The Joiners, Southampton

Quadrophenia Night

On entering The Joiners, I’m glanced at by a sharp suited gent & his lady in a sixties dress, both with tidy Mod haircuts. It’s almost like stepping back in to 1964 as I glance up the bar to see similarly dressed folk. I work my way up to the stage area and the place is quite busy already, filled with people young and old. The stage has been decorated with two union jack flags, illuminated and shining brightly in the dark club; also the red, white and blue Mod circle is dotted about the place. In the background behind the stage stands a poster from the Who’s classic 1979 movie “Quadrophenia” baring the characters from the movie, Jimmy, Steph, Ace Face etc. Next to the poster is a screen with a slideshow of images from the movie being projected. With the sixties tunes being pumped through the speakers, it sets the scene perfectly for the evening.

Quadrophenia night runs all around the country and is the handy work of DJ Drew Stansall (also saxophone player from the Specials) and he’s put something together here very special indeed. Alongside Drew is the four piece band the Atlantics, who have been playing shows together for over 10 years and smash out a set of well-crafted Mod anthems and tunes from the movie. I have been a fan of the movie for a long time, also the 1973 concept album by the Who is one of my all-time favourites. The story epitomises a piece of 60’s youth cult history and tells the story of Jimmy, a Mod who along with his sharp suited, pill popping, scooter riding mates; heads to Brighton for a violent confrontation with the Rockers. The music of the Who’s double album details Jimmy’s psychological state through the story and is a masterpiece written by legendary Who guitarist, Pete Townshend.

Quadrophenia Night

The opening act is vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tom Nurse from the Atlantics. He dresses in a parka coat and plays an electric guitar, the appreciative crowd are treated to renditions of “A Town Called Malice” by The Jam and “Sunny Afternoon” by the Kinks, plus a version of the Beatles “Please, Please Me” which gets the crowd singing along. The guy has a great voice and seems very comfortable with his playing. After a short but enjoyable set, DJ Drew takes over on the decks and a bit of original ska is pumped out. Toots and the Maytals “54-46 was my number” seems to set everyone off and suddenly the dance floor is filling up. I see parka coats, porkpie hats and smart suites dotted everywhere! The pace seems to be turned up as “Zoot Suit” from the Who’s “Quadrophenia” album is pumped out and the screen starts playing video footage of the movie. The Joiners gets busier by the minute as The Atlantics hit the stage. The opening tune from the album “The Real Me” is first up, it sounds fantastic and people are dancing straight away.

The Atlantics are very good, bass player James Dunn dresses in a sharp, black and white union jack suit and looks the part. Tom Lewitt plays his guitar solos exceptionally well and drummer Owen Ross has some fantastic drum rolls and is a very tight player. Drew Stansall joins the band on saxophone and Tom Nurse on rhythm guitar and vocals shows great stage presence, chanting ‘We are the Mods, we are the mods, we are, we are, we are the Mods’ in- between songs as the band kick in to Cross Sections “High Heel Sneakers” and “Da Do Ron Ron” by the Crystals.

Quadrophenia Night

As each song is eagerly anticipated, the crowd gets busier on the dance floor. Sixties mod dancing is cracked out by girls in tight dresses and guys in Fred Perry shirts. I find myself trying to imitate the dancing of Ace Face when they whack out the Kingsmen classic “Louie Louie” (perhaps in my own head it seemed better than it was) By and large the sixties stuff is a joy to dance too, whether your familiar with the tunes or not.

The Atlantics crack on with the Who’s “Substitute” “I’m a Boy” and “The Kids are Alright” also “You Really Got Me” by the Kinks. Everyone goes crazy for the instrumental “Green Onions” another iconic track featured in the movie.

The band then leaves the stage, except lead guitarist Tom Lewitt, who picks up an acoustic guitar to perform a rendition of “I’m One” a lovely piece from the “Quadrophenia” album. When the band return we are treated to the classic album track “5:15” Drew Stansall plays some excellent saxophone here. Then a guest vocalist is welcomed to the stage to sing “Bell Boy”. The guest vocalist does a great take of Keith Moons vocal as Tom Nurse sings the Roger Daltrey part. If you’re familiar with the album by The Who, this is a real treat!

Quadrophenia Night

Finally, and it seems to be eagerly anticipated, the Atlantics end on the fantastic “My Generation” by the Who, possibly the number 1 Mod anthem. The crowd erupts as everyone sings along and the band is given a rousing reception. A spot on performance played by a well-rehearsed band, baring great energy and enthusiasm through-out, the Atlantics have done a fantastic job.

DJ Drew Stansall takes back to the decks , spinning ska, two tone, 60’s, soul and mod music for the remainder of the night.

Quadrophenia night was fantastic! For any fans of the movie, the album or the general sixties/mod sound this is an absolute must! I had to dig out my “Quadrophenia” album when I got home, remembering just how good all those songs are. I would definitely do this night all again and highly recommend it to you.
Keep ‘em peeled for more Quadrophenia nights, you won’t be disappointed and check out the band the Atlantics, a very good night all round.

We are the Mods!


Words By Jack Ratt Vinnie.

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