Danny Coates – Newcastle Mod & DJ – Get Smarter & The Riviera Touch

Danny Coates Newcastle Mod & Mod DJ at Get Smarter & Riviera Touch Djing At Kitten Casino in 2019

Danny Coates – Newcastle Mod & DJ – Get Smarter & The Riviera Touch

As part of my memories and interview section for Soul & Mod, I always like to try to incorporate a variety of interviews from  Mods spanning across the generations.  Here is another of those interviews with my friend Danny Coates, Newcastle Mod and DJ and original 1980s second generation Mod. Also the founder and Mod DJ of Mod events Get Smarter in GosforthThe Riviera Touch Weekender in South Shields.  Here is part one of Danny’s transcript discussing his very early years of entering the Mod scene, as well as some of his favourite British Beat and Latin / Boogaloo tracks.

What drew you to the Mod Scene?

Well if I’m honest, my first contact with Mod was an LP called ‘I Like It!’ This was a Music For Pleasure LP that me and my best friend Rodders found in his mom and dad’s record collection on a snow day (remember them? Hahaha) from school. It had a picture of a lad and lass on a Lambretta on the cover.  The tracks were a band massacring songs like Sha La La La Lee, My Generation and You Really Got Me. This music sort of hit a chord with me and my mate, this being in 1978.

It was at this time that we started noticing scooters. A lad from our estate had a GP covered in mirrors and lights. He wasn’t a Mod as such but he was a Soulie. Our paths were to cross many years later. He was a guy called Graham and the scooter was the ‘Brown Bomber’ and we used to chat to him a lot. Graham was a top bloke and very knowledgeable about both Soul and Mod. This encouraged us to buy Parkas and roughly call ourselves Mods.

At that point there must of been about 7 or 8 scooters on our estate. Then slowly but steadily after the release of Quadrophenia loads of other scooters and Mods started appearing, including the scooter club we were to join nearly 6 years later the Telford Tigers. The club was mainly made up of Jam fans and Soulies, most who became lifelong friends.

Newcastle Mod DJ Danny Coates of Get Smarter & The Riviera Touch With Paul Martin at 3 Keys Modernist Weekend 2019
Mod DJ Danny Coates of Get Smarter & The Riviera Touch. With Paul Martin, Founder of Looking Back Facebook Group. Taken at 3 Keys Modernist Weekend, Skegness 2019. Photo copyright & kind permission of Danny Coates.


Whilst the music that Mods listen to, covers a large area, do you have any particular preference of genre and any particular favourite tracks that you like?

This is quite an easy one to answer, and is very obvious to anybody who has ever heard me spin at a event. I would have to say British Beat, closely followed by Latin / Boogaloo. I personally  just find that they both don’t get a proper showing anymore at most do’s, especially British Beat / R&B. My favourite tracks change on a regular basis and every 5 minutes, but a few constants of mine are :

Jordon Brothers What’s Wrong With You Baby?

The Jordan Brothers – Topic
Jul 31, 2018

Mongo Santamaria – Hey Sister

Lee Miller
Jul 16, 2012

Bobby Valentin – Bad Breath

Lee Miller
Jul 15, 2012

The Rebel Rousers – As I Look

The Rebel Rousers
Dec 27, 2018

The Reg Guest Syndicate – Underworld

Pete Griffin
Dec 28, 2011

The Richard Kent Style – All Good Things

Sean Parry
May 10, 2014

plus anything by The Artwoods or The Action regarding British Beat and a lot of Ray Barretto especially the Acid LP Latin/ Boogaloo wise.

I find the beat of both irresistible.

I would like to say a big thanks to Danny Coates for his lovely recollections within this article. In part two of Danny’s Mod journey across the decades, he will discuss his clothing style and also his scooters. Part 2 will be published in the upcoming future ….  So please don’t forget to visit Soul & Mod, to read part 2 of Danny’s transcript ?


© 2020 – 2024, Jayne Thomas. All rights reserved.

Follow me :