Former schoolboy band playing to global audience

The Threads on the 'Butter Cross' in Spilsby from April/May 1985. Pictured (from left) are Chris Spencer, Paul Hooper-Keeley and Tim Mitchell-Smith.
The Threads on the 'Butter Cross' in Spilsby from April/May 1985. Pictured (from left) are Chris Spencer, Paul Hooper-Keeley and Tim Mitchell-Smith.
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A band started by Spilsby schoolboys in 1982 are currently playing to a global audience thanks to a new boxset celebrating ‘the Mod Revival’.

The Threads were formed by Paul Hooper-Keeley, from Firsby, and Tim Mitchell-Smith, from Hundleby, while at Kind Edward VI Grammar School, inspired by such Mod acts as The Jam.

Neither of them could play the guitar, but over the course of a year to 18 months in the garage at Tim’s home the pair got to grips with the instrument and crafted their sound. They would be joined by Chris Spencer, a former pupil at Franklin Secondary Modern School, on drums before heading out on the road.

The band, which had a number of line-up changes over the years, would have numerous releases during the 1980s as well as three European tours.

They were considered to be part of the ‘Mod Revial’, a music genre influenced by the Mod movement of the 1960s.

Now, a track of theirs - ‘Step Back In Time’ - is enjoying a revival of its own.

The song, which itself pays tribute to the 1960s Mod movement, is part of a four-CD box-set global release by Cherry Red records.

‘Millions Like Us – The Story of the Mod Revival 1977-1989’, features many chart acts of the day such as Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, The Chords, Purple Hearts, The Truth, The Untouchables and comes with a hard-backed book narrating the story.

Paul, 48, who today lives in Hertfordshire and is a father-of-one, said he was ‘delighted’ to have the band featured on the release.

“It’s nice to be remembered. We never made it big, but a lot of bands that don’t make it get totally forgotten,” he said. “It’s very pleasing after all these years.”

The band has never officially split up and do get together occasionally, says Paul, who is a managing director of Intervallum Limited, a company that provides interim finance director services to industry.

And the revival may continue, with the band signed with a German label which is interested in releasing a double vinyl album of The Thread’s archive material, says Paul.