Temple Bar Music Centre, 28/11/1999
They're still out there. This Town has its scenes, and some are very small and very exclusive.
There's the Gay scene, the Clubbers, those scary new Goths, there may even be a few heavy metal fans left around. But one scene is the scene. One scene invented the idea and it still exists. One scene with lots of Faces but very few people.
The Mods. They vary, and those who would never have spoken to each other in the 60's stick together now for want of numbers. There's different classes of Mod - from Art School to Scooter boys - from the ones who wore eyeliner and carried handbags to the ones who fought on the beaches on bank holiday weekends.
Tonight the Temple Bar Music Centre runs the gamut of mod, the preening ponces to the skinheads. The bands playing reflect that too.
Hi-rise are pure art school. A girl singer, playing to tape loops (a reminder of what decade this actually is) of lazy lounge tunes that you half expect to be in French for some reason. I'm loathe to talk about their haircuts but that was always important to the Mods and these are perfect five point Vidal Sassoon. Hi- Rise reminded me of Stereolab, but without the droney monotony. You get the picture, very pleasant.
Barbarella again - but this time they're annoying all the boys by having the audacity to play 'Can You See The Real Me' by the Who. This is pure cheek. Everyone here is in a band or something, so there are a lot of toes to step on. How does that girl think she can get away with aping Keith Moon on the drums? Well, she does. Barbarella are turning into a frightening rock monster, expect song cycles and rock operas next.
The crowd are here to see The Josephs though, semi-legendary since the broke up last year. Reformed for the night with a new guitar player, there were obviously reasons why they broke up in the first place. There's a beauty in being perfect, and its hard to know just who the Josephs are perfect at being. Onstage they look like Madness, well they've got two lead singers, and they have an energy I've never seen in an Irish band.
They've also got shades of The Buzzcocks, who they cover admirably tonight. They do it so well it sounds like they were there when it first happened. This is the tough end of Mod, the seventies revival rather than the original thing. Punks in suits and ties.
Ok, I don't know if you're better off going to see a Jam tribute band or shopping in Wild Child. It doesn't matter to these people that it's almost the millennium. Of course, maybe you're better off only listening to hardcore techno if you want to hear celebrate 2000, but you can be assured that the Ace Faces will still be there, undeniably modern but sounding like thirty years ago.