The â€˜zine of music, local culture, and things of interest which is yours to take home for free
notes on subculture
Continuing with this rambly discussion on subculture, this is part four, you can check out previous episodes in our other No Hands zines on the web, that’s if you weren’t lucky enough to bag the real deal: http://issuu.com/nohands.
Last month I left off with a mention of 80s casuals and it’s worth a slight diversion here ‘cause interestingly football hooliganism sits comfortably with the tribal and confrontational elements of subculture. In the late 1960s for instance Skinheads were synonymous with Chelsea FC, particularly in the shed. Football violence reached a peak, leastways if you were to believe the newspapers, in the 1980s, and football tribalism was definitely a more marked and serious feature of Bradford life at this time. Back in the 80s you didn’t wear a Leeds shirt in Bradford City Centre unless you felt like you could answer for it. I was in awe one shopping trip into town sometime in the early-80s when I saw a lad wearing a Barbour jacket, Deerstalker hat and a Leeds scarf (not the best Casual look but an interesting ensemble) in Top Mans doorway. Casuals or “dressers” if you were from West Yorkshire rarely wore a scarf, a small button badge perhaps, but maybe he was cold. Every Christmas Eve seemed to be a time for Bradford and Leeds fans to head into town straight from work and subtly make a point that they were there and posing. Tattoos just peeping out of shirt collars or cuffs, button badges on coat lapels, it always seemed half good natured to me but there was a crackling atmosphere in town and it always felt like summat might happen even if it rarely did. Nowadays anybody and everybody can wear whatever football shirt or colours they like and wander freely in town without expecting trouble (though one might be more cautious on match days), the spectre of the football hooligan not quite holding the fear it once did, rightly so. Now where was i... Ah yes... Punks in 1976 were without a doubt a major shock to the system. The Sex Pistols live interview with Bill Grundy on the Today programme December 1996, in which Steve Jones called Grundy a “dirty fucker” was pretty unprecedented. The Daily Mirror’s headline the next day read “The Filth and the Fury” and “Who are these Punks”. For every ten people outraged by punks and the Pistols (and these people weren’t just middle class prudes, punks had to run the gauntlet of working class reaction and John Lydon/Rotten would subsequently be attacked in the street and slashed), there was a budding young punk rubbing his/her hands with glee. But by the end of the 1970s subculture was already being co-opted by marketing forces as an easily digested commodity. Subculture made for an excellent marketing opportunity in packaging and selling music, clothes, newspapers, magazines etc etc. Punks initially seen as a threat to the moral decency of society in 1975 - 1976, were by 1979 a spent force musically in the mainstream. The shocking just stopped being so shocking, the nations tolerance for new teen cults ever increasing, desensitized by time and over exposure. Subcultures were fast tracked by an ever alert media and the potential profits in marketing them. Red mohawk haircut, dirty black leather chaps, pork pie hat.. “ah bless”, blue brothel creepers, skinhead, boots and braces.. “just a phase they’re going through”. This wasn’t to say that youth subcultures in their varying forms were no longer a threat to the norm or worse, a passive fashion show. Subculture mattered to those young and old who lived their lives by certain codes. For some it might have been a phase, though at the time it mattered, for others it was their entire life. The subcultural marketplace was growing and the confrontation between the different groups showed that to those involved it definitely mattered. In late 1979 Bradford’s very own rock fanzine, the esteemed Wool City Rocker, edited by Nick Toczek, reported on a Palm Cove gig (Palm Cove was on Hollings Rd, sort of off Toller Lane) where a Mod revival band called The Squire were playing. Fights between mods and punks were noted and in fact punks were banned from the next few gigs and all subsequent events where punk and mod bands were billed together were cancelled. It’s hard to imagine in Bradford today two distinct youth groups, marked out by their differing sartorial style and love of music could meet up and clash in a local nightclub, never mind banning any distinct group. This isn’t to say that youth gangs don’t meet and clash, they do. Nor do all now universally accept each others dress sense, walk by with a cheery nod and hello, far from it. The 2007 murder of Sophie Lancaster, a goth girl, shows that style still matters. The attackers though weren’t mods, skinheads or teds, just some sick dickheads who saw the clothes and were affronted by people trying to be different. In fact it’s possible that in our current bland cultural marketplace where style, individuality, and musical identity are increasingly homogenised there is a danger that anyone displaying any attempt at individuality is likely to be singled out for unwanted attention. Boy George (now who’d a guessed I’d quote him) recently warned of changing attitudes since the 1980s. After a close friend was battered and his skull fractured, seemingly just because of his sartorial extravagance, he commented “In the early 80s there was this sense that things were changing, and becoming more open-minded. But we don't have that sort of gorgeous youth culture any more, the glam rockers, the New Romantics. People aren't so individual any more. There is this sense of why would you want to stand out and make a show of yourself?" Well that’s it for this month. I shall wrap up this subculture splurge next issue.
