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N AT I O N A L E D I T I O N
The Essential Journal F A S H I O N
L I F E S T Y L E
C U L T U R E
Simon Kirby, creative director of Chester Barrie unveils a new navy collection
We join forces with TOPMAN to celebrate their Personal Shopping service
Leeds: The EJ team venture to an 800-yearold city to meet its fresh innovators
We speak to World Illustration Award winner Claudine Oâ€™Sullivan
Samuel L Jackson "Hell No!" Page 43
W W W. E S S E N T I A L J O U R N A L . C O . U K
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The Essential Journal |
PRIMER A pilot’s thoughts and the trials of the press receive our editor’s recommendation
10 THE JOURNAL IN QUOTES
25 issues, 25 essential quotes
13 CHESTER BARRIE:
Englishmen in New York Simon Kirby, creative director, unveils a new navy collection
Platinum-selling rockstar James Bay joins forces with Topman. We take a closer look at his thirteen-piece collection
46 TOM WILLIAMS' CINEMA REVIEW
Back for another issue, our Cinema Editor reviews Chris Nolan’s Dunkirk and the formula behind his greatest hits
15 ONE THING DONE WELL: RAINS We gush over genius designs with RAINS’ all-caps raincoats
16 AUTUMN IS COMING
Key pieces and designers to add to your wardrobe this coming season
21 GROOMING FOR
THE MODERN MAN Lessons to be learnt for all parts of the anatomy this summertime
Congratulatory overview of all our glorious out-of-office shindigs
33 THE PUFFIN ROOMS
Turmeaus serve a touch of class with a 1920s-inspired speakeasy
35 RETRO COCKTAILS
Super star mixologists break the seal in on their secret supplier
36 12 HOURS IN LEEDS
The EJ Creative Team venture to an 800-year-old city to meet its fresh innovators
39 CANVASSING THE BREWERS Our nation’s lovable breweries serve found memories and favourite pints
40 THE ESSENTIAL
GUIDE TO: CAMERAS Expertly crafted photography advice you’ll end up using for a food photo
43 SAMUEL L JACKSON
Hollywood’s human dynamite stick talks new film The Hitman’s Bodyguard
48 DRAW NO CONCLUSIONS
We speak to World Illustration Award winner Claudine O’Sullivan
52 COLUMN: IAIN HOSKINS
In a new regular column, a friend of the Journal tells us tales of a recent trip through Trump's Rust Belt
THE WHISKY EXCHANGE
Ahead of The Whisky Show 2017 at London's Old Billingsgate, we're treated to eight perfectly distilled pages celebrating the art of whisky
CONTRIBUTORS Alan Smithee Andrey Kotov Andrew Cooper Angharad Jones Arron Dickinson Association of Illustrators Claudine O'Sullivan Iain Hoskins Isabel Graham-Yooll James Bay Jan Janssen COVER IMAGE Samuel L Jackson
John Driebergen John Thornton Matt Clarke Matthew Pike Richard Burhouse Simon Kirkby Stuart Rayson Tanya Marsh The City if Leeds Whisky Exchange
51 A BUCKET FULL OF INFLUENCE
55 GENTS WE NEED TO TALK
ABOUT: TURNING INTO OUR OLD MAN We're all in this together. We just hope your Dad is as cool as ours
Matthew Pike, aka @mat_buckets introduces us to the world of the influencer. Expect wardrobe envy
PUBLISHERS Singleton Publishing EDITOR Davey Brett - firstname.lastname@example.org CREATIVE DIRECTOR Thomas Sumner - email@example.com
CONTACT For all advertising enquiries please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org For all other enquiries including guest editorial and feature opportunities please contact: email@example.com
WRITER Reuben Tasker CINEMA EDITOR Tom Williams DESIGNER Jennifer Swaby INTERNS Sam Wike, Jake Lightburn PHOTOGRAPHER Jamie Scott-Gobin & Sam Wike
TERMS & CONDITIONS Under no circumstances must any part of this publication be reproduced without prior permission to the publisher. Whilst every effort is taken, the publisher shall not be held responsible for any errors. Furthermore, the publisher shall not be held responsible for an advertising material/content. Please also note that the views and opinions written within this publication do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the publisher. All prices and details stated within this publication are correct at the time of print, however these are subject to change and the publisher shall not be held responsible for these. Third party contributions own exclusive copyright to their own material that they have submitted as part of the publication. All rights reserved.
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The Primer WHAT WE'RE DRINKING:
WHAT WE'RE READING:
SKYFARING: A JOURNEY WITH A PILOT BY MARK VANHOENACKER Fun fact: Our editor is afraid of flying. He doesn’t get hysterical, all ‘stop this plane, I need to get off right this minute,’ thrashing around in his seat, digging his nails into the armrest, promising God he’ll be a better person if he lands safely. None of that, he just can’t relax. All this considered, a book chronicling the observations and flying experiences of a Boeing 747 pilot might seem like an odd choice, but ‘Skyfaring’ proved to be an extremely pleasant surprise. Vanhoenacker, a pilot and regular contributor to the New York Times, takes readers through the miracle of flight as well as his time training to be a pilot and shares musings and observations honed by a life travelling from airport to airport. Poetically written and at times verging on the philosophical, Skyfaring takes a seemingly familiar subject and breathes vibrant life into it. A fascinating read.
WHAT WE'RE EATING:
BACKYARDS OF BUCHAREST, J’AI BISTROT Before heading to one of Europe’s fastest growing economies, it’s advisable to seek tips and recommendations from an experienced Romanian. Walking around Bucharest, you’d be forgiven for turning back a corner too soon, when confronted with a narrowing street of seemingly unloved apartment blocks. Instead head for the alleyways, as the capital comes alive in courtyards and terraces behind the crumbling facades. A pleasant stroll north of the Old Town, and with a sharp eye (i.e. Google Maps) you’ll scout our preferred backyard retreat, J’ai Bistrot. Direct your eyes straight toward potentially the best burger we’ve ever let melt in our mouths. A homemade and gently spiced sauce, a jar's worth of pickles and a perfectly pink patty. Please sir, can I have some more? THE PODCAST:
A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR “Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” Rose Kennedy
Thank you for picking up Issue 25 (cue fireworks), a milestone issue that we’re extremely proud of. Rose Kennedy is right of course, it’s much less about the number and more about the moments that have got us here, of which there have been many memorable ones. We are extremely lucky. In this issue, we’ve previewed AW17, taken on the cinematic behemoth that is Dunkirk, interviewed our favourite influencer and put together a camera guide, so you can capture the final (hopefully sunbleached) days of summer. We’ve even managed to interview the baddest MF’ around. On behalf of all the team here at The Essential Journal, thank you to everyone that has been involved with these pages over the years, we couldn’t have done it without you.
GARAGE CABERNET FRANC We got chatting to our friends over at Fazenda Manchester recently about what’s often referred to as ‘the man’ or the ‘corporate machine’ and in true diplomatic fashion, they turned talk towards wine and one bottle in particular. The Garage Wine Company are, as our friends at Fazenda put it, ‘a shining example of individual craftsmanship fighting against the corporate monsters’. Co-founders of the Chilean MoVIG (Movement of Independent Growers), they use hand-picked grapes, recycled glass bottles and make great tasting wine that’s dripping with personality. The company’s Cabernet Franc is the perfect summer wine, elegant, delicate and with just a hint of herbal character to give it complexity. If there is ever to be a Chilean wine revolution, bottles like these will be leading from the front.
WHAT WE'RE WATCHING:
DESIGN MATTERS WITH DEBBIE MILLMAN What better way to meet your heroes than to create an award-winning podcast? Starting out as a small radio show back in 2005, morphing into the first ever design podcast on iTunes and then becoming the flagship show on the Design Observer media channel. ‘Design Matters With Debbie Millman’ is one of those list-topping podcasts you need to listen to. As Millman puts it, “I decided that interviewing designers who I revered would be an inventive way to ask my heroes everything I wanted to know about them”, the resulting podcasts are insightful, inspiring and surprisingly universal for what is a seemingly niche topic at first glance. The 200+ archive of episodes is a library of inspiration and insight to be mined, but for an immediate introduction, the Alain De Botton episode is worth a listen.
JAMESON CASKMATES ‘IPA FIZZ’
NOBODY SPEAK For much of Nobody Speak, you’ll probably be left thinking, was there really any need for Gawker to post a sextape showing Hulk Hogan (aka. Terry Bollea) having sex with his best friend’s wife? Then, the penny drops and the story becomes more complicated. The Netflix documentary delves deep into a new war being waged on press freedoms by super-rich, Conservative plutocrats. Peter Thiel is the main example in this instance, bankrolling Hogan’s court case from the shadows in revenge for Gawker outing him as gay. A harrowing reminder of the legal power and press hatred that many of the 1% have, its release is timely as arguably one of the US free press’s most vicious opponents sits in the Oval Office. It’s certainly not difficult to join the dots.
It wouldn’t be the primer without a bit of beer, would it? But what’s a surprisingly good substitute for beer? A beer cocktail of course. This tasty concoction, which we have been supping at our exclusive TOPMAN personal shopping events this month, goes down smooth as you like and is the perfect pre or post dinner tipple. Build 40ml of Jameson Caskmates whiskey (aged in craft stout-seasoned oak barrels for a truly original finish), 15ml Creme de Banane (a sweet, banana-flavored liqueur) and 80ml IPA (plenty left for drinking) over ice in a highball and stir gently. Squeeze a wedge of grapefruit to finish and you’ve got yourself a new favourite cocktail. Trigger warning: They go down very easily, so be careful out there.
TRIPL STITCHED SHIRTS Tripl Stitched is an intriguing shirt brand. Passionate about its craft with a fascinating story to go with, the London-based shirt maker’s (designed and manufactured in the capital) origins is rooted in a love for the machinery it uses. Co-founders Scott Eden and Ben Marden began collecting vintage sewing machines and soon started using them to create triple stitched shirts for the likes of Ben Sherman and Paul Smith. The style of shirts proved so popular that they decided to design and make their own. Their machines, previously used for ivy league style shirts in 1950s East Coast America before being shipped to Hong Kong in the 80s have since been saved from a life of limbo, restored and shipped back to London. If you’re looking for a new Oxford, look no further. WHAT WE'RE EXPERIENCING:
WHAT WE’RE WEARING:
UNIVERSAL WORKS This month Universal Works revealed their AW17 collection and it left us in a pickle. Of course, we want all of it, but the major conundrum is the choice between either the Two Button Jacket or Wamus Jacket. Maybe we’ll just get both. We’ve always had a soft spot for the Nottingham-based brand with their instantly recognisable, stylish and well-made clothes, but the more we read about the men up top, the more we appreciate the clothes too. Founder David Keyte, as well as being a fan of Northern Soul and punk, refuses to produce anything at UW that he wouldn’t wear himself. If that wasn’t enough, he revealed in a recent interview that he started buying his own clothes around the age of 11 as he didn’t like what his mum and dad were buying. Hats off to him, that’s what you call commitment to style.
THE DETAILS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN’S FLOTILLA
Dunkirk is reviewed this issue (P.46) and Christopher Nolan’s war survival epic, which features one of the largest real naval flotillas ever assembled on film, got us thinking. Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight Rises also have two of the priciest practical stunts ever. When CGI was everywhere in the 2000s, the Wachowski’s made history with The Matrix Reloaded’s iconic motorway chase, building a $2.5 million road on an abandoned naval base. Over a mile long and three lanes wide, 300 cars were destroyed. Swordfish (2001) smashed up just one vehicle for nearly the same price. When filming a bus hijack scene, director Dominic Sena got a heavy-lift helicopter to carry the bus ten storeys above the floor swinging between buildings and offices. Meanwhile Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg stunned while making War of the Worlds. The Boeing 747 that crashes into Tom Cruise’s neighbourhood was a real plane bought by the production crew for $2 million, the plane was split in half with houses built around the remains.
