AGMP presents
SECRET AFFAIR ‘So Cool’ Q&A
Ian Page & David Cairns from Secret Affair in conversation with Eddie Piller (‘So Cool’ LP/CD compiler)

Bands emerging from the late Seventies Mod revival can be divided into two camps – the ‘Punks in Parkas’, who would grow their fringes out, buy a synthesizer and hop aboard the next bandwagon twelve months later, and those who wanted to emulate the soulful craft and passion of the trailblazers from the previous decade. Secret Affair were definitely in the second category.

In 1978 singer Ian Page and guitarist Dave Cairns crawled from the wreckage of the New Hearts (their only singles ‘Just Another Teenage Anthem’ and ‘Plain Jane’ now collectable and desirable 45s), channelled their rejection and cynicism into something more positive and set about writing the songs that would later become Secret Affair standards.

Released in August ’79, their debut single ‘Time For Action’ (the first of three UK Top 40 hits) was a statement of intent and a call to arms for a passionate following they called The Glory Boys. Each subsequent release was a mini-manifesto – titles like ‘Let Your Heart Dance’, ‘My World’, ‘Sound Of Confusion’, ‘Soho Dreams’ and ‘All The Rage’ were full of energy and excitement. Each release was ‘Business As Usual’, as the title of their third album rightly stated.

This 2CD thirty-four song anthology demonstrates the high standard the band have maintained, from their very first recordings at the historic ‘Mods Mayday’ event in May ’79 up to their anthemic 2016 take on Frank Wilson’s soul classic ‘Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)’.

Curated by Acid Jazz Records’ founder Eddie Piller, who has the scars (and the tattoo) to show for his long term loyalty, and featuring rare and previously unseen photographs by Paul Calver along with new sleeve notes from Eddie.

The band are still a going concern, their live gigs attracting an enthusiastic crowd of fans old and new. There is no going through the motions, their commitment, conviction and style are still obvious. So cool, indeed.