MOD: A Very British Style

Richard Weight

MOD: A Very British Style

Richard Weight tells the story of Britain's biggest and most influential youth cult. He charts the origins of Mod in the Soho jazz scene of the 1950s, set to the cool sounds of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. He explores Mod's heyday in Swinging London in the mid-60s — to a new soundtrack courtesy of the Small Faces, the Who and the Kinks. He takes us to the Mod-Rocker riots at Margate and Brighton, and into the world of fashion and design dominated by Twiggy, Mary Quant and Terence Conran. But Mod did not end in the 1960s. Richard Weight not only brings us up to the cult's revival in the late 70s — played out against its own soundtrack of Quadrophenia and the Jam — but reveals Mod to be the DNA of British youth culture, leaving its mark on glam and Northern Soul, punk and Two Tone, Britpop and rave. This is the story of Britain's biggest and brassiest youth movement — and of its legacy. Music, film, fashion, art, architecture and design — nothing was untouched by the eclectic, frenetic, irresistible energy of Mod. 3.5 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
MOD: A Very British Style

Omniscore:

Classification Non-fiction
Genre Art, Architecture & Photography
Format
Pages
RRP
Date of Publication March 2013
ISBN 978-0224073912
Publisher Bodley Head
 

Richard Weight tells the story of Britain's biggest and most influential youth cult. He charts the origins of Mod in the Soho jazz scene of the 1950s, set to the cool sounds of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. He explores Mod's heyday in Swinging London in the mid-60s — to a new soundtrack courtesy of the Small Faces, the Who and the Kinks. He takes us to the Mod-Rocker riots at Margate and Brighton, and into the world of fashion and design dominated by Twiggy, Mary Quant and Terence Conran. But Mod did not end in the 1960s. Richard Weight not only brings us up to the cult's revival in the late 70s — played out against its own soundtrack of Quadrophenia and the Jam — but reveals Mod to be the DNA of British youth culture, leaving its mark on glam and Northern Soul, punk and Two Tone, Britpop and rave. This is the story of Britain's biggest and brassiest youth movement — and of its legacy. Music, film, fashion, art, architecture and design — nothing was untouched by the eclectic, frenetic, irresistible energy of Mod.

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Mick Brown

Was the rise of Ikea really down to the mods? Nonetheless, as an analysis of Britain’s youth tribes of the past 50 years, and how the young have defined themselves through the clothes they wear, the music they listen to and the attitudes they assume, Mod: a Very British Style is definitive.

19/03/2013

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The Observer

Ian Thomson

Mod, well-written throughout, crackles with reflections on fashion, music and film, as these became the giant pop art project of the far-distant 1960s and beyond.

07/04/2013

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The Independent

Gavin James Bower

Weight's convincing where it counts … Some of the claims for ownership might feel like a stretch … but he demands, among other things, that you reconsider what it really meant to live in "Cool Britannia".

29/03/2013

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The New Statesman

Alwyn W Turner

The connections back to mod may seem strained at times, but for the most part Weight makes a convincing and persuasive case. Even when he argues that the smiley face, so ubiquitous during the era of acid house, was akin to the RAF roundel in the 1960s, he takes you with him.

27/03/2013

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The Evening Standard

Nick Curtis

Impressive but faintly comical … It’s fair enough to claim the Two Tone, skinhead and Casual upswells as the bastard offspring of mod. But according to Weight, punk was mod too. And glam rock. And Kraftwerk. And acid house. Mod was a working-class movement co-opted by aristocratic dandies. It could be fascistic and explicitly anti-racist, camp and macho and misogynist. It shared a theoretical kinship with 20th-century modernism in art, architecture and design (Habitat was mod), but mod bands like The Who and The Kinks constantly harked back to music hall and Victoriana. If everything is mod, surely nothing is.

21/03/2013

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The Times

Will Hodgkinson

Weight is at his best in the book’s early chapters, covering the period when mod was still a movement and not an idea that could be applied, as the author does later on, to virtually anything.

18/03/2013

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The Guardian

John Harris

[A] rambling book … what gets lost in Weight's rather forced attempt to identify a "modernist" sensibility running through whole swaths of post-60s culture is something much more simple: the idea that the Mods were on the cutting-edge of modern capitalism

16/03/2013

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