They had go-go dancers. They wore early 60s tailored suits. Behind the drummer hung the flag of the Royal Air Force. But the RAF performance at the Star Theatre Friday, July 18th, was not a nostalgia show. It was a living, breathing mod band cracking out power pop for the people. A mod band, playing original mod songs with all the tight dynamics and short chord changes of the early Who, Kinks and Small Faces. Stranger still: RAF is from Portland, with no direct connection to the early 1960s London youth movement. But they revere it.
RAF’s four players have vintage gear, and the chops to perform their self-penned stories of teen angst and other hot drama. But they’re in their 40s. Chris Rich, Josh Millman, Brad Pharis and John Crawford somehow channel the emotion and feel of the mod movement. And their 2 ½ minute songs leap from the stage with robust, modern fidelity. The 1960s NOW.
Together since 2012, RAF released their first EP, “Come On!” in February via a record label in Germany, and is available on iTunes. They next play a Canadian mod festival in Montreal on August 30th, MODtreal Weekender 2014!