Lost links & Re-ups

On any post, if the link is no longer good, leave a comment if you want the music re-uploaded. As long as I still have the file, or the record, cd, or cassette to re-rip, I will gladly accommodate in a timely manner all such requests.

Slinging tuneage like some fried or otherwise soused short-order cook

01 August 2014

The Modern(aires) Way of Living

For some reason lately I’ve had mad Manchester on my mind & on my turntable as well. I posted up Inca Babies but have been listening to a plethora of others. I was listening to James today, which led me to James' drummer David Baynton-Power’s earliest band.

Dave Baynton-Power was born in 1961 in Kent, England. Although his first musical love & first drumming licks was prog-rock, he became a big fan of punk rock & was part of the post-punk scene with his first real band, The Modernaires from Holyhead & Llangefni. 

This is their only LP, released in 1980. They played some decent sized gigs for a new band, but they soon split after moving to Chester, Cheshire, England as Brian Roberts, their original vocalist, who was schizophrenic, announced he was leaving.

The band soon re-formed. They realized that with the arrival of the Welsh TV station S4C, if they changed the lyrics of their songs from English to Welsh they might draw some attention to the band. They changed their name to Brodyr Y Ffin (Welsh for 'Brothers on the Border') as their house in Chester was right on the English-Welsh border. The plan worked & they quickly rose to the top of the Welsh scene. The band became extremely popular on the Welsh-language music scene, invigorating it with their modern sound. At the time they were regarded as pioneers & today they are still held in high esteem by Welsh musicologists.

One of the original members, vocalist & bassist Huw Hughes was killed in a house fire in 1985. He was only 29 when he died. A few years after Huw's death the band started to drift apart as many in the band went their own way. This is when Baynton-Power joined the Manchester band James. 

On Way of Living, The Modernaires are: Brian Roberts – vocals; Phillip Bradley – vocals, guitar, & synthesizer; Huw Hughes – vocals, piano, kalimba, & bass; Lea Minshull – vocals, saxophone, & flute; & David Baynton-Power – vocals, bird whistle, & drums.

The Modernaires – Way of Living, Illuminated Records JAMS 3, 1980.
decryption code in comments

Side 3A –
The Urge
Wrong Words
Traces of Tension
Something Going On (I Think There’s Probably)

Side 3B –
New Jazz Arguments
Ways of Living
Your Face
Life in Our Times
The Fringe



  1. UMtpINEErGeOyaWfop8y49qwkm8nQA6TLjUYM89RI8g

  2. Great to read and remember. Lea Minshull

    1. Thank you for stopping by & saying Hi!
      Hope I didn't write anything too far from the facts.
      It is an honor, kind sir.

    2. No, you seem well informed. Great you want to document this enigma great musical talent and synergy at this time. The recorded material belies the real potential of this line up of the band, the jams were legendry many were recorded maybe there is still some around.
      Hugh was an amazing character his life is a movie script “talent does self-destruction” his skill on fretless bass, incredible. I have a scrap book of reviews some where I must send to you (if you want) so you can see what the world thought.

    3. Great to hear from you once again. It would be astounding if some additional recorded material ever surfaced. I for one can never get too much. Always felt they were a phenomenal band. I would surely enjoy reading some local color about the young lads. Thank you most respectfully.

  3. Hi...Recently went back to Holyhead..used to play trumpet in band with Hugh and Dave..Red Truck...fortunately my old mate from the band, Robert Frith who played guitar had for all these decades kept some cassette tapes oF a gig by Red Truck and a rehearsal session of he later reincarnation of the band.. Red . I transferred em to laptop and got them onto sound cloud for posterity Hugh and Dave are featured in all..Hugh on Bass in all three and Dave on Percussion in 01 and 02 he's on drums in 03..double drum-kits..other drummer was Pete Ankers..brill he was...no idea where he is now
    contact me here if you want any more background

    1. Thank you so much for the links to the soundcloud files. It is always fantastic when old bandmates or friends provide what would otherwise be lost material, especially from bands as great as The Modernaires who don't have much recorded output. Lea contacted above, but have not heard any further from his scrapbook of reviews???

  4. Hi Dewialun Thanks also for Sound files. Hugh often told me stories of the things that went on before I joined to play sax so very interesting to hear form the old crew. I have tracked down my box of stuff and will put some of it up very soon sadly I have no recordings left.