BRASOV, ROMANIA It was a trip of firsts. My first time visiting Romania, the first time I had seen a wild pig and my first time in control of a motorcar on the 'wrong' side of the road. A two and half hour drive north of Bucharest, we found ourselves gauping through the windscreen at an unexpected and beautifully sculpted mountain range, which at sunset could only be described as 'holy'. Journey a little further along the Southern Carpathians' scenic highway and you'll reach a quaint town that would not look out of place in the outskirts of Lisbon. Brasov has everything you'd want from a 12th Century settlement: An ancient church, restaurant lined square and a view worth travelling to Eastern Europe for.
ON OUR COFFEE TABLE:
ORNAMENT IS CRIME: MODERNIST ARCHITECTURE BY MATT GIBBERD & ALBERT HILL Let’s face it, no coffee table is complete without an inspiring and substantial hardback (the more pictures, the better) on architecture. ‘Ornament is Crime: Modernist Architecture’’ is that book. Taking its name from Albert Loos’ provocative 1910 lecture which attacked the ornamental Art Nouveau designs of the early 20th century, the book charts modernism’s rise from the 1920s to the present day in stunning black and white photography. Masters and contemporary architects sit side by side, as the twentieth century’s most important architectural style is visualised house after house, old alongside new. A detailed introduction to modernism - intertwined with Matt Gibberd’s family and business ties to modernist architecture - provides an informative insight into the stunning buildings to come. Expect extreme house envy.
We’ve come a long way with Richard Biedul. The model was our first ever cover star and returns in this issue as part of Chester Barrie’s AW17 campaign (P.13). We sat down with Richard, who’s featured in campaigns for Reiss and Ralph Lauren as well as gracing the pages of GQ Italy. More than a sculpted face, Biedul’s left us enthralled with stories of meeting Bill Clinton in Vienna and finding Eva Longoria on his lap in Paris. Rest assured it’s been a busy few years for the model, starring in editorials for L’Optimum, Reiss and Dunhill, even fronting Lui Italia’s November issue. As things come full circle, there’s no better time for Richard Biedul to return to The Essential Journal. In our 25th issue, Richard models Chester Barrie, showcasing pieces most notably their Camel Twill Kingly Jacket. With no signs of slowing down yet, 2017 could well be Richard’s busiest year featuring in shows for Brunello Cucinelli, Oliver Spencer, Joshua Kane and Etro. 47 in GQ’s best-dressed men of the year isn’t bad either.
Sitting down with Chester Barrie’s Simon Kirby, we discovered plenty of influences behind their AW17 range (P.13). The Creative Director discussed the 1930s era shaping seasonal collections and a love/ hate for his Jaguar E Type, an out-of-office passion. What stood out for us, were his days spent with his son at Goodwood Revival. The racing festival returns in September, running three days on the iconic Goodwood Circuit. The race track’s glory days remain 60 years in the past, but revivalists and festival-goers still flock. Every little detail of the festival is vintage, from the strict 50s/60s dress code to the food outlets, restaurants and support cars. Even the free parking is nostalgically priced.
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FRIDAY 8 SEP TEMBER I FREE G ENER AL ADMISSION ENTRY SATURDAY 9 SEP TEMBER I £8 G ENER AL ADMISSION ENTRY KIDS GO FREE * HOSPITALIT Y AVAIL ABLE FROM £62 +VAT ^ NEW FOR 2017 TIPI G ARDEN PACK AG E - £75 +VAT^
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10 | The Essential Journal
words by REUBEN TASKER
Do Quote Me On That We’re 25 issues old. That’s 1,375 pages and more words than we can be bothered to count. During that time we’ve written about and interviewed the finest creatives, celebrities and brands in men’s luxury fashion and lifestyle universe. Below are our favourite quotes from the last 25 issues. Here’s to 25 more
I never like to sound too dramatic, but let’s go with a big one; is there life after death? Nick Collier, an EJ contributor, musing existentially on what inspires him stylistically in Issue #1
It’s not unusual for me and other photographers to be up until 3am working on our images and then getting up at 7am to go to my full time job. It’s that obsession to keep getting better that keeps us up. Benn Healey, model and photographer, on advice he’d give to professional photographers pursuing a career in Issue #2
I’ve always been one of those people that believes I have an opportunity to stick two fingers up to the world a little bit and I think my background demands that a little as well. Nick Bagnall, associate director of Everyman/Playhouse, on his background and his days as an actor in Issue #3
The bespoke process is a very different shopping experience that doesn’t inherently lend itself well to the world wide web.
What I liked about these men is that they are the kind of individuals who do what they say they’re going to do. It’s rare these days to find people who have that kind of attitude and mentality.
Adam Rawlinson, designer with The Leather Satchel co. on the shifting demand for completely bespoke products in Issue #3
I was constantly being told that I should be setting a good example to the other kids because I was bigger and more mature than most of them, bullshit really. Cut Throat Pete, Liverpudlian hairdresser on his upbringing in Issue #4
There is no such thing as a good idea or a bad idea. Anything can be a good idea at one price and time, and a bad one at another. Christopher Clay, Senior Investment Director on the right time to invest in Issue #4
Actor Chris Pratt on whether his film The Magnificent Seven is a morality tale in Issue #18
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The bear attack was incredibly dif- We cannot limit ourselves to conficult and arduous… but it’s pro- tinuing the path we have already foundly moving. Alejandro puts opened. you there almost like a fly buzzing Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara, on the company’s around this attack, so that you feel progression, innovation and future in Issue #19 the breath of Glass and the bear.
I’m very suspicious of people who present themselves as noble and virtuous. I hate that kind of sanctimonious posturing. Actor Tom Hardy on whether he has a preference for ‘dark’ characters in Issue #23
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio on filming The Revenant’s infamous bear scene in Issue #11
Millennials are a much-described, occasionally ridiculed, unignorable demographic who are going to Oh, they gave me chariot training. have a final say over what London at But it was really easy. Five minutes night becomes. and I was up to speed. Bill Webb, architect with Make Architects, on closing
"Fucking ready boys? Prepare for the best and worst five days of your life.” Chilling words, even now. The battle cry (via instant message) of a stag, pre-budget flight, awaiting music venues and the state of London nightlife his ‘Budapestiny’ as members of Actor George Clooney on production for the Coen in Issue #19 ‘the do’ put the finishing touches Brothers’ picture Hail Ceasar in Issue #12 on a host of embarrassing plans to punish him for his imminent I’m sorry if I smell like breakfast matrimony. Honesty is a gift. Be honest about food, I had about two seconds to who you are and how you feel beDavey Brett, Essential Journal editor, reflecting on his cause it encourages intimacy, and wolf it down there. first stag do experience in Issue #23 intimacy is really where it’s at. Be Actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s greeting words in his interview in Issue #19 ready in life to nurture your own confidence and make it real - don’t I think that everyone has to find pretend to be someone you’re not. their own way to contribute to one’s Perhaps people are always look- society…We all have a responsibility Actor Tom Hiddleston on life advice and the keys to success in Issue #13 ing for ways of making sense of the to help an old lady cross the street world and I think things and prod- when it’s cold and snowy outside, ucts which are clear, honest, follow or to help out a guy on a street One of the lessons I’ve tried to teach a sensible approach, have values corner who’s just looking to buy my children is something that [Free and craft, are attractive in today’s himself a coffee and a sandwich. I have a soft spot for people who State of Jones] explores - that you’ve world. got to have the courage to write the Designer Sebastian Bergne on whether there’s a have to struggle in life - after all, I modern revolution of simplistic design in Issue #20 was there once. third act of your life in order to get to the happy ending. Actor Bill Murray on finding purpose in the mundanity of life in Issue #24
Actor Matthew McConaughey on the underlying themes in his film Free State of Jones in Issue #17
I think of it like a personal battle, like you’re going to war - go to war with the potato! […] you’re not Being in the stand on the 18th at Back then, we decided to get into going to get beaten by a potato Royal Birkdale when Justin Rose held his pitch shot for birdie in this recession-hit shitstorm of an are you? industry with complete dedication Tom Kerridge, Michelin-star chef on embracing a 1998, the noise from the crowd was healthier lifestyle in Issue #20 deafening and he finished in a tie and established a kickass work life. for 4th as a 17-year-old amateur. I That moral has laid the foundation went every day that year (I took a for the company, and it’s still paraI don’t like small lapels: it almost week off school) and it was the best mount today. makes me feel sad for the suit. That week of education I’ve ever had. Rasmus Bak, Libertine-Libertine founder on the fashion brand’s journey since 2009 in Issue #17 the tailor ran out of fabric. Designer Tom Ford on his signature Texan-influenced tailoring in Issue #21
What I liked about these men is that they are the kind of individuals who do what they say they’re going to do. It’s rare these days to find people who have that kind of attitude and mentality.
They took [Margaux wine] back to the house that features in [Withnail and I] to sell or auction it at Christie's, but of course it didn’t last three weeks. They just drank it Actor Chris Pratt on whether his film The Magnificent Seven is a morality tale in Issue #18 with all the other headcases in the house. The best wine of the century and they were having it with fish I gave this impression of being the and chips. happy fat guy when underneath I Actor Paul McGann on the finest red wine he’s tasted in Issue #22 was very depressed. Actor Chris Pratt on batting with weight loss in Issue #18
Bryan Joelson-Mulhall, professional golfer, on his fondest memory of The Open in Issue #24
I do watch programmes at 1am in the morning about police stopping drunk drivers. I love those. I’ve watched so many now they’re repeated and I recognise the people they are picking up…I watch [...] the Australian [Border Control]. Yeah they’re real hard arses aren’t they, I love all that. I love to seeing people getting into trouble, I mean it’s stressful but I do watch it. Jeremy Deller, contemporary artist, on his TV habits in Issue #24
12 | The Essential Journal
26TH & 27TH AUG
FIZZ, FOOD & FUN The ultimate celebration for prosecco lovers will include exclusive producers from across Northern Italy hosting tastings and masterclasses in Camp & Furnace. Each day will be split into four-hour afternoon and evening sessions plus 5 free glasses of prosecco with every ticket purchased. Early Bird tickets availlable: www.eventbrite.com Partners :
The Essential Journal | 13
My personal obsession is classic cars and the style that goes with that. I currently have an E Type Jaguar with which I have a bit of a love-hate relationship. It’s stunning but temperamental and very expensive to look after. Some of my favourite days are driving down to Goodwood Revival with my son all dressed up. I also love interiors, in particular vintage furniture and anything interesting and quirky. Claire my other half goes to vintage fairs and charity shops every week. Our house is overflowing with stuff from all ages, be it China dogs from the thirties, 1960’s glass, kitsch prints from the 1970s or Victorian oil paintings.
