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The London mod revival of the 1970’s and the North American mod revival of the 1980’s are as of nothing compared to the re-emergence of the new-rage Glasgow Mod Scene that has been growing and thriving over the last 5 years.
The Glasgow Mod weekend in 2011 was an undreamed of success attracting a hard-core of mods from all over the city, Scotland and from Northern Ireland. Over 400 ‘mods’ registered as participants, the highest number ever recorded. Strathclyde University was swamped with Italian suits, Lambretta’s and the sounds of The Who. And Friday Street , Glasgow’s Premier Mod Hot Spot, was busting at the seams.
And this year the weekend is expected to be even bigger, with our own Friday Street club celebrating 12 glorious years. Big Boss Man – “As funkadelic as James Brown and as infectious as The Beatles” - is expected to return, having first gigged there in 2002, and blowing the crowd out of their parkers in 2011.
So why this great revival, why now, why Glasgow?
The Mod Mantra “I hope I die, before I get old” seems to have born out – unlike our old adversary’s, the Rockers’, mods have always had a finger on the pulse of world, and have constantly reformed and reinvented themselves, moving with the times with its constant appeal of great music, great fashion and great camaraderie. Mod shaver always attracted the new youth, and with that has come new bands such as the Modest and The Quik, not only revamping the oldies, but creating new music, the beats of which rival the nostalgia of yester-year. It has always embraced a range of styles from jazz through to reggae through to Northern Soul and there is no two ways about it: whilst some styles have risen, many have fallen (Punk- hah!!). The best always endures and the mod eclectic has always been at the forefront of the stayers.
But that is not the whole picture.
Mods as a progressive subculture have always nurtured a mutual respect for each other that crosses all divisions such as gender, race, age and religion. Mods, from the earliest inception back in the 1960’s, have always valued and respected the autonomy and independence of the women in their midst. Their voice is always heard, their right to dress any way they choose (from the androgenous through to tarty) has always been accepted. Such equality is not universal throughout subcultures as any one who thought about how rockers and rappers talk about their women will know.
Whilst ethnicity is celebrated in much music today, and we believe there is a real place for this, mods have always put the music first, and although not ‘colour-blind’, a persons race come very low on the agenda at any mod event.
Perhaps what does raise the heartbeats of those finding a kinship with mods stems from the mods protest rebelling against the working class culture that has got out fathers nowhere by aping the decadent and ostentatious styles of the banking industry and super-rich. It is not a surprise that the mod revival has started in the ghetto’s of Glasgow, and it is no shock that it’s rise will be meteoric.
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