Over 30 years ago Secret Affair, were at the forefront of the Mod revival, along with other bands such as The Chords, Purple Hearts and The Jam.
Secret Affair's music was different in that it took all the style and soul from Motown and fused it with rock guitar and Stax style horns along with classic Cairns/Page intelligent lyrics. Ian Page's youthful angst along with time-honoured front man arrogance, all played out as a sort of suited eulogy to punk, and left their style free to be classic Mod: all tonic suits and button down shirts. Famously in an interview with NME in 1979, the outspoken Page said, "If punk was a question, then mod is an answer."
Secret Affair released 3 albums between 1979 and 1982 - 'Glory Boys', 'Behind Closed Doors' and 'Business As Usual'. They had a string of chart hits - their debut single, ‘Time For Action’ selling over 200,000 copies in the UK alone, followed by ‘Let Your Heart Dance’ & ‘My World’, appeared on Top Of The Pops eight times and seminal BBC2 TV shows such as ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ and ‘Live in Concert’.
The band enjoyed sell out concert hall tours of the UK and toured the States extensively but disbanded at the end of 1982 and each of the members went their separate ways.
For 20 years Secret Affair lay dormant, until in 2002 they decided it was once again, ‘time for action’ and reformed briefly with the original line-up for several shows including the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.
In 2005 Ian and Dave were invited to record some new material for music publishers Peer Music and five new songs were recorded with ‘Squeeze’ drummer, Simon Hanson, and ‘Death In Vegas’ bassist, Nick Abnett, which formed the basis to their new album, 'Soho Dreams'.
In order to finance the rest of the album, Secret Affair decided to head back out onto the live circuit properly, with a new line up, and renewed energy and passion. The new 8-piece band that Page and Cairns had put together now consisted of a full horn section and Hammond organ specialist.
Their first gig with this new powerful outfit was to a sell out crowd at the Isle Of Wight Scooter Rally in 2009. The reaction was immense and they have barely stopped gigging since.
More Recently, in 2011, Secret Affair were invited by Save The Children to re-record their iconic single Time For Action to spearhead their global ‘No Child Born To Die’ campaign and following that recording the band went back into the recording studio to finally finish their studio album in over 30 years, ‘Soho Dreams’.
‘Soho Dreams’, released on the band’s original iconic label, I-SPY Records is a great album with an eclectic mix of different influences and genres that seamlessly flow together, which could only come from great song-writing and careful crafting. From the soulful ballad 'Love's Unkind' which could send a shiver down Phil Spector's spine and could easily have been performed by Otis Redding, to the blues and garage-esque 'Turn Me On' and new single 'All The Rage', all showcase a more mature sense of aggression without lacking any of the passion. Prepare to be blown away by the Hammond and horns on 'I Don't Need No Doctor' which surpasses Ray Charles' original recording and Humble Pie's chart successful version in a way you wouldn't believe. It has moments of jazz in the form of 'Soul Of The City' and the latter half of 'Walk Away' and hints of psychedelia, thanks largely to the Hammond organ.
‘Lotus Dream’ evokes Ry Cooder at his southern slide guitar best and ‘In Our Time’ tips its hat to the classic Who of old.
Fans may like to note that a limited edition vinyl format of Soho Dreams (with bonus track) will be released on September 6th 2013 on I-SPY Records.
The band also feature prominently in the Northampton Museum & Art Gallery MODS exhibition beginning July 13th – Sept 29th with original ’79 suits, guitars and other memorabilia on display and will be supporting the exhibition with a special show at the Northampton Guildhall on Sept 13th.
Today Secret Affair have a loyal fan base of old and new who enjoy the band’s unique style and polished performances and many of whom come to every show.
A UK tour commences in September 2013 but before that, they will be returning to the Isle Of Wight Scooter Rally, August 23rd at The Balcony Bar, Ryde.
‘Soho Dreams’ Tour Dates 2013:
Aug 23rd - Isle of Wight Scooter Rally
Sept 6th - Southampton, The Brook
Sept 7th - Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
Sept 13th - Northampton Guidhall
Sept 20th - Liverpool, Eric’s
Sept 21st - Dundee, Beat Generator
Sept 28th - Looe Music Festival
Oct 19th - Harlow, The Square
Nov 2nd - Brighton, Concorde 2
Nov 15th - Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
Nov 16th - Manchester, Band On The Wall
Dec 6th - Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
Dec 7th - London Islington Assembly Hall.
For more information on Secret Affair join the official sites: