone among other music journalists who saw no value in new Mod. He also predicted the backlash from others but continued to wave a flag for new mods relevance and merits, often defending them with a well aimed broadside at his contemporaries on other less informed music weeklies. This book gathers together Bushells’ live reviews, notes and interviews from August 1978 until 1981 during his stint at Sounds, starting with Scottish band The Jolt, the meteoric rise of The Jam and catching The Chords, The Purple Hearts and Secret Affair in their infancy. At the launch, many of the players in this story were there to celebrate what has become a period of music that is conveniently swept under the carpet by the mainstream media. From band members to fans and contributors, the attendance proving that we knew we were right all along. Early faces from Tom McCourt, Grant Flemming and Terry Rawlings through to Chris & Buddy from The Chords, Simon, Jeff and Gary from the Purple Hearts, Secret Affairs Dave Cairns, Tony Perfect from Long Tall Shorty, Steve and Martin from The Directions and DJ Tony Class were treated to a reading from Garry and then had to put up with my djing! As for the book itself, it’s a well put together tome which captures the excitement of an embryonic movement, witnessed at close quarters as the scene grew and grew before it became swamped by the masses upon the release of Quadrophenia and eventually went back underground. As a snapshot of an exciting time in British music, hopefully it may make some people re-evaluate those bands and give them some long overdue credit. With plenty of rare photos included as well, I’d say this is the best tenner you're going to spend for a while.
Secret Affairs Dave Cairns. Photo by Dave Edwards.
Time For Action is published by Countdown Books and is priced at £9.99.
Originally published on 5th October 2012.