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Book: Venue Stories

Chapter: The New Breed: 1990s Mod Revival Scene in Leeds

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42695


In the mid 1990s, a visit to famed indie night Brighton Beach at the cockpit in Leeds changed my life. The big room played music I knew and loved but the small back room was where I discovered a whole new scene. With each step into the room, the years slipped away. I was transported to a hip scene with hip sights and hip sounds. It mesmerized me. With each sound, different groups were attracted to the dancefloor. There were slight variations in the way they moved. The soul shuffle where the feet barely left the floor. The spins and hand claps. Each dancer lost in their own connection with the music. The DJ changed and the fast paced beats of garage sent more dancers whirling onto the floor. More furious now, they swayed from side to side, hair shaking. Like the most crazy swinging scene straight out of my favourite 60s B movies.
These were the deep rhythms of 60s R&B, northern soul, garage, psychedelia, jazz and boogaloo. These aural delights became my passion. They were to soundtrack every moment and every memory of the next 20 years.
Then there were the clothes. The attention to detail stood out even to a newcomer such as me. The male soul crowd wore sharp suits with narrow trousers and sported French crews. The girls had bobs and A-Line skirts. Simple but striking. The garage and psych crowd had longer hair and their clothes were a myriad of colours. Girls in short skirts and knee length boots and boys with basin haircuts and winklepicker shoes.
I’d found my tribe. My home. As weeks went by, I watched, I learnt, I evolved.

Chapter Contributors

  • Abigail Gaines ( - againes) 'Teacher'