Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Mod Soul Review Podcast

In the 21st century, Mod fanzines have been replaced by blogs and commercial radio is losing ground to music podcasts. Back in the 60s, to avoid censorship and play underground music, you needed expensive medium wave radio equipment and a large boat anchored a few miles off the UK coast. Today, your basic laptop computer will do the trick.

This is good news for all the Mods out there that are into Northern Soul, Jazz, RnB, Ska, Beat, Ye-Ye, Garage, Freakbeat, Britpop and Psychedelic music. With a few clicks of the mouse, you can download a podcast, listen to a mixcloud mix or stream a live radio show from across the globe. I’m a big fan of podcasts and twice a day, when I take my dog out for a walk, I get my dose of humour, news or music. 

The new kid on the block is Dean Stickley from the Mod Soul Review Podcast. With a name that combines the words Mod and Soul, really, how can you go wrong? With almost 50 podcasts under his belt, he’s the guy to turn to for classic Soul. Parka Avenue had the privilegedto be featured on episode 44. You can listen to it here. I’m grateful that he agreed to answer a few questions for the Parka Avenue readers.

Tell us about your podcast and how it came about.

Well the Mod Soul Review Podcast came about because I wanted to log my journey on discovering Soul music, connect with people and get more involved with the whole Mod Soul scene. I had been listening to podcasts for a number of years before I started. Mr Suave’s Mod Mod World podcast was a big influence on me starting my own podcast. I also felt there was a gap in the podcasting world for me. While Mr Suave plays everything Mod and more, Gail Smiths Work Your Soul podcast plays rare Soul music. I wanted to slot in-between and bridge the gap as I feel Mod and Soul go hand in hand.

Is Mod and Soul a natural connection for you?

No not at first. The Mod element was natural to me from the age of around 13, but I didn’t get into Soul music until I was about 25. I’m currently 30. When I was 13 years old, back in the 90s, Britpop was a massive influence on me. I was a big Oasis fan and enjoyed some of the other Britpop bands like Ocean Colour Scene, Supergrass, Blur and Cast. From these bands I went onto The Who, The Kinks, The Jam and Paul Weller. These acts only confirmed the music and the scene that I liked. Quadrophenia was also a big influence on me from the music I listened to and the clothes I wore. I think that it's in my early twenties when I really started getting into The Who and The Jam and discovering some of their B-sides. Album tracks of Soul covers was the moment for me that Mod and Soul came together. 
What was the song that got you hooked on Soul music?

Looking back at it now, I think there were three tracks that really played a huge part.

1. Marvin’ Gaye – Little Darlin’ 

This is one of the first tracks I stumbled across when I started looking into Soul music, after enjoying some of the Soul covers The Who and The Jam had done. (Who knows if I hadn’t come across this track it’s possible I would never have been captured by Soul music in the way I am.) This is a track I own the original 7” on the US Tamla label.

 2. The Miracles- Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying

I first heard a cover of this track by The High Numbers aka The Who on a documentary. It showed some rare footage of the band playing this track live in The Railway Hotel in Harrow, North West London back in the early 60’s. I tracked down the original and have loved it ever since. This is another track I own the original 7” on the US Tamla label.  

3. Tammi Terrell - All I Do Is Think About You 

This track I first come across on a compilation CD put together by Keb Darge and Paul Weller called Keb Darge and Paul Weller - Lost & Found, Real RnB & Soul. I highly recommend anyone to listen to this CD. This track and album got me into a new world of Soul music. From here on in I searched high and low for rare Soul gems. Check out episode 21 of The Mod Soul Review Podcast to catch my review of the album.

You invited your father to join you in one episode. Was he instrumental in developing your musical taste?

Yes and no really. My Dad is into Rock’n’roll, Rock’n’Soul and Doo Wop. So I grew up listening to 50’s and 60’s Soul music through my dad, although the Soul music I like is not always to his taste and the tracks he likes is not always to mine. But we normaly find there is some middle ground with artists like Jackie Wilson and Roy Hamilton.

Your show makes us revisit some forgotten classics and discover some new ones. What is your favourite source to find songs that you have never heard before?

I find the Internet is the best place to search for rare Soul gems at the moment. YouTube, Spotify and eBay are currently my favourite sites. I used to search around record shops but these traditional independent shops are closing down one by one as the Internet takes over. Although I do still enjoy going to big record fairs in and around London to seek out gems.

You often ask your listeners to submit their favourite Soul tunes. If we get to turn the tables around, what would you say are your top 5 favourite Soul tracks?

I think this is a hard question to answer as this list is always changing. But as this stands I’ll give it a go.

1. Gladys Knight & The Pips – No One Could Love You More 

A track introduced to me by Carl Robertson. He runs a local Soul club with Martin Harland called Cassiobury Soul Club. I love it when the beat drops on this track.

2. Etta James – Can’t Shake It

Pure class

3. Jackie Wilson - This Love Is Real 

This was a real find and I own the original 7” track. With so many great Jackie Wilson tracks this could be over looked. A great double sider with Love Uprising on the flip side.

4. Archie Bell & the Drells – I Just Wanna Fall In Love 

This track was introduced to me by Nick Corbin the lead singer of a brilliant Soul band called New Street Adventure. The intro to this track is magical.

5. The Caesars – Girl I Miss You 

Another track introduced to me by Carl Robertson. A real gem.

Make sure not to miss any of Dean's podcasts by subscribing on iTunes or Mixcloud.

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