“And all I wanted was a word or photograph to keep at home” Graham Marsh was one half of the duo that put together that lovely little men’s clothes book The Ivy League. Well he’s on his jacksy with this one but the link to Ivy and mod continues with this excellent book on Michael Caine. Collected in this splendid book is a wealth of rare and neverbefore-seen photographs capturing Michael Caine’s on-set preparations and off-screen life as well as stills taken whilst he worked on many of his greatest films including Zulu, The Ipcress File, Alfie and The Italian Job. Candid captured moments and posed publicity shots within this stunning compilation show Michael Caine to be as comfortable rubbing shoulders with the likes of Terence Stamp, Roman Polanski, Shelley Winters, Shirley Bassey and Mia Farrow as he was taking his mother to a film premiere or enjoying lunch with his brother. Michael Caine can be seen to be one of the few iconoclast actors to have fully embraced his fame whilst remaining firmly grounded in his working class roots. From his humble South London beginnings, Michael Caine grew to define a decade of cock-sure confidence and suave British style. With his no-nonsense, laconic delivery, horn-rimmed glasses and sharply cut suits he epitomised a new class of cool that has since become intractable from the iconography of the swinging sixties. His commitment to character and total inhabitation of cinematic icons such as Harry Palmer, Alfie Elkins and Charlie Croker sealed him upon the public consciousness in just a few short years and made him synonymous with the notion of the British anti-hero. This eye-catching 128-page hardback volume contains more than one hundred impressive images catching the mood, manner and method of a man as at ease among movie stars as he is on the street. Revel in the sixties cigarette cool, stylish suits and sex appeal of the original British working class hero in Michael Caine: 1960s, a sophisticated edition of the very finest reproductions of rare and telling images of a true titan of British cinema.
Michael Caine: 1960s written and designed by Graham Marsh is in the shops now courtesy of Reel Art Press RRP £19.95
A Northern Soul
WINNERS WEAR WALSH: MADE IN BRITAIN Okay we’ve featured Walsh before (and we’ll undoubtedly feature them again – next issue Summer 14) but the reason for that is they are the only trainer/running shoe company that are doing anything remotely interesting. And remotely ethical! The folks based in Bolton are on a bit of a roll at the moment. S/S 13 was all about their Lostocks and Cobras in vibrant colours while A/W 13/14 was about the Ensigns and Adders. Then there was the collaboration they did with Aberdeen clothes shop Kafka and Lancashirebased Trickett then this winter just gone belonged to the boys from Bolton.
Walsh is Britain’s only wholly owned, designed and manufactured sports footwear company. It was established in 1961 by Norman Walsh and its history can be traced back further to when Norman at the ripe old age of 16 handmade running shoes for the 1948 British Olympic running team. Kafka have worked with Walsh to re-create the Ensign shoe (see above) which was designed by Norman for members of the Bolton Harriers who participated in the 1981 New York Marathon. The trabs at the top of the page is a sneak preview of the reissued Pennine Adder while opposite are more Ensigns. Feet in the clouds, indeed… www.kafka.co.uk www.walshcasual.com www.normanwalshuk.com As we said - and no apologies next month we look at their Summer 4 collection and collabs…
They scream, “Sexy Beast” and London Cab driver chic but somewhere, somewhere deep in your heart you have to love the Gucci horsebit loafer. In every colour under the rainbow in suede, leather or maybe even that eighties staple of crocodile skin these slip-ons or ostrich they are just boss. Ps the ostrich leather ones cost £1300! They’ve just celebrated their 60th anniversary and nothing says European wealth more than a pair of Gucci loafers. So fuck off the trainers and the Clarks and all the rest and say “Ciao” to Gucci this summer…
“SUMMER BREEZE MAKES ME FEEL FINE” Tony Topping looks back at some of the summer tunes that shaped his life…
SUMMER HOLIDAY: CLIFF RICHARD 1963 Okay stop laughing and listen. This came out as a single in 1963, I was 9yrs old at the time and the film Summer Holiday was brilliant, well to a 9yr old anyway. Hey who doesn’t want to go swanning round Europe living on a bus?
WATERLOO SUNSET: THE KINKS 1967 Ah now you’re thinking “Hey this kid knows his stuff!” Well maybe we’ll see but this was and still is a brilliant record. I became a teenager in this year and my angst probably started early as I dreamily sat in Butlin’s coffee bar in Skegness seeing girls properly for the first time.
IN THE SUMMERTIME: MUNGO JERRY 1970 This summer the hormones were in full flow. 16yrs old and getting pimples, falling in love with the girl who worked in the papershop and being unable to say anything remotely interesting to her apart from “Hiya”.
DISNEY GIRLS: BEACH BOYS 1971 By now there was no hope for me and this song taken from the group’s superb Surfs Up album had me moping round like I had the troubles of the world on my shoulders. Brilliant song though, I wanted to be American with a Chevy. Instead I was English with a Clippercard.
LIFE ON MARS: DAVID BOWIE 1973 This great record was actually released on my birthday June 22nd. By now I had learned to talk to girls mainly through the medium of alcohol, it was great! My favourite Bowie Record I think.
SUMMER BREEZE: ISLEY BROTHERS 1974 This record was originally released by Seals & Croft and that version is really good too but I prefer this one. It only got to number 16 in the charts for some strange reason but it’s a classic summer record.
SHOW ME THE WAY: PETER FRAMPTON 1976 By now I was in my pomp and 1976 is my favourite year in my life, even the sun shone all summer long. This will always remind me of my first holiday with my mates in the Isle of Man. Great days sigh…
YOUNG HEARTS RUN FREE: CANDI STATON 1976 1976 was such a good year for me that I’ve decided to add another from that year. This was a big hit with the ladies in the discos and I loved it too. We thought we would be running free and young forever. It takes me 10mins to get out of the back seat of a car nowadays…
SHOW ME THE WAY: JACKSONS 1977 One of the few records that could get me out of my chair and up on that dance floor. It was played every night in the Lido in Douglas Isle of Man. Spent some great nights in there apart from one night that developed into a riot between the combined might of the Scottish and Irish contingent and the pride of Wigan. It ended in a credible draw when the riot police blew the final whistle.
BORN TO BE ALIVE: PATRICK HERNANDEZ 1979 Yes, yes I know but this record was played constantly in Ibiza in this year. My first and last holiday abroad with my mates and too many tales to tell but it was my best holiday ever.
AT LOIRE we’ve always wanted to champion watches. I mean watches. Those things we used to have on our wrists before mobile phones were invented. Nice watches as well… We have worn a few watches over the year and lusted over even more but anybody can go on and on and on about Rolex or Breitling or whatever. Same old same old so we thought we’d Talk about IWI Watches. Well when I say talk about them we’ve basically just taken the information from their website as they describe their product far better than we could. I mean all I’d say is: “I love these fucking watches!” So without further ado…
IWIWATCHES The first tick of the clock
for IWI Watches was driven by an unwavering determination to make English designed, beautifully crafted, handmade watches of exceptional quality in England. While for many England is not the first point of reference when it comes to watchmaking Tim Nadin, Englishman, horological enthusiast and CEO of IWI Watches would beg to differ. Tim has a long and successful history in business and has been involved with motorsport for many years. Having previously founded and worked for several businesses outside of horology, IWI Watches is something of a delight for Tim to run with his passion for motor racing, British engineering and beautifully engineered mechanical watches. Timing is the critical aspect of motorsport where hundredths of a second can make the biggest of differences and this furthered Tim’s fascination with horology and enabled him to combine two of his great passions and introduce watches with designs inspired from the racing circuit. Founded in 2006 as a definitively British company, Tim originally worked with one of the latest in a long line of brilliant English watchmakers, founder watchmaker Ian Walsh, to establish IWI Watches as a conclusively and quintessentially English watchmaking company in the spirit of the horological pioneers from the time of Charles II. The company was named “IWI” in honour of Ian Walsh’s talent and echoing the great and historic names of the past where watchmakers initials or names were used. The link to motorsport was established with the IWI Watches logo, designed to reflect the rally plate from the famous rallies such as the Monte Carlo Rally, something Tim has been a long-time fan of. IWI Watches are individually hand made in England using the latest precision technology at every step to design and create these modern classics, combined with the finest materials and components. Every IWI Watch passes through a master watchmaker’s hands. Who finish each assembly personally, test and calibrate each and every watch and the final step is in passing the watch to our CEO for signing the certificate that accompanies each watch. Every watch has an individually numbered case which is machined from the very high grade steel, gold, rose gold or other precious metals for our bespoke orders, this is then hand finished. Our Stainless Steel cases are made from 316L Stainless Steel, the structure of 316L stainless steel gives excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures. Our movements are the finest quality Swiss Automatic movements which are used in all the Gents and Chronograph watches. Swiss quartz movements are fitted in the Ladies watches. The sapphire crystals used in every IWI watch provide excellent scratch resistance. With the incorporation of craftsmanship and the latest in technology, the renaissance of English watchmaking is safe on the wrist of IWI Watches now globally promoting all that is thoroughly British in pure quality and the highest standards of design. Unique, exciting, dynamic, creative craftsmanship fusing heritage with modernity, IWI is more than time itself. There is no mass production, no automation. Our uniquely designed and highest quality luxury watches adorn the wrists of true connoisseurs of time and style. In the traditional way, established over two centuries ago, each and every IWI watch is built, finished, inspected, calibrated and tested by a master watchmaker.
For more info check out www.iwiwatches.com
PHOTO MARC TAYLOR Well, Wigan Athletic almost did it again. It was all a bit surreal and let’s face it (it) was a freebie. It was a bonus. We never expected to win but when I looked up and there was eight minutes left I thought, “Maybe, just maybe…” It wasn’t to happen but it was the FA Cup holders properly defending their trophy and again showing the world what Wigan Athletic was about. This time it was Uwe Rösler's Wigan Athletic team that was surprising people and causing upsets. Beating Manchester City again and winning more admirers along the way. But whoever's Wigan Athletic team it is, it was quite simply Wigan Athletic Football Club going back to Wembley for the ninth time in its 82-year history. If it wasn’t for those pesky penalties we may have been going back for the tenth time. Some going that. It wasn’t to be but it was a good day out to enjoy for the football club: The management, players, officials and fans. Everybody went with that attitude and we almost did it. Last Friday it was different as we tried to get there for the tenth time. You felt the pressure was off. It was all on car dealer Redknapp. The team with a bigger wage bill than Atletico Madrid and a £180m debt. It was a game too far but we can hold our heads high and next season we go again…
It will be all white on the night… The summer's here, so throw your boots back into storage and slip some of these warm weather classics on your feet. It is the time of the year when the brogues are put back in the cupboard and the hiking boots are hidden away. For spring is in the air and that can only mean a change in the discerning gentleman’s footwear locker. However when you hit a certain age caution is afoot and whilst I still curse the day I decided to do some painting wearing my Nike Omega Flames such flamboyance should be shunned. Whilst a stylish choice contains desert boots, loafers and deck shoes then just because a man has hit (say) forty then he shouldn’t discard the humble training shoe. However with every man, boy and child bedecked in adidas at the moment the astute chap is looking for something slick and simple and what can be more simple that the humble white plimsoll. Obviously a pair of these can be picked up for a few quid from Primark but here are six pairs that rock the look a little bit better.
Spring Court As French as Brigitte Bardot a pair of Spring Court G2 (unlike Brigitte) looks as good now as they did in the sixties when John Lennon famously sported a pair. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If they’re good enough for the genius of David Byrne on stage in LA then they’re good enough for you to nip down to Tesco in. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Converse All Star Low It was way back in 1917 that the Converse All-Star basketball shoe was introduced. The basketball player Charles H. “Chuck” Taylor was given a job as a salesman and ambassador, promoting the shoes around the United States and such was his success that they added his signature to them and we’ve been wearing them ever since.
Sperry Topsider Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense with Talking Heads is considered by many to be the greatest filmed rock concert ever. Funky magnificence, musicianship second to none and that opening when David Byrne walks on stage carrying a ghetto blaster as the camera pans on his Topsider-shod feet. If they’re good enough for the genius of David Byrne on stage in LA then they’re good enough for you to nip down to Tesco in.
Superga 2750 Coto Classic If Spring Court is synonymous with France then Italy’s pump of choice is the Superga 2750. Found on the feet of everybody from precocious teenage girls sitting in the local town square to politicians sat at Italian’s top table.
Dunlop Volley Injection You can pick up a pair of Dunlop Green Flash for next to nothing but if you don’t want to look like the kid from the local sixth form college then I’d advise opting for a pair of Volley Injections. Neat, tidy and the only nod to Australia needed when around at your mate’s BBQ this summer.
