The Brook, Southampton

Secret Affair

It’s Thursday night at The Brook as we await a night of all things “Mod Revival”. With 3 of the leading players on the bill we are in for a classic night of Mod nostalgia. Kicking proceedings off are The Lambrettas. They open with “Listen, Listen” and lead vocalist Doug seems somewhat nervous. He opens up more on “Can You Feel the Beat” but once again his demeanour and between song(s) banter shows a nervousness I don’t understand from such an established band. After 3 originals the brass section take a break and we get 2 covers; a decent stab at The Faces “All or Nothing” where the singalongs are encouraged, then the Stones “The Last Time”. It’s at this point I ask myself why such an established band are panning out their set with covers? Surely on the graveyard slot you want to bang out your finest songs? Thankfully their remaining songs are those finer numbers from the back catalogue. “Page 3” takes me right back with its infectious chorus before the excellent “Cortina’s” which I have to say is new to me. On “Watch out I’m Back”, Phil (guitar/vox) takes the lead vocal and confidently delivers. The crowd then enjoy another big singalong with that old favourite “Poison Ivy”, where we all oblige Doug in good voice. Then follows the quite excellent “Dance”, their set highlight. However, to end with The Kinks “All Day and All of the Night” I’m afraid does them no favours-not their finest hour. They should know when to leave certain songs well alone! That said they leave to great applause as we anxiously wait for tonight’s “show stealers”!

The Lambrettas
The Lambrettas 123

We don’t wait long for The Chords (UK) to grace the stage. Chris (vox/guitar) is grinning as he takes his place & they launch into “Something’s Missing” – from where I’m standing there’s nothing missing! Strong, powerful drums from Kenny throughout keeping the beat, while Sandy (guitar) is chief shapeshifter & gurner. “Now It’s Gone” soon follows and it’s more of the same. “Can’t Let Go” is next and this Brook crowd are loving it, as a few move to the front and start dancing. “In My Street” is an early set highlight as Chris seems confident throughout, smiling almost the entire set. His energy and enthusiasm is a sight to behold as he covers every inch of the stage afforded him. “So Far Away” sets us up for the truly wonderful and patriotic “British Way of Life” with its infectious chorus, which we all sing along to in unison. They end a truly brilliant set with fan favourite “Maybe Tomorrow” and we sing and dance like it’s 1980. I have to say having only seen them once before, tonight’s performance was great in every respect. Solid songs, stagecraft, enthusiasm and a crowd well up for it on a school night. I for one will look forward to a Chords (UK) return show.

The Chords UK
The Chords UK 12

And so to the headliners. It’s been a year since Secret Affair graced this stage and tonight they are playing to a bigger crowd, thanks in part to the supports. They open energetically with a rip-roaring “I Am A Bullet” and we know we’re in for a show! “Dancemaster” soon follows before crowd pleaser “Get Ready” gets the movers dancing once more. Again I am curious as to why a band with a decent back catalogue put so much faith in cover versions. Yes, the songs chosen work, but a band with many fine original compositions shouldn’t need to rely on other’s songs. Tonight we are treated to some huge solo’s, particularly from Dave (guitars); who patrols the stage while gurning and pulling some impressive shapes, most notably on “All The Rage”. It’s a song big on musicianship with Andy Fairclough’s (Hammond) briefly taking centre stage, aided by great sax from Andy. “Do I Love You” keeps the “Soul Boys” happy while “New Dance” allows Dave to shine once more. “Lost in The Night” and “Sound of Confusion” are well received, but I like most in here can’t wait for “Time for Action”. Russ (drums) starts the beat before Ian’s excellent vocals take over. It’s not lost on this crowd as we sing and dance in unison. An energetic “Let Your Heart Dance” swiftly follows before they leave us with an extended “My World”, which seems to go on forever!

Secret Affair
Secret Affair 1234

They leave the stage briefly before returning with a lengthy and anthemic “No Doctor”. Ian and the boys really push the chorus before they depart us with the rather apt “When the Show Is Over”. Ian sings in a most heartfelt way and that folks was that. They exit the stage with little fuss as we reflect on a great night of music

Set Lists
Secret Affair
I am a Bullet
Get Ready
Going To a Go Go
All the Rage
Do I Love You
Crumble Gun
New Dance
Lost in the Night
Sound of Confusion
Time for Action
Let Your Heart Dance
My World

No Doctor
When the Show is Over

The Chords UK
Something’s Missing
Now It’s Gone
One More Minute
Can’t Let Go
In My Street
So Far Away
British Way of Life
Maybe Tomorrow

The Lambrettas
Listen Listen
Can’t You Feel the Beat
Leap Before You Look
All or Nothing (Small Faces)
The Last Time (Rolling Stones)
Page Three
Anything You Want
Watch out I’m Back
Poison Ivy
All Day & All of the Night (The Kinks)



Words By Ross A. Ferrone
Pictures & Video By Dave Chinery (Chinners)

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