Last night Modern English played Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their U.S. West Coast tour, which begins and ends in the month of July. For me, their biggest hit, “I Melt With You”, was definitely among the best and most decade defining songs of the 80s – it is really ubiquitous with the vibe and culture and new direction in music that took hold in the early 80s. As the band has a history and habit of disbanding (in ’87 and ’91), this was my first time seeing them live, so it was an extra thrill to see the band featuring all of its original members. Of course, it was a matter of time until that seminal classic song would be played on stage, but the set list leading up to it was a fantastic voyage through their incredible catalog, and they sounded absolutely fantastic (and kudos to Harlow’s for the really nicely tuned sound system). It was both incredible and surreal to see this important band play live, just a few feet in front of me, but definitely worth the wait.
This article features the second in an ongoing series of “Rock Talk” podcast audio interviews for the Rock Subculture Journal. Today’s guest is Robbie Grey, founding member of Modern English. Tomorrow night Modern English will be playing Harlow’s in Sacramento as part of their special West Coast U.S. tour. Mr. Grey, lead vocalist for Modern English, took time away from his schedule today to talk to me about the reformation of the original line-up of the band, their current U.S. tour, the UK tour this September, their upcoming new album, the history of the band and their work, and a bit of a discussion about one of the songs that defined the music scene in the early 80s, “I Melt With You”.