Veja Taua If all the other choices have a heritage going back to our father’s times Veja was established in 2003 by two Frenchmen determined to fight worldwide deforestation, exhaustion of natural resources and Labour exploitation. These are made from organic cotton from north-east Brazil and Amazonian wild latex and look a damned sight better than the usual fair trade products. All the above shoes should be worn with a polo shirt and tailored shorts whilst drinking a cool summer ale…
MEANWHILE: STAN THE 22ND COMING As one of the premier clobber bloggers on these isles, a clothesologist and the elder statesmen of Wigan threads I thought I better write about Stan. All that above is complete bollocks, of course, but as there's so much bollocks being written about Stan then why not join in? So here's my first serve... Stan being Stan Smith - one of the iconic tennis players of the 70s/80s. Or more correctly - in this case - the re-release of this classic training shoe that bears his name. Or trainee to give it the correct name. For it was on Merseyside where it first made an impact. Now it is being called a sneaker but sod that; let's go back to 1980. For that is when I first chanced upon these adidas trainers. Tranmere Rovers were at Latics and they had a little mob, all in green anoraks and white pumps. Legend - or a book and film now tells me that those pumps were Stan Smiths. I honestly remember them wearing Dunlop Green Flash. I know that because I bought a pair on the Monday after the game! But hey legend says otherwise and regardless of how they were shod they got absolutely banjoed outside The Crofters! My first pair of Stans came a year or so later when I got a pair of the - in my opinion far better - velcro strapover version. I loved those shoes. From gleaming white to mucky, grainy greywhite they were a great scruffy trainer. And there is nothing wrong with a scruffy trainer in my book. Yeah bright-white is alright but scruffy scuffy works as well. These new Stans - officially relaunched today - are positively shiny toothpaste white. They'll be snapped up by fashionistas, students, debutantes and footy lads. I'll pass on them as I've two pairs atop of my wardrobe gathering dust but maybe, just maybe, they'll get an airing this summer. They're a nice shoe with the three perforated stripes and Stan's mug on the tongue and name on the heel. There are worse tennis shoes out there. I've worn worse. But I've also worn better. But good on adidas's marketing department as Summer 2014 is likely to be SW19 central. Game, set and match.
FINALLY: THE RETURN OF THE GEEZER
More Essex than Joey. More geezer than Grant Mitchell and along with Stan Smiths the shoe that you’ll see around and about this summer. I’ve always been partial to the various Reebok Classic shoes. It’s the London in me. Then again I’m North London. Not South or East and definitely not Essex but sod it they are dead, dead comfy and when you get to our age that’s what it’s all about. That and the fact that every 15-year-old isn’t wearing them yet! Now where’s my Mike Skinner CDs? TOP TEN REEBOK 1. AZII 2. FELL RUNNER 3. SUPERCOURT 4. NPC 5. FELL RACER 6. PHASE 1 MESH 7. NYLON CLASSIC 8. WORKOUT 9. CONQUEST 10. PUMP (ONLY JOKING)
The deteriorating doors of Santa Maria Street in Funchal Three years ago, José Maria Montero had an idea -- to have artists paint the doors of abandoned shops and homes. He asked over a hundred local artists to participate in the Arte Portas Abertas project, and gave them simple instructions: pick a door and do whatever you want on it. The doors have opened up the street to creativity and prosperity. An area the New York Times described in 2001 as "rundown and vacant" is now bustling with cafés and tourists. Ian Sharrock – a regular visitor to the island - took the following stunning photos for Loire Magazine.
THE CONGOS – OPEN UP THE GATE
BONGO’S BEAT: Ten to die for…
JAMES – TOMORROW
THE STRYPES – WHAT A SHAME
ELVIS PRESLEY – LET YOURSELF GO
HAPPY MONDAYS – WROTE FOR LUCK
VINTAGE TROUBLE – PELVIS PUSHER
DAVID BOWIE –ASHES TO ASHES
ARETHA FRANKLIN – HOW GLAD I AM
BLONDIE – RAPTURE
ARCTIC MONKEYS – DO I WANNA KNOW
THE ART OF ROXY MUSIC
What is not to like about Roxy Music? No honestly, what is not to like? In the early days innovative and exciting. Dangerous almost. In their latter days smooth and silky. Fronted by the best-looking man to ever walk this earth. Whether tuxed up or all GI Joe. Just go on SPotify and listen to the albums (along with Ferry and – for that matter – Eno’s solo work) and enjoy. But of course, it was much more than just the music. It was the image and the girls. Wow the girls. The girls on those album covers. Each album pretty much the ‘model of the day’. We all wanted to be Bryan Ferry, we all wanted to go out with Marilyn Cole. We “wanted” the girls on the Country Life cover. We still do. Ferry still does as Kate Moss was the model of the day on the most recent Olympia album. It was all part of Roxy Music. The art school band that put great art on their album. And like great album covers great art school music is almost gone. Yeah, Lady Gaga is doing her bit but come on… Where is the new Bryan Ferry? The bloke that blokes wanted to be and girls wanted to fuck? The answer? He’s still out there. At the age of 68 he’s still cooler than any bloke out there. Olympia is as good as anything out there and Kate Moss on the front wow… Viva Roxy Music
SOME PEOPLE FEEL THE RAIN: OTHERS JUST GET WET
The coolest spring/summer/autumn/winter tee: FACT Don’t you just hate it when someone puts fact at the end of everything? Yeah well, in this case the FACT is completely okay, bang-on, necessary, absolutely… From our good friends at Connoisseur comes this great tee shirt. Check their website they are still doing it. If not then get hunting folks…
But more than that! It is the ultimate tribute to the God-like legend of sportswear and innovation that is the late great Massimo Osti. Designed by talented (adopted) Mancunian illustrator Ben Lamb (Levi’s, Piccadilly Records, Oi Polloi, Sperry and also interviewed in the launch issue of Loire) this celebrates 30 years of Osti, coming on heat reactive colour changing t-shirts in the style of the pioneering 'ICE' product - an Osti benchmark with his Stone Island label. As ever they are professionally screenprinted in Manchester and come with a free button badge. Oh, and they are also sold-out at the moment so time to scour Ebay, await the re-issue, beg, steel or borrow – ‘cos this is just plain ace! More info at www.casualco.co
LINGER ON, YOUR PALE BLUE EYES Having woken up this morning with that bloody Pharrell Williams 'Happy' song in my head (again) I tried to think of some downbeat songs that would counter the incessant bloody happiness of that room without a roof. There are a million sad songs out there. Some real obvious ones and others that when you delve into them are as sad and downbeat as fuck... Others like 'Into My Arms' are actually uplifting. Cave's masterpiece is life-affirming but the melancholy that surrounds it makes it sound sad. 'Eleanor Rigby' meanwhile is soul-destroying in its bleakness and loneliness. Yet it's wrapped up in a gorgeous tune and is beautifully sung. The Clash's 'Stay Free' is Mick Jones at his reflective best: "If you're in The Crown tonight then have a drink on me," is genius and so sad in the context of the song... Elvis's 'In The Ghetto' is known by all. It's a standard but those words... "As a crowd gathers round an angry young man Face down on the street with a gun in his hand In the ghetto" That and the whole of the song could have come straight out of The Wire. Of course I could have listed 300 songs but here are ten well-known tunes that for me are sad and melancholic. Others might not see them that way but most must agree they are utterly magnificent songs.
Into My Arms by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds Patches by Clarence Carter In The Ghetto by Elvis Presley Shipbuilding by Robert Wyatt Stay Free by The Clash Pale Blue Eyes by The Velvet Underground Carmelita by Warren Zevon Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles Papa Was A Rolling Stones by The Temptations Dance With My Father by Luther Vandross
“HAS ANYBODY GOT ANY VERAS?”
It was the summer of 1980 and we were all espadrille’d up. It didn’t last long, just that summer. Drainee jeans from Dickie Dirts. Striped tee shirts, everything very tight, nothing baggy…
They were saved for beach holidays and that was about it. And then a few years back those pesky espadrilles appeared on the high street. Cheap and nasty looking that every TOM, Dick and Harry was wearing. They are still wearing them. But in parallel to these strange goings-on over in Spain something was stirring. In fact it was 2010 when Vera Shoes were born in Spain by Neil Morris, the Welshman who was cofounder of former Cardiff store Drooghi. Morris moved to Spain after the closure of Drooghi and began to develop Vera Shoes there. In its first season in stores the collection comprised of lightweight summer shoes of an espadrille style. For Spring Summer 14, Veras encapsulates the Mediterranean lifestyle by offering traditional espadrilles with a twist and lace-up chukka boots with an espadrille sole. Plus cord. Yes bloody cord shoes. Oh and some Balearic beauts. I want to go on holiday now. In fact all the collection is once again made in Spain and the brand maintains it look of classic and subtly tweaked designs that are simple yet effortlessly stylish. After a fantastic first season where the majority of the collection sold out, Veras is once again concentrating on the basics and constantly providing footwear that looks as good on the feet as they do on the shelves…
NYCool MOSCOT is a New York City institution renowned worldwide for its iconic eyewear – The MOSCOT Originals, MOSCOT Spirit, and MOSCOT Sun Collections. MOSCOT infuses its unmistakably refined, downtown aesthetic with nearly 100 years of eyewear expertise and unparalleled craftsmanship to create its timeless eyewear. While now recognized as a global fashion brand beloved by fans worldwide, MOSCOT remains, at heart, a neighbourhood optical shop. The MOSCOT optical roots were first planted in America by Great Grandfather and family patriarch, Hyman Moscot, who arrived from Eastern Europe via Ellis Island in 1899. Hyman began selling ready-made eyeglasses from a pushcart on Orchard Street on Manhattan’s famed Lower East Side, and the rest, as they say, is history! In 1925, Hyman’s son, Sol, joined the family business and at the tender age of only 15, he helped take over the reigns of the family’s first retail shop, MOSCOT’s, at 94 Rivington Street. By 1936, MOSCOT was settled at 118 Orchard Street, on the corner of Delancey Street, where it remains to this day. In 1951, Sol’s son, Joel, began presiding over the “House of MOSCOT.” Charming, dedicated, and devoted to his customers, Joel quickly made his mark – overseeing the shop and conveying the family’s values to his sons, who would soon become the fourth generation of Moscots to take the helm. In 1986, Joel’s son, Dr. Harvey Moscot, entered the family business, and in 1992, Joel’s youngest son, Kenny Moscot, eagerly entered the business as well. Shortly thereafter, the family opened its second shop at 69 West 14th Street, on the corner of Sixth Avenue in downtown Manhattan, which now hails as the company’s flagship location.In 2012, MOSCOT opened its Court Street shop in the landmark neighborhood of Cobble hill in Brooklyn, New York - bringing the family story full circle as the third generation Moscots were born and raised just down the way. Hyman would be proud. Info taken from www.moscot.com
FISH ‘N’ CHIP SHOP ROCK AND ROLL
Norwich isn’t infamous (nor famous for that matter) for its Rap scene but George Musgrave is about to enter the public conscience. Under the moniker Context he was the first-ever unsigned act to win a coveted place on the MTV Brand New list in 2012 and has received support from Radio 1, 1xtra and SBTV. His unique style lays modern social commentary over bass heavy, ambient instrumentals, whilst successfully reigniting a classic garage sound. However Context's music isn't for talking about; just check out his website and stream and download the new ep 'Stealing My Brother's Tapes' on his soundcloud. Currently recording his debut album - according to his twitter feed - this promises to be the sound of 2014/15. Absolutely brilliant... http://contextmc.co.uk/ http://soundcloud.com/contextmc
ALSO LOVING…. TELEMAN
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN
“Never trust a man that doesn’t love a waxed jacket,” said somebody’s Grandma somewhere (probably). And while they are quite ubiquitous nowadays they still look great. Especially the older and more battered they get. Barbour, Burberry, Antarctyx all have a special place by my stairs but Bastong are a new brand on me. I haven’t seen them in the waxy flesh yet but they certainly seem to tick the right boxes. It was the good people at John Simons that brought the brand to my attention and a further bit of research (haha) tells me they originate from Korea. I haven’t a clue on sizes, prices, colours or stockists (other than J Simons) but their translation page tells me they are a new company specialising in outerwear – they have some ace peacoats ‘n all – and their slogan is "Trace your Journey". We shall watch that journey with interest…
BASTONG via JOHN SIMONS
There are few finer sights on the road than a Lambretta GP200. Or an LI150. Or an old Vespa. Let’s face it scooters are cool. Scootering is cool and when you hear that reassuring purr of the engines and a gang of lads and lasses pass you on a Sunday ride then you know life is fine. Not as fine as if you are riding your own scooter but even as an onlooker it is a quite lovely vision. Whether you are hanging around the Trevi Fountain or on the M25 scooters are the hippest form of transport. End of! Well it would be the end of if the vast majority of the scooterists weren’t so damn scruffy. I know they will say, “Needs must” but surely there is more to life than Jimmy’s parka or a market stall version of the MA-1 flight jacket? Of course there is and top of the tree is Tucano Urbano. They have been producing clothing and accessories for over ten years. Whether it’s a downpour or a heatwave, a commute to the office or a countryside jaunt, anytime, anyplace. Anywhere… “In moto sempre in moto” as they say at Tucano Urbano (“On the bike, always on the bike”). In fact verything the Italian brand does is quite simply stunning. From their safety helmets to their safety gloves and everything in between the gear is breathtaking. However this being Loire we obviously love their jackets more than anything. From their Urbis and Giacca Trip touring jackets (below) to their Don Giovanni overcoat this is gear you can step straight off your bike and walk into the Bar Italia without a need to change. They even produce a classic windproof and water-repellent blazer that could be worn to an interview or wedding. This is Italian style but Italian style combined with the heights of technology. Coats that incorporate air bags. Denim jeans that are able to fit knee armour. Parkas that look like they’ve stepped out of the Prada catwalk and rain jackets like the Diluvio that is in a banging fluorescent orange. Padded and quilted shirts and light down-filled jackets along with the omnipresent gilets are in the collection as is the fantastic Tucanji waterproof jacket For winter 2012-13 they also include a limited run of leather motorcycle jackets and the ever-popular and to die for Libeccio longer jacket. In fact we’d wear – and in fact we want - every single jacket in their collection. And if the missus kicks off telling you that you’ve enough coats in your wardrobe then explain that these are different and to keep her quiet Tucano Urbano have produced a host of the most beautiful and sexy jackets for ladies. Add in the company’s backpacks, bags, gloves, scarves, thermal undergarments and boots this is Italian paninaro-style at its very best. The difference is though that these clothes and accessories really can cope with the fumes, tarmac and toil of modern day life and leave you looking like you’ve just walked along the Via Venetto. The last time scootering was this sexy Audrey Hepburn was getting on her scooter in Roman Holiday. For more information including outlets, their vast collection and prices that are very, very reasonable please take a look at www.tucanourbano.com
