Mod inspired four piece
Clarks Originals: The Supernovas

They don’t make them like The Supernovas any more. The four-piece cut a Holloway swagger right through the poshest precinct in town but arrived at the shop on time, pint of Gaymers, Sherman button-downs, Fred Perry woollies and box-fresh Clarks Originals appropriately on tootsie.

It was the Clarks Originals campaign party the night before, and the band had the daunting task of opening to a music industry crowd – they rode it well and are invigorated, if suffering today.

They start with an eel & pie classic, ‘City Of Smoke’, "The girls all drink Bacardi, the boys all drink in rounds", a cheeky little number that cheered the store on yet another grizzled February Friday. Then came ‘Ace Face’, a song warning against the lure of “the pleasures of being a cocaine dealer on a pub on the Holloway road” [the band seem to be the blokes laughing at this guy, in case you’re wondering]. The band’s lead, Joei, borrow a something in looks from Pete Doherty, who they have supported before, although would’ve been a lot more at home in the at the Roxy, Covent Garden circa 1976 – Strummerville have chosen a group after their own heart.

Panashe, playing bass was dressed head-to-toe in black, while Rizo, on lead guitar and drummer Moses were looking needle-sharp - one in white-collared checked shirt and Moses Linton Kwesi Johnson’s gobbing image with goatee, pork pie hat and glasses.

Mod is a huge influence for Joei, who remembers his first big gig in 2002 to see Oasis at Finsbury Park “It was just down the road from my house and when I got there there were mods sitting on the grass everywhere. It was the first time that I ever properly felt like a mod, although it took quite a while after that until I started living like one.”

The Supernovas certainly hold their influences close, perhaps a shade too proudly, and when asked about this they feel compelled to bow to precedence – “Wasn’t it John Lennon who said Avant-Garde is French for bullshit?”

The Supernovas seldom tell the truth slant; in their following song they summed up the recession quicker than you can say ‘I play synth-pop to echo the alienation felt in credit crunch UK’; fat lunch-breaking desk clerks smiled above oversized tie knots as Joei sang “Stick your politics, gets on my tits I’m going home to paint my nails instead.”

The Supers have got a song called ‘Shot Down By The Fuzz’. Do people really say fuzz anymore? But that’s the kind of band they are – old-school, unaffected – a lot better than O The Children.

It’s certainly true that The Supernovas are perhaps too unselfconscious for their own good. However if they persevere, and insist on flicking the bird to glo-fi scenesters they’ll keep doing what they did today, and enouncing what we think in a straight, entertaining way Best-preserved slice of Cockney since the pickled onion.

Words by Miguel Cullen

Find out more about Clarks Originals 'Original And Live' gig series on ClashMusic.com HERE.
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