The New Breed: 1990s Mod Revival Scene in Leeds

Venue Stories - Narratives, Memories, and Histories from Britain’s Independent Music Spaces - Robert Edgar

Abigail Gaines [+-]
Photography studio manager
Abigail Gaines is a Photography Studio Manager of an award-winning wedding photography business. Prior to this, she worked in school leadership and also taught history and sociology - setting up a sociology department mainly to be able to teach Youth Subcultures to 17- and 18-year-olds. Abigail lives in her 60s influenced home in York with her husband and two children. Music is always playing.


In the mid 1990s, a visit to famed indie night Brighton Beach at the cockpit in Leeds changed my life. The big room played music I knew and loved but the small back room was where I discovered a whole new scene. With each step into the room, the years slipped away. I was transported to a hip scene with hip sights and hip sounds. It mesmerized me. With each sound, different groups were attracted to the dancefloor. There were slight variations in the way they moved. The soul shuffle where the feet barely left the floor. The spins and hand claps. Each dancer lost in their own connection with the music. The DJ changed and the fast paced beats of garage sent more dancers whirling onto the floor. More furious now, they swayed from side to side, hair shaking. Like the most crazy swinging scene straight out of my favourite 60s B movies. These were the deep rhythms of 60s R&B, northern soul, garage, psychedelia, jazz and boogaloo. These aural delights became my passion. They were to soundtrack every moment and every memory of the next 20 years. Then there were the clothes. The attention to detail stood out even to a newcomer such as me. The male soul crowd wore sharp suits with narrow trousers and sported French crews. The girls had bobs and A-Line skirts. Simple but striking. The garage and psych crowd had longer hair and their clothes were a myriad of colours. Girls in short skirts and knee length boots and boys with basin haircuts and winklepicker shoes. I’d found my tribe. My home. As weeks went by, I watched, I learnt, I evolved.

Notify A Colleague


Gaines, Abigail. The New Breed: 1990s Mod Revival Scene in Leeds. Venue Stories - Narratives, Memories, and Histories from Britain’s Independent Music Spaces. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2023. ISBN 9781800503731. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2022 doi: 10.1558/equinox.42695. Nov 2023

Dublin Core Metadata