Mod, as a Modernist, as a fascination for the future, for the essential lines of Italian design and the sophisticated melodies of soul music. A scene that develops in the London of the 60s, which feeds on the admiration for the young ‘rude boys’, as the ‘street boys’ were defined who came from the former colonies of the empire and landed in British ports bringing with them elegant clothes and exotic music. A wave celebrated in a highly successful international film, “Quadrophenia”, released in 1979, set in the streets of Brighton, the seaside town which, even more than London, had become the center of this movement. And it is precisely in Brighton that, until September 2, it will be possible to visit the exhibition This is the Modern World, a journey into the artistic adventure of Jam and Style Council, groups that, between the end of the 70s and the 80s, were the absolute protagonists of the mod revival, which brought teenagers back into an imaginary fate of very colorful dresses, long parkas to cover tight suits and lots of soul, funky and ska to dance to. The initiative takes place in Stanley Gardens, immortalized in the disc symbol of the Jam Setting Sons and in the frames of Quadrophenia
A story united by the presence of Paul Weller, who was the leader of the two groups and who represents the perfect image of mod thinking, their being engaged in a profound social criticism of a society that had difficulty accepting ethnic diversity and cultural, as also told in the 1959 novel by Colin MacInnes (and later in the 1986 film of the same name) Absolute Beginners.
Curated by Nicky Weller, Paul’s sister, and created thanks to the personal archives of the members of the two groups and with many contributions from international fans and collectors, the exhibition is an opportunity to rediscover the importance that the so-called ‘sub cultures’ they had in designing the identity of England as a place that has made and exported the main youth communities from the post-war period to today, from beat to punk, from new romantic to glam. Each room is dedicated to a particular theme, starting with the reconstruction of Stanley Road, the street of Woking, in Surrey, where the artist lived and where the first Jam formation was born, which gave the title to his most famous album. . A large area is reserved for musical instruments, some now very rare, belonging to an era in which music had not yet passed through the revolution of digital technology and of course there are the impeccable clothes, inspired by the rude Jamaican boys, who, for the first time, they wore tailored clothes in the British working class
At the same time, Brighton will be furrowed by appointments, concerts, conversations for a total immersion in the history of mods. Like the concert scheduled for August 27 with the mod revival groups, from Secret Affair to The Vapors, from The Chords UK to Block 33l, the screening on August 29 of Quadrophenia in the presence of the cast and the meeting, on August 25, with the members of the Style Councils for the presentation of Long Hot Summer, a documentary about the group produced by Sky Arts