words by REUBEN TASKER
Englishmen In New York Ahead of the Savile Row tailors’ new Autumn/Winter collection, we speak with Simon Kirby, Chester Barrie’s Creative Director to talk influences, rivals and his unpredictable day-to-day
ounded in 1935, Chester Barrie’s founding tailor, Simon Ackerman, was the man that brought semi-bespoke and ready-to-wear tailoring to Savile Row. Striving for a traditional British brand for New York buyers, he melded a moniker from the Roman-era city of Chester and the author J.M. Barrie. Chester Barrie thus greeted both American and British buyers with an original name. By they were on the row. During World War II Ackerman’s tailoring shop designed uniforms for the US military and post-war, attracted the likes of famous names including Winston Churchill, Frank Sinatra and Cary Grant. That historic era has passed, although Chester Barrie still deal in the luxury bespoke market to this day. Harrods, Selfridges and Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City all house the brand’s signature sharkskin suits and chambray shirts. Chester Barrie remains an essential stop on Savile Row, unmoved from their flagship store and innovating every season. Their newest collection, which blends opulence, elegance and sophistication has landed. Creative Director Simon Kirby explains the range along anecdotes on historical inspiration, fast-fashion and looking one’s best. EJ
essential journal: Summarise the inspirations for the new collection, fashion and non-fashion related. simon kirby: When it comes to seasonal collections, I don’t like to have literal or obvious themes, but I take inspiration from various sources. Ultimately the product has to be of now and not a historical document. Chester Barrie was founded in the 1930s, so naturally that era is a point of reference: this season it has influenced our move to double breasted apparel. The standout piece is the flannel Prince of Wales check from Fox Bros, which is stunning. Dark blues and navy tones feature prominently in the collection, is there any motivation behind highlighting these colours? The collection does feature blue tones strongly: classic navy, indigo and slate as well as softer blues for occasion dressing. To be frank, it is down to demand as much as anything – our customers like blue. But what is important is the quality of the cloth, there are some great mohairs including Dormeuil’s signature Tonik quality, as well as flannels from Vitale Barberis Canonico as well as Fox Bros. What are some essential accessories or purchases to go with this collection? For this Autumn/Winter we are strengthening
our accessory offer. Scarves are particularly strong: from beautiful pure cashmere scarves in chalk stripe and windowpane to Escorial scarves in plum and olive. Silk knitted ties are a versatile staple of the wardrobe that are both classic yet cool. We have also added more knitwear, socks, belts and gloves. We plan to launch a small British made leather goods selection soon. What’s been the biggest change in your life and work since starting? I always thought I worked hard throughout my working life but now is the hardest it has ever been – it’s relentless and not likely to slow down. Teams are leaner and everyone, especially designers, have to be more versatile, more organised and are working longer hours. The pace of recent change has been dramatic and all businesses have to adapt, take risks and move much faster in order to survive and grow. What are you personally passionate about outside of fashion? Do those interests influence your direction? Outside of work, I am always looking at all aspects of design: fashion, interiors, cars, shop fits, websites, galleries. All have an influence on colour and textiles. And I’m always watching people and what they wear.
Talk about the role of a creative director in luxury men’s fashion. What’s the day-to-day for those unfamiliar? My role as Creative Director is probably different to most others in a similar position as I oversee a number of brands, not just Chester Barrie, which gives me a very broad view of the market from luxurious cloths woven in Italy to high street fast-fashion. On Chester Barrie, I give direction and develop the vision of the brand. I do try to be a bit hands-on, especially with fabric selection, which I love, but I work with a great team and they are more than capable. There is not a typical day, I could be choosing cashmere scarves in the morning and working on fit sessions in the afternoon. I travel a lot, especially visiting factories and trade shows, and there are always many questions to be answered from production matters to shopfits and photo-shoots. We are always working on three seasons at once, the current season being delivered, finalising the next season and planning and sourcing fabrics for a year ahead. We have recently restructured the design team in order to drive newness faster so I have been very hands on with Chester Barrie in formulating revisions to blocks and design direction going forward. With roots as being an English brand targeting American buyers, how does Chester Barrie reach both sides of the Atlantic? Chester Barrie was started by Simon Ackerman to sell British style to the American market – and he was hugely successful. Sadly over the years Chester Barrie passed through several owners and the American business suffered. But we are beginning to see it return. A lot of our online customers come from the States and we have some fans who have worn Chester Barrie on the Red Carpet. With your flagship store famously found on Savile Row, what is the importance of staying loyal and consistent in the market? Savile Row is very important to Chester Barrie and we will always have a presence here, but we cannot be a slave to it. I do get frustrated by the attitude of some, the “you cannot do this or that on the Row” approach or the “that’s not the Savile Row look” stance. It will bring about the Row’s decline. We have to wake up, move forwards and be relevant. Talk about the competition in your area. Is there much rivalry on the Row? It is mostly friendly rivalry, I’m so busy I don’t get chance to wander around chatting to others. I know a few from other brands very well who I like a lot and totally respect them. We differ in that we do not offer bespoke though we do have a full proper made-to-measure service. Chester Barrie was an innovator, we introduced ready-to-wear on Savile Row and that remains our core.
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ONE THING DONE WELL:
We take a look at the brands doing one clothing item well, continuing this month with the RAINS rain jackets
rip, drip, drip. The sound of the British summer as it condenses into disappointment. A few record-breaking weeks followed by the inevitable downpours that ruin plans and break hearts. Drip, drip, drip is also the slogan for RAINS, producers of simple, bold and stylish rainwear. The British aren’t the only routinely drenched peoples of Europe however, the Danish are no strangers to precipitation. The RAINS story, one almost cinematic in its perfection, began in a forest. Marselisborg forest to be precise, just outside the Danish city of Aarhus on an especially rainy October day in 2011. The founders had teamed up with a local student photographer, Jannick Børlum, as well as two very enthusiastic, but inexperienced models to shoot the images for their very first rainwear collection. The group sat in a car, watching a heavy downpour wash over a dark and muddy forest, waiting for a break in clouds for threads of sunlight to break through the forest canopy. Everyone sat there, awaiting modest adventure, but stifled by the rain. The idea for a modern interpretation of rainwear, before RAINS existed, was born as a design school project in Herning. Made with very little sewing and technical experience, the first samples were crafted in a basement in an industrial area of Aarhus. Fuelled by pure enthusiasm, the concept including the name, slowly took shape and the first name that came to mind, RAINS, also happened to be the best. The logotype was written in the traditional Bodoni font; universal, easy, descriptive whilst the lighthouse logo came slightly later, to mark Denmark’s maritime roots. During that period, the founders thought of nothing but RAINS, and look back fondly upon a time of intensity, creativity and inspiration, a time that also proved to be testing. By 2012, a strategy had been formulated, a strategy rooted in being the primary everyday rainwear brand connected to positive outdoor moments. Not climbing mountains, or trekking through tundra, just stepping out on a rainy day and looking cool in anywhere, whether it be going for a day out in the city, or a jaunt in the forest. The sun did come out on that October day, and the founders remember Jannick Børlum quipped, ‘this is the moment.’ The group walked around the forest for hours, creating the foundation for what RAINS is today. A new interpretation of the raincoat. The RAINS rain jacket is a thing of satisfying design, melding the traditional and innovative. It’s familiar, but technically advanced. It does the job whilst looking great. All are stitched with water-resistant lightweight fabric, (their trusted formula is 50% polyurethane, 50% polyester) with a matte-finish to keep the rain out and the colours bold. Prying into product details reveals the full design breakdown: 6000mm fabric column pressure, ultrasonically welded seams, ventilation under storm shield and in some cases, a fishtail. If you’re confused, just know that RAINS’ raincoats are as waterproof as a duck’s back. RAINS are more than willing to collaborate too. The brand have collaborated with the likes Canadian painter Andrew Salgado, (dubbed ‘a new Lucian Freud’ by New York gallery owners), Opening Ceremony and Colette
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"The RAINS rain jacket is a thing of satisfying design, melding the traditional and innovative. It’s familiar, but technically advanced."
Paris. When we ask them to recommend us a brand doing one thing well, they throw us a satisfying Scandi curveball in the form of PLAYTYPE, a foundry and online font shop, showcasing more than 20 years of type design. Drip, drip, drip. The sound of inspired rainwear. EJ
words by REUBEN TASKER
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words by ANGHARAD JONES
Key AW2017 Menswear Brands We take a look into Menswear’s most vital Autumn / Winter 2017 brands
t’s no secret that the world of fashion is saturated, with new brands constantly trying their hand at becoming the next new thing season after season. Aside from the established heavy-hitters there are few that actually get people talking, adding valuable options to menswear that are either different enough to make a statement, or just make really good clothes that you actually want hanging in your wardrobe. From the labels that are creating effortless yet luxurious tailored pieces, to the names that are pushing boundaries and using fashion as a political platform, these are the menswear brands you need to look out for – and start adding to your wardrobe – in Autumn/Winter ’17. EJ
Images AMI (Top) Wales Bonner (Center Right) Officine Generale (Center Left) Matthew Miller (Bottom)
AMI Since 2011 Parisian brand AMI has been an insider’s favourite, stocked at some of the most progressive stores around the world. Having previously been at Dior, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs, founder Alexandre Mattiussi created AMI simply because he had the desire to make clothing that he and his friends would want to wear. Turns out these men he’s inspired by and bases his collections around are a stylish bunch. The AMI formula is a simple one and one that works; taking staple menswear pieces and making them interesting – particularly the trouser (of which Mattiussi is the master). This season, AMI is all about ‘90s-style straight leg jeans and wide, low slung trousers (buy them in every colour). MATTHEW MILLER Expect to hear this Stoke-on-Trent designer’s name a lot more this season than you may have done previously. Having been a key name on the London Fashion Week Men’s schedule since 2012, Miller has quietly been establishing his namesake brand for the past five years. He’s just picked up the menswear International Woolmark Prize for the British Isles, and SS17 saw him create a collaborative collection with River Island as part of the high street store’s Design Forum. As for the clothes, Matthew Miller blends technical sportswear and tailoring to create innovative fabrics and styles, whilst carrying modernist undertones. His AW17 collection is no different with military references that reflect a turbulent political climate running through each piece. OFFICINE GENERALE Another Parisian label to make the list, Officine Géné rale is your typical French brand – all effortless pieces that transcend trends and seasons – but it’s also decidedly contemporary (think A.P.C. but slightly smarter and more luxurious). Founder Pierre Mahéo incorporates workwear elements with traditional tailoring in his collections and he’s obsessed with quality, using only French, British and Japanese fabrics. Mahéo’s attention to detail is unrivalled in the industry too making his crisp white shirts and tailored overcoats that little bit more special. For AW17 the Officine Générale man is dressed tonally (namely in white, camel, navy or grey) and accessorises his looks with a small neck scarf. PHOEBE ENGLISH Listed in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2015, Phoebe English is one of London’s most exciting yet underrated menswear designers. A Central Saint Martins graduate, English has been creating gothic yet whimsical collections for women since 2011. Debuting Phoebe English Man during the SS16 shows; her menswear line has a more utilitarian feel but still favours those dark tones. For English it’s not just about design and aesthetic but using her platform as a way of expressing something whether it be her – and her peers’ – reaction to Brexit, or the election of Donald Trump into the White House. In a world of menswear that can sometimes feel formulaic, Phoebe English is creative and forward-thinking (she’s created artistic pieces in collaboration with the likes of Ai Weiwei for Dover Street Market in the past), something which is echoed in her collections. Functional separates with gothic undertones and slightly
oversized shapes make up the AW17 collection, with all items (as ever) designed and made in England. WALES BONNER Somehow Grace Wales Bonner manages to be both above fashion and a leader of it, taking a refreshingly intellectual approach to clothing and design. At just 26 years old she launched her first Wales Bonner collection in 2014 and has since received the prize for Emerging Menswear Designer at the 2015 British Fashion awards, as well as the prestigious LVMH Prize. Her collections famously explore black male identity, using history and her own experiences to create clothing that goes so far beyond the usual stereotypes. As for AW17, Wales Bonner combines cultural references to celebrate diversity, with a 1970s Ladbroke Grove vein running through resulting in – as usual – a truly unique collection.