Nowadays it's quite fashionable to hop on a plane or train and take in a European match. Loads are doing it and you can't blame them. In fact - if you’re a fan of a London club it's often a cheaper option. Add in the fact you can often stand, have a beer, mooch around the city and all sorts. Shaun Duffy's been doing all that for years. Even though I don't know the lad I remember being told about his adventures way back and now he's put down in print - and within photographs - his memories and exploits. We'll do a full review of the book in the next magazine but for now here's the BLURB - it looks really excellent: Football is Life is a first hand, up close and personal pictorial travel memoir written from within the eye of the storm of extreme fandom. It’s a book about hardcore fans whose unwavering devotion takes the art of supporting a team to the highest level of dedication. Nothing compares to the experience of a fierce rivalry match, especially a cross-town derby, the most eagerly anticipated game on the fixture list. The author's travels took him to the less celebrated footballing hotbeds of Bosnia, France, Holland, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Serbia. Although not entirely free of the modern football virus, the more active European fan scene refuses to surrender its heritage to the faceless men in suits with blank cheques, who have no real love for the game, just a desire to corrupt it beyond repair in pursuit of uber sized profit margins. Starting with a day in the life of the Soprano like Grobari (1970) boys, custodians of Partizan Belgrade’s Cathedral of Death, the first chapter gives a compelling and detailed insight into the activities of one of the world’s most notorious fan movements. A pre-match drink with Steaua hooligans ended with a pre-arranged bloody street fight as rival thugs fought running battles on the crowded streets of Bucharest before the derby with eternal rivals Dinamo. The book chronicles the corruption, fan violence and off the scale, overt racism that has hijacked the game. But despite the sinister underbelly that quite obviously exists, in the face of repression and adversity, the fans ULTRAfication of their stadiums brings about a unique crowd dynamic like no other sport in the world. The devoted ultra fan scene ensures an explosion of noise and colour that is sadly missing from our own modern game. Their ingenious terrace choreography and the hostile environment they create is a sight every true football supporter should witness at some point in their life. The many photographs included in this book pay homage to their devotion and adds credence to the books title. With the English game terminally infected by the ‘corporate mafia,’ our stadiums sanitised by the ‘prawn sandwich brigade’ and a modern fan scene that has alienated many old school supporters, the author had to travel away from the inhibited ‘library like’ English grounds in search of the rivalries that really justify the hype. ***The book is paperback and is comprised of 266 pages, approximately 160 photographs and retails at £10.95 + postage and packaging, which can vary dependent upon postage location***
According to the BBC Britpop is now twenty-years old. And didn’t they flog it to death with a week-long schedule of programmes on 6music, Radio 2 and on the TV. Quite why - other than the fact that those in seats of relative power at the BBC were at Freshers’ week when Oasis asked them to 'Roll With It' - I have no idea. However never wishing to let such an occasion go by Loire
Magazine pays its own tribute to Bitpop (sic)...
Blur: Their only decent song was sung by Jimmy from Quadrophenia. Oasis: A poor man's Bootleg Beatles. Pulp: Jarvis Cocker - great lyricist - one tune. Suede: Yes, I've got all Bowie's records as well. I don't need yours. Elastica: Fronted by a fit posh bird that used to go out with the mockney from Blur. Did drugs, now lives in America and is an abstract artist. Sleeper: Fronted by a fit posh bird who was the 'Poster Girl of Bitpop'. Now a (not very good) novelist. Menswear: FFS. Stuart Maconie: At the forefront of every musical 'scene' since Adam picked up a guitar. Invented the phrase 'Bitpop'. However you would be a fool not to think the term was used three decades earlier to describe the time when British bands really shook the world. Camden Town: As ever Nigel Blackwell of HMHB gets it all spot-on. "We’ve got lo-fi, we’ve got tie-dye We’ve got grey and brown and black We’ve got stickers on guitars We’ve got a tape for Steve Lamacq We’ve got celibate lead singers We’ve got Sebadoh's and Docs But what ain’t we got? We ain’t got mates “Four Skinny Indie Kids Four Skinny Indie Kids Drinking weak lager in a Camden boozer" Dodgy: Exactly. Jo Whiley: Last seen on the red button - introducing Elbow - while wearing a skirt so short it would have looked obscene on an 18-year-old supermodel! Worry not: In her own mind 48-year-old Whiley is - if not a supermodel - then an 18-year-old groupie backstage at the Dublin Castle in Camden. Speaking of such things she must have sucked some serious cock to get a regular gig at the BBC as her presenting skills and interview technique are/is absolutely laughable. Supergrass: Gaz's sideburns. That's what Supergrass will be remembered for. Or maybe not... Cool Britannia: 'Won't Get Fooled Again'. Miranda Sawyer: She is called Miranda, has a brother called Toby and is from Wilmslow. She is the spokesperson for the Bitpop generation. Echobelly: Fronted by a fit posh bird. Now in a band called Calm of Zero. Probably worse than Echobelly.
The Swedish company Encore produce some great clothes (all made in Europe) but it is their sweats that have got people excited lately. As the good folk say the look and feel of Encore is and has always been clean and funky, inspired by an active life and the people they meet along the road. Comfort, quality, fit and true natural feel are always parts of the finished products. Instead of slavishly following the trends of the fashion trade, Encore develops the style and mindset of the brand along the earlier mentioned set of base values. Guided by the gut feeling of the founder and designer, this simple formula guarantees the survival of the unique Encore style â€“ blissfully free from the latest crazes of fashion but with a fresh approach to each new season.
Andrew Vaughan’s Nothing To Lose But Our Aitches is a 100-page polemic about the current state of the world in general and Wigan in particular. It is available to read online or download at www.issuu.com/vaughanie/docs/nothing_to_lose_but_our_aitches Here is an extract: Thursday 20 February
hite is the new black. We are talking cars here by the way. I have noticed the last few years that gleaming white appears to be the preferred colour over jet black and matt black. I assume it started with the footballers but has now permeated down to the masses via the drug dealers I assume. There is two of the latter fraternity in McDonalds this morning. They’ve parked the gleaming white Audi sports car right across the pavement, pulled the hoods of their hoodies up and swaggered into Maccy D’s for breakfast. Most people quietly walk into McDonalds at this time in the morning. Most choose a quiet seat in the corner and read the paper or look at their phone or laptop. These two bundle in making as much noise as they possibly can, order almost everything on the breakfast menu and sit right in the middle of the restaurant. I turn my headphones up to maximum volume to cut the clowns out of my life. What is it about this lot? And I don’t just mean bottom of the chain drug dealers like these two but ‘their kind’. I was once walking past JD Sports on the Robin Park Retail Park when a huge 4x4 vehicle pulled up. Four of them bowled out – in their jogging bottoms, hoodies and crap trainers - and just left the car where it was: Blocking everybody else that wanted to get past them. They are the ones that use the disabled bay parking spots in supermarkets. The ones that carry the 62-inch televisions back to their cars in the disabled bays. But they really love JD and JD loves them. Thankfully the two in McDonald’s don’t stay long before buying more food and swaggering back to the car. They must have spent thirty pounds and there I am with my £1.02 cup of coffee. Sure McDonalds would sooner have their custom. Sad reflection maybe but… I can now drop the volume on my phone a bit. And then put it up a bit as Lorde is blasting out her crap through the restaurant’s speakers. Time to go… Up the canal and yes they’ve moved the tree! So on the same day three-quarters and a bit of a century that Orwell was searching for Wigan Pier amongst the busy waterway British Waterways have removed the large fallen tree from across the path. It took a week which I reckon – in this day and age – is okay: Probably a bit of action for the workers there. My mind boggles at how they removed it. Was it by barge or was it via the road – Pottery Road – that runs at the back of the canal? However, it is gone and my – and other people’s walk is a little more straightforward. Then again they are meant to be knocking the Wigan Pier nightclub down. Or they were meant to be knocking it down a few weeks ago. There was talk of a marina being built there but this now appears to have been downgraded to a small community garden area. A small community garden area where you can look at the boarded-up museum and shop. The club was popular during the 1990s house and rave era and men and women of a certain age speak very fondly of it. It was never my scene but it was important. In later years it was responsible for donk music whatever that was/is: That and scouse house and bouncy house and all sorts of other dross. It attracted a steroid-fuelled out of town clientele. Most of who bought their clothes at JD Sports! Knocking down the dilapidated club is part of the council’s wider project to transform the whole area. The council’s deputy leader, David Molyneux, told the BBC that the pier is failing to reach its potential as a visitor attraction. Well considering the two main attractions the museum and visitor centre closed in 2007 then it’s no surprise. Oh, and I wonder who closed that? It was going to become a cultural quarter that turned out to be just blocks and blocks of flats. The Trencherfield Mill building was turned into luxury flats – and very nice they are whilst in all the land around there; new blocks of flats were built. It resembles communist-era Eastern Europe! I’ll be amazed if the marina is built but as ever we’ll see. But let’s not knock all of Wigan’s facilities. The new Life Centre that includes the baths and library is excellent. They are decent(ish) buildings that both improve and compliment the area. Then again when you’re faced with the horrific brutalist - and now closed - civic centre it would be hard not to improve the area. The Museum of Wigan Life at the bottom of Library Street is a favourite of mine. In fact it is my favourite building in Wigan. The old library and now what is really a research library. Downstairs is an
exhibition area and a small shop area whilst upstairs are all the books, computers and microfiche machines you need to study the local history or your own family history. Admittedly the genealogy researchers are extremely odd folk but the building has a nice feel to it. There is a lovely atmosphere in there and it is – of course – essential to all us lot that like to read the old papers for whatever reason. Mesnes Park is quite glorious and the recent improvements have enriched the park even further. It is a nice walk through the plantations up to Haigh Hall while the stately building is a little un-stately and – I believe – a constant drain on council resources. I’m sure if they could get rid of it they would. The Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust-run building is in contrast to the modern sports facilities at Robin Park which are excellent. Around the outskirts we have some wonderful spaces and walks but in the town centre? I’m struggling and while it is no way unique for a town it appears that most visitors head to the DW Stadium for the football and to a lesser extent the rugby. As I have said the council were late to the football – or soccer as they undoubtedly call it – party but even they must now realise the extra revenue that came into the town during the football club’s Premier League years. You only have to ask the publicans in the town centre how their earnings have fallen this season; ask the pie shops if their tills are ticking over as quickly. This may read as knocking the rugby club. Other comments I have made may look like I am. I am not. I go watching them and enjoy the game. However my eyes are not closed. I am wise enough to know the huge disparity of incomes and prestige between the two sports. I am wise enough to know the huge disparity of incomes and prestige between rugby league and rugby union. Sadly as I have said there is a terrible inverted snobbery around the town concerning sports other than rugby league. That myopic view has held the town back for years and unless people change will hold it back for years to come. There are plenty of rugby fans that go to the same barbers as I do – and that is where I’m heading now - but then again it is an ageing clientele that goes there. It’s strictly appointments only and half of those are that old they forget when they are due in. I must forget one in three appointments! The two lads that run Snips barbers have worked together for years and years and they are winding down a little now, both doing a couple of days a week and (usually) Saturday’s together. Both are great characters have excellent stories to tell and – like all good barbers – love a good gossip. It’s the place to find out what’s happening in Wigan. It’s like a white Desmond’s – the late and great Channel 4 sitcom. Blokes have been going there for scores of years and I’ve been a twice-a-month man since coming back from London twenty-five years ago. There was a couple of years sabbatical when I was down in Kilburn working and whilst there I sought out Andy the Greek’s in Queen’s Park that was another great barber’s shop. I once made the mistake of going there in my dinner hour that became a dinner two-hours and a half as Andy could talk a bit! After that I’d go in after work and after making the five-minute walk home I’d get in just before Newsnight! Today, at Snips, I’m in at 9am and it’s just me and Ian the barber. The normal, zero on the clippers and bring the beard down, and it’s done for another two weeks. Oh, the glory of being bald. I really have no idea why the likes of Wayne Rooney have to spend a fortune (or in his case a day’s wages) on having a transplant or weave or whatever they are called. And in fact whatever they are or whatever they are called they always look like a bad wig. Whether it’s football referee Mark Clattenburg, Rooney, David Beckham or a myriad of film stars and two-bit z-list celebrities they all look a total mess. Just shave off the bloody bits that are left. Nobody gives a toss. Apart from the folks that sell the wigs, treatments, gels, pills et al. And in the case of Rooney I’ll again refer you to that old saying: ‘You can put lipstick on a pig but it’s still a pig!’ I daren’t think where he is going to spend his extra pocket money now he’s getting a big pay rise. In other football news concerning the biggest game in the biggest cup competition in the world the FA and television companies finally decide – four days after it was drawn - that Wigan Athletic’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Manchester City will take place on Sunday 9 March with a 4pm kick-off. The game will be covered by BT Sport. Moving the game to the Sunday appears to have upset a certain faction of Manchester City fans as they play Barcelona in the second-leg of their Champions League match on the following Wednesday. Athletic’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday has been put back to this day from the previously scheduled Tuesday night. I like many others didn’t realize City were due to visit the Catalan capital a few days after the cup tie. Do we see rested players, weakened team scenarios occurring? Here’s hoping but let’s face it if I was them I’d probably give up the Champions League and concentrate on the FA Cup. Then again it doesn’t work like that nowadays. We will undoubtedly find out and yes even City’s second-string should beat Wigan but… But if only we could just do something then it would mean a semifinal place and another trip to Wembley. That would be the ninth occasion that Wigan Athletic would be playing at Wembley. Not bad for a ‘Smashing little club in the backyard of rugby league’.
