The Small Faces are on the spectrum. I don’t mean that in the health sense, but in the sense that they are on the far end of the Mod Spectrum.
Quick explainer: the Mod Spectrum is a handy tool I’ve made up to organise all the different strands of Mod style that have been used by bands and public figures from the Sixties to the present day. It basically arranges them by how smart they look. Oasis and bands similar are on the scruffy, Madchester end. The Small Faces are on the opposite end, what I call the “Ultras”. I will have to explain more about this in a later post I feel.
Anyway so the Small Faces are the blueprint for Mod. It was the Jam that got me into Mod, dragging me in via their music. And from Paul Weller talking about his influences, there I discovered the Small Faces. Strong music and an even stronger look. They are one of the few bands that seem to look as good off-stage as they do on-stage.
There are plenty of examples of how good they look, but their style can be summed up from a few specific sources.
The first is a photograph of the band in one of those massive Sixties egg chairs in the middle of a street, with Marriott at the front, grinning. Not the one where he’s lying across his bandmates but the one where he sits up straight. They’re all in sharp black suits and coloured Oxford shirts, repping that style. Any of these shots from their early days before they all became hippies are great - perfect exemplars of the early Sixties style.
"the Small Faces are the blueprint for Mod."
The third is another anecdote I read at one point about Ronnie Lane - that he never wore the same shirt twice. Apart from being hilarious, this is also so Mod. Like Ronnie Lane, I do occasionally wish part of my salary was paid literally in clothes so I could pull off this very same feat.
Very few bands have been a personal inspiration for the Mod style and that’s what the Small Faces bring to the table here. A classic Mod band through and through (with the added bonus of actually being a Mod band before they started), they bring the look to life like no other band and have the attitude to match, both on and off the stage.