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words by ANGHARAD JONES
5 Key Pieces to Have in Your Wardrobe Five of the must-have Autumn/Winter 2017 key pieces you need in your wardrobe
ach season throws up a whole host of trends with some being more, er, questionable than others (the trucker hat has a lot to answer for, as does early noughties’ fashion in general) and some having a very short shelf life. It can be difficult to sift through the many collections to decipher what pieces are going to stand the test of time and Autumn/Winter ‘17 is no different (I’m not entirely convinced by Rick Owens’ flared leather trousers but I might be wrong) but there are five trends that are a definite must. From the new trouser shape to a retake on the classic greatcoat, these pieces will ensure you tick all the right boxes now, and start building up a wardrobe of items you can revisit again and again. EJ
RELAXED TROUSERS The skinny is officially over: the only trouser shape you need to be wearing in AW17 comes mid-rise and with a slightly oversized fit, giving a whole new meaning to the term ‘relaxed tailoring’. It’s a versatile pant too, with designers pairing them with everything from trainers and loose shirting (AMI), to tailored jackets and raincoats (Lanvin) and black boots and knitwear (Lemaire). The best bit? This trend carries well into SS18, with E. Tautz, Kenzo, Dior Homme and Paul Smith all heralding the relaxed trouser for seasons to come. CAMEL COAT It comes as no surprise that the camel coat is back this Autumn/Winter. It’s arguably as ubiquitous as florals in spring (also arguably more stylish) but with good reason. The camel coat is a classic, the shade complementing an array of colours (black, navy, white, charcoal grey…take your pick) while also adding an instant jolt of (subtle) colour to any outfit. This season the camel coat is given a contemporary spin with new cuts and textures – the best found at Louis Vuitton where tailoring is relaxed and oversized, Dries Van Noten where it came double-breasted and had that slightly-too-large, borrowedfrom-your-dad fit, and Marni where Francesco Rossi opted to recreate the classic single-breasted style with large pockets and accessorised with a leather waist belt. VELVET TROUSERS Bear with me on this one. While velvet may sound like a fabric to avoid unless your style icon is Hugh Hefner, it’s become one of next season’s go-to textures. With designers opting to use velvet in varying shades to create full suits, it’s the trousers that stand out the most and make a refreshing change from the velvet blazer. Look to Oliver Spencer and Paul Smith for the best velvet trousers found in dark olive, powder blue and luxe black. PUFFA JACKET The puffa jacket – the comeback kid that we all thought was a trend staying firmly back in the ‘90s – is showing no signs of going anywhere for AW17. Thanks to that whole anti-fashion, functional thing that’s been going on for the past few seasons (call it the Vetements effect), the puffa jacket has found its way back onto the must-have list. This time around though, designers are being more experimental playing with silhouettes and proportions, the best styles coming from Stella McCartney, OAMC and Moncler x Craig Green. OVERSIZED KNITWEAR Knitwear isn’t an afterthought this season; rather it’s given a new lease of life in the form of supersized shapes. At J.W. Anderson there were long sleeves and longer hems, John Smedley took their classic knits and made them chunky, long and wide-necked, and loose, baggy and two-toned at Alex Mullins. Great knitwear will always have a place in your wardrobe too, so you’ll be pulling that oversized knit out winter after winter.
Images John Smedley (Top Left) Paul Smith (Top Right) OAMC (Bottom Left) Oliver Spencer (Bottom Right)
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WHAT’S ON Liverpool Philharmonic September – January Sunday 3 September 8pm Monday 4 September 8pm
MAGNETIC FIELDS –
Friday 8 September 7.30pm Saturday 9 September 7.30pm Sunday 10 September 7.30pm
Sunday 15 October 7.30pm
A COUNTRY NIGHT IN NASHVILLE –
Tuesday 14 November 7.30pm
ALL OR NOTHING: THE MOD MUSICAL –
BILLY BRAGG: BRIDGES NOT WALLS –
MIKE OLDFIELD’S TUBULAR BELLS –
KATE RUSBY AT CHRISTMAS –
Saturday 23 September 7.30pm
Saturday 14 October 2.30pm & 7.30pm
CASABLANCA: FILM WITH LIVE ORCHESTRA
Saturday 9 December 7.30pm
Friday 26 January 8pm
DEAR ESTHER – LIVE
liverpoolphil.com 0151 709 3789 – LiverpoolPhilharmonic @Liverpoolphil Image BILLY BRAGG
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“IT’S BEEN A LOT OF FUN TEAMING UP WITH TOPMAN TO DESIGN MY OWN COLLECTION”
words by DAVEY BRETT
BAY WATCH TOPMAN team up with double Brit Awardwinning singer songwriter James Bay for a thirteen-piece collection channelling rock star aesthetics and his trademark style
t was only a matter of time. That perfect jawline and trademark wide-brimmed hat were always destined for more and now, in collaboration with TOPMAN, James Bay has announced his debut collection, set for release in August. The double Brit Award-winning singer songwriter, whose debut album ‘Chaos and the Calm’ went to number one (lead single ‘Hold Back The River’ was certified platinum) has teamed up with the high street menswear giant for a thirteen-piece capsule collection. Channelling rockstar aesthetics and Bay’s own signature style, the thirteen pieces ranging from jeans and jackets to a two-piece jacquard evening suit were carefully curated by James and TOPMAN, with personalised details incorporated throughout. Speaking fondly of the experience, Bay said: “It’s been a lot of fun teaming up with TOPMAN to design my own collection. I’ve taken a lot of inspiration from performing live and the way I dress on tour. Many of the details I have focused on are also based my own original drawings and sketches.” James, who is no stranger to the fashion world, has previously modelled for Burberry and has been a permanent fixture at the TOPMAN design shows for the last year. Inspirations for the collection come from a mixture of touchpoints, music references are prominent with a 70s glam rock flavour as well as nods to The Rolling Stones and Bowie, artists whose on-stage clothes leaked
into the day-to-day. Less obvious touch points include film and art, with James’s appreciation of the multi-layered shining through. His involvement throughout the collection has been strong right down to the very last detail, from buttons to stitching. Drawing, designing and modelling, James has been part of every step. The results are special. Standout items from the collection include a two-piece jacquard suit which uses James’s own fingerprint to produce an overall abstract print. A sequined bomber with satin sleeves is also a clear example of the musician's signature style, with stage-ready clothing seeping into his daily style. Touching upon the collection, TOPMAN Creative Director Gordon Richardson said: “It’s always exciting for TOPMAN to collaborate with personalities outside the world of fashion as it challenges all our normal perceptions. James has been no exception, he has diligently translated his unique sense of style into the perfect thirteen-piece capsule collection with as much care as he would for one of his albums. Every piece has a considered place and reflects his unique personality.” EJ
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CHRISTMAS DINNERS PRIVATE PARTIES, PRIVATE DINING, MISSED STOPS & BAD HEADS 32 Hope Street • Liverpool • L1 9BX www.frederikshopestreet.com (0151) 708 9574 /frederikshopestreetlikeme
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The Summer Grooming Guide: From Head-To-Toe words by JOHN THORNTON, themodernman.co.uk
Whether you’re off to a Mediterranean beach or simply sitting back in your local beer garden, keep your look as hot as the weather
First up, the big one. If you only follow one step, please follow this one. Use. Sun. Cream. There’s 15,000 cases of Skin Cancer a year in the UK, and a Cancer Research study shows 86% are preventable. Good sun protection massively improves your chances so do your homework and find one with high UV-B and UV-A protection. SPF only refers to UV-B protection, check the ingredients for titanium dioxide or zinc oxide which provide UV-A protection. UltraSun and the Boots Soltan range are both great options.
Sweat, humidity and chlorine can wreak havoc with your hair. Start by switching up your style with a shorter cut to keep things cool, then opt for a lighter styling product. Waxes, gels, and pomades are out, lightweight pastes, creams and salt sprays are in. They’ll create natural, textured looks with just enough control to keep everything in place, and they won’t melt or run in your eyes. Diving into the pool? Work a leave-in conditioner through your hair first to help protect it from the chlorine.
The hotter weather causes you to produce more oil. That, combined with sweat, will create one seriously shiny t-zone. Mattifying moisturisers and oil-control lotions will keep shine - and magpies - at bay.
A big beard in summer is about as good an idea as taping a sweatsoaked sponge to your face, whilst a clean jaw isn’t much better sweat can cause serious discomfort to sensitised post-shave skin. The ideal length is that long stubble/short beard sweet spot.
Double down on deodorant to keep on top of sweat. Use a scent-free antiperspirant before bed so your skin can fully absorb it and form an effective barrier against sweat. Follow up with deodorant in the morning. For your fragrance, skip woody scents as they can be overwhelming in the heat. Instead opt for citrus notes to really capture that exotic summer feeling. You don’t need to be Olympic-swimmer levels of smooth before you hit the beach, but a quick-once over your back with a body trimmer won’t go amiss.
The nicer the weather outside, the worse the climate downstairs you could plot it on a graph (y’know, if you want to die alone). Some pubic pruning, looser underwear, and maybe a spot of talc are your best bet for avoiding a subtropical swamp and keeping the nature documentarists away.
We get it, shorts and argyle print socks don’t go - but no one wants the free tickets to the cheese factory you hand out when you go sockless. Either opt for invisible socks (an inch smaller than trainer socks, but miles ahead in class) or rock the athleis look and pull your tennis socks right up. Don’t forget to actually properly wash your feet too. (No, just standing in 2 centimetres of dirty shower water doesn’t count.)
TOP PICKS HAIR: FUDGE SALT SPRAY
Texture, volume and control, perfect for messed up matte styles
SKIN: ANTHONY INSTANT FIX OIL CONTROL LOTION
Your t-zone won’t know what’s hit it with this instantaction anti-shine formula
SUN: ULTRASUN SPF30 SUN PROTECTION
Non-greasy and easily absorbed, now you’ve no excuse for looking like a lobster
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Liverpool Collections & Exclusive Topman Personal Shopping Dining Experience
s always, it’s been non-stop this month on the events front here at The Essential Journal. Kicking off the month we had the pleasure of presenting an evening with menswear designer Charlie Casely-Hayford at TOPMAN’s Trafford Centre store, to mark the release of his new tailoring collaboration. Casely-Hayford, who regularly features in lists charting the world’s most stylish men and influential figures, introduced his impressive new tailoring collection which encompasses his modernist and versatile approach to men’s style. It was a real pleasure to get an insight into one of the world’s most influential fashion minds and the collection itself really is stunning. Speaking of collections, later in the month, Liverpool’s majestic Exchange Flags was the perfect setting to showcase the latest collections from a few of our friends including David M Robinson, Gieves & Hawkes and Jaguar. An exclusive guest list of only a hundred high-profile attendees were treated to a showcase of luxury watch retailer David M Robinson’s Omega and Rolex collections as well as Gieves & Hawkes’ AW17 made to measure collection. The collections, which were housed in the majestic surroundings of the Fazenda restaurant, were complimented by a host of lavish cars on the Exchange Forecourt courtesy of Hatfield Jaguar. As well as the award-winning F-Pace and sporty F-type, which were available for test drive throughout the event, Hatfield also provided a rare Jaguar F-type Project 7 model for the event, of which only 250 were ever produced. Capping off the month was a host of exclusive dinner events with TOPMAN to celebrate their Personal Shopping service in stores across the country. The events, held at restaurants in Manchester (Artisan), Alderley Edge (Gusto) and Leeds (Grill on the Square) were a thoroughly enjoyable chance to meet readers and local sartorialists, as well as learning more about the TOPMAN Personal Shopping service. Speaking on the final night, Personal Shopper for TOPMAN Manchester Trafford Centre, Arron Dickinson said: “It has been great working with The Essential Journal, having the opportunity to collaborate with such a fantastic menswear and lifestyle publication. The events have been great exposure for the Personal Shopping service as well as the brand as a whole.” “No night has been the same and it has been a pleasure to get to network with and speak to so many like-minded sartorialists and menswear enthusiasts across the country. You can always count on the gentlemen at the EJ to invite a great bunch of guys.” EJ
Photography of Liverpool Collections Event at Fazenda by Jamie Scott-Gobin
An evening with menswear designer Charlie CaselyHayford, an exclusive luxury collections showcase and a spot of dinner to celebrate TOPMAN Personal Shopping
Photography of TOPMAN Personal Shopping Dining Experience by Sam Wike
words by ALAN SMITHEE photography by SAM WIKE & JAMIE SCOTT-GOBIN
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THE WHISKY SHOW 2017 CELEBRATES THE ART OF WHISKY
The Whisky Show | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | Old Billingsgate, London | Book online at www.whiskyshow.com
2 | THE WHISKY SHOW X ESSENTIAL JOURNAL
THE INSIDER’S VIEW
AT THE SHOW DREAM DRAMS Taste an unprecedented collection of ultra-premium rare whiskies. Each ticket allows guests the chance to try one complimentary Dream Dram worth up to £1,000 per bottle, and additional tokens are available at £10 each (see page opposite for more detail).
