Arthur (Modie) Albrighton
By Pete Clemons
Arthur (Modie) Albrighton was born in Bell Green, Coventry on September 3 1940. He is the eldest son of Arthur (Senior) and Anne Albrighton. His Father was an engineer in the defence industry and was also a pianist.
Brought up in a musical environment it was not long before Modie began performing. During the weekends Arthur (senior) would entertain at working men’s clubs and by the age of 5 young Arthur would accompany his father on harmonica. During this time he also got to meet and perform with the legendary Larry Adler.
At 16 Arthur began to study radio and television technology. Initially he trained as an electrical engineer by first of all attending courses at Coventry Technical College (The Butts). Then in 1961 he began an advanced apprenticeship which he completed in 1962.
Modie’s gigging career began as far back as 1956 when he began playing with bands like The Solpanos and The Firebirds while, at the same time, introducing his brother Roye to the guitar. Roye of course found worldwide success with progressive rock band Nektar.
It was also at that point that Arthur began to be known as ‘Modie’. The name derives from the word moody, because says Arthur, ‘if things did not go right when we used to practice, I was getting real moody’. To this very day the name has stuck.
After a spell with the Ricky Thompson Dance Band, who were based at the Grand Ballroom, Coalville, the early to mid 1960’s saw Modie join the short lived bands Makeshift and The Plague. 1968 saw those last two groups evolve into the first formation of Peppermint Kreem.
Paul Kennelly remembers 'As far as I recall, when Modie first linked up with me, he had been living in Ibstock and had been playing bass in the Ricky Thompson band, hence his conventional hair cut ! By the time we met, he had moved into 188 Barkers Butts Lane, the ground floor flat, that became the Plague / Peppermint Kreem H.Q. and where the likes of Roye Albrighton and Journey of a Lifetime would gather and chill out.
Peppermint Kreem toured extensively and worked incredibly hard during 1968. They appeared regularly at venues like The Navigation and The Walsgrave. Their line-up was made up of vocalist Paul Kennelly, Ray Haywood on lead guitar, Dave Fairclough on keyboards, Tom Ryan on drums and Modie on bass guitar.
Due to long term commitment issues Peppermint Kreem folded and Modie moved on to bands such as Heaven Sent and New City Sounds. New City Sounds had, by then, become regulars at the West End Club amongst other venues around the city. He was not, though, a part of the line up who would appear on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
1972/73 then saw Modie founding his own company that specialised in radio, TV and jukebox repairs. That same period also saw the reformation of Peppermint Kreem who went onto to achieve more good things. This time around Modie had switched to lead guitar with the rest of the band being vocalist Paul Kennelly, Keith James on bass, Bob "Spindler" Hopkins on keyboards and finally Pete Davoil on drums.
Modie began to make contacts in Germany and in 1976 he went over to there to tour with a band called Sabina. He must have taken to life in Germany because by the end of 1977 he had emigrated there. Initially, and through to the 1980’s he toured the German circuit with many different bands including Bullfrog and Trysapter.
But at the same time he needed to put down roots and establish himself. So to make ends meet he worked for the US army in Fulda, a town near Frankfurt, and took on any other work that he could get in order to get by.
But, over time, he did settle down and, through his music, he was able to make new acquaintances along the way. Here are some words written about Modie by the highly respected German artist and musician Paul Eddie Pfisterer:
‘I received a phone call from Modie Albrighton. He was interested in getting a group together. At that time Modie was playing guitar in several groups in Germany. In around 1978 I played with him in a band called ‘Trysapter’. This was short lived and I lost contact with him for many years. So it was a great shock when I got this phone call again. All the memories of the old times of real rock music came back. We managed to get a very good bass player called Michael Gawlik. This was crazy, as we never had a practice and yet it all came together as if we had played together for years. We made three CD´s, that, even today, I constantly listen to. Modie is an extraordinary guitarist, talented in a way that never exists in present time. He is a multitalented, playing guitar as well as Blues-Harmonica, Bass, Keyboards, Singer, Show and all the things a real professional musician is expected, including the unexpected things. Michael was a very young hot blooded Bass player with an immense energy, which was needed for ‘Nuts and Bolts’ as it was only a three piece band’.
During 1986 Modie built and founded Falcon Studios in the town of Bad Salzschlirf. As well as being a recording and production house, the aim of Falcon Studios, has been to encourage talented singers and musicians. And this he has done for well for many years now.
In addition to his various studio based projects Modie has successfully released many solo albums whilst in Germany. These include 'My Style' and 'Out of the Blue', Relax, Feelings, Roof Top Blues and Modie rocks the universe volumes 1, 2 and 3.
Until recently, and as far as I know ongoing, the studio continues to flourish with Modie putting together a dedicated team all working for the best possible recording and production results.
Thanks to Paul Michael Kennelly for his input around the Peppermint Kreem history and also for the images..
More of Modies videos on youtube https://www.youtube.com/user/modie47/videos