Of course tonight could have been Wigan Athletic versus Sevilla in the Europa League but well… Owen Coyle saw to that. So it’s Swansea City versus Napoli on television or the first half that is before I make my way home, open and close the door then listen to the second-half on the radio. It’s all a bit dull. Life’s a bit dull. Life in Wigan’s even duller. Then again it is probably the same in Swansea but at least tonight they were playing the world famous Napoli.
THIS THING OF OURS… An A-Z of “stuff” If Italy wooed and charmed us – and boy did it do that in the eighties and nineties –America drew us west and Germany made us check our feet Spain has played a far more subtle role in all this. Spain is about holidays, sun, pleasure and music. San Miguel and suntans. Ibiza Town and Iberian beats. In later years Madrid and Barcelona, Seville and Cadiz. A beautiful and complicated country and culture. Gorgeous girls and Gothic architecture, bullfighting and Balearic music. Benidorm and Bilbao. I love Spain and its culture. It’s people and it’s politics. I love its style and scenery. La Vuelta and La Liga. What a place. But it has had little impact on this thing of ours. People have travelled there for fun and fundraising. Buying Lacoste polo shirts and sleeves of cigarettes; to shift on and make a living. Others have moved there to the Costa Del Crime and the white island. To run and hide or to make a few bob. To discover music and chill out, to run clubs, drugs and guns. Some people have done all of that but what has Spain given us back in regards of this little story. Considering that the cities of Spain are steeped in style their clothes industry hasn’t thrown much our way. Camper shoes, Zara for cheap functional decent casualwear and Armand Basi are the trinity that comes to mind. That is other than Adolfo Dominguez. Apart from being the second Adolf in this tale after Adolf Dassler Senor Dominguez has added some quite beautiful clothes to the genre of smart, elegant casualwear that looks as good in the pub and on the terraces as it does on the Gran Via in Madrid. The brand hasn’t found a way into the inner wardrobes of many people but that is their loss as Adolfo Dominguez produces some sublime clobber. Often derided as Armani-lite by some the label has long surpassed that moniker and is producing garments that make a lot of the current Armani output look like the mass-produced guff that Primark produces. Using natural fabrics and ace silhouettes while taking the main European cities and its people as his influence Dominguez does clothes that tick the right boxes. The fact that many ‘don’t get’ Adolfo Dominguez pleases us that do. It keeps it all a bit elite and special: Clothes you won’t find in Oi Polloi and won’t hear discussed on twitter and within internet fora. They are not overpriced and have maintained a unique and loyal following that has been with them since they formed in 1981. Most discovered the shops on trips to Spain; while walking out and about, doing what the Spaniards do, keeping out of the sun, having a coffee or a beer, watching the girls go by and popping in and out of shops. And it is shops with Adolfo Dominguez for he made a decision early on in his career was to avoid distributing his clothes in multi-brand shops and to sell his clothes in his own stand-alone shops. This has helped both to keep the brand unique and build up his own customer base. A Dominguez shop – and he was the first Spanish designer to open his own shop in Madrid - is a simple shop. There are no gimmicks, no overt marketing strategies and no garish adverts: Just simply-presented women’s, men’s and children’s clothes and accessories. It is safe to say that Adolfo Dominguez is Spain’s equivalent to Paul Smith yet here in Britain he is hardly on the radar and that suits some of us just fine…
Okay let’s get realistic here. Most people reading this magazine are more likely to get their teeth into a pie than Rihanna. Want am I on about – most people? Make that everybody! Once person that has got his teeth into enough pies to last him a lifetime is Martin Tarbuck and he’s chronicled it all in an ace-looking book called Life of Pies. It is being published in a couple of months but you can help the lad out be pre-ordering a copy. Here is what Martin has to say about it but you know already it makes sense to get a copy… You’ve heard of Crowd sourcing right? In a month or so time the Life of Pies will go to the printers and the author of it (me!) will get hit with a large invoice for printing it. I’m not made of money at the best of times, let alone when I’ve just spent two years driving 10,000 miles and around five grand travelling the country eating 400 pies. So here’s a little idea which may well help me out a bit. I’m not asking anyone to give me something for nothing. Indeed if you are a regular reader of this blog (lifeofpies.co.uk), the Life of Pies Twitter feed, the magazine I edit, my writing in general or are just have an obsessive fascination with pies like me – then what I am offering is maybe something quite special. The first edition of Life of Pies will be out later in the year and will be a very restricted print run. It will in all likelihood be the only ever print run and will not exceed 1,000. In my mind, I will sell a few hundred on the internet (if I’m lucky) and stick the rest in Waterstones or provincial garden centres as the ideal Christmas present for your least favourite uncle. This is me being ridiculously optimistic, I may end up with hundreds stuck in my garage for years to come but the missus is used to me driving her up the wall by now. It may well end up on the reduced shelf and I’ll be lucky if I even make a penny out of it after printing bills, commissions and the hefty investment I have made already. JR Hartley eat your heart out. But enough tales of woe, let me cut to the chase….. I am offering up to 100 people the chance to play a part in this book by ordering in advance. What’s in it for you? By pre-ordering the book you will receive the following: * A printed copy of the Life of Pies first edition hot off the press before it hits the shops * The opportunity to have your name /nickname / Twitter ID or any other general inscription included inside up to 40 characters (you will receive an email about this following order confirmation) * A signed copy of the book (though when you see my hand writing you’ll realise this may devalue it somewhat) * An individual number written on and attributable to your order for each of the first 100 copies
Put simply I will take your money out of my Paypal account and you will get a warm glow inside knowing that you are supporting an independent author’s project And if 100 people do this, it will assist me in paying up front around 30% of the print costs. If nobody does it, well I'm going to print it anyway as I've gone too far now to consider going back..... In order, to provide some assurances about this, I would also like to confirm the following: * The funds will only be utilised as and when the book goes to print – therefore if for whatever reason the book does not go to print you will receive a full refund * After placing your order, you will receive an email laying out this guarantee and you will be asked to confirm what inscription you would like including in the book. * In addition, I will communicate progress of the book via email to all advance subscribers at least every 14 days so that you will have peace of mind that the project is progressing and I haven’t spent your hard earned cash on EVEN MORE PIES :-) The Price £9.99 for the book Plus £3.40 for postage and packaging (Overseas on request) The Product One copy of the first edition of Life of Pies – In search of Piefection by Martin Tarbuck A paperback book of around 350 - 400 pages with words in it Also containing a full colour photo section and cover sleeve Dimensions of around 216 x 140mm (or 8.5 x 5.5 inches if you prefer) The Plan We have a cover and we have content. Too much in fact. The book is currently (March 2014) in the process of being edited it down by myself and formatted and professionally laid out by graphic designer Andy Greenhalgh. We expect this to be finished by the end of April 2014. May will be spent adding finishing touches, proof reading and sending to the printers. It will be printed and dispatched during the following 8-12 weeks thus meaning that Life of Pies will hit the bookshelves towards the end of August 2014 Whereas the book will be available to buy online here right up until it has been published and for as long as it is in stock, the above offer will only apply until Sunday May 18th 2014 In addition, for reasons of space it will only be available for the first 100 copies That's it. If you want a piece of this particular pie all you have to do is click here to visit the shop and buy Life of Pies: www.lifeofpies.co.uk/buy
GO ON THEN HAVE SOME MORE NORMAN WALSH PORN…
“LONELINESS HAS FOLLOWED ME MY WHOLE LIFE, EVERYWHERE. IN BARS, IN CARS, SIDEWALKS, STORES, EVERYWHERE. THERE’S NO ESCAPE. I’M GOD’S LONELY MAN.” Travis Bickle
De Niro as Travis Bickle in the movie Taxi Driver, Pacino as Serpico, John Rambo in First Blood, Considine in Dead Man’s Shoes… everybody’s talking about and wearing The M-1965 Field Jacket. Also known as M65 and M-65 Field Jacket), eponymously named after the year it was introduced the popular field jacket initially designed for the US military is quite simply a must-go autumn coat. Copied by every design house, fashion company and Jekyll market-trader since (well)… 1965 nothing touches it when the last hum of summer has gone and the rustle of leaves underfoot mark your walk home just after the clocks have gone back. It was introduced into US military service in 1965 to replace the M-1951 field jacket still preferred by US Troops, an improvement on the M-1943 field jacket of Second World War design. The M-1965 had a built in hood that rolled up and fit into a pouch on the back of the neck as opposed to the separate hood that attached to the M-1951. The M-1965 also had velcro fasteners on the cuff. The M-65 field jacket was widely used by United States Forces during the Vietnam War in which the jacket became useful for troops serving in the Central Highlands of South Vietnam, as well as keeping a soldier warm from the cool weather conditions that came after monsoonal rains Originally introduced in olive green shade 107, it is now produced in a large variety of colours and patterns including many military camouflage patterns (but don’t go camouflage unless you want people to cross the street when you are approaching. The frontmost portion of the jacket has two large hip pockets and two medium-sized breast pockets and can be combined with a button-in insulated lining for cold-weather wear, as well as a button on fur trimmed winter hood. Alpha Industries do the best one around but shop around, check the charity shops and surplus stores, team with a decent jumper, jeans and desert boots and the town and city is yours. It is an everyman’s jacket that isn’t for everyone. It’s for the lonely, disfranchised, fashionistas and football boys. It can be flung on the backs of chairs and on the back seats of cars. You can adorn it with badges and the pockets can hold your book, wallet and phone. It is the jacket to wear at festivals and sweaty gigs and it keeps your girlfriend warm when the sun sets on a beautiful day: and like her it improves with age. From South Vietnam to South London we salute the M65!
The trends this Spring/Summer appear to take their lead from Southern California or Italy: Surf and Turf if we must. Now for us in our northern towns the surf bit might not pass muster while the Italian stuff is more an Autumn/Winter thing for us. As Bongo Boylan says: “Summer’s for thin lads!” Anyhow away from Italy and Newquay there’s also a real bloody nod to IvyLand and Americana. Not least in the fact that everybody appears to be doing a relaxed deconstructed sports jacket. Debenhams is full of them. Top Shop, River Island and all stops in-between ditto. Oh and Tesco are doing a blinder for £25 (nice tip there…) However the master is J Keydge. Straight outta France a real “slack” jacket. Here is the blurb…
Just like its predecessors, the jeans, the tremendous momentum born of the conquest of the west, the slack jacket * comes directly from the jacket of the pioneers, urban and revisited in the spirit "Ivy League" of American universities. For informal it is, the slack jacket J.KEYDGE is not less recognized by its style and silhouette. The clever combination of casualness and rigor is, no doubt, one of the secret charms of this jacket. The major innovation was to bring manufacturing techniques hitherto used separately, giving the impression that this jacket seems to exist so long as its outcome and its revelation are recent. Stripped of all unnecessary devices, the slack jacket is perceived as very "natural", emphasizing flexibility, comfort and lightness; it gives the fabric the freedom to express all its nobility. Far from the vanities of fashion and its constant denials, the slack jacket J.KEYDGE is required permanently. Yet it marks a turning point in irreversible wearable art, one might even say it is part of the art of living, as she exudes a real sense of empowerment. (*) The slack jacket is a registered name. ** If anybody’s brave enough to wear the madras jacket around Wigan then good luck to you! www.jkeydge.com
THE BAG THAT CAME IN FROM THE COLD
It is the bag company named after Lake District legend Millican Dalton. Moving from London to Cumbria in the early 1900s, Millican traded a flat in the Big Smoke for a cave in Borrowdale Valley. In fact, he spent his entire life in the outdoors and was completely self-sufficient. He even made his own organic clothing, tents and rucksacks. As self-proclaimed “Professor of Adventure,” he spent his daylight hours taking paying guests on rock climbing and mountaineering expeditions around the Lake District. Inevitably, every trip would end the same way – with hours of philosophising and storytelling around the campfire. He had an opinion on everything but not in a knee-jerk sort of way. He was a deep thinker and would write his thoughts down in his notebook or in letters he’d post from Rosthwaite. Millican Dalton’s life-story offers a wealth of inspiration for the modern day adventurer. For him, he felt true freedom when he was living simply out in nature. The people behind Miilican – the company - feel the very same way. Jorritt and Nicky started way back in the early 90s, on the border of Ecuador and Peru in South America. Individual round-the-world trips saw crossed paths in a sleepy border town called Vilcabamba, in southern Ecuador. Two years of work and play (…. mainly play) followed around The Americas, Asia and Australia. In their late 20s, they returned to the UK, swapped their packs for some bricks & mortar and settled into family life, careers, a wedding and the arrival of their daughter. In the late 90s they decided to breathe again. Fresh air, outdoor living and family time beckoned in the Lake District. After reading Australian author Steve Biddulph’s recommendation that every man should take his 40th year off, which is exactly what Jorrit did in 2007. It helped them rediscover their passions – for the great outdoors, the environment, vintage travel items, exploring the world and a simpler, slower way of life. Driven by these passions, and with the help of our friends, Millican was born in the summer of 2008.
