We Are The Mods!Thursday May 08, 2014
The Mod culture from the 1960s is still alive and well in the streets of Cardiff. The Mods may be a little older and the coffee shops, like Coffee Nero, may be a little grander, but the fashion and image is still as distinctive as ever.
I was born in the 60s and so missed the birth of the Mod. However, in the late 70s and early 80s, when the music scene was full of youth and anger as they protested against Thatcher's unpopular policies, there was a revival in the Mod culture. Suddenly the streets were full of youth dressed in their Parkers, drainpipe trousers and Fred Perry shirts riding Lambrettas. It was amazing. The late 70s and 80s also saw an explosion of other fashion trends, with Punks, Ska Boys and Rockers suddenly emerging from the undergrowth preaching the glory of their favourite bands. I was into Ska, loving The Specials, Madness, Bad Manners and The Selector to name but a few. And then my best mate, Tim, introduced me to one of the Mod groups of the time, The Jam. I was and remain hooked.
Now I had a decision to make. Mod or Ska? Mods were hated (who knows why?) but I loved the way they dressed and their style. I evolved, although never made that complete transition to being a Mod, but not far off.
So, I am now in my late forties and I am walking through Cardiff on a lovely Spring day and outside Coffee Nero near the castle in Cardiff, South Wales, there are three beautiful scooters. There are long mirrors, loads of lights, high backrests, blue/red/white target stickers and flags. The Mods are back. Sitting at a table sipping on their espressos are three Mods. None of them were as young as they once were, but the style was still there. We chatted for a while and they kindly allowed me to take a load of photographs, which can be seen on my website.
As I walked away, something deep inside stirred and I found myself desiring a Parker and some drain pipe trousers. And then I thought of Quadrophenia, the magical album by The Who that was made into a film. Quietly, as I walked back towards the castle, I mumbled those memorable words from the film. "We are the Mods! We are the Mods! We Are! We Are! We Are the Mods!"
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