Mod revivalists best known for Mod anthem ‘Time For Action’. One for the mods, old and new.
Secret Affair (Ian Page, Dave Cairns, Dennis Smith & Seb Shelton) formed in 1978 from their previous incarnation as the “power pop” band New Hearts.
In a period of a little over two years, they posted five releases in the UK Singles Chart, and released three albums. The debut single “Time For Action” sold over 200,000 copies and reached number 13 in the UK chart, putting them at the forefront of the mod revival movement. More chart success followed with “Let Your Heart Dance”, “My World” and “Sound Of Confusion”. They also drew up plans for a smart-dressing youth movement – the Glory Boys – based around the idea of 1960s gangster chic, influenced by the movie, Performance.
In 1979 Page and Cairns enlisted the services of bassist Dennis Smith, drummer Seb Shelton and saxophone player Dave Winthrop. From their very first gig, opening for The Jam at Reading University in February 1979, the band were adopted by a group of East End mods, who readily embraced Page’s Glory Boy concept. This group of fans began referring to themselves as Glory Boys. Secret Affair had become so closely linked to the emerging mod revival that in March 1979 Cairns wrote what would become the youth movement’s main anthem, “Time For Action”.
Secret Affair were soon signed to Arista Records & formed their own label, I-Spy Records. After Time For Action charted it was soon followed by “Let Your Heart Dance”, “My World” and “Sound Of Confusion”. Their first two albums, Glory Boys (December 1979) and Behind Closed Doors (September 1980), with its more complex orchestrated arrangements, proved successful and in their first year Secret Affair regularly appeared on the BBC Television show Top Of The Pops, and were cover stars of many UK music magazines, including New Musical Express, Sounds and Smash Hits.
The mod movement that had swept Secret Affair into the pop charts had all but evaporated by mid 1980, losing out to the rival 2 Tone fashion movement, and after the release of the band’s second album, drummer Shelton quit to join the “Come On Eileen” era Dexys Midnight Runners. Secret Affair regrouped, recruiting ex-Advertising drummer Paul Bultitude and embarking on a lengthy tour of the United States, before returning in late 1981 with their final chart hit, “Do You Know?” One more single followed, “Lost In The Night”, before the release of Business As Usual, an album that saw the band return to the rock-soul fusion of their earlier work.
More recently new CD releases include a new album featuring NEW HEARTS “A Secret Affair” charting the bands early career with CBS as New Hearts, and a brand new SINGLES COLLECTION featuring all the bands A and B sides, with two bonus new tracks, which was released January 2011.
Secret Affair with founder members Ian Page & Dave Cairns the band are now joined by Russ Baxter on Drums and Ed Pearson on bass, Bryn Barklam on Hammond and Andy Brush on Sax. 2012 marks the start of a brand new tour starting on March 24th in Siena Italy and ending with their only London annual show at the 229 Club Great Portland Street at the end of the year.