It wasn’t an immediate success but one look at their products will tell you that they are making one hell of a go at it with the best bags that we at Loire have ever seen. And with reasonable price tags attached as well… Rucksacks, shoulder bags, overnight bags and accessories are what Millican is all about. They provide the bags and you choose how best to use them, to carry your own essentials. From Dave the Rucksack to Joe the IPAD cover the quality, aesthetic, design and feel is superb. They have surrounded themselves with experts right from the start their ultimate goal is to build a commercially successful, sustainable brand taking an uncompromising view on ethics, fair trading and humanitarian interests. Their first question was to find the right ingredients – can they find the right ingredients close to home at the right quality and cost? Who’s investing in sustainable technology and innovation for the future? Some of this was found locally, some of it nationally and the overseas. Once they’d found the ingredients they wanted to use, they searched for production partners close by, to add value locally, wherever local is. The result of this journey so far is a small group of specialists with one thing in common – a focus on sustainable quality.
It was then a case of finding the right materials and getting the design just right. Taking their inspiration from wooden gateposts worn smooth by decades of fell walkers, from finding someone’s vintage bags, photographs and boxes at our local auction, and from Mrs Dalton’s memories of climbing with Uncle Millican. And anything in between Millican have got it bang on! Their produce is for fell walkers, ramblers (urban and country) bankers with soul, sportsmen, artists and artisans. Quite simply inspirational gear for 2014 and beyond…
Palisades Park and the American Dream
I’m sat on the old worn arm of the settee dressed in a catalogue bought cowboy outfit. In my right hand I have my trusty Lone Star six shooter and my left hand enthusiastically pats the old couch to “giddy up” My eyes never leave the little black and white screen of our television set until the very end of the show. That’s when I leap off my “horse” and gallop round the little living room singing as loud as I can “Davy, Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier!” I was around six or seven years old and upon my head I had a real fur coonskin hat just like Davy’s. I’d say it was around this time that my obsession with American culture started. Walt Disney has a lot to answer for. Of course it wasn’t just Walt; my Dad also loved American films and movie stars. Seemingly every other week he would make the trip to the old Wigan Library and get a star of the silver screens biography on loan with me tagging along as always. Weekends would be spent watching George Raft, Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney and their ilk shooting tommy guns from the side of a rushing car. The good guys won and the bad guys died in a hail of lead. I went to every new Walt Disney feature that showed in town at one of the four cinemas that we had back then and I wasn’t alone. Kids would queue around the block to see “Swiss Family Robinson” “One Hundred and One Dalmatians” and “The Incredible Journey” Disney films showed a side of American life that seemed perfect. White picket fences, big front lawns, detached houses, massive cars and a Dad that went to work in a suit plus it was always sunny. Meanwhile I lived in the sort of terraced house that you saw in the Dandy, two up, two down, with an outside lavvy and a tin bath hung on the wall. A Desperate Dan sort of place albeit beautifully drawn by the great Dudley D Watkins another hero of mine. American comics flooded the UK in the 1960’s and every boy in junior school read them. This era became known as the “Silver Age” and comics from this time are keenly sought by collectors. Most of my collection disappeared mysteriously though my Mam most certainly had something to do with it as all mothers do when tidying up is to be done. I do have a handful of comics from that time and these are carefully hidden from my wife who would no doubt send them to a dustbin fate if she ever saw them, such are womankind. In amongst these tales of superheroes would be adverts enticing the reader to send their pocket money away in exchange for wondrous gifts such as X Ray Specs, Real Live Sea Monkeys, 100 Toy Soldiers, Secret Spy Camera, Hypno Coin and my own particular favourite a two man Polaris Nuclear Sub for $6.98. Sadly the ads didn’t live up to their colourful billing and many a kid opened their eagerly awaited package to find that the Polaris sub was actually made of cardboard and would perish in light drizzle. The dream lived on for this particular kid living thousands of miles away. Ignorance is beautifully blissful at times and even though my heart ached for a Lie/Love Detector I was better off not knowing that it was rubbish.
The most enticing advertisements in the comics didn’t require a single penny and these were the ones that I dreamt about the most. I wanted to go to the Palisades Amusement Park. The Palisades Amusement Park was situated in New Jersey USA a long way from my Wigan home. In many DC comics you would often find a voucher printed at the bottom of a page offering “Free admission to the Park plus Free Parking worth 85cents” and most importantly “Two Free Ride Tickets!” Oh how I wanted to go down the “Batman Slide” and on the “Carousel” but those tickets never got used my as Dad refused to sell our house to raise the $300 for the flight which is about £1400 in today’s money. I didn’t know it at the time but the adverts were the brainchild of Irving Rosenthal the parks owner who had shares in DC comic’s parent company National Periodical Publications. Superman became the official spokesman for the amusement park and was later joined by Batman and cartoon character Archie. Casper the Friendly Ghost was one of the biggest franchises and many of the rides changed names to fit in with the comic’s personalities. Hence the Tunnel of Love became Casper’s Ghostland. Palisades also held Beauty Competitions and other more obscure events like Eyeglass-Wearing Beauty Contest, Baby Walking Race, Miss Fat America, Fastest Shaver Competition and Shoe Shine Contest.
I never got to Palisades Park and I never will. The park closed its gates for the last time on Sunday September 12th 1971. Ironically it was its popularity that hastened its departure. The local residents were growing alarmed at the vast crowds that flooded into their small community each summer season and it was getting out of hand with a small number of visitors committing crimes. Not even Superman and Batman combined could combat this turn of events and the park was sold for over £12 million. The land that once hosted “The World’s Largest Outdoor Salt Water Pool” and over “200 rides and Attractions” is now home to high rise apartments. Looking at old photographs now it certainly was no Disneyland and was similar in size to Blackpool or Southport amusement parks. Palisades Park lives on in the memory of those that were lucky enough to have visited it in their childhood. A kid in a cowboy outfit living in an old terraced house dreamt of you Palisades but it wasn’t to be. Maybe one day I’ll get to America and use my free Tootsie Roll voucher, maybe…
Saturday night in Soho… early 1980s There’s a chill in the air as I pass the university. All the fresh-faced girls and boys starting a life in academia. With their college scarves, nondescript clothes and their clipped accents. We occasionally crash the bar at ULU simply because they sell strong lager at ridiculously low prices but it isn’t for us. Not that the kids I hang around with aren’t clever and to be fair Guzzling has a degree and all that but it just isn’t the type of place where we’d go. Strange really. I wish them well but it never appealed I just wanted to work. To earn money to go out on Saturday nights and buy new clothes. That old working class way of dressing up to go out on a Friday and Saturday night. Been going on for years. Friday, Saturday and Sunday best. Fifty hours in a factory or down a mine and then all scrubbed up and down to the pub or club. Big bands, trad jazz, beat, pop and soul. The chain continues. Looking smart and looking crisp. Sure the fashions change but the chain is unbroken. Tonight is a dressed-up night. Burberry mac, button down and lambswool sweater, slacks and tasselled loafers by Church. I’m meeting Claudette, away from work and just the two of us. Meal at Bianchi’s, Spaghetti Vongole and glasses of Valpolocelli, followed by coffee, cigarettes and jazz at Ronnie Scott’s. Nic one of our gang from work, his dad works there. Lovely blokes both Nic and his dad, from the south of Italy. Not sure what his dad does there but it’s a great place. Photos of film stars and jazz musicians which is right up Claudette’s street. We keep it quiet and he looks after his son’s friends. Claudette is always on time – which for a black girl is saying something – so I rush down Berwick Street over the discarded old fruit and only glancing into the record shops where I while away too many an hour. Ignoring the whores and the rowdy tourists before I hear a shout from behind. “Rich, alright?” “Wh’appen Claud? “I’ve got there before you, ha ha.” “No chance I’ve been around the block and been propositioned four times while waiting for ya” “You’ve certainly been around the block.” “Piss off, Rich and less of the wh’appens mate. “Just cos you listen to Culture and all that reggae shit don’t mean you have to try and talk like us. “Okay jazz kid. “For tonight and tonight only I’ll leave it out. “Anyhow who’s on at Ronnie’s tonight?” “Not sure but it’ll be better than that Augustus Pablo and Burning Spear stuff you normally listen to.” “I like a bit of funk with my jazz but tonight and tonight I’ll get on your Coltrane tip.” Strange how this kid whose parents hail from Kingston, Jamaica doesn’t dig the reggae beat. The bass drums and guitar just moves me. It always has and, I’m sure, it always will. From Desmond Dekker to Dillinger it always makes me sway and bangs a great big nail in my big bloody heart. At home in the bedsit I crank the turntables right up high and let The Wailers take me away. But for Claudette its Monk, Coltrane, Miles and Chet and it’s a real proper cool Claudette that is with me tonight. In her Levi’s, loafers and peacoat. A cool Claudette for a cool Soho. A cool Soho that has been the home to pimps, pushers and puffs for a very long time. A cool Soho that during the day is home to Bar Italia – where us cool fucking boys drink cappuccinos and eat pasties while we watch the world go by. A cool Soho where we used to dance the afternoon away at Crackers and dig through the racks at Groove and Daddy Cool. European cool, black boy chic, reggae vibes, people at work and living their lives above the streets and a million, trillion other things. Then of course when night falls the place changes. The clientele may not change but the atmosphere and the place buzzes with criminality, art, sex and drugs and rock and roll. And of course jazz. The reason why we are here tonight. Why Claudette loves the place. The history, the vibe, the beauty of it all. The beauty of jazz. The ultimate cool or so she’ll tell me over and over again. But I listen to her and love her for it and when I’m around at hers and it’s all a kinda blue I can see what it’s about. What it must have been like in the olden days in this den of iniquity that is Soho. Shopping at Austen’s on the Charing Cross Road for the latest American shirts, smoking Gauloises cigarettes in private clubs listening to modern jazz. The place where all the London kids would whack school and pop down to, to have a laugh and learn the real lessons in life. Italy, food, music, love, class, sex, race and every other thing that really matters can be found in the little village of Soho. Tonight is lovely and even the jazz in Ronnie’s has some funk in it as we dance the night away. Right a fucking way…
MUSIC: SKETCHES FROM AN ISLAND
There has been a considerable buzz around Mark Barrott for some time now. He is a man of serious musical pedigree and he founded the highly-respected International Feel label back in 2008, after moving to Uruguay, where his A&Ring tempted the elusive DJ Harvey out of studio retirement for his genre-defying Locussolus project. He followed it with new work from artists like Quiet Village, Gatto Fritto and the Italian cosmic disco don Daniele Baldelli. Since moving to Ibiza two years ago, he’s continued producing and releasing music anonymously on his label as Rocha, Bepu N’Gali, Flights of Fancy, Boys from Patagonia and The Young Gentlemen’s Adventure Society. The releases covered house, Afrobeat and proper downtempo balearic and quickly sold out. The music is cult and desirable: Young Gentlemen’s… only track, ‘Adventure Party’ now goes on Discogs for £200. He pressed 500 copies of the ‘Sketches 1’ EP on vinyl and it sold out in two hours. A special edition 12” in collaboration with innovative retailer LN-CC, featuring the beautiful birds of paradise artwork, sold out in two minutes. _______________________________________________________________________________________________
"Built around a reverb-heavy, almost comically relaxed guitar riff that lopes around as synths sigh in the background and a pretty flute motif skips about like a child on a beach, it's the sort of song that makes you long for vest and shorts weather" - THE GUARDIAN _______________________________________________________________________________________________
Mark Barrott’s ‘Sketches From An Island’ compresses a Balearic heartbeat into nine warm gems which paint a picture of Ibiza, the people and the magnetic beauty that pulses through it. Recorded in the island's northern hills using “weird percussion, some slide guitars and a few borrowed synths”, it’s a melodic and mysterious representation of a place seeped in a rich and rebellious history.
