Brighton is often seen as the spiritual home of The Mod. As well as it being the location of the cult film Quadrophenia based on the album by The Who, over the years Brighton has been a seminal meeting place for fans of scooters, mod fashion, music and culture, with many undergoing a pilgrimage to The Brighton Mod Weekender each year to watch bands, listen to DJs, attend the ‘all-nighters’, ride-out on scooters, and generally meet like-minded people.
'Jimmy' in Quadrophenia
The Brighton Weekender is organised by The New Untouchables and was voted the number one weekender in the UK by Mod Generation readers in 2011.
The 2012 Brighton Mod Weekender sold out well in advance, with evening events at The Komedia happening till the small hours of the morning and featuring DJ sets from Pid, Rob Bailey, Lee Miller & Chris DaleCallum Simpson, Holly Calder, Sonny “scully” Evans, Nigel Lees, Scott Fraser Simpson & Mary Boogaloo Ginger Taylor, Mick H, Si Bridger and Warren Boogaloo playing the likes of The Jam, The Kinks, The Who and Small Faces.
Tom Malyon and his dad, Russ Malyon
Hannah L Marshall from Stoke and Steve Askew from London
The Saturday and Sunday daytime sessions were hosted at the Mod nirvana The Volks Tavern, 200 yards east of Brighton Pier and where the scooters arrive in the iconic film Quadrophenia. There were live bands including Elgazelle from Manchester and Shake 101 from Essex and open decks DJ sessions where new selectors can try their hand at the art of turntabelism. Attendees could also browse the stalls selling records, vintage and bespoke clothes, art and memorabilia, and swap records at the vinyl stalls.
Curtis Lineker is a member of the Nottingham Scooter Club and has been coming to the Brighton Mod Weekender for the past four years
Left to right – Mike, Dave, Laura and Serena – all from Thames. Will be heading to the National Scooter Rally in Merseyside for the 20th anniversary at the end of the month.
Serena started riding scooters when she was fifteen and met her husband a couple of years later at their local scooter club. Serena owns two scooters – ‘Olive’, a 200cc olive green scooter, and ‘Bella’ her 100cc 1982 Vespa which she received as a 21st birthday present and which her husband resored for her 40th birthday. She said ‘things were difficult in the 80s with the rivalry between scooter clubs, but now everyone is like one big family and always welcomes newcomers. Mods from all backgrounds turn up – doctors, lawyers, manual workers … they all share a love of scooters. It really is a way of life.’
Sunday was the eagerly anticipated competition for the best Vespa, Lambretta and mod scooter held outside The Volks followed by a ride-out to Beachy Head and back, which was quite a sight with over 400 scooters in convoy.
Karen Harrison is riding the pink limited edition Penelope Pitstop scooter in front
The ‘Sounds of the Birdcage’ exhibition featured rare Action memorabilia from the book about the legendary 60s Mod band, which ‘attempts to transport the reader into the amphetamine fuelled parallel universe, of Tonik mohair, leather coats and the custom chromed Vespa GS inhabited by The Action – the world of that unsleeping, unsmiling and perpetually cool style elite, the mods.’ – Ian Hebdithwww.actionmightybaby.co.uk
‘The Red Lapels’ are Richard Maddy, Harvey Lee, Tom Barnes and Sean Spicer
Rob Bailey (DJ Dr Robert) is the man behind The Brighton Weekender, having started the event back in 2005. It takes a lot of planning and hard work to organise a weekender of this size and nature.
Rob Bailey co-founded The New Untouchables back in 1997, and, as well as The Brighton Weekender, organises Le Beat Bespoke Festival and compilation series of the same name. He has organized many clubs the last twenty years in London where he lives, and his current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, and Mousetrap allnighter, which celebrated its 21st anniversary in March 2012. Having DJed all over the globe since the mid-90s, including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe, DJ Dr Robert has met a whole lot of great people on his journey. A DJ not a collector, he loves a wide taste of underground 60’s music and buys records with one thing on his mind – making people dance and have fun!
Rob runs an online mail order record business called RnB Records. To subsidize his vinyl addiction visit www.newuntouchables.com/rnbrecords for rare Mod vintage vinyl.
The next NUTs big night out is the CROSSFIRE allnighter in London on Sat 13 October with THE SORROWS & STRYPES live and three rooms of DJs and an all-night bar.
Mark Jones from North Wales
Phil Roud from Worthing comes to the Brighton Mod Weekender every year. He has a Lambretta but it costs too much to restore so he is not driving it at the moment.
Photos by Sarah Puttock