THE ART OF TALISKER Meet Talisker’s ‘artists’, learn about the place and taste their award-winning whisky.
THE GLENLIVET EXPERIENCE Don a headset and discover The Glenlivet through a unique virtual reality experience that will transport you to Speyside.
DISCOVER CANADA The Art of Whisky. What does it mean? My parents hail from Speyside so from a young age I began to understand a little about the passion for malt whisky and the artists who made it. I remember my father taking me on my first trip to a distillery – I was five and he carried me on his shoulders. Probably to stop me running riot. Even then, to a naïve five-yearold boy, it was obvious that whisky was something special. From the masters in the maltroom spending hours ensuring the barley was transforming perfectly, to the distillers who precision-controlled the stills, and to the blenders whose finely-tuned noses and taste buds created that final precious liquid, the artists worked on their own masterpieces to create an entire gallery in one bottle. Having worked at The Whisky Show since its second year in 2010, and managing the event since 2014, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many of these artists, each one with their own technique for creating their final artwork. And believe me, if you can chat to any of them at the show, you’ll forever look at a bottle of whisky as a work of art. The idea of whisky as an art form isn’t a new one but this year’s show aims to bring it to life in a way not seen before. See you there,
The Whisky Show is the UK’s leading whisky festival created by the team behind spirits retailer The Whisky Exchange and it’s back in London this Autumn with more than 600 of the world’s most sought-after whiskies and their makers all under one roof. This year’s Art of Whisky theme will bring the much loved malt spirit alive as an art-form and visitors will have the chance to interact with the art of whisky-making, from blending to bottling, and whisky-tasting. Every ticket includes: o More than 600 whiskies to sample o Food-pairings and cocktails o One Dream Dram token o Mini-masterclasses and talks o Two-course meal For more details and to book tickets visit www.whiskyshow.com
THE WHISKY SHOW | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | Old Billingsgate, London | Book online at www.whiskyshow.com
Touted as the hot destination of 2017, Canada is creating some stellar whiskies including Lot 40, Wiser’s 18 Year Old and Pike Creek, all available to taste.
THE ART OF INNOVATION
(masterclass to be booked in advance)
Discover the effect of different types of oak on whisky with Glenmorangie’s Bill Lumsden. A rare chance to try a range of rare whiskies from Glenmorangie.
WORLD WHISKY: EXPLORING THE LOCALE
(masterclass to be booked in advance)
Writer and educator Dave Broom takes guests on a journey through the art of distillation around the world… And illustrates that the world doesn’t necessarily revolve around Scotland.
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THE DRAMS OF YOUR DREAMS The Whisky Show’s Dream Drams are an unprecedented collection of more than 45 ultra-premium rare whiskies Each show ticket allows guests the chance to try one complimentary Dream Dram worth up to £1,000 per bottle. Additional tokens are available at £10 each. Show manager Andrew Milne shares the Dream Drams he’ll be queuing up to taste.
DALMORE 25 YEAR OLD 1 token
There are many reasons why The Dalmore’s master distiller Richard Paterson is so well-respected by whisky connoisseurs, and this delicious dram is just one. Maturing takes place in American white oak barrels and then in sherry butts and first fill bourbon casks. But it doesn’t finish there. These liquids are then married together in bourbon barrels before being finished in Tawny Port pipes. A complex process but well worth the effort!
ARDBEG 1975, CASK #4704 3 tokens
The annual Feis Ile festival of music and malt that takes place every May on the Scottish island of Islay is a whisky-lover’s dream. There’s always huge amounts of anticipation for each of the distillery's limited edition festival bottlings - Especially for Ardbeg, an icon of Islay whisky. This 2005 festival bottling is from an ex-oloroso sherry cask of Ardbeg from 1975, one of the distillery’s most legendary vintages.
SPRINGBANK 21 YEAR OLD BOTTLED 1990S 1 token
Springbank has a special place in the heart of many whisky lovers. And you’ll always remember your first sip. I love this Campbeltown single malt for its sherry-oak notes and delicious complexity. It was a Springbank 21 year old that The Whisky Exchange founder Sukhinder Singh started his amazing collection with – and it’s not hard to see why.
GLENMORANGIE PRIDE 1974 8 tokens
There aren’t many places you can try a 41 year old whisky for the equivalent of £80 a dram. It’s Glenmorangie’s oldest and rarest whisky to date and just 503 decanters of it were made. I don’t have £7,200 to spend on a whole bottle so it’s a great chance to try it!
TOMATIN 36 YEAR OLD 1 token
Tomatin Distillery offers another little slice of whisky-making history. Tomatin translates as “Hill of the Juniper Bush”, and because juniper wood is smokeless while burning, it was used to keep illicit distilling secret. I’m told that on the site of the current distillery there is a building believed to be a stop-off point for cattle drovers taking their livestock to market and they would fill their flasks from an illicit still. This 36-year-old is a malty number with notes of clove, cardamom and vanilla.
GLENGOYNE 35 YEAR OLD 3 tokens
I’ve always loved the history of Glengoyne – it began with the founder distilling illegally in a remote glen with a waterfall as his water source. And every drop still feels like it’s shrouded in this history. This 35 year old Glengoyne distilled in the 1970s is one of just 500 bottles released. It’s rich and complex and I’d go back for another dram straightaway.
CRAIGELLACHIE 31 YEAR OLD 1 token
GLENGLASSAUGH 1963 51 YEAR OLD 5 tokens
Having been established in 1875, this distillery ceased production in 1986 but was resurrected in 2008. This single cask was one of the oldest casks in the distillery when bottled in 2014 and has been aged in a bourbon cask for 51 years. A slice of history in a dram.
Craigellachie is known for its heavy character mixed with elegant orchard fruit and sherry-cask spice. You simply have to try this 31 year old to under-stand why it was named World’s Best Single Malt at the World Whisky Awards 2017.
Book online at www.whiskyshow.com | Old Billingsgate, London | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | THE WHISKY SHOW
4 | THE WHISKY SHOW X ESSENTIAL JOURNAL
THE ART OF WHISKY The application of creative skill and imagination to produce a liquid full of beauty, complexity and emotional power
Limited edition bottles for The Whisky Show 2017 celebrate the artistry of whisky-making, from malting to blending to bottling. For the Whisky Show 2017, The Whisky Exchange has sourced and bottled six Single Cask whiskies from across Scotland. To celebrate the artistry of their alluring flavours, multi award-winning designer and fellow of the Royal Society of Art, Mr C, has created six limited edition labels reflecting the character of the whiskies and the different stages of production. In addition, a seventh cask has been selected, a 24-year-old malt from the Springbank distillery. For this bottling, The Whisky Exchange customers were invited to pen their very own piece of art for the label. The winning entry will be proudly displayed at the Whisky Show 2017. The collection will be launched at the show and available for visitors to buy. Remaining stock will be available to buy after the show at www.thewhiskyexchange.com for those of you who cannot make it.
ART OF WHISKY MALTING
ART OF WHISKY FERMENTING
ART OF WHISKY MASHING
Distilled at Caol Ila Distillery and matured for at least seven years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 45.8% vol. £49.95
Distilled at Miltonduff Distillery and matured for at least 17 years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 54.5% vol. £79.95
Distilled at Balblair Distillery and matured for at least 19 years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 55.9% vol. £99.95
ART OF WHISKY DISTILLING
ART OF WHISKY AGEING
ART OF WHISKY BOTTLING
Distilled at Clynelish Distillery and matured for at least 21 years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 56.1% vol. £110.00
Distilled at Glenrothes Distillery and matured for at least 27 years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 51.1% vol. £120.00
Distilled at Glentauchers Distillery and matured for at least 19 years in finest oak wood. Bottled at a cask strength of 53.5% vol. £89.95
THE WHISKY SHOW | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | Old Billingsgate, London | Book online at www.whiskyshow.com
ESSENTIAL JOURNAL X THE WHISKY SHOW | 5
Pictured, clockwise from top right George Grant Sukhinder Singh Dr Bill Lumsden Billy Leighton Shinji Fukuyo
MASTERS WHISKY There is no doubt that the whisky business is full of knowledge, expertise and people who are literally bursting with passion. Get any of these experts in a room, talking whisky, and you’ll find it hard to leave! They’ll all be at this year’s Whisky Show, waxing lyrical about their favourites and imparting their knowledge and whisky wisdom.
Master Blender at Irish Distillers (Including Jameson, Redbreast and Midleton) Billy Leighton didn’t set out to become a whiskey blender but his first role as a trainee accountant at Irish Distillers’ Old Bushmill Distillery was certainly a good start. His head for figures now helps in his current role for Jameson where the top priority is management of maturing stocks to ensure the right whisky is available at the right age and in the right casks. Leighton’s responsibility for marrying together a range of notes, ages and grain types, to create a palette of tastes that combine to make up the entire Family of Jameson Whiskey, is a job only suited to those with the greatest attention to detail. Leighton’s passion is evident in his description of Jameson’s various whiskeys, with highly emotive and personal words he aptly distinguishes the toasted vanilla butterscotch tones from the oak flavours, all part of what he calls “the top end of the flavour spectrum”. Whether it’s through the diligence he shows in his work or the language he uses to describe it, Billy Leighton is seriously committed to the cause and dedicated to ensuring the very best conditions are available for the whiskey to mature in.
Director of sales at Glenfarclas Despite being the 6th generation of the Glenfarclas ‘family’, George Grant hasn’t always worked for the Glenfarclas Distillery. Of his time at Inver House Distillers, Grant once said: “It’s an unwritten rule that you work for another distiller – my father spent three years at Teacher’s. Better to make your mistakes somewhere else.” Many would expect a member of the Grant family to follow the family line into distilling but George Grant, as director of sales, much prefers to spread the Glenfarclas love around the world, meeting whisky-lovers and whisky-novices alike. And he can’t be bad at it either…In 2012 he was inaugurated into the Worshipful Company of Distillers and just this year was named Scotch Whisky Brand Ambassador of the Year at the Whisky Magazine Icons of Whisky Awards.
Scotch whisky, thanks to his never-ending desire to try new things and break the mould. His experiments with oak in particular have shaped many of the distillery’s releases, the latest of which, Bacalta, is aged in sun-baked Madeira casks. Lumsden really is a scientist though. His doctorate hails from a PHD in Microbial Physiology and Fermentation Science after having gained a degree in Biochemistry. It was whilst studying for his PHD in Edinburgh that Lumsden had a glass of Glenmorangie 10 Year old thrust into his hand at a party and his love for whisky, this whisky in particular, began. His love for whisky and the passion with which he creates Glenmorangie’s whiskies, and those from world-renowned Islay distillery Ardbeg, led to his latest accolade - 2016 Master Distiller/Blender of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards. Lumsden’s approach has cemented Glenmorangie’s position as a must-have on a back bar and in a drinks cabinet, with each release offering an entirely unique expression of this Highland whisky.