Barrott says, “Sketches is inspired by those weird, unique little oddities that would turn up on early José Padilla mix tapes that he’d sell in the Las Dalias hippy market, before he even went to the Café Del Mar. “It’s influenced by living in Ibiza year-round, and by the feeling of what I think balearic sounds like”. This is music for the days when you need musical sunshine. Or as original Café Del Mar’s José Padilla, has it: “This is what I call Balearic.”
ALBUM RELEASED 2ND JUNE ON INTERNATIONAL FEEL In the meantime you can hear the gorgeous lead song 'Baby Come Home' here: www.soundcloud.com/international-feel/1-baby-come-home-1 Sketches From An Island blog: www.sketchesfromanisland.com/ Album pre-order: www.itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sketches-from-anisland/id828387280
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BIKE
NEXT MONTH WE MIGHT JUST DO A BIT OF CYCLING IN THE MAGAZINE BUT FOR NOW HERE IS WIGAN CYCLING LEGEND ‘OWD’ TOM HUGHES Tom Hughes, who died in 1950 at the age of 83 was a legend in cycling circles. He started cycling on a 'high ordinary' in 1887 and had clocked up more than 400,000 miles by the time he hung up his wheels. Most remarkable of all, in 1925, he rode just shy of 10,000 miles. Two hundred miles a week might not sound like a lot, but in the same year he worked 375 shifts down the coal mine, where he made his living, an average of over seven shifts a week. His physical feats were by no means his only extraordinary facet. He was a keen photographer, in the days of plate cameras, and made comic slides of himself, the like of which are common place in the Photoshop era, but required great skill in the 1920s. He also founded a cycling club that endures to this day - the Autumn Tints. 'Junior' members are admitted once they reach the age of 50. Only when they attain the age of 70 are they made up to 'senior' status. Albert Winstanley has written a book on Tom Hughes called Owd Tom. You’ll have to search for it – I read it in the Museum of Life in Wigan – but it gives a remarkably full account of Hughes life - given that he was a working man who did not leave a wealth of papers behind. He draws on the memories of surviving family members and friends, as well as reproducing a considerably quantity of photographs. Sadly his annual total mileages , and a list of countries visited is all that really remains of his travelling. As Winstanley says, Hughes only learned to write to expedite his wedding, so unsurprisingly there is no treasure trove of reminiscences. But the author paints an engaging picture of the 'Tints' and their haunts - mainly in Hughes native Wigan and the surrounding Lancashire countryside.
Photos and information from: www.wiganwheelers.org
The four paintings* that you can see throughout this month’s Loire magazine are the work of a young Wigan artist (YWA) Stjarna Perry. We’ll be chatting to her – and featuring some more of her great work in the July issue.
Grimaldi At Midnight The Extraction Missing
You can follow Stjarna on twitter @StjarnaP And ‘Like’ her on facebook Stjarna Perry Art
f I was to pick one item of clothing that summed up this strand of clothing and lifestyle thing some of us are involved in or have our heart tugged by it then it would be the Burberry scarf. A 100% cashmere scarf, obviously. That one item says everything to me. It epitomises the whole scene that isn’t a scene. It’s a scarf. I mean a bloody scarf but… It’s so much more than that. It was all about the house check of a veritable British clothing company that was the preserve of the upper classes and the upwardly mobile middle classes since 1856. Well it was to the laymen and women of this country. To those involved in the early eighties it was about the quality of the clothes. It was about the aesthetics of the clothes. How when you turned the collar of the golf jacket up the check was revealed. How the jacket sat neatly atop faded Lois jeans. How the scarf peaked out from a Stone Island coat or how the house check on the button-down shirt sat high and proud above a plain crew neck sweater.
It was all about appropriation of a great British institution that wasn’t for ‘us lot’ and making it our own. Burberry and the working classes is something that was something new. Of course the ‘working classes’ have always dressed up. The Teds wore garments that were an appropriation of Edwardian clothes. Clothes that were popular with Royal Guardsmen. Mods and modernists had their own tailors but here were masses of young men and teenagers going in and out of high-class shops the likes of which the managers and assistants had seen nothing of their like before. Sure the odd cockney black cab driver and West Indian sticksman may have pottered in and out of their Haymarket and Regent Street store in the past but all these young kids! Young kids going to the Burberry warehouse in Hackney in East London while in the north of England the factory shops at Keighley and Castleford were the destinations for many youngsters from Yorkshire, Lancashire and beyond. In Wales the Treorchy factory was in the spotlight. It was in the spotlight thirty years later but more on that in a bit. In the early eighties for a short while Burberry was one of the brands to be seen in. HISTORY
Burberry is most famous for its trench coat, which was designed by founder Thomas Burberry. The then-21-year-old Thomas Burberry founded the company in 1856 opening a store in Basingstoke in Hampshire. By 1870 the company was focusing on outdoor wear and in 1880, Burberry introduced in his brand the gabardine, a hardwearing, waterresistant yet breathable fabric, in which the yarn is waterproofed before weaving.
In 1891 Burberry opened a shop in the Haymarket, London and by 1901, the Burberry Equestrian Knight Logo was developed containing the Latin word "Prorsum", meaning forwards, and was registered as a trademark. In 1911 they became the outfitters for Roald Amundsen, the first man to reach the South Pole, and Ernest Shackleton, who led a 1914 expedition to cross Antarctica. A Burberry gabardine jacket was worn by George Mallory on his ill-fated attempt on Mount Everest in 1924. Before that In 1914, Burberry was commissioned by the War Office to adapt its officer's coat to suit the conditions of contemporary warfare, resulting in the ‘trench coat’ being developed. After the war, the trench coat became popular with civilians. The iconic Burberry check was created in the 1920s and used as a lining in its trench coats. Burberry also specially designed aviation garments. A.E. Clouston and Betty KirbyGreen made the fastest flying time to Cape Town from London in 1937 and were sponsored by Burberry. Like most companies and like pretty much all of them featured in this tome they have had their ups and downs. Burberry was an independent company until 1955, when it was taken over by Great Universal Stores (GUS). In 1998, Burberrys changed their marketing name to Burberry from the previous Burberrys of London. GUS sold its remaining interest in Burberry in December 2005. Burberry Group plc was initially floated on the London Stock Exchangein July 2002. In 2006 Rose Marie Bravo, who as Chief Executive had led Burberry to mass market success through licensing, decided to retire. She was replaced by another American Angela Ahrendts. Who along with Creative Director Christopher Bailey successfully turned around the then Chav-like reputation that the brand had acquired at the end of Bravo's tenure, by removing the brand's iconic check-pattern from all but 10% of the company's products and buying out the Spanish franchise that was worth 20% of group revenues. Part of the new design-led drive and vision was taken from admiring and learning lessons from iconic leading design brands, including Apple Inc. In recent years, Burberry has attempted to rebrand itself with advertisements in GQ, Esquire, Vogue, Tatler and Harper's Bazaar, and is well known for using British celebrities in its advertising, including models Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn, Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson, singer George Craig, actress Emma Watson, who was named the face of Burberry's 2009 autumn/winter campaign and the cover model for the 2010 spring/summer campaign, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, who was unveiled as the face of Burberry's newest fragrance, Burberry Body, in July 2011. In June 2010, the Group launched its first cosmetics line, Burberry Beauty. In October 2013 it was announced that Ahrendts would take up the position of Senior Vice President of retail and online at Apple, Inc. from April 2014, and be replaced as CEO by Bailey. During her tenure, sales increased to over £2Bn, and shares gained more than threefold to £7Bn.
Although Burberry promotes its British connection, according to The Guardian, a British national daily newspaper, as of July 2012, Burberry maintains only two production facilities in Great Britain, one in Castleford producing raincoats, and a smaller one in Keighley. Throughout their history Burberry has operated various brands under the Burberry or Burberrys of London but at the present they have:
Burberry Prorsum – Base line for other brands. Burberry London – Heritage outerwear 'wear to work' items, including business wear. Burberry Brit – The most accessible of the Burberry brands, with entry level pricing. Checks Burberry offers a range of checks: Haymarket: Classic check with the Burberry Equestrian Knight House: Classic check without the Burberry Equestrian Knight. Nova: The newer and bigger check pattern. Has a cream/tan background with vertical and horizontal black and pink/red stripes. Supernova: Larger than Nova check. Exploded: Exploded check usually in metallic colours like silver Smoked: Classic check in a darker colour with no Equestrian Knight detail The Beat: Classic check in black and white.
STORES Burberry has more than 500 stores in over 50 countries. Phew… So why does Burberry matter to all this? Does it still matter? On the latter I’m not sure, From a purely personal point of view I like some of their recent stuff. They make good clothes. Not that I have any of their new stuff. The old gear is tremendous and the older we get the more we know about the product and those old clothes really were made in Britain: In proper working class places like Wigan (Coops Mill), Keighley, Castleford, Hackney and Treorchy. Of course nowadays much of Burberry’s clothes are made in China which makes a mockery of all this Burberry Brit stuff: Especially while shedding British jobs and closing British factories. Treorchy's 70-year-old Burberry factory closed in 2007 after the workers long, bitter and ultimately unsuccessful struggle to stop their jobs – 300 of them – going to China. It is widely reported that Cardiff City fans abandoned Burberry after this – and the Soul Crew loved a check. Good on them! In 2009 170 workers at Burberry's Rotherham factory met the same fate while another 130 jobs went at Keighley and Castleford. But by then its star had fallen in such circles. For a while tough it shone brightly and for me sums all this up. It was different, it was ostensibly not for us but was appropriated by us. It became vilified when the so-called chavs started wearing knock-off threads by which time the movers and shakers had long since abandoned it – and who can forget the Danielle Westbrook with baby with Burbs everywhere photo. Then it re-emerged. It is now safe to wear one of their scarves and by next winter I expect to see even more on the terraces and in the seats at British football grounds. Personally, I’ll keep with my old stuff and look at adding some vintage pieces. But back then for a year or so when Burberry really shone; when Burberrys of London really shone it was a magnificent statement about this thing of ours and maybe just maybe that cream, light blue, white and gold ensemble summed it all up. Burberry golf jacket, faded jeans, Borg Elite/adidas Forest Hills was THE silhouette/colour palate of those early days. In London it definitely was.
RETURN OF THE RUDEBOY This looks decent… This summer, Somerset House is proud to present Return of the Rudeboy, an original exhibition created and curated by prolific photographer and filmmaker for music’s most wanted Dean Chalkley and fashion-industry favourite creative director Harris Elliott, which showcases a sartorial subculture through a series of portraits, installations and set pieces. Over the course of the past year the duo has photographed over 60 sharply dressed individuals from across the UK, all of whom embody the essence of what it is to be a Rudeboy (or Rudie) in the 21st century, to document the life, style and attitude of this growing urban group. The curated collection of images shows the subjects presenting their pure and singular sartorial swagger in locations linked to the Rudeboy lifestyle, whether it be on the streets of Shoreditch or Savile Row. The exhibition will be an immersive experience of visuals and sounds, taking visitors into the worlds of today’s Rudeboys. Each of the subjects featured in the portraits have provided their signature playlist, which will be amalgamated along with curators’ and collaborators’ choices into a soundtrack to capture the spirit and soul of the Rudeboy, acting as a sonic backdrop to the visual works. Since grooming is integral to the Rudeboy routine, the space will host a pop-up ‘grooming station’ where visitors can book appointments to get their hair cut or beard trimmed by a top Rudeboy barber. Working with artisan box maker Kitty Farrow and luggage manufacturer Alstermo, bespoke brief cases, hat boxes and luggage sets will be made to show how this collective of individuals pays attention to detail in all aspects with their fashions. In true Rudeboy style, Chalkley and Elliott have collaborated closely with a variety of inspirational and influential creative minds to contribute exciting, engaging and enriching content to the exhibition. These include Rashad Smith, a British-born, New York-based producer who has worked with the likes of The Notorious B.I.G, Busta Rhymes and Nas; the Art Comes First creative collective founded by top travelling tailors Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh; and founding member of Big Audio Dynamite, Grammy awardwinning filmmaker and international DJ Don Letts, a pillar of the punk and reggae scene who inspired a generation through his groundbreaking music, films and fashions. There will also be an exciting season of events in conjunction with the exhibition for visitors to exchange and enrich their knowledge and understanding of this important and culturally significant subculture, from film screenings to sartorial workshops. The events will pay respect to the heritage and importance of the past, but focus on the present and future Rudeboy. Originating from the streets of Kingston, Jamaica in the late 1950s, Rudeboy or Rudie came to represent the young rebels who wore distinctively sharp sartorial styles such as Mohair suits, thin ties and pork pie hats. The style was closely connected to the music movements of the time; their initial inspiration derived from American Jazz and R&B musicians as well as some notorious gangsters. As is prevalent in the Rudeboy
culture, the origins were appropriated and then twisted. The Rudeboy has travelled through time since then and evolved; in the 1980s, Two-Tone brought it right back into the frame. Now todayâ€™s young men and women have adopted the swagger and adapted the essence of the original Rudeboy but for a 21st century generation. The photographs and set pieces will be on sale along with bespoke hand-bound books featuring the images on show in the exhibition. Customised, designer collaboration clothing and accessories inspired by Rudeboys will also be available.
