Music night bringing back the Mod squad

DJ's Phil Hall, left, and John Mitchell, right, with Paul Scott of the Ropery, centre, where they run a monthly Mod and Northern Soul night The Riverboat Cafe.

DJ's Phil Hall, left, and John Mitchell, right, with Paul Scott of the Ropery, centre, where they run a monthly Mod and Northern Soul night The Riverboat Cafe.

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Punters at The Ropery are soaking up the sounds of the 60s and more as part of a monthly music night. Katy Wheeler finds out about this melting pot of tunes.

ON the first Friday of every month, Sunderland’s Ropery pub comes alive with music from the 60s, Northern Soul, Motown and Britpop.

Known as Riverboat Cafe, a name taken from Ocean Colour Scene’s The Riverboat Song, the monthly night is drawing crowds to the venue on the banks of the River Wear thinks to its unique blend of tunes.

Organiser Phil Hall, said: “We’ve been running the event for the past year or so and it’s really popular. We have a very diverse regular crowd of all ages who come for a night away from the town in a very friendly atmosphere.”

Phil took over organising the event from one its founders and runs it with DJ John Mitchell, known as John the Mod, who hosts a regular set, Mod and Beyond, at 7even on Saturday nights.

Phil said: “Because of the type of music we get a real mixture of people coming along from 18-year-olds who like that genre of music, to people who remember it the first time around.

“John’s dad was a Mod in the 60s and 70s and has said that Deptford was the place to be then for live music, and they would all take their scooters down and listen to music.

“We like to think we’re helping to bring back business to this part of the town as there’s lots of great pubs here, such as TJ Doyles and The Saltgrass.”

He added: “There’s always been a Mod scene in Sunderland, but John’s got a great ear for music and he also plays music that your mum and dad would have listened to like, Diana Ross.

“I think it’s proving popular because it’s a change of scenery from what’s offered in the city centre.”

l The Riverboat Cafe is held at The Ropery, in Sunderland, on the first Friday of every month from 10pm to 2am. The next event is December 7.