|Andy Welsh, The Scene, 100 Club, 7 Nov '85|
As 1.9 billion people turned on their television set on a sweltering Saturday afternoon on 13 July 1985 to watch Status Quo followed by the Style Council kick off Live Aid at Wembley Stadium, two hundred Mod kids were filtering their way into an upstairs room above a north London pub, grandly called the Savoy Ballroom, to watch - in a parallel universe, pointedly oblivious to what else was going on in the world - four of their bands. In order: The Wayout, The Moment, The Combine, and headliners and main attraction, The Scene.
Seeing how well the recent piece about The Rage and the mid-80s Mod scene was received, and in anticipation for this Friday's gig at the 100 Club, today we'll cast our minds back to remember The Scene.
Proud East Londoners with an adopted northerner (that's proper North: Hull) they cut a three singles - "Looking For Love", "Something That You Said" and a cover of "Good Lovin'". The finest 45 - and one of the best of the era - being the harmony driven pop-art splash "Something That You Said" backed with "Stop-Go", their paean to amphetamines, "Now I've got such a taste for... speed".
In an era when groups were cagey about being too closely associated with the dreaded "M" word, The Scene proudly proclaimed to the national music press, "We are the only Mod band". Which was one sure fire way of sacrificing any chance of greater success but endearing them greatly to their fellow brethren.
I saw them many times and loved their gigs; somehow they tied a jangle, that shook rather than jingled, to big Who powerchords and smashed guitars. You knew the guitar destruction was coming when Gary Wood put down his red Rickenbacker and picked up something less precious to bash through a set closer. The song which has stuck in my head most firmly all these years has been "Is She In Love (With Love)" which rather bizarrely and untypically sounds a bit like The Smiths. Me and my mates would come back from gigs singing that one on the tube journey home even though it took about 25 years to hear a recorded version, finally turning up on an album of Scene tracks and those of their previous incarnation, OO7, entitled Landscapes.
These photos were taken at the 100 Club on 7 November '85. As you can read from my teenage scrawl below (you think I'm a bit anal about documenting things now, you should've seen me as a kid) it wasn't the most well attended gig and the next month Sounds announced the band would spilt after two years of "urgency, excitement, smashed guitars and a mountain of unpaid debts" which sounded very rock and roll.
Their farewell gig was another Saturday afternoon slot back in Tufnell Park on 22 February 1986. This one was packed, a great show, and saw excited kids invading the stage. With The Scene disappearing, the rest of the scene wasn't too far behind.
Reformed in 2010 with the full line-up intact, the band have a new EP due later this year and perform with The Rage at the 100 Club, Oxford Street, London this Friday 23rd January 2015.
|Gary Wood, The Scene, 7 Nov '85|
|Russell Wood, The Scene, 7 Nov '85|
|Andy Orr, The Scene, 7 Nov '85|
|Monkey Picks 1985 style|