Secret Affair to end the working week. Part of the Mod Revival wave that swept the UK around 1978/1979. I was first introduced to Secret Affair via Steve Barron‘s sister, Siobhan. Steve directed their videos from the beginning and both him and Siobhan were very enthusiastic about the band. When she handed me the cassette of their second album, Behind Closed Doors, she gave me an all-knowing “you’re-gonna-like-these-guys’ grin – and she was right. There were a lot of exciting bands climbing on the Mod Revival band wagon – as with much of the 70’s and into the early 80s, music was going in an explosion of different directions and all of it was loaded with energy and conviction – the competition for a place on your turntable (or in this case, cassette deck) was fierce – but it made for a lot of great listening – Secret Affair was a big part of it.
I don’t recall them coming to the States – and I do remember they didn’t last for long; breaking up in 1982, only two scant years after I first got exposed to them. But in that initial period they released three albums, five singles and made a big impression as to the huge possibilities these new directions in Pop music were taking.
I initially posted a concert by Secret Affair in 2014 and was informed by the band that yes, they were back together; gigging and recording, and had been since 2002. Personnel changes, sure – but the spirit is intact.
According to their Wikipedia page- this is what they’ve been up to since 2002:
In June 2002, Ian Page, David Cairns, Dennis Smith, Paul Bultitude and Dave Winthrop (founding members) reformed for three gigs, including a performance at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire. They returned in June the following year, playing at The Scala in Islington to promote the release of Time For Action: The Anthology (Sanctuary), a major CD retrospective of hits, rarities and previously unreleased tracks. The concert was filmed and released on DVD.
In 2006, Page and Cairns attempted to mend their sometimes fractious relationship and started work on a fourth Secret Affair album, recording five new songs for Peer Music. The album remains unfinished, but in 2010 Captain Mod Records released Secret Affair, The Singles Collection which featured two of the Peer Music tracks, “Soho Dreams” and “Land Of Hope”.
Page and Cairns reformed Secret Affair as a touring band with a new line-up. In 2009 they have played regularly around the UK and further afield, having played their first ever concerts in Dublin, Madrid, Moscow and Tokyo.
In July 2011, Secret Affair re-recorded “Time For Action” for Save The Children. The latter spearheaded their campaign for health workers in poor countries, and over 42,000 people signed the petition in the UK which was taken to David Cameron in September 2011, resulting in funds for the cause endorsed and approved by the United Nations.
On 5 December 2011, Dave Cairns appeared as a guest on BBC Two programme, Never Mind The Buzzcocks.
Secret Affair released their fourth studio album, Soho Dreams after an absence of 30 years on their label, I-SPY Records, on 10 September 2012, distributed by Code7/Plastic Head and supported by a 13-date UK tour ending at The 229 Club, London, on 24 November. The band continue to tour throughout 2013 and perform their end of year show at the Islington Assembly Hall, 7 December.
5 September 2014 Secret Affair begin their ’35th Anniversary Tour of the UK in Gloucester at the Guildhall followed by Stockton on Tees and ending in Manchester at the Band on the Wall venue, 13 December 2014 celebrating the 1979 release of their debut album, ‘Glory Boys’.
November 2014, Sony/BMG/Captain Mod Records released ‘Est 1979’ The Secret Affair 35th Anniversary Box Set featuring all four albums from 1979 to the present day.
August 2016, I-SPY Records released Secret Affair’s cover of the Northern Soul classic ‘Do I Love You’ (Indeed I Do) on 7 inch vinyl only.
On 29 September 2016 Secret Affair appeared on Vintage TV, episode 28, performing live in concert three tracks, ‘Do I Love You’ (Indeed I Do), ‘I Don’t Need No Doctor’ and ‘My World’.
In case you missed them the first time around, this Peel session from 1979 will all make perfect sense to you.
Suggested playback volume: Loud.