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Review: March of the Mods

As I walked into Blackpool Cricket Club on Saturday night, I was greeted by The Jam Collective doing their sound check; this was going to be a good night!

Out of the three-band line up, I had heard of one, Ska Face, and who in this area has not heard of them? They were the headliners, the band that would leave all comers with lasting memories no matter what came before them. If I was in their shoes, I’d have been sweating.

It’s a brave man, or drummer in this case, that comes into a gig like this after only two weeks’ practise with a new band. The passion and enjoyment they have for what they do allowed the quality of The Jam Collective to shine through and belting out classics like Down in The Tube Station at Midnight and Going Underground, amongst others, got the crowd fired up and wanting more.

There was a brief respite during which the raffle was drawn.  Prizes included a Ska Face banner signed by all the bands playing and a unique piece of art from David Healy at Infected By Design.  Next, it was the turn of Heavy Sol Band.  This is a five-piece hailing from Leicester (though the singer was originally from Blackpool) and they brought with them a following, including a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

They also brought a mix of sounds from Ocean Colour Scene’s Riverboat Song to Nolan Porter’s If I could Only Be Sure and Paul Weller’s Changing Man and it wouldn’t be a Mod gig if you didn’t have My Generation by The Who. Each one was delivered with a professionalism and energy that hyped the crowd to another level. I’m sure they left with a lot of new fans. I, for one, would be happy to see these guys again in the area.

By now, Ska Face must have realised they had to put on a top notch performance.  They delivered, and then some! The crowd went wild and the whole place was jumping as everyone packed in as close to the band as they could. This is clearly a band that enjoys what they do, right down to the 74 year old sax player! All the bands of my youth brought back to life with gusto. Bad Manners, The Specials and Madness, to name just a few.

Thanks have to be given to the sound engineer, Scotty Owen; though my ears have stopped ringing I’m sure I can still feel the vibration from the bass! And a huge thank you to Norman, Gaz and Cowbell Radio for putting together a fantastic evening. I hope Blackpool gets to host this again in coming years, but just one thing guys, “You’re going to need a bigger boat!”

March of the Mods is a thirty event tour of the UK starting in Liverpool on 28 February and ending in Tamworth on 30 March. It’s all in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust, of which Roger Daltry is a patron.

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