Various - Keep Lookin' - 80 More Mod, Soul and Freakbeat Nuggets

Here's a sobering notion: if we take 2014 as the 50th anniversary of the birth of mod, then many who were part of the original scene will be in their late 60s at best, others well into their eighth decade. While we're not at the 'Who will be mod's Harry Patch?-stage yet, the lights are flickering, leaving this most British of musical genres in the hands of those too young to have been there first time around, a curio from times past filtered through the reflection in a Vespa mirror. While the likes of Jack White and The Black Keys have seen interest in blues music sustain a modern edge, who will champion a genre that's too readily dismissed as meaning Bradley Wiggins' facial hair and beered up lads in Pretty Green rainwear?

One of the ways to keep the flame burning is through comprehensive, well-packaged sets like Keep Lookin', a sequel to 2011's Looking Back compilation. As per that previous collection, this 3CD box seeks to explore the kinds of sounds that turned heads back in the 60s, tracing the influence of cool jazz, soul and Motown on white British beat groups, and following the expansion into trippier 'freakbeat' as harder drugs entered the scene. As with their recent psychedelic set, Love, Peace and Revolution, Cherry Red aren't that interested in the big names - you'll look in vain for The Who, Small Faces or even The Creation. Instead you'll find a pre-'Fire' Arthur Brown (and his Set), Motorhead's Lemmy covering The Kinks with The Rockin' Vicars and even AC/DC's Bon Scott alongside a plethora of groovy obscurities from New Zealand and Canada. The wonderfully illustrated sleevenotes offer background to all the tracks featured - a smattering of which are issued on CD for the first time - but one listen to Soul Purpose's funky 'Boogaloo Down Broadway' is the only reminder you'll need that mod is a mindset, not a fashion. Purple heart? Don't mind if I do!

Overall

8

out of 10

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