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Small Faces Night, National Film Theatre, London, 14 August 2003

As part of its Mod cinema season, the National Film Theatre on London's South Bank held a Small Faces night. This featured a series of clips and films featuring the band or Steve Marriott. The cinema was packed and many waited ticketless outside. Amongst the guests were Steve's mother and sister as well as his nephew Stephen.

The first part of the programme consisted of clips of the young Steve Marriott as a child actor. These were poor quality clips of films such as Night Cargoes. The interesting point here is that cheeky grin and mannerisms were there even then. The gig clip from Dateline Diamonds was next. Until recently, most of us would not have seen this but the release of the film on DVD and video means that the only footage of the Small Faces with Jimmy Winston (correct me if I am wrong) has a wider audience. The Small Faces are playing "live" in a club where they take the stage fresh from their US tour (??) and play I've Got Mine, Winston playing Rickenbacker guitar. Check out the early Small Faces haircuts here! 

The two extracts from the Morecambe & Wise show from 1967 were both played live. All or Nothing was very good but I Can't Make It almost blew the roof of the cinema off. Between the two Morecambe & Wise clips was part of a documentary showing the Small Faces in the studio jamming with segments of an interview with Don Arden ("If I've ever exploited anybody it's because they want to be exploited.") Naturally, this was met with derisions of laughter.

After the promotional films for Get Yourself Together (the police assaulting Marriott) and Itchycoo Park (on the beach) came the real highlight of the evening. Following the release of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake the Small Faces performed in a Colour Me Pop special for the BBC. This included the promotional film for Lazy Sunday and a superb live (in the studio) Song of Baker. The latter has been shown from time to to time by the BBC as part of its Sounds of the Sixties series. The following live rendition of side two of Ogden's was a real treat. the songs were interspersed with narration from Stanley Unwin that was more extensive than on record and slightly different, especially with his gestures. Basically, played live side 2 sounded so much better than on record! Just try to imagine this!! This live footage showed just how good the Small Faces actually were. There is little live material available from the band today. Somehow this should re-released in its entirety on DVD. It takes Ogden's to a totally new level. The band is so together, not just musically but also in terms of their humour. 

The final treat, apart from some brief home movie footage with Marriott in his garden with wife Jenny and dog Shamus who made his recording debut on The Universal, is the My Generation Without Walls special from 1995 on the Small Faces. 

Overall, the evening was a huge success with many rare or unseen clips alongside some more accessible ones. There as plenty of cheering and clapping. Ronnie Lane looked even cooler than we thought all the way through (except THOSE sandals). Ian McLagan admitted a shoe fetish but some of the things he was wearing suggest there could be more fundamental problems here (dress, that hat, that collar in Morecambe & Wise slots). This man is dangerous. 

Let's hope that these clips do not disappear and there are given a wider audience again.

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