A NEW youth culture exploded onto Britain’s quiet streets in 1964 – sharply-dressed working class teenagers, riding shiny Italian Vespas or Lambrettas, with a new musical sound: they were the Mods.

The sharpest Mod of all was known as a ‘Face’ and the quintessential Mod band was The Small Faces.

This week audiences will be reliving those heady times at Swindon’s Wyvern Theatre, in a stage celebration of The Small Faces called All or Nothing.

The show, written by Carol Harrison, includes brilliant hits such as Whatcha Gonna Do About It, Lazy Sunday, Tin Soldier, Sha La La La Lee, Itchycoo Park and All or Nothing.

Carol Harrison, a Mod in their 1960s glory days, recalled how the Mod scene first emerged.

“Growing up in the East End as I did in the 50s and early 60s was tough. It was cold and dull.

“The coldest I ever remember was 1963. There were huge snowdrifts which were great for us kids sliding down them on tin trays.

“Then the smog came down and we all had to go to school in masks and the beautiful white snow turned black. Then as the snow melted away everything changed, suddenly there was music, there was colour, there was Mod.”.

She first saw Small Faces lead singer Steve Marriott when she was a child, and he was young man hanging out with her Mod cousins. He made a huge impression and she never forgot him.

Soon she was embracing all things Mod herself:

“Four years later it was me, with my short feather haircut, mohair suit or paper mini dress and dolly rocker shoes,” she recalls.

“I was going out dancing to Soul Stax and of course the Small Faces, at the very same pubs and clubs the band had played.”

She decided to write a play about this era of her youth, trying to capture the excitement, the fashion and the radical ideas of the time.

The story of the Small Faces seemed just the subject as they were an iconic Mod band and they came from the East End of London, as Carol did, and brought some of the colourful Cockney language into their songs.

Carol met Kay Marriott, Steve’s mother (whom she plays in the show) and his daughter Mollie, as well as talking to families and friends of the band.

She says that the idea of a Mod show was met with scepticism in the theatre world at first, as the Small Faces were not considered commercial enough, and some people wanted the story to be less edgy, but she was determined the show should be authentic – that it should be All or Nothing.

Her efforts have paid off and the show has received great reviews. All or Nothing: The Mod Musical is on tour around the UK till November, including three nights at the Wyvern from Monday, September 18 to Wednesday, September 20 from 7.30pm. Tickets are £20.50 to £27 with concessions available. To book, call 01793 524481 or visit swindontheatres.co.uk.