Growing up in Bristol in the late ‘60s/early ‘70s, Nick Sheppard was raised within and around a melting pot of musical subcultures that saw him form punk outfit, The Cortinas, and later join The Clash.
Amongst these subcultures were the Mods – perhaps the most sartorially splendid of all the rock’n’roll tribes.
“I suppose Mod culture has always been forward looking,” Sheppard reflects. “I think you’ll find elements of the Mod mindset in most of the subsequent subcultures. Most. Not all!
“I don’t think at the time, anyone I knew used the word Mod – this would be around 1972-73. My mates’ older brothers were Skinheads and Suedeheads. Hard Mods. A reaction against the more flamboyant excesses of the late ‘60s hippy culture, which attracted other elements of the Mod movement. So no one used the word, but everyone chased down the right clothes and the right haircut.”
Pete Mearden – UK music publicist and one-time manager of The Who – described mod culture as ‘clean living under difficult circumstances’. It certainly was well-rounded…
“My Dad was a Mod,” Sheppard reveals. “He listened to modern jazz, and emulated the style of the musicians. Miles Davis etc… Ivy League. I think the style and sound of those records encapsulated a world free of the hardships of post war Britain. America had money and style and all this amazing music!
“The teenagers that were drawn to modern jazz (Modernists) and then soul music, were looking for the ‘cool’ and the ‘hip’. This kind of attitude carried over into the way you carried yourself and interacted with the world.”
The Who and The Jam are celebrated by the bands That’s Who and Sound Affects at the Mod Revival on August 25. Sheppard will be spinning tunes by other artists who were integral to Mod culture.
“For me The Small Faces, and later The Faces,” he says of bands that impacted him. “To be honest, most of the music I grew up with was made by people who came through the 60’s Mod era – Marc Bolan, David Bowie, Bryan Ferry.
“And then you’ve got punk, which was basically Mod with ripped t-shirts! The first Clash Album is very Mod…”
The lineage is impeccable.
Mod Revival happens at Gate One Theatre, Claremont Showgrounds, with DJ Nick Sheppard, That’s Who, Sound Affects: The Live Jam Experience and Special Brew. Tickets and full details via https://www.facebook.com/events/175123849997438/