A Take On Bradford Films 3 Rita, Sue & Bob Too There is something tragic about the 1986 Bradford set story of two girls on the Buttershaw estate and the affair they share with a married older man that is Rita, Sue & Bob Too and that tragedy pervades every part of the film. The film itself - a faithful enough adaptation of the late Andrea Dunbar's play by Alan Clarke - is not the tragedy so much as the need to write it. Watching it back
Steve Pass aka the Car Park Poet
it represents something of a precursor to the Jeremy Kyle Show culture of Modern Britain. People with nothing much to do other than - as Jarvis would say - dance and drink and screw.
emotional resonance. What should have been familiar is - or perhaps was - easily ignorable so distorted is the reflection that the film tries hold up to the society of the 1980s.
But the film is lazy falling into cliché too often, pulling from a stock set of characters and missing a chance to drive at some real honest. The estates are too grim, the characters too grotesque to have any
Rather than deep characters Rita... is all caricatures painted in broad strokes and needlessly ugly. In that context the Bradford setting is caricatured too. Michael Wood
I’m stood by the remnants of The Peel pub A few bricks now Demolished to make way For a grander scheme I remember the good times in there Wednesday nights Spin the Wheel Me, Becky, Bernie and Bradshaw Getting pissed, singing karaoke Also Bernie’s 21st A bright, sunny day Sat around in the beer garden All of us young, full of hope But The Peel’s erased now Gone for good Just two piles of saved bricks for another building And broken bricks in the ground My memories are with those bricks and I wonder: “Who else’s are in there too?” Dig three feet down, there’ll be Saxon pottery Further still, Roman loves
I Love Monkeys Although I feel a little low on factual information within this article I do feel high on passion. You see I really love monkeys. Technically simians or “higher order apes” really. Anyway… I like them a lot and I got very excited seeing the trailers for the new “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” film and it looks fantastic! Essentially a remake of 1972’s “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes,” where an intelligent chimpanzee leads a monkey revolution against their human overlords. There is something really unnerving about apes gaining intelligence and rebelling against humanity, it just seemed so possible. It used to really scare me as a child when watching the original Planet of the Apes films and T.V. series. In fact there was a point where I couldn’t work out whether the apes in the film were real or people dressed up – especially convinced by Roddy McDowall’s performance. I went as far as having a poster of General Ursus on my wall and then couldn’t to sleep as he scared the living piss out of me! Another gorilla who has had a profound emotional effect on me. The gorilla in the children’s book “Little Beauty” by Anthony Browne. It parallels Rise of the Planet of the Apes nicely, with an intelligent ape in captivity who learns sign language and then evolves emotionally. The end is so simple, beautiful and uplifting that it never fails to bring a lump to my throat. I wonder if the film will have the same effect?
Live Bands Upstairs The Family Elan
Bradford-based psychedelic Eastern European folk jams to please Wire-readers and bargainlager drinkers alike. Reasonably recently returned from Euro-tour.
Sludge punk in a Flipper, Butthole Surfers or Pissed Jeans manner from Leeds. Members of Broken Arm, Monster Killed by Laser, Gruel, Uprights, Vibracathedral Orchestra.
Debut gig for new boogying power trio featuring members of Shield Your Eyes, Spy vs Spy and That Fucking Tank. Think late Led Zep, early Thin Lizzy, mid Black Sabbath. http://gnatsclitrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/get-together-one
Free Entry with Donations for bands This Obscene Baby Auction & No Hands are Independent Local DIY Collectives of enthusiastic music fans who do this for love not money. Neither make any profit from these events. Please respect the fact it costs for PA, bands, printing, riders and people to glue it all together and make it work for you to enjoy!
THE MONSTER PHOTO PARTY 23rd SEPTEMBER 2011 BRADFORD PLAYHOUSE The Nova Moda photography collective are back after an amazing event in June, bringing you local up and coming photographic talent as well as 2 rooms of monstrousmusic from No Hands and Rockers and Rollers!
Cut Yourself In Half - Zep style riffing mad men! www.facebook.com/pages/Cut-Yourself-in-Half/167848449923135 Dolphins - Riffs, Grooves & Shouts www.facebook.com/pages/Dolphins/121273977883616 The Hobbes Fanclub - Lovely Indiepop trio www.facebook.com/pages/the-hobbes-fanclub/111353108889123
UPSTAIRS// Bands and Loud Music DJs
PLAYING THE STUFF TO JUMP AROUND, DANCE AND GO NUTS TO WITH NEW TUNES AND OLD FAVOURITES. SOME PUNK, SOME PIXIES, SOME CLASSIC FLOOR FILLERS
DOWNSTAIRS// DJs, Chilling Out & Chatting
PLAYING THE BACK DROP TO YOUR CATCH UP CONVERSATIONS WITH SOME INDIEPOP, A BIT OF SHOEGAZE, CLASSIC CUTS OF RARE SOUL AND OTHER CHOICE TUNES
8pm Doors // 2am Close
BANDS FINISH IN TMIE FOR THE LAST TRAINS TO LEEDS AND HALIFAX (but you’ll never want to leave)
NO HANDS FRIDAY 30th SEPTEMBER
POLISH CLUB, EDMUND STREET BRADFORD BD5 0BH LAYOUT BY
FIND NO HANDS ON FACEBOOK
Published on Oct 15, 2011