The vibrant mod movement which began in the 1960s is one of the longest enduring subcultures in Britain and it has been associated with many of the top musicians this country has produced. Today we are looking at the latest generation to take inspiration from Mod culture and follow in the illustrious footsteps of those before them.
Mods themselves have always had a passion for music and fashion; the name itself was originally just a short term for modernists, which referred to people with a taste for modern jazz music. But even though their choice of music was so specific, the culture later digressed to include other genres and elements- as you’ll soon find out.
Over the years Mods have become noticeable for a number of traits, including a tendency to wear clothing such as suits, parkas, Harrington jackets and paisley printed garments. They would also be stereotyped for riding on a Vespa or Lambretta scooter, famously rivalling the rockers or “greasers” of the era who would travel on motor bikes.
Evidence that the culture still exists today is visible in everything from art work, furniture to celebrity culture- take a look at cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins who openly admits he’s inspired by Mod fashion. Fred Perry are proof that the Mod style clothing still sells too, the only part of Mod culture which isn’t so prominent anymore is the music.
You might be wondering what sort of music actually is part of the Mod culture and if you are then you’ll no doubt be surprised to learn that legendary names like The Who, The Beatles, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Paul Weller (The Modfather), Blur and Oasis are just some of the artists who could be described as part of the subculture in the past.
It’s hard to define exactly what a “Mod Musician” is because Mod culture is about much more than just music, but here are some artists who you might give that label to today:
At just 28 he has already played in three bands- The Little Flames, The Rascals, and The Last Shadow Puppets alongside Arctic Monkey’s front man Alex Turner- as well as managing success as a solo artist too. It is easy to see why the scouser is considered a bona fide Mod- he has the distinctive haircut and an immaculate dress sense you would expect of one.
This band hailing from Essex might be lesser known than those artists mentioned alongside them here, but they are certainly one of the most distinctively mod-inspired bands that you’ll find in the modern music industry. The 5 piece group have made 3 albums now and amassed a cult status among those championing a Mod revival in recent years; they’ve make brands like Fred Perry part of their identity.
His sound has been described as a throwback to a bygone era and at just 21-years-old he has already had two hit albums with a third in the pipeline too. Everything about him from his persona to his simple dark clothing suggests he takes more than a little inspiration from the Mod style of the 60s and beyond.
Although you could argue his music with the Arctic Monkeys relates closely with rockers- the Mod’s arch enemy- Turner has always taken influence from past eras in terms of both style and music and his pristine appearance suggests he favours the Mod subculture.
One to watch out for…
You may not have heard of this Mancunian solo act yet but he is held in high regard by his locals, who after all should know a thing or two about music having been notorious for the vibrant Madchester scene of years gone by. The solo act could potentially be a rival to Jake Bugg in years to come although it would be unfair to describe their music as similar. The thick-rimmed glasses and pristine suit he wears to perform in draws comparisons with the look of Mod icons like Jarvis Cocker.