Owning a Vespa in Miami can be considered many things. Crazy, for one, considering some of the city’s drivers. But depending on who’s on it, a Vespa can also be sort of mod–as in the super-cool British youth subculture of the ’60s. So if you happen to own one, hop on and scoot on over to Churchill’s Pub in Little Haiti next Thursday night for Mods & Rockers, the legendary post-modern paean to moral panic. You and your cultured crew of well-heeled, tailor-suited scenesters will fit right in at this thrashing party filled with grit, grunge, and raucous rock, punk, R&B, and ska of the kind you’d hear back in the day at the iconic London mod hangout La Discothèque.
This ain’t no disco, though. Live bands with neo-mod names such as The Crude Brood, Dyslexic Postcards, and Soundclass will perform tunes that had your cooler relatives tapping their toes back in the day, but yet it’s a far cry from Peggy Lipton’s Mod Squad, that’s for sure. For a bit of a reprieve from the decibels, step out onto the back porch where tropical beats will sooth your eardrums until you’re ready for another go.
Gary James, the night’s promoter and one of South Beach’s pioneers, says that the night pays punkabilly homage to “rock and roll old skool—the ’60s on up to current English rock as well as motorcycles, models, fish and chips, a pint and a song.” On second thought, perhaps you keep your tailored suit and your Vespa at home and just cab it? That’s not mod, but it’s pretty wise considering what the evening might have in store for you. Oh, and watch out for those rockers, in case Miami becomes a repeat of Brighton, U.K. circa 1964.
Photo by Alan Antiporda