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In pics: World of Irish Mods explored in new book
A new book explores the world of Irish mods – and features interviews with the scene’s luminaries including David Holmes, Bob Manton (Purple Hearts) and Eddie Pillar (Acid Jazz).

THE WORLD OF Irish mods is explored in a new book that uncovers all the inside info on this scene through interviews and photos.

The book is edited by lifelong mod Adam Cooper and based around interviews done by fellow mod Marty McAllister.

The two men were perfectly placed to work on the book, having lived and breathed the mod life since they were young.

Together, they have crafted a 200 page book called To Be Someone, which is packed with information, accounts, interviews and colour photos of the Irish mod scene from the 70s through to the 80s.

The book is a veritable who’s-who of the mod scene, featuring Bob Manton (Purple Hearts), Eddie Pillar (Acid Jazz), Adrian Holder (The Moment!), Gary Wood (The Scene), Mark Le Gallez (The Risk), David Holmes, Irish Paul Malone and the mods who were active in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Carlow and other cities.

It includes Irish bands like The Blades as well as the UK bands who travelled to Ireland (such as The Prisoners, Makin’ Time) – and also takes a look at fanzines, clubs, mod girls, Irish rallies and more.

With more than 50 photos and 12 pages in colour, it’s a must for mods and former mods.

One mod, John Doherty explained:

I had a scooter as did my mates, we spent most weekends attending gigs and allnighters in Dublin and Belfast. We moved on from the parka and dessie boot look to the tailored suit’s and hand made shoes style, we hunted down more rare Soul and RnB, we lived the life. For me its always been a lifestyle choice, not just dressing for the weekend.

The book’s editor Adam Cooper explained its genesis to

I was approached by a lad from Belfast called Marty McCallister, who had in the past two or three years got hold of accounts from everybody that was involved in the mod scene from 1979 onwards, not only in Belfast but other cities as well.
He had some great quotes from Acid Jazz supermo Eddie Pilla came to Ireland in the 80s and from people who were in the bands at the time like Purple Hearts. Irish Jack has done the forward for it which is great.

The book features pictures of mods out and about, dressed in their finest clothes and in venues such as Adare Lane in Fleet St – which ran from 1980 to 1987 – and the CIE Hall.

There is also a focus on fanzines. “I write a fanzine and run a record label,” explained Adam, who is based in the UK.

The whole of the book is very Irish based and at the end I’m going to write a bit about how the experiences were the same as mine in London, [how] mod is such a universal youth culture, how unifying being a mod was at a difficult time in Irish history.
Where I grew up there was the exact same scene, exact same bands, but the level of violence was greater. We used to get chased by punks and skinheads.

He said that in Ireland, there was a “bonding between skinheads and mods which didn’t happen in England”.

“Everybody hated everybody then,” he laughed.

Cooper said that today, there isn’t a scene to rival the mod scene.

There was Paul Weller, Joe Strummer – now it seems there are no role models for people to look up to. A lot of it is American music and they can’t get to see them live – it is very club based rather than based on gigs.

The book is based around the period from 1979 to 1986. “Everybody is very proud and happy to relay their memories and talk about their youth,” said Cooper.

“Being a mod, it just sticks with you forever.”

He first got into bands like The Style Council in 1983, and at the age of 11 or 12 his friends began coming to school with Jam badges on that they had taken from their older brothers.

He got into the mod lifestyle at that age, and it stuck.

I just think it’s a very smart youth culture – the way you present yourself counts for a lot in life. If you can be outwardly smart you can be inwardly smart – and I just love the music.
It’s really heartfelt soul.

He describes how the mod scene was built up by the media, before going underground. It was revived again in the 80s and 90s and Cooper namechecks modern acts like Duffy who have taken on elements of mod’s retro sound.

As you can see from the photos below, the mod life looked like a very fun life indeed.

In pics: World of Irish Mods explored in new book
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  • The lads hanging out

  • Three female mods

  • Jump around

  • Showing off their bikes

  • Belfast mods

  • Friends Brian Ryder and Steve Mcdowell

  • Dublin mods

  • Harry Farrell and Robbie Mcdonald

The book can be pre-ordered now at>

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