SOMERSET HOUSE 13 June â€“ 25 August 2014 Daily 10.00-18.00 Terrace Rooms, South Wing Free admission www.somersethouse.org
Steve McQueen by Peter Oâ€™Toole www.peter-otoole.co.uk
I’m not sure if a Harrington jacket is considered to be rudeboy clobber. Possibly/probably? It was and is certainly skinhead wear. It’s also modernist wear, suedehead wear while - on a recent visit to London - it appeared to be on the back of every hipster, wideboy and middleaged London bod north, south, east and west of the city. There are numerous versions of the jackets and you can pick a market stall version up for a few quid. At the other end John Simons do their own exquisite version but it’s the Baracuta version that most navigate to. The G4 and G9 versions are both just great. Needless to say wearing one won’t turn us all into Steve McQueen but we can all dream…
Now normally I don’t bother with all these reissues as it’s usually the ten decent songs from the original album – as I’ve either got it or you can probably find in your nearest charity shop for a couple of quid– plus a load of outtakes that weren’t on the original album for a good reason. However in this case I’ll make an exception as Island Records has reissued Grace Jones' seminal 1981 album Nightclubbing in a variety of different formats and it really is something special. Take your pick from standard CD, deluxe CD, digital album, Blu Ray and a special gatefold double-vinyl version cut at Abbey Road studios, to be precise but whatever you plump for you will not be disappointed. As well as being remastered it comes with some amazing images, additional extended versions of the original album plus two newly-discovered, rare tracks from the original sessions, including a cover of Gary Numan and Tubeway Army's Me! I Disconnect From You. Grace Jones left New York City and went to Paris in 1970 where her androgynous look made her a sensation in the fashion world modelling for Yves St. Laurent and Kenzo and becoming a muse for photographer Helmut Newton. Yet it was back in NYC at the legendary Studio 54 nightclub where she linked up with disco producer Tom Moulton to produce a series of albums of – shall we say – varying quality.
By 1980 Grace Jones was over at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas where she worked with producers Alex Sadkin and Island Records’ president Chris Blackwell, and top session musicians led by the rhythm section of Sly & Robbie. It worked and more so… Across three critical and commercial hit albums spanning from 1980’s Warm Leatherette through 1982’s Living My Life with 1981’s Nightclubbing as her absolute highlight. Nightclubbing sounded weird, wonderful, disturbing, sexy, fresh and funky back in 1981. In 2014 it sounds just the same. It is still completely different to anything else then or now. Sure her influence can be found in everybody from Hot Chip to Lady Gaga but Jones is the original. Back in the early eighties she was the face of The Face and the girl that put the identity into ID magazine. But – on the Compass Point recordings she was always more substance than style and considering she was the most stylish woman in the world that’s going some. In her own words on the opening track Walking in the Rain, Jones sings/speaks Feeling like a woman/Looking like a man” and from then on the genius of Sly and Robbie, percussionist Sticky Thompson and keyboard wizard Wally Badarou takes the record to the top. But of course, Grace Jones is the star as she produces and album of sublime beauty. Put your headphones in and just enjoy the beeps, bleeps, boogie and just imagining pulling up to the pumper with Miss…
Grace… Jones Meanwhile coming very soon
NOWHERE IS HOME Nowhere Is Home a brand new film (from Heavenly Films) about Dexys and their recent live shows for the One Day I'm Going To Soar album has just previewed at the NFT1 on the Southbank, London. Directed by recent BAFTA winner Kieran Evans and Paul Kelly the film documents Dexys celebrated residency at the Duke Of York's Theatre in London last spring. Nowhere Is Home captures songs from those theatrical shows with a striking visual style and a real sensitivity to the performances onstage. Interspersed throughout the film is an honest, revealing and touching interview with Kevin Rowland and Jim Paterson that details the remarkable story of the band. Nowhere Is Home frames the motivation and desire that oversaw the artistic triumph of the bands recent album One Day I'm Going To Soar and the live performances that subsequently developed from its narrative. Out and about in September, we believe…
Former Slit Viv Albertine retired from music for 25 years before returning to music industry first with an EP in 2010 and then with 2012's brilliant album (her first solo effort) The Vermilion Border. In between The Slits' break-up and the album, Albertine returned to Goldsmith's Art College to study filmmaking and became a television director, eventually giving that up to focus on her daughter before returning to music three decades after the release of The Slits' debut album Cut; an album that everybody should own! It is an essential punk album and while The Vermilion Border is a modern day punk classic Albertine hasnâ€™t stood still find time to star in the new arthouse hit film Exhibition and writing her memoirs; the brilliantly titled Clothes Clothes Clothes, Music Music Music, Boys Boys Boys. As one of a handful of original punks who changed music, and the discourse around it, forever Albertine now tells the tale from a female point of view. From forming The Flowers of Romance with Sid Vicious in 1976, Viv joined The Slits and made musical history as one of the first generation of punk bands and here is the story of what it was like to be a girl at the height of punk: the sex, the drugs, the guys, the tours, the hard lessons learnt and those not considered. Here, before and beyond the break-up of The Slits in 1982, is the full story of a life lived unscripted, with foolishness, bravery and great emotional honesty. And while Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys is an unflinching account of a life lived on the frontline it is also a tender and beautiful account of her life and loves. Very much not a Typical Girl.
“POP A CAP ON YOUR HEAD”
▲CAP INSIGNIAS▲ Forget the big time charlies, the major-league players for over in the north-eastern united states of America it’s all about the minor league. Or to be more precise the New York-Penn League. The season starts in June after the major-league teams have signed-up their amateur draft picks to professional contracts and ends in early September. All sides are affiliated to a major-league side and obviously many fans of these gravitate to the minor league side to watch the future stars and – also – watch affordable sport in fantastic atmospheric ball parks. The league was formed in 1939 as the ‘Pennsylvania-Ontario-New York’ league – known by all as the PONY League. When the Hamilton Red Wings folded in 1956 the league adopted it’s current name the next season even though teams are now represented from seven different states: Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont and Connecticut. For anybody travelling to New York then a visit to Brooklyn Cyclones now iconic MCU Park just off the boardwalk in Coney Island is a must. For the rest of us then just get yourself a baseball cap, a large hotdog, clothes your eyes and dream about sitting on the bleachers watching Ameroca’s summer sport…
CHAMPION THAT PAL….
We first spotted Champion Japan’s fantastic summer tees last (er…) summer on Glenn Kitson’s even more fantastic The Rig Out website and it’s thanks again to them that we can feature their Summer 2014 died t-shirts. Anyhow as Glenn’s more fashionable and a lot funnier than us here is what he has to say about them: Has it really been a year? Feels like only yesterday we posted up last year’s versions of this tee shirt. So we know the dance, Champion Japan make some of the best t-shirts in the world. There are other folk doing it, I saw some pretty splendid Camber ones recently. And 45RPM make some nicely weighted (is that a word) tees as well… but (to use a technical fashion term) Champion.jp are the bollocks when it comes to this sort of thing. Get them here if you can… www.therigout.com
A PAIR OF SANDERS’ PLAYBOYS FOR A SUMMER’S DAY
There’s much to be said for solitude. It gives you time to step back and reflect. Self-taught songwriter, multiinstrumentalist, and home recordist Stephen Steinbrink has had plenty of time to do that. Having spent the last 13 of his 25 years on this planet travelling solo in Greyhounds, Toyota minivans, and European trains, his wanderlust travels as seen through his Lennon frames have shaped stunning breakthrough album Arranged Waves. “I grew up in Phoenix; it’s bleakness through and through. A de-centralized suburb of nothing.” he says. “There are so many ghosts of the recession - the bowling alley I went to as a kid has been abandoned. Friends' houses have been bulldozed. I can't count how many times I've seen a burning down house while stuck in traffic. All these empty buildings from my childhood are unsettling and symbolic of something, but I don't know what. I need to write more songs to figure that out.“ Escapism can come in many forms. For Steinbrink whether travelling around the world singing to anyone who will listen or simply sat in a road-side diner writing his next set of songs Arranged Waves has provided that much-needed distraction. “Song writing is cheap therapy, and I process much through my music,” he reveals. “I didn't know it at the time; I was just trying to write about how I felt in a way that was real and honest to my melancholy. The album sounds soft and light at times sure, but when you're cold and wet, you don't wrap a freezing towel around your head, right?” Screwing with expectations, Arranged Waves goes beyond what you might think. Whilst getting inside its chords by finger-picking counter melodies, Steinbrink’s distinctive falsetto may recall a youthful Neil Young, a one-man Simon & Garfunkel or Nick Drake at his most poignant. Yet for each beautifully understated lament, there are moments where down-shifted synths gleam through 8-bit wobble (‘A Simple Armature of Your Ideal World’) and foggy 80s pop is filtered through gauzy Ariel Pink textures (‘It’s So Pretty What You Did For Me ’) like broken transmissions from a waterlogged radio. “Most folk-revivalist music now discusses topics that are more relevant to past generations,” he says shirking off inevitably lazy ‘folk’ or ‘singer-songwriter’ tags. “I’d hate to be lumped in with that. I'd much rather hear a folk song about how someone is frustrated at their iPad, because although the subject is banal, the relevancy isn't. That is real folk music.” If it’s not for the album’s field recordings - the bells ringing in ‘Tangerine’ were recorded before a show in Graz, Austria whilst its low frequency hum is the manipulated recording of a bus Steinbrink was riding between Chicago and Ann Arbour - it’s his lyrics that marks Steinbrink out as a true punk troubadour trying to make sense of the world. Beyond apparent stream of consciousness Arranged Waves is an album about lost images with each song an attempt to describe moments of banality without manipulation of their inherent romance. ‘Sand Mandalas’ is about the reconciliation of meaninglessness: “It feels impossible to think the thought / that I’m doomed to make my meaning / in the arbitrary ether”, some songs are about being a child and others about the ability to change our consciousness through sheer effort. Now residing amongst the green spaces of Olympia, Washington, the record took shape in a small 12'x20' structure behind his new home. Enlisting friends Andrew Dorsett, Eli Moore and Ashley Eriksson (LAKE), guitarist Tom Filardo (Filardo / Bouquet) and cellist Jen Grady (You Are Plural) they set up in his home studio to record the album’s twelve songs, inspired by multi-media artist James Roemer, repressed memories of watching TV, the early 70s work of John Cale and Can, and the underground community of songwriters that live on the western coast of the USA. A true passenger of life, Stephen Steinbrink is more cultural observer than 21st century busker with his intelligently cool left-of-centre approach to a sincere pop melody. If you ever come across him be sure to take your chance to say ‘hi’ “I like people, people are comfort, but still, there's something nice about going out into the country and being completely autonomous and free,” he admits.
Love Games: A History of Tennis, From Victorian Pastime to Global Phenomenon by Elizabeth Wilson They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but in this case you can. The Nathan Burton-designed cover is a lovely pastiche of the art deco London Transport posters that were made to popularise big sporting events in the capital in days gone by. The story within the book is - as the title tells you - a history of the sport from those days, earlier days and up to the present day and it’s a really great read. Elizabeth Wilson charts the sport from the early days of the game, when vicars promoted the sport on their vicarage lawns through to widespread adoption by the turn of the century moneyed classes. The tale takes in all the stars of the game, the glamour and is particularly good on the McEnroe/Borg era. It is even better when it looks at the on the sport’s uneasy relationship with gay players such as US Open winner Bill Tilden who was shunned by the tennis world after relations with young boys and died penniless and Gottfried von Cramm who survived being gay under the Nazis on account of his fame. As befits someone that honed their journalistic skills within London’s counter-culture of the sixties and seventies Wilson has a real distaste for the way tennis has morphed at the altar of Big Money, with the top players being multi-millionaires while those outside the top 100 struggle to survive. It is a fine, fine book that deserves a bigger audience than the real tennis buffs and the fortnightly Wimbledon “experts”. It is a very fine complex book about a very fine complex sport.