DR BILL LUMSDEN
Over the last 20 years Dr Bill Lumsden has gained a reputation as the mad scientist of
Shinji Fukuyo’s creations have been at the forefront of the rise of Japanese whisky over the past 10 years. Having joined Suntory, Japan’s
Director of Distilling & Whisky Creation at Glenmorangie
Chief Blender for Suntory
prestigious position, and a true master of whisky.
Co-founder and owner of The Whisky Exchange
largest producer of whisky and owners of Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki, in 1984 at the age of 23, he quickly rose through the ranks after transferring to the whisky blending department. But Scotland beckoned and he left Japan behind for four years study at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and a not insignificant stint at Morrison Bowmore, creating whiskies for Bowmore, Glen Garioch and Auchentoshan. Scotland taught him a lot but couldn’t keep hold of him and on his return to Japan in 2006, Fukuyo became director of Suntory’s whisky blending department. He is now chief blender for the whole of Suntory, only the fourth person to have held this
It was 1971 when Singh’s parents became the first Asians in the UK to be granted a liquor licence and subsequently opened what became an award-winning off-licence in north-west London. So the passion for spirits, whisky in particular, began at a young age. By the mid-1990s, Singh was already in possession of a very large collection of whisky and in 1999, Singh and his brother Rajbir founded The Whisky Exchange, which was originally exactly as the name suggested – an online portal where whisky fans could buy, sell or swap the bottles listed. Having launched in the middle of the dotcom boom, and survived, Singh took The Whisky Exchange from a niche player in the whisky market to the leading online retailer of fine spirits. It is thanks to these deep roots in whisky retailing that Sukhinder Singh developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of whisky, in particular older bottlings from around the world. With a personal collection of around 10,000 bottles including some of the rarest liquids in the world, Singh could open a whisky museum. Who knows, maybe one day he will.
Book online at www.whiskyshow.com | Old Billingsgate, London | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | THE WHISKY SHOW
6 | THE WHISKY SHOW X ESSENTIAL JOURNAL
AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHT WHISKIES With whiskies from more than 15 countries available to try at this year’s Whisky Show, you can take a whisky journey around the world and discover there’s more to malt than Scotch. Here’s just a few available to try.
THE WHISKY SHOW | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | Old Billingsgate, London | Book online at www.whiskyshow.com
ESSENTIAL JOURNAL X THE WHISKY SHOW | 7
THE ENGLISH WHISKY CO
On a ski trip in 1998 a group of eight friends all took a bottle of Scotch whisky to share, and that’s where the idea of a Swedish distillery began. Just a year later, all permits were in place and Mackmyra first began distilling; the only whisky distillery in Sweden. Mackmyra’s use of Swedish barley develops a sweetness that has become one of the cornerstones of their whisky. Aged in new Swedish oak, which imparts a more assertive flavour than American oak, Mackmyra’s whiskies offer fiery spice balanced by sweetness reminiscent of caramelised sugar.
What started as a retirement project for distillery owner Andrew Nelstrop's father, quickly turned into a globally recognised distillery producing award-winning peated and unpeated whiskies. The St George’s Distillery draws the purest, cleanest water from the Breckland aquifer deep beneath their location on Roudham, Norfolk, and the county is home to some of best English barley. It’s a celebration of all things local, with some international influence in the form of exbourbon and sherry barrels for ageing.
Despite its relatively recent popularity on our shores, the first Japanese whisky was made by Nikka’s founder Masataka Taketsuru in 1923. He built the Nikka distillery in Yoichi in 1934 which, despite its inconvenient location, was considered to be the ideal site in Japan for whisky-making, similar in many ways to the Scottish town where he had studied. The Nikka distillery in Yoichi produces rich, peaty and masculine malt, characteristics which are a result of the pot stills being heated with finely powdered natural coal – a traditional method rarely used today. Nikka’s second distillery in Miyagikyo produces a fruity and spicy Coffey Malt, distilled in a Coffey still normally used for grain whisky production.
Compared to many spirits, Canadian whisky production is a Heath Robinson affair: a mix of grains is distilled three times to produce a clean, if not altogether neutral base spirit to which a second whisky called a ‘flavouring’ is added – and this is typically rich in rye. Thanks to the explosion in popularity of rye whiskies, Canada’s distilleries are booming and new releases are hitting the scene from big players and craft distillers. Lot 40 is a revival of a whisky which enjoyed a cult-following in the late 1990s. This small-batch blend of fine rye whiskies, distilled in a small copper pot still is a characterful, robust, smoky whisky with a pleasingly sweet palate.
Kavalan is the distillery that put Taiwanese whisky on the map. It has been wowing drinkers around the world since it launched its first whisky in 2008. Known for its tropical-fruit style, it has won a host of prestigious awards in a very short time, partly thanks to the distillery’s exceptional expertise in the form of world class master blender Ian Chang and the late great whisky specialist Dr Jim Swan. Kavalan’s whiskies are made using incredibly pure water drawn from the springs of Snow Mountain and Central Mountains. Taiwan’s hot climate enables the spirits to extract the flavour from oak at a faster rate. This unique ageing offers maturity rarely seen in young whiskies.
Based near Chicago, FEW is one of the leading lights of the new wave of American distillers. Its whiskies are created with an obsessive attention to flavour and for this reason it has full control of distilling, ageing and bottling under its own roof. FEW uses timeless techniques and true small-batch processes for its bourbon and rye whiskies. Its bourbon whiskey offers the spiciness of rye with a touch of malt for smoothness and is aged in charred oak barrels. Their rye whiskey marries a generous rye content with the sweetness of corn and is patiently aged in air-dried oak barrels. A distillery truly pushing the boundaries of traditional whiskey making.
Well-known for years in India, Paul John released their range of award-winning single malts in 2012 and began to take the world by storm. Their whisky is really showing what Indian whisky can be, with a range of unpeated and peated single malts, all made using Himalayan barley. The distillery is located in Goa where the warm, tropical climate of the region plays a unique role in the maturation process.
Born through a determination to create an exceptional modern whisky, Starward Malt Whisky is the brainchild of David Vitale and is made at the New World Whisky Distillery in Victoria. David embraces the distillery’s origins using Australian malted barley and ageing in Australian apera (fortified wine) casks. Starward is rich and sweet, with a spicy finish.
Book online at www.whiskyshow.com | Old Billingsgate, London | 30th September & 1st October 2017 | THE WHISKY SHOW
32 | The Essential Journal
The Essential Journal | 33
words by ALAN SMITHEE
INTRODUCING: THE PUFFIN’ ROOMS
The team behind C.Gars Ltd and Liverpool tobacconist Turmeaus bring an unrivalled touch of class to the city with their 1920s-inspired speakeasy
hose walking in a hurry down Liverpool’s Old Hall Street could be forgiven for missing The Puffin’ Rooms. The cocktail bar’s entrance, which sits above the rest of the bar at street level is subtle and unassuming, with the daily throng of commuters heading for nearby Moorfields station likely to walk straight past in their rush to get home. They’ll hear soon enough, mind you. The Puffin’ Rooms won’t be a secret for long, it’s too exciting to be kept under wraps. Inspired by 1920s speakeasy culture and housing a bar and cigar sampling lounge, the Puffin’ Rooms is a classy venue with every effort made to make sure every detail is perfect. The decor is Gatsby-esque but not showy, the main room can comfortably fit 25 with room for another 20 in the sampling lounge where visitors can also order drinks. Nostalgic photography lines the walls whilst a piano sits in the corner - the bar is a home for live music seven days a week. Attention to detail is everything from the weight of the Dalmore drinks coasters, to the backlit leather-bound cocktail menus. Service only comes in one metallic shade: silver. The Puffin’ Rooms deals in drinks and food, but not like you’ve had them before. The food is luxurious small plates; think oysters, beef fillet, oak-smoked chicken, cutting edge and casual, whilst the drinks menu is a sight to behold. The cocktails at The Puffin’ Rooms are an art form. The sort to show off with, to marvel at, many of which are finished off at the table by attentive staff, fully trained and knowledgeable to the finest detail. The larger menu, charting the bar’s impressive spirit, wine and of course whisky selection, is the size of a tabloid newspaper. The selection is tremendous and indecisive customers might be overwhelmed if it were not for the expert knowledge of the staff. Despite only being open just over a month, there’s a buzz about the place. Speaking to resident pianist and singer Victoria Sharpe, who plays a host of vintage and
modern classics throughout our visit, says: “There’s nothing like it in the city.” She says. “I’ve got the best seat in the house, sat at the piano watching people’s jaws drop as they’re served their drinks.” It’s definitely one of those places, a venue to impress people. The cocktails, when served at the table are miniature events in themselves. A casual conversation with the barmen reveals he has never had the pleasure of working with a speed rail of such quality before. “We certainly ain’t using the cheap stuff ”. Ask head barman Andreas Symeou for recommendations and he’ll suggest two in particular: “The place to start is our house Old-Fashioned. It’s called an ‘Old Tabashioned’ and is a combination of our own independently-bottled Stalla Dhu Islay whisky, Perique Tabac, demerara sugar, a dash of our house bitters and orange bitters. Perique is a super rare Louisianan tobacco and Perique liqueur de Tabac is the liqueur made from it. Very complex, leathery and, of course, tobacco-y. We then use a calculated amount of filtered water to dilute the drink to a potable level, without having to stir using ice, and bottle it.” “The bottled Old Tabashioned is then delivered alongside an old-fashioned ‘rocks’ glass which contains a piece of hand-cut block ice and is filled with ‘whisky-smoke’ (wood chips soaked in whisky, dried and then burned for their smoke). One of our servers then pours the cocktail into the glass, which in turn effervesces smoke in front of the guest. A small piece of theatre which, along with the smoky-Islay whisky and tobacco liqueur, creates a palatable smoke that has a lot of depth.” It’s a cocktail that has to be seen to be believed, as is the ‘Orchant Royale’, a cocktail that words (and word counts for that matter) simply can’t do justice. The Puffin’ Rooms is an exciting prospect in Liverpool. What’s for certain is it will not remain a secret for long. EJ
34 | The Essential Journal
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The Essential Journal | 35
WHISKY.AUCTION X EJ
To experience cocktail classics as they were originally enjoyed go to whisky.auction and see what’s available at the next auction
Retro Cocktails Are Back
At the cutting edge of this trend is the super star cocktail mixologists working their magic at top cocktail bars
Isabel Graham-Yooll, Auction Director of Whisky.Auction
f you’ve ever wondered where these barmen source their 50, 60 or even 70-year-old ingredients then the answer, more often than not, is a specialist whisky auction based in a discreet warehouse in North West London. However it’s not just for trade insiders. Anyone with an eye for a classic and a handful of original ingredients can make authentic Mad Men style cocktails and host like Don Draper. There is an unparalleled joy to opening your own drinks cabinet and choosing from a bespoke selection of cocktail ingredients. Why not aim for an old Old Fashioned with 1970s Jim Beam, a hippy-era Negroni with 1970s Campari, or shake, don’t stir, with a 1950s Martini. So what are the secrets to winning the best items at Whisky.Auction? Isabel Graham-Yooll, auction director of Whisky.Auction, shares her top tips...
