Reviewer: Matt Forrest
When The Who released their second Rock Opera, Quadrophenia (it’s the tale of young mod Jimmy, who is trying to find his way in life, set in London and against the back drop of the clashes on Brighton beach between the mods and rockers), the album was heralded as a classic and regularly appears on lists of the greatest albums of all times.
In 1979 Quadrophenia was turned into a film loosely based on the seminal album, starring Phil Daniels, Leslie Ash and Sting: the film has become a cult classic and a favourite for ‘the mod’ movement.
The Sale Waterside Arts Centre hold their annual celebration of the album and film with a night of live music and dance. First up was the support band, who’s name I didn’t catch: it was 3 young lads, dressed smartly in grey suits – they looked the part and sounded the part. The setlist comprised of their own compositions, mod, punk and a few modern classics. Stand out tracks included: a blistering version of The Jams, Down in the Tube Station at Midnigh”, a sneering Anarchy in the UK. The band did their job well – they got people out of the bar, into the auditorium and out onto the dance floor. Full of confidence and swagger, this band will go places, my only gripe was over the time they said their name it was pretty inaudible… slow it down!
Up next was a DJ set from Drew Standstall of The Specials – a mixture of Northern Soul and Ska classics continue the party atmosphere: Gloria Jones, Tainted love and Al Wilson’s The Snake, being the highlights, the dance floor is filling up now and everyone seems in the mood for a good time and dance.
Finally comes The Atlantics, swaggering onto the stage against a back drop of projected images of Brighton Beach and stills from the film. They work through a setlist of 60’s standards, with a heavy bias towards The Who. The Kids are Alright and Subsititute are thrashed out with all the energy that was a trademark of the original band. The set is broken up with chants of “we are the mods”, a raw, visceral version of The Kinks’ You Really Got Me, and a cracking version of The Rolling Stones’ Under my Thumb dedicated to the smartly dressed man in a waistcoat (me), are belted out.
The set draws to a close with a version of 5:15, arguably the stand out track from Quadrophenia album and the inevitable My Generation draw the evening to a close. The Atlantics clearly love this period of British music, and it shines through in their performance. My only gripe is that as it was billed as a celebration of Quadophenia, more songs from the album should have been included in the setlist, however this is a minor quibble for what was a good night out. As the mod mantra states “it’s a way of life”…. So where do I sign up?
Reviewed: 27 February 2016 | Image: Contributed