Mod musical goes all out
The Small Faces was one of the most influential bands of the 60s and were the epitome of the Mod movement.
And now their story, accompanied by their own music, has been brought to life on the live stage, and comes to the Grand Theatre on Monday, writes Martin Hutchinson.
All Or Nothing, named after the band’s chart-topping single, tells the story of the band – all through the eyes of guitarist and singer Steve Marriott.
Steve, who died in 1991, was the band’s chief songwriter with bassist Ronnie Lane (who has also since died), and was responsible for penning such Sixties classics as the afore-mentioned All Or Nothing, Itchycoo Park (which was a Top 10 hit again upon re-release in 1975), Lazy Sunday and Sha-La-La-La-Lee.
Marriott left the band to form Humble Pie; but the rest carried on, recruited Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart and became The Faces.
For writer, producer and star of All Or Nothing Carol Harrison, best know for East-Enders, getting the musical on stage was a labour of love.
“Yes, [Small Faces] are special to me and especially Steve Marriott,” she said. “They came from the same part of east London as I do and for a while my cousin played in a band with Steve and I first met him when I was eight years old.
“The Small Faces influenced loads of musicians like Paul Weller and Ocean Colour Scene, and Steve’s voice was one on of the top voices of the decade. Plus some of their songs were and are quite theatrical.
“I wanted to talk about the Sixties, but without all the sugary stuff we seem to get. Also I gave myself the challenge of writing a musical which I hadn’t done before.”
The show tells the story of the band in their heyday, and Carol (pictured) describes is as a ‘play with music.’
“It’s a classic Rock and Roll story, moving in parts but the boys themselves were all funny,” she said. “The story is really an older Steve Marriott looking back on his life from when the band starts to them splitting up.”
The show has had some high-profile plaudits.
“That’s right,” Carol says. “PP Arnold, who features in the story, loves the show and drummer Kenney Jones was at the initial reading of the script and he liked it.”
• All Or Nothing – The Small Faces Musical, Grand Theatre, Monday to Wednesday. Call 01253 290190 for tickets.