A Purple Heart Operation
If 1977 will be remembered as the year of the punk, then 1979 will be remembered as the year of the Mod Revival. The mod movement which started so enthusiastically with new groups, Maximum Speed fanzine and smart clothes, now seems to have turned sour. The fashion companies commercialised the clothes, Maximum Speed folded and the mod bands failed to progress musically. In my opinion there are 3 bands still left who are worth the time and effort.
Secret Affair, The Chords and The Purple Hearts.
There has been a mixed reaction from the music press toward the Purple Hearts, but on the strength of their "Millions Like Us" single, i thought they deserved a watching. So it was with that, i arrived at the Marquee to see the Purple Hearts, with an open mind to there music and no pre-conceptions as to what they would be like.
The Hearts were welcomed by a mod dominated, and surprisingly young audience who had danced along to records from the 60's. Of course they were too young to remember those records, but that doesn't matter, does it. The Purple Hearts played a short set, and my main criticism is that they lack stage presence, but their material, such as 'Beat That', 'Perfect World' and 'Can't Stay Here' are powerful pop songs. The Hearts have an ability to create an enticing rhythm to their songs, that gives enjoyable listening, and makes dancing easy.
'Millions Like Us' a minor classic that failed to get the recognition that it deserved, when it was released as their debut single last year. "This song has nothing to do with Quadrophenia or The Undertones" said singer Bob Manton, as an introduction to their current single, 'Jimmy'. The Purple Hearts came back for an encore to chants of "We are the Mods" to play David Bowie's 'Can't Help Thinking About Me'. After the stage had been cleared of dancing bodies who had climbed out of the audience, the Hearts closed the set with 'Smashing Time', a song that summed up the gig.
Seeing kids in sharply pressed tonic suits and Who badges chanting "We are the mods", you could come to the conclusion that mod is alive and well, I still think mod is dead. As for the Purple Hearts......
They're alive and now!.
Reviewed by Paul Wright
from Issue 4 of Killin Time.
Approx February 1980.
Main Page Interviews