Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Thursday, October 1, 2015

MODtreal 2015 - A Retrospective

MODtreal was a success because of all the people involved. We have momemtum and we are building upon it. The reason why I started this little venture was for the simple fact that I like to surround myself with passionate people. To be honest, it doesn't really matter about what, just that they are. You could be a butterfly collector for all I care (see The Jam song I just casually splipped in here) just as long as you speak about it with fervor. What initially drove me to start MODtreal is that a good mate of mine, Eric Colin, stopped doing MODchicag after a good 10 year run. It was the biggest Mod gathering in North America. Someone had to take over.

The idea, when you put on a weekender is to appeal to a wide array of musical taste and I think everybody was well served. We had some traditional Ska with the eight piece band, The Skatton Club, explosive Power Pop with Toronto based Blackdog Ballroom, very 60s oriented Beat with Les Gentlemen and Soul infused Garage with The Continentals.

Our main act, international Pop Modernist sensation
French Boutik was the perfect addition in a French speaking city like Montreal. They immediately felt like they were at home. Plus, the show was free. How many weekenders do you know have a band cross an ocean to give a free concert? If that doesn't show you our dedication to the Mod scene, I don't know how I'll be able to convince you. I have to thank my principal sponsor, the Maximum Rythm & Booze radio show for that.

I also believe it's important to showcase some local talent. Three of the four acts were from Montreal. This is how you support the local scene and keep it alive. Notice how they are all contemporary bands too? I'm not against booking a singer from the 60s or from the Revival unless I also have a place for newer bands. These are principales that I hold dear.

So here we go...

Friday, September 4th

Photo by Fred Eagle
The Skatton Club, with their infectious tradionnal old school vibe, started the 2015 edition of MODtreal with a bang and had arms flarring everywhere. Andre, the band leader, let me join the gang to sing (that migh not be the correct word) One Step Beyond with them. I was just glad that the room wasn't cleared after my participation.

The Skatton Club - Photo by Fred Eagle
DJ Mod Marty, Kurtis Powers and myself kept the party rolling late into the night. It was a very promissing start to a long weekend.

Mod Marty clearly enjoying himself - Photo by Fred Eagle
DJ Parka Pat - Photo by Fred Eagle
Dedicated followers of fashion - Photo by Melissa Walker
Photo by Melissa Walker

Photo by Melissa Walker

Photo by Melissa Walker
Photo by Melissa Walker
 Saturday, September 5th

While French Boutik was doing their sound check in the afternoon, the MODtreal Record Swap was in full swing at the
Atomic Cafe accross town. Deals were made, 45s were swaped and even a few left with top gear from the UK-Ave Boutique. Mood music was provided by DJ Mod Marty and DJ Parka Pat.

If you want to hear some of the best Soul and Garage 45s he picked up on that day, check out the On Target - It's What's In The Groove That Count podcast where Marty dedicates two shows to his finds. You can listen to part I here and part II here.

Just before the evening festivities, MODtreal attendees were invited to dine on a special menu of homemade pasta and authentic Italian dishes. Fellow Vespa rider, owner of Pasta Casareccia Resto-boutique and genuine good guy Mauro Petraccone has agreed to open his VIP room just for us. 

Ready for some pasta! Photo by Fred Eagle
French Boutik & friends approve the menu - Photo by Fred Eagle
Who ever said that French & Mod don't go together? French Boutik and last year's Les Envahisseurs certainly have proven us wrong. They set foot in the ol' colony to bring the house down! Nothing is more gratifying for a promoter to see people line-up after a performance waving colourful Canadian money in the air to buy records.

French Boutik - Photo by Fred Eagle
Serge - Photo by Fred Eagle
Zelda & Jean-Marc - Photo by Fred Eagle
Jean-Marc - Photo by Fred Eagle
Again, DJ Mod Marty, Kurtis Powers and DJ Parka Pat kept the feet shuffling and the hips shaking all through the night.

The MODcasters - Parka Avenue, The Face Radio, On Target & We Are The Mods! / Maximum Rhythm & Booze
Sunday, September 5th

You can't come to Montreal and not have poutine. It's our national junk food and the perfect next day hangover cure. La Banquise is a Montreal institution and the Mecca of poutine. You'll find every combination under the sun or if you want to play it safe, simply go for the traditionnal mix of fries, cheese curd and gravy. There's even a vegetarian option! No wonder there's a 24 hour line-up to get in. That gave us just enough energy to attack the evening festivities at the Atomic Cafe. 

Yes Zelda, there's vegetarian poutine - Photo by Fred Eagle
The Continentals gave us a stellar performance. The band tapped in our collective Mod conciousness and we want more! I couldn't believe how incredible the singer, Lorraine, was after only a week and an half with the band.

The Continentals - Photo by Fred Eagle
Next was Les Gentlemen. They are Mod personnafied. We need more bands like them in the scene. Without talented musicians like these guys, it ALL goes away!

Les Gentlemen - Photo by Fred Eagle
Daniel from Les Gentlemen - Photo by Fred Eagle
Blackdog Ballroom... What a way to close the 2015 edition! INCREDIBLE! They're the perfect exemple that Mod can come in different packages. They gave a performance like they were in a stadium filled with 100 000 people. If any of you missed them, sucks to be you! Up front and centre is Mike, the quintessential frontman. He has more presence, charisma, pizzazz, flair in his little toe than Liam Gallagher has in his whole body. There, I said it.

Blackdog Ballroom - Photo by Fred Eagle
With the weekender over, I finally had a little downtime. Just enough to bid farewell to life long friends and send messages to others saying that they were missed.

Oups! I forgot the word "were".
One of the upsides of hosting the MODtreal Weekender is that you get to hang out with the coolest people. So on Monday night, I had the honour of listening to French Boutik's new unreleased track. I had chills. Keep your eyes out for this one because it's their best yet.

Hope to see you all in 2016!