Secret Affair

Secret Affair are a mod revival band, formed in 1978 and disbanded in 1982. They reformed to perform and record in the 2000s.[1]

Secret Affair
OriginLondon, England
GenresMod revival, power pop, soul
Years active1979–1982, 2002–present
Associated actsNew Hearts
MembersIan Page
David Cairns
Past membersDave Winthrop
Dennis Smith
Seb Shelton
Paul Bultitude
Simon Hanson


Formed after the demise of the CBS Records signed power pop band New Hearts,[2] singer Ian Page and guitarist David Cairns spent the second half of 1978 writing songs that would form the basis of the first two Secret Affair albums.[3]

After spending January 1979 demoing songs, Page and Cairns enlisted the services of bassist Dennis Smith from the power pop band Advertising and Young Bucks drummer Seb Shelton. Saxophone player Dave Winthrop, originally playing with the group in his capacity as a session musician, would join as a full-time member of the band later in the year.[4] The music videos for several of the band's songs were directed by Steve Barron.

After the demise of the group in 1982, Cairns went on to form a band called Flag, with Archie Brown from The Bureau and signed a recording contract in the US. He subsequently teamed up with Scottish singer Alan King in Walk on Fire, writing the majority of the band's material and playing keyboards on tours. Signing to MCA in the US, the band released the album Blind Faith in 1990 and toured supporting Foreigner, Nils Lofgren and Dan Reed Network, before Cairns joined Gibson Guitars USA as Special Projects manager. Page released two solo singles before leaving the music industry.[1] Having departed the band in late 1980, drummer Seb Shelton most notably joined up with Kevin Rowland's Dexys Midnight Runners and enjoyed success with them between 1980 and 1982.[2]


In June 2002, Page, Cairns, Smith, Bultitude and Winthrop reformed for three gigs, including a performance at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire.[5] They returned in June the following year, playing at The Scala in Islington to promote the release of Time For Action: The Anthology (Sanctuary), a major CD retrospective of hits, rarities and previously unreleased tracks. The concert was filmed and released on DVD.

In 2006, Page and Cairns attempted to mend their sometimes fractious relationship and started work on a fourth Secret Affair album, recording five new songs for Peer Music. The album remains unfinished, but in 2010 Captain Mod Records released Secret Affair, The Singles Collection which featured two of the Peer Music tracks, "Soho Dreams" and "Land Of Hope".

Page and Cairns reformed Secret Affair as a touring band with a new line-up. In 2009 they have played regularly around the UK and further afield, having played their first ever concerts in Dublin, Madrid, Moscow and Tokyo.

In July 2011, Secret Affair re-recorded "Time For Action" for Save The Children.[6] The latter spearheaded their campaign for health workers in poor countries, and over 42,000 people signed the petition in the UK which was taken to David Cameron in September 2011, resulting in funds for the cause endorsed and approved by the United Nations.

On 5 December 2011, Dave Cairns appeared as a guest on BBC Two programme, Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Secret Affair released their fourth studio album, Soho Dreams after an absence of 30 years on their label, I-SPY Records, on 10 September 2012, distributed by Code7/Plastic Head and supported by a 13-date UK tour ending at The 229 Club, London, on 24 November. The band continue to tour throughout 2013 and perform their end of year show at the Islington Assembly Hall, 7 December.

On 5 September 2014, Secret Affair begin their '35th Anniversary Tour' of the UK in Gloucester at the Guildhall, followed by Stockton on Tees and ending in Manchester at the Band on the Wall venue, on 13 December 2014, celebrating the 1979 release of their debut album, Glory Boys. In November that year, Sony/BMG/Captain Mod Records released Est 1979; The Secret Affair 35th Anniversary Box Set featuring all four albums from 1979 to the present day. In August 2016, I-SPY Records released Secret Affair's cover of the Northern soul classic "Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)" on 7 inch vinyl only. In September that year the band appeared on Vintage TV, episode 28, performing live in concert three tracks, "Do I Love You' (Indeed I Do)", "I Don't Need No Doctor" and "My World".

Secret Affair celebrated their 40th anniversary in 2019, with a 14 date April and May tour of the UK.

Band members


UK Singles Chart

  • "Time For Action" – 1979 – Number 13
  • "Let Your Heart Dance" – 1979 – Number 32
  • "My World" – 1980 – Number 16
  • "Sound Of Confusion" – 1980 – Number 45
  • "Do You Know" – 1981 – Number 57[7]

UK Albums Chart

  • Glory Boys – 1979 – Number 41
  • Behind Closed Doors – 1980 – Number 48
  • Business As Usual – 1982 – Number 84[7]

See also


  1. "Secret Affair - Secret Affair Official Merchandise". Secret Affair Official Merchandise. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  2. Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 421/2. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  3. "Secret Affair | Nostalgia Central". Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  4. "Secret Affair + The Electric Stars + DJ Martin The Mod - Band on the Wall". Band on the Wall. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  5. Sedazzari, Matteo. "Ian Page of Secret Affair". Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  6. "Secret Affair rework mod classic for Save The Children campaigne". 20 September 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2017.
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 487. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

Other sources

  • Sleevenotes to the CD reissues of Glory Boys, Behind Closed Door and Business As Usual, by Chris Hunt
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