Use a bidding strategy but don’t try too hard to make your bid the last one to arrive. Use a proxy bid so if someone bids after you, it instantly raises your invisible bid above theirs
You can pick up a bargain by leaving a low bid on several similar items, in the hope that you will be successful at least once
Snipers are bidders who bid in the closing moments of an auction. Defeat snipers by watching the closing stages of the auction. Or become a sniper yourself and place your highest proxy bid moments before the auction end. In the case of Whisky.Auction any bids within three minutes of auction end will extend the closing time so bear this in mind
Bid early. You’d be surprised by how many bargains are won by early bidders taking a chance. When the heat is on in the final hours, many bidders are so focused they forget to look beyond their watch list
Start your Watch List early and take your time to plan your auction. The Whisky.Auction Preview catalogue comes online soon after the end of the previous month’s auction and more items are added daily before the auction goes live
Take a chance even if there’s no chance. Some lots have reserve prices and inexperienced sellers tend to set the reserve price too high. If a lot goes unsold at the end of the auction make an offer to the seller. You might succeed
Nibble! This is where you gradually place bids on an item to stay as highest bidder. When bids appear high from early on in the auction it can put off less committed bidders and increase your chances of winning the item. This is a high maintenance strategy but can be surprisingly successful
Use the ‘Add Notes’ section to remind yourself how you plan to bid. No one else can see what you’ve written here so it’s a really handy notepad
Examine the condition, fill level and all the images closely. Do this early on so you have time to ask any questions
Do a bit of research, it doesn’t take much time to look up prices on past auctions; do a quick retail comparison and check your delivery charges and then get bidding and good luck!
36 | The Essential Journal
TWELVE HOURS IN LEEDS
words by DAVEY BRETT photography by DAVEY BRETT & THOMAS SUMNER
This month we headed over to the flourishing West Yorkshire city to check out what all the fuss was about and found a city thriving on its independence
t’s 10am on a warm Leeds morning, the sort of morning that’s awaiting the sun to burn off a lingering cloak of grey. We’re here to celebrate the opening of the new La Marzocco northern office but we’re also curious, we’ve heard a lot about the city recently and we want to know what all the fuss is about. Situated in West Yorkshire, Leeds is the third biggest city in the UK by population and lies within the UK’s fourth most populous area. A former industrial city, Leeds is now most notable for its universities and diverse economy, home to the fastest private sector jobs growth of any UK city. It was also ranked fifth on Lonely Planet’s list of 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2017, other places on the list included Zagreb, Croatia (1st) and Moldova (8th). Our day begins at North Star Coffee Roasters, a coffee shop and roastery at Leeds Dock near the tourist favourite Royal Armouries Museum. North Star were the first coffee roasters in the city and its HQ, home to a coffee shop, roastery and coffee academy is the perfect place to begin our curiosity tour of the city. We chat to roastery assistant and wholesales trainer Ollie Sears about the city and he’s full of excitement. His formative experiences of Leeds were rooted in his time at the city’s redbrick university, and his involvement with the uni-
versity’s business society influenced his decision to stay in Leeds and pursue a career in specialty coffee. He tells us about the thriving local independent business scene, as well as the surprising influx in tech. North Star itself is a beautiful bright and airy space, serving coffee and food as well as selling a host of specialty coffees, tea and locally produced products with an emphasis on ethics. If you think Fairtrade is the best we can do to make everyone’s life better on the supply chain, you need to have a flat white and a chat with the staff of North Star.
Our jaunt continues back into the city centre with a stop off at The Corn Exchange. The majestic Victorian building is one of three corn exchanges in the country which still operates in its traditional capacity as a place for commerce (albeit minus the corn) and is a stunning landmark housing some of the city’s best independent stores. As the clock conveniently strikes noon, we head into Little Leeds Beerhouse a quaint independent bottle shop with a wide selection, regular events and a few beers on tap. We knock back a schooner each of Affinity Brew Co’s 4.2% ‘For The Many’ and chat to the guy on duty. “I think Leeds is quietly awesome,” he tells us straight off the bat. The ‘quiet’ part seems important. When people talk of seeking an alternative to the ever increasing prices and decreasing fulfilment of London, they usually mention Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Glasgow and Edinburgh, but rarely Leeds. The more Leeds unfolds in front of us, we wonder why more of a fuss isn’t being made nationally. Our new friend at Little Leeds is full of weighty but justified Leeds statements (“The Brudenell Social Club is the best music venue in the country”) and even has recommendations further afield. “The Grove in Huddersfield - best pub in the country, and it’s cheap because
The Essential Journal | 37
it’s in Huddersfield.” Beers firmly dealt with, we head downstairs to look at clothes. MKI Miyuki Zoku is our first fashion port of call. Founded in 2010 by creative director Vik Tailor, the brand’s idea was to open a bold new concept store in the centre of Leeds bringing new styles, labels, looks and ethos to the city. Emphasis throughout is on fashion from the designer perspective, but with quality at a modest price point. Most of the garments on offer are minimal, clean-cut Japanese-inspired basics from the brand’s own range MKI, but the store also stocks Comme des Garçons and Saint James. This independent fashion streak is evident again a few units down at All Blues Co., a menswear store channelling 40/50s heritage American workwear. Although a lot of brands stocked are new to us, the selection has a few pieces we could really get behind. A lot of pre-washed cotton, heavy cotton t-shirts, work jackets and chunky Red Wing footwear. The owner, a charismatic chap, seems confident on winning people over to the new brands: “We have a lot of people come in, we call them the converts. They’re into their Scandinavian streetwear, then they see what we’ve got and they do a 180. They’re sold.” The Hip Store and Accent are clothes stores that crop up in conversation with the people we meet, as are the city’s historic arcades, peppered with luxury brands and independents. One in particular that we’re excited to visit is Village - an independent magazine and bookstore (the upstairs is a small gallery space) situated in Thornton’s Arcade. It’s the sort of small, minimal well-kept store that any city would be proud to have just one of, but Leeds is full of such places. Small independents across a variety of fields, stocked to the gills with exciting stuff and kept ticking over by interesting, creative and sociable staff. Village’s selection is vast and when asked, Ben behind the till is full of recommendations from Village: “Pretty much everything you can think of, someone’s made a magazine about it. Everything. We’ve even got a magazine about art and dogs. In fact, we’ve got two magazines solely about art and dogs”, he tells us. With coffee, clothes and magazines explored, it’s back to beer with a visit to The Old Flax Store, home to the Northern Monk Brew Co. The Grade II listed mill houses a brewery, taproom and events space. The taproom is a fantastic space staying true to the building’s historic industrial roots, all open brick and rugged seating. Of course, the selection available is incredible. We opt for a schooner of ‘Eternal Session IPA’ each and sit down to chat with Andrey from the taproom. “The thing with Leeds is people get into their interests in a big way,” he says. Music, like with so many people we speak to throughout the day is a big pull, as is the city’s close-knit and creative community. We treat ourselves to a can of ‘Patrons Project 7.02 Peach Farmhouse Ale’, a delicious 7% saison and head for food. En route, we go back to Thornton’s Arcade for a swift one in Tall Boys Beer Market. All beered out, it’s time for food and with so much variety awaiting us, the choice is a tough one. We’ve heard great things about The Reliance and its modern British seasonal menu, but it’s not on our route. Pizza Fella and Zucco sound delicious, but we’re not feeling Italian. The same goes for Zaap Thai and Friends of Ham, you can’t talk about Leeds without someone suggesting you visit both. Perhaps due to our fondness of Drew Millward’s work (that is rampant throughout the city) which lines their walls, we settle on a trip to Bundobust. The Indian street food restaurant which also deals in craft beer is a Leeds institution, recommended in the 2017 Michelin Guide as well as featuring in endless lists charting the best Indian, vegetarian and food in the country. We order the ‘Bundo Chaat’ (samosa pastry, chickpeas, potato, tamarind chutney, onion, yoghurt and turmeric noodles), a little bowl of sweet and savoury crunch and textures, as well as the ‘Biryani Bhaji Balls’ (‘Arancini meets Biryani’) and ‘Chole Bhatura’ (chickpeas cooked in a rich onion and tomato sauce). All come in modest portions but leave us surprisingly full with just enough room to finish a Mango Lassi each. Suitably fed and watered, we head over to the Leeming Building to celebrate the opening of their new northern office. Thanks for a wonderful evening chaps, and happy 90th. Leeds is an exciting city and in twelve hours we hardly managed to scratch the surface. The craft beer scene is strong, helmed by one of the best breweries in the country, the food scene is even stronger - a delicious array of street food, independents and high-end chains and the city’s concentration of historic arcades makes it the perfect place for a day’s shopping. It’s only a matter of time before Leeds starts finding itself topping the lists it appears on. EJ
38 | The Essential Journal
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The Essential Journal | 39
words by DAVEY BRETT
CANVAS THE BREWERS Stuck for beer inspiration? Want to show off in front of your mates with a bit of extra special brew knowledge? To celebrate our 25th issue we put a few questions to our favourite breweries for a pint of insider beer knowledge RECOMMENDATION I’d go with ‘Inhaler’, our juicy pale ale, it’s got a great depth of fruity hop character like a much bigger IPA which makes it really satisfying but at 4.5% it’s still really drinkable and isn’t going to put you on the floor too quickly.
FAVOURITE I love ‘Windermere Pale’ from our pals at Hawkshead brewery. I’ve been going to the Lake District a few times a year for about 30 years now and have been drinking Hawkshead for at least 10 of those. I love Windy Pale because it’s really balanced and super refreshing with enough flavour to remain interesting, such a great cask beer. I take my mountain bike to the lakes regularly and a few pints of WP is the perfect post-ride refreshment.
BEER MEMORY There’s been a few…Myself and head brewer Stu were drinking in the Ballast Point taproom in San Diego, in 2012 when we were told we’d been voted the 2nd best new brewery in the world on the beer ratings site RateBeer.com. That was pretty special. More recently at Wembley a couple of months back when my team Huddersfield Town were promoted to the Premier League, that is a fairly fond drunken memory.
RECOMMENDATION ‘Shapeshifter’ is our West Coast IPA, and it’s probably my go to beer in our range. At 5.9% it’s highly drinkable, with just the right balance between malt and hops for the style. We use a lot of intensely aromatic American hops in this beer to give it a powerful profile of pineapple, grapefruit and passionfruit. The beer finishes dry and bitter like a West Coast IPA should. We pack it into cans and in kegs, and luckily a few local pubs have it on draught for when the stockpile in my refrigerator runs out.
FAVOURITE There are so many great beers out there so this is a difficult one. Lately I’ve really been enjoying the Stone ‘Go To IPA’, brewed by their brewery in Berlin. When fresh, this Session IPA is just amazing. It’s got a great hop character and it’s so easy to knock back can after can.
BEER MEMORY I’ve got lots of fond beer memories! The best way to enjoy great beer is with great people. My favourite drunken memory is when I stayed up all night drinking Fourpure beer with my brother and sister last summer, just talking and hanging out. I could barely walk the next morning. Obviously, I’ve got my fair share of embarrassing drunk moments too, but I’ll spare you on those.
RECOMMENDATION The original batch of ‘Striding Edge - Patron’s Projects 5.01’, which is our 3% session IPA, just because it’s such a good antithesis to this stereotype that’s developing around craft beer. A lot of people coming in here look at the taps and their eyes pop out when they see a 10% porter or a stout. I think for the strength it was, it was intensely hopped with a big body, again something you wouldn’t associate with a low beer. It’s not one of our highest rated beers, it’s probably not one of our most hyped ones either, but for me that’s one that sticks out.