Meanwhile adidas appear to have one eye on Wimbledon with the re-release/appropriation of four neat tennis shoes. The collection includes the Rod Laver, Nastase and Forest Hills and come in predominantly white leather with a green and purple detailing as a nod to SW19. Available exclusively at Size? from Friday 23 May 2014. Happy hunting…
While they’ll look pretty neat on the grass courts of Wimbledon and Queen’s they’ll look just as good under a pair of crisp blue jeans and these from ‘The Guvnor’ John Simons looking mighty fine to us. Call the shop for more details:
The World Cup is on its way and we’ll have a good look at it in the next issue of Loire but for now we have to say we do like the covers on the current issue of the June issue of Esquire magazine. The content’s not bad either. There are the usual £650 pairs of shoes in there but we can ignore all that…
MODS v ROCKERS 50th Anniversary To celebrate the 50th anniversary of young men fighting on the beaches we look at: HOW
AND WHY - AFTER HALF A CENTURY - THE MEDIA FAILS TO REPORT YOUTH MOVEMENTS As Britain edged its way out of post-war austerity the Soho area of London danced to a sound of modern jazz as London teenagers mixed with black GI's from the American air bases in Cambridgeshire at clubs such as The Flamingo, The Mapleton and The Lyceum. From these routes the modernist scene emerged developed into the early 60's and is still alive and well today. They were young men and women in various cities and towns throughout the country that were in love with the American style. They loved soul music and the Ivy League look of America. Wing-tip brogues, Sta Prest trousers and Brooks Brothers shirts. John Simons opened Clothesville in Hackney, East London and then The Ivy Shop in Richmond in the early sixties. They are arguably the most influential menswear shop this country has seen and continues to trade to this day at J. Simons in Covent Garden. During the early days of The Ivy Shop there was another scene that was developing in Carnaby Street. The press and media eventually caught on to this but as Simons told me - when I spoke to him in May 2004: "It was Clothesville and the Ivy Shop that defined the mod look. "We had working class guys coming down from the East End and West London who were influenced by American culture, clothes and music. "By the time the Carnaby Street mods had hit the news the main characters had moved on." As R&B bands such as The Who gave patronage to the Carnaby Street mods it was the events on Brighton Beach that alerted the media to this new trend amongst youngsters. However as can be found in Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers by Stanley Cohen there had been disturbances earlier at Clacton. â€œThe one that was to set the pattern for all the others and give the phenomenon its distinctive shape, was not Brighton, but Clacton, a small holiday resort on the east coast of England. It has never been as affluent and popular as Brighton and has traditionally become the gathering place for tougher adolescents from the East End and north-eastern suburbs of London. This had been ignored by most and it wasnâ€™t until it entered the lives of the wealthy inhabitants of Brighton that it was reported in the mass media.
It may be argued that the reporting of these events was another case of the media introducing the concept of moral panic as they worked in collusion with the police and society to include moral panic in the general hegemony. From this it can be seen that 'moral panic becomes an envoy for dominant ideology' (Policing the Crisis Stuart Hall p562). However I would argue that the press and media simply were unaware of what was happening under their noses on the streets of Britain. The press and television had no excuse for in 1959 Colin MacInnes published what was to become one of the greatest cult novels of our time: Absolute Beginners (Allison & Busby; New Ed edition (14 Mar 2001)). MacInnes recorded events in the capital during 1958 through the eyes of a teenage photographer. From hence on it can be seen that people are chronicling events of teenagers - and nearly always working class teenagers - but it is mainly from the left field. Few pick up on events at the time but are later embrace the music film and writing by which time as John Simons says: "The main characters had moved on." By 1969 these "characters" had moved on as the lifestyle of this particular type of working class male had moved onto what the media were to christen skinheads. By looking at events in my hometown we can see that by 1970 the local media had caught onto skinheads and the Wigan Observer was not slow to take up the cause of the nationwide media. The phrase used to describe these individuals was not skinheads but "Bovver Boys" and for 6 months or so there were numerous of mentions of 'Bovver' in the Observer. There had obviously been 'Bovver' happening in Wigan for hundreds of years but now the journalists had a scary name for it and the individuals that carried out the 'Bovver'. By 1970 it was quite obvious that 'Bovver' was occurring at football and rugby matches. In November 1967 there was trouble on the terraces at Gigg Lane as a small group of Latics fans were surrounded by 300 Bury fans at a Lancashire Senior Cup tie. Scuffles ensued and one fan was ejected. After the game the Bury fans bricked the Wigan coaches. By 1969 they were referring to the troublemakers as "thugs" as it all kicked off at a night match at Hyde United and the Observer ran a piece telling the youngsters at the rugby to stop hurling abuse at Eddie Wareing. It had been pretty virulent at a BBC2 floodlit match and the paper printed a great picture of all the kids "flicking the V's" at the cameras with the headline "CUT THIS OUT." Needless to say all the kids took this literally and cut the photo out to show their mates at school. By late 1969 there were serious disturbances with Latics at Burscough and Port Vale in the cup. However by 1970 the 'Bovver Boys' were causing havoc. After months of problems with visiting skinheads from Kirkby police announced in May that year that they are adopting a no-nonsense attitude with skinheads as a gang of 40 skins from Kirkby had turned up the previous two Saturdays. They announce that they will "take away their boots and braces if necessary." As they had laid siege to the sweet kiosk at the ABC cinema the previous week the police have stated that they will put them straight back onto the train. By the end of the month the Observer and the police announced that there had been "NO BOVVER AT ORRELL CARNIVAL." "10-14,000 attended with not a skinhead in sight." However by July the paper was again reporting the presence of Kirkby skins in town. And again in October 1970 as the Observer ran a piece entitled "What's the attraction for Skinheads?" as yet again it trouble flared in the town centre between the Wigan and Kirkby skins. It would have been easier to ask what wasn't the attraction as thousands of Wigan youths adopted the skinhead look!
Again the press had been slow to jump on the scene and again they only focused on the negative aspects of the latest cult. Skinheads were portrayed as racist thugs ignoring the fact that much of the image was taken from Jamaican immigrants and the music that was popular was the early reggae sounds emanating from that island. Away from the press the movement was rarely chronicled in other areas of the media. The pulp books of Richard Allen: Skinhead, Suedehead and others (New English Library) were eagerly consumed by schoolboys but received no critical acclaim. Ironically the books are now being reassessed and original copies are changing hands on auction sites for large sums. The only film that tackled issues that may have concerned skinheads was A Clockwork Orange based on the book of the same name written by Anthony Burgess nine years earlier. The book (Penguin 1962) was set 10 years into the future and it is interesting to note how the schoolboy protagonist thug closely resembled the image of the skinhead thug the media was portraying. Meanwhile as life mimicked art the director withdrew the film from circulation as copycat crimes swept the nation. By the end of the seventies and with the country in economic turmoil it took a musical revolution to produce the next movement that appealed to working class males. Punk Rock. The staid music scene was ready for a revolution and as this new garage music emerged in London for once the press - especially the music press - were a little quicker to report the new scene that was emerging. This time they were just behind the new DIY fanzines that had exploded onto the scene. The editors at the established music press took their cue and either mobilised their staff or employed "hip young gunslingers" such as Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill at the NME. Television and the national press were slower taking up the mantle. Again the only early coverage came from the leftfield as Tony Wilson gave the Sex Pistols their first television appearance on the Granada TV programme 'So it Goes'. It was the Sex Pistols subsequent appearance on Thames Television’s Today programme on 1st December 1976 hosted by Bill Grundy that catapulted the band and the punk movement to the nation’s consciences. The presenter goaded the band into swearing live on the early evening television causing widespread condemnation across the country. The following day’s Daily Mirror lead with the headline ‘The Filth and the Fury’ and what had been a cult musical movement had now become the latest “hated” youth movement. Again the press chose to ignore the positive aspects of the music and featured solely on the negative. The eighties heralded a much more “savvy” media as magazines such as The Face, Blitz and ID emerged to commentate on the burgeoning New Romantic scene. The Face that was launched by Nick Logan’s Wagadon company in May 1980 is often looked upon as the “80s fashion bible” and while there is no doubt it was closer to the mindset of the youth it again fell short when reporting trends among working class males. While the Londoncentric media were reporting the goings-on at nightclubs such as Blitz that were populated by a few dozen art students groups of young males all around the country were dressing up in a much different way. On the council estates and terraced streets in the north west of England…
And while we are talking about The Face…
Go wild in the country, go wild in the country where snakes in the grass are absolutely free. Bow Wow Wow on Top of the Pops. The lovely Annabelle Lwin. Jailbait for The Face generation. And Annabelle Lwin is sexy and she’s young and Malcolm McLaren says it’s okay so the party people are okay and us people look at her picture and think…. Think back to that time when David Lindsay was crying in infant school. When he was battered and bruised and though we didn’t know what they were talking about we heard that David’s older sister might be his mum and other unthinkable things. And his younger sister, Christine, was “going the same way”. The “signs are there”. But we were five or six. Wearing our plastic Beatles wigs and singing along: “Shake it up baby, Twist and Shout”. Scarred knees and happy hearts while David Lindsay cries all day long: And his sister Christine has the same lonely eyes. Drinking warm milk and looking into the void with those lonely eyes. A family trait; those lonely eyes. Now I watch Annabelle Lwin on Top of the Pops. While I look at her face in The Face. The magazine that was made for me. Written for me but I feel it falling away. New sort of mob reading it now. The know all know nothing brigade. Jumped aboard – over now. And I look up again at Annabelle again and wonder what happened to David and Christine and his older sister and life back then…
AT SEVENTEEN I was on the way home the other Friday when two pretty indie girls bowled on the bus at The Conny in Skem. Vintage dresses, smelling beautifully, bottles of wine jangling in their bags and great big gorgeous smiles. Sat behind me - I soon deduced they were going to the indie night in Wigan. And they brightened my journey. Talking and laughing about how Alex Turner was fit and Alexa Chung was horrible (I think they got that the wrong way around but…), the latest Kings of Leon album, visiting London in the spring and discussing what university they were going to. Along with snogging boys, dancing to Northern Soul, what party they were going to next week and a myriad of other subjects. I enjoyed listening to their chat. So bright, so naïve, so lacking in cynicism and so in love with the world. And when I got off the bus I felt sort of strange as I got thinking about the girls. Then as I buttoned by coat up and hastened my step I was suddenly hit with sadness. A lump formed in my throat and tears came to my eyes and I so wished I were 17 going on 18 again. And I've never felt that before. I've always loved the fact that I was 18 when punk rock hit the nation. Loved the fact that I went to Wigan Casino. Stayed up long after tonight was all over. Loved the fact that I had worn original Ben Shermans as a 12-year-old and loved the fact that I'd seen Bowie and Rod and Roxy and Bruce and Marley and Luther and everybody else. But at that moment walking through the cold dismal streets of Wigan WN5 I just wished I could be going to Café Nirvana that night. Dancing with pretty indie girls, planning on going to uni and getting so drunk that the room would spin later that night. Between the ages of 16 and 19 the world is truly yours. I remember those days so vividly. Going to the pub with your mates. And nightclubbing and getting in and out of scrapes. Forging proper relationships with girls and getting to know your dad as a man. Learning to drive. Learning to drive with my dad and the two of us singing along to Al Green and Simon & Garfunkel on the 8-track cartridge player. Turning out on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Then playing football on a Sunday. And going to the cinema with the girl you met on the Saturday and buying clothes and records. And loving - absolutely loving - music just as the two girls on the bus obviously did. And like them dancing to Northern Soul and not giving two hoots about work or money and just being in love with the world. When I got home I put the stereo on. Put Rod on. Rod singing Mandolin Wind. The saddest, most beautiful of songs. And I'm back in Pete's parents front room in Orrell with all my mates. All of us - 16/17 years of age talking about The Faces and Springsteen and Mott the Hoople and Johnny Cash. And Wigan and Everton and Liverpool. And Christine and Anne and all the other beautiful girls we know before going to the Delph Tavern and a long time before going our separate ways in life. And I am 17 again. And I don't need to be Café Nirvana tonight. And I've still got that lump in my throat and those tears in my eyes…
Last summer saw Aficionado Recordings release a split 12-inch single that featured on one side Joan Biblioni’s Pinzells. And rather lovely it was too. This summer it is the good folk at Music From Memory that time shift their attention to the work of the Mallorcan musician. Primarily a guitarist, Bibiloni was creating music at an early age, releasing his first single at the tender age of 15. In his twenties he formed Spanish prog-rock outfits Zebra and Euterpe where he would meet Pepe Milan, the two of them becoming the bluesy folk duo 'Milan & Bibiloni'. Bibiloni himself would later go on to play with a number of luminary musicians such as Larry Coryell, Daevid Allen and John Cage to name but a few. In 1982 Bibiloni set up his own label Blau in order to highlight the much-overlooked work of musicians not only on his home island of Mallorca but also across the Balearic Islands. In doing so he created a platform not only for local talent but also for his own music to breathe a new life, much influenced by the landscape and life that surrounds the islands. Whilst Bibiloni's first solo releases on his Blau imprint have stronger echoes of contemporary Jazz fusion of the time, it is on the album known as 'Una Vida Llarga I Tranquila' where Bibiloni really began to experiment with new sounds and technologies; fusing tape loops, drum computers and synthesizers. Taking these more electronic infused works as a departure point for the compilation and drawing on material from across his following five albums, ‘El Sur’ sets out to highlight Joan Bibiloni’s unique ambient fusion and sun-drenched Mediterranean beach boogie. OUT NOW…
What's what... Girls Brenda Holloway Anonymous 80s girl Lou Doillon Marsha Hunt Julie Christie Emilia Clarke x 2 Jane Birkin Rihanna Levy Tran Marianne Faithfull Hattie Watson Viv Albertine Channy Leaneagh Kate Bush
Images Rock Dreams
Photos Marc Taylor http://marctaylor.eu/ Ian Sharrock
Jackets Herno.it Tucano Urbano
Cover Design Andy Greenhalgh
NEXT ISSUE: FIRST DAY OF JULY 2014 World Cup ● Balearic Summer ● Glam Rock ● Best of the Summer Tees ● Tour de France ● Total Football in Seventies Wigan ● London Calling ● And much more…