FAVOURITE A beer called ‘Pulling Nails Blend #3’, which is a blend between three different barrel-aged saisons. It’s from a brewery that I’m absolutely dying to go to called Side Project Brewing in St Louis, Missouri. The brewer is the former head brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales, a guy called Cory King and he’s got worldwide recognition in the beer geek circles. He actually came from a wine-making background and I think that’s why this is a good one to mention because it bridges the gap between the two very well. He makes incredible saisons, some of the world’s best.
BEER MEMORY Definitely Hop City. We were all overrun during the week, under pressure, not sure how things were going to go down – the first event of this size in the country especially concentrating on hoppy beers. The highlight for me was that I did my first ever brew on the pilot kit leading up to the festival with the help of the brewery staff downstairs, a New England style pale ale. I gave some to Chelsea, one of the brewers from Alchemist, who flew over for the festival from America and her complimenting it. That would be my number one memory.
RECOMMENDATION It has to be Modus Operandi - the concept of the beer started the brewery. It's an old ale matured with wild yeasts in both bourbon and red wine barrels before being blended together. It's complex, layered, contemplative and above all, delicious.
FAVOURITE I'm going to plump for a cider, if that's ok? I love the Ross-on-Wye Cider Co's barrel-aged ciders, the Islay Whisky barrel version is a particular favourite, very dry, funky and smokey. We used to own a pub very local to the cider farm, it's the perfect place to lose an afternoon. Some of the great Belgian Geuze beers have been very inspirational to us, ‘Tilquin’ and ‘Oud Beersel’ are particular favourites.
BEER MEMORY A couple of memories spring to mind. The first was at our opening party of the brewery nearly five years ago, and for the first time being able to share our beers with other people. Another was taking a few beers to Lord’s at a Test Match, sitting in the sunshine at Lord’s with a bottle of your own beer is an amazing experience!
RECOMMENDATION The beer I would recommend from Hawkshead would be ‘Windermere Pale’ 3.5% on cask. A proper desert island beer for me and one that I still feel is unique in the current market of highly hopped session beers. Windermere Pale was one of my first creations at Hawkshead and was one of the first beers in the UK to use citra hops. It is still the pint I long for after a hard day in the brewhouse.
FAVOURITE My favourite beer from another brewery would have to be ‘Cannonball’ by Magic Rock Brewing. A standout beer for me for its consistent quality, flavour and hop aroma. I had the pleasure of brewing one of the earlier batches with Magic Rock many years ago and it’s great to see Cannonball is still a standout beer in Magic Rock’s range and is still going from strength to strength in quality.
BEER MEMORY Probably not so much my drunkest moment but beer was definitely involved. It was a whirlwind few days. It started with the birth of my first child, the next day the All Blacks finally lifted the Rugby World Cup again on home soil and the next day was the SIBA North beer competition, where Windermere Pale won overall champion cask beer. People were coming up to say congratulations, but it soon become very unclear what people were congratulating me on. Some were talking about the birth of my first child. others about the rugby and of course Windermere Pale winning the beer comp. It was an amazing couple of days and plenty of good beer was consumed
RECOMMENDATION ‘Table Beer’. This is the beer we drink most of, it's delicious and refreshing and we're very happy with it. Low ABV, around 3%, but with all the fullness and juicy hoppiness you want from a beer.
FAVOURITE We're big fans of all things sour and funky. ‘Petit Prince’ from Jester King is something we can never get enough of, if you can get your hands on any! I guess it's a toss up between that and ‘Fou' Foune’ from Cantillon, which is equally scarce.
BEER MEMORY Drunken memory seems like a contradiction. It's quite hard to get drunk on Table Beer, you can drink as much as you like and still remember everything.
RICHARD BURHOUSE Managing Director Magic Rock Brewing Huddersfield
JOHN DRIEBERGEN Fourpure Brewing Co Head Brewer Bermondsey, London
ANDREY KOTOV Northern Monk Brew Co TAPROOM MANAGER Leeds
ANDREW COOPER Wild Beer Co FOUNDER Shepton Mallet, Somerset
MATT CLARKE Hawkshead Brewery HEAD BREWER Kendall, Lake District
TANYA MARSH The Kernel Brewery LONDON
40 | The Essential Journal
CAMERAS The Essential Guide:
The cameras, products, accessories and advice to help you go one above your phone and take the perfect shot
emember cameras? Those things we used to take to family parties and say ‘cheese’ in front of? Those devices everyone is secretly using for their Instagrams, but pretending they’re not. They were great, weren’t they? Capturing precious memories a-plenty. Then the phone camera came along, a rapidly building avalanche of megapixels making decent photographs a pocket democracy and changing privacy forever. But wait a minute, we’ve become even more visual you say? You’re right. We have. We’re capturing more than we ever have, but we’re not doing it justice. Granted, the phone in our pocket is good, it’s practically a cultural revolution, but it’s
not necessarily capturing everything. It’s fluking a lot, but it’s missing bits. It’s not dynamic, it’s a risk in certain conditions, it’s got too many other precious communication functions attached to it and it’s not capturing what’s really in front of us in all its colourful, focused and blurred background glory. There’s only so far you can go with it. Step back into the frame, the no longer humble digital camera in all its various model, multi-functional, customisable glory with an arsenal of accessories to boot. There’s never been a better time to embrace photography and invest in better images. EJ
Our Favourite Accessories
DSLR The DSLR camera is the most popular adjustable lense camera in the world. High-end and versatile, they use mirrors and interchangeable lenses along with large image sensors which allow for the highest and largest resolutions in digital photography. With telephoto, wide-angle, fisheye lenses and more, customisation allows for many perspectives. With minimal lag these features make DSLRs perfect for a wide range of amateur and professional photography. You can expose the sensor for as long as necessary making them ideal for shooting in low light. With versatility comes a bulky size which can hinder those on-the-move. For the professional go-to, shoot with a DSLR. COMPACT SYSTEM A compact system camera is a DSLR in a smaller package. They use the same types of sensors and processors, often resulting in higher quality images than simple compact or bridge cameras. Compact system cameras are portable thanks to a mirrorless design. The manual viewfinder is often replaced with a digital one yet some offer just an LCD screen which may be a problem shooting in sunny conditions. A compact system model is chiefly designed for creative control, high image quality and lens interchangeability without the weight of a DSLR. BRIDGE CAMERA A bridge camera connects the worlds of compact and DSLR photography. Some bridge cameras have the manual settings and controls found on an entry-level DSLR with the user friendliness of a point-and-shoot. Often lacking an interchangeable lense, a bridge camera makes up for it with an expanded focal range. They usually have a longer zoom that you can’t find with compact cameras. Some bridge cameras allow you to operate the zoom manually - a unique feature allowing for precise movement and framing. Another popular feature is an angle-adjustable screen that’s often builtin to ease low/high-angle shots and improve visibility by moving the screen away from sunlight. COMPACT CAMERAS The classic ‘point and shoot’ compact cameras are simple. Usually pocket-sized and lightweight, a compact is the perfect camera for snapping on the go. Their accessibility is a major sell with many features that make shooting different scenes easier. Most models have a fixed lens making them an all-round package. Whereas photographers manually frame using LCDs, compact cameras also have this built-in, cutting more corners. Compact cameras also have a large depth of field, bringing everything in focus. Images come out clean thanks to effective presets that adjust to challenging conditions, and although image quality and settings have vastly improved, the compact is a much more entry-level choice for quick snaps on the go.
With boots to fill, this camera treads comfortably as the successor to Sony’s landmark camera. Inherited from the RX100 is a wide image sensor and rapid autofocus. The result is the best-performing compact camera of its kind. Action shots are secured thanks to the sensor’s wide coverage, yet it’s still shots that come out cleanest. An electric shutter allows you to cut the sound and sneak up on subjects, whilst the fast processor sharpens and clears up still images in record time.
In a realm of customisation, this lightweight mid-range zoom is the only lense you’ll need. There’s maximum aperture allowing for pristine shots throughout the zoom range- from 24mm to 105mm. It’s lightweight and compatible with both full frame and large sensor cameras. The tool works best in capturing wide landscapes or detailed portraits, though any out-of-reach shot looks professional. The lense is built and calibrated for Sony products, though it fits snugly on full frame and APSC cameras.
A BEGINNERS SET OF BELLS AND WHISTLES
MOUNTAINSMITH FXPEDITION MONOPOD
This 10-piece set is perfect for entry-level photographers, especially in action scenes. With a head strap, shoulder harness and suction mount, Jessops’s compact collection helps secure a perfect shot anywhere. The kit includes various adapters, cleaning cloths and a storage bag to carry it all. Clear and compact, the Tecno kit isn’t the ideal portable setup. Cross out a lengthy shopping list with a kit that simplifies the over-complicated.
With a history of supporting rifles and binoculars, the monopod is the essential accessory in the field. Essential for any travel photographer, this monopod promises a perfect shot with an array of features. An alternative for the tripod, the FXpedition Monopod doubles as a hiking staff. The tool is also collapsible and fully portable in a backpack or in luggage. If that wasn’t enough, there’s a removable hiking basket, wrist strap and replaceable rubber boot tip all included. With added stability in the front and easy height adjustability.
The Essential Journal | 41
A little extra help from an expert
words by REUBEN TASKER
Our Top Picks DLSR
CANON EOS 200D For those looking to get into ‘traditional photography’, the first DSLR with a ‘selfie mode’ doesn’t sound ideal. Regardless, the 200D is a sign
of how fast digital is advancing. Shots are colourful and detailed especially when blown up for big prints and photobooks. A processor and autofocus allow for sharp focus in low-light. Your portraits are clear thanks to large sensor that eases shots with shallow depth of field. The model is modern with a rotating touchscreen. Unique features like skin smoothing and background blurring further appease Generation Instagram. Gimmicks aside, the 200D has the vital specifications needed at the top of the range.
NIKON D500 The sibling to Nikon’s former flagship model the D5, the D500 adds a lot more than two zeros. Encased in a sturdy metal body, this camera
is perfectly suited for action in the field - especially scenes of sport and wildlife. Shots comes out widescreen and detailed with an advanced autofocus system, new sensors and a speedy buffer. The results are award-winning and accurate. All joints, buttons and dials are fully weather sealed with a magnesium alloy build to protect in treacherous terrain. This camera urges you to go further, with enough features to push you to Earth’s extremes.
NIKON COOLPIX P900 The Coolpix P900 sees what we can’t. Scenes invisible to the naked eye are made clear with the world’s longest-zoom bridge camera. Ideal
for the wild or nighttime ventures, out-of-sight subjects become easy to capture. Action shots are caught with Optical Vibration Reduction - a feature that stabilises and reduces blur. Sharp shots are colourful and clear with a sensitive sensor, fast processor and millions of pixels. Connectivity to wi-fi and GPS allows you to stay linked in when out about there’s location tracking and the option to pair the camera with a smart device.
PANASONIC LUMIX FZ82 So good they named it twice (going by the name FZ80 in the US), the FZ82 is a refreshing addition to the Bridge Camera market. Built extra
wide, the zoom brings action to your palm. Whether near or far, images are automatically stabilised. As a point-and-shoot hybrid the FZ82 is effective out-and-about, with fast and accurate focusing that’s perfect for an unprepared shot. An all-rounder, the model works best in brightly lit scenes. Panasonic has also introduced Post Focus, using 4K technology to set focus points after the photo has been taken. Shoot first, think later, pick the Lumix.
LEICA TL2 Specialising in speed, the Leica TL-System has broken ground for compact system cameras. The models have minimal design with swift
autofocus and easy handling. What distinguishes this camera though, is its results with still photography. Photos have high contrast and colour with sharp resolution which is due to a high-end sensor and image processor that’s perfect for still images. If you pivot to video, the TL2 follows suit with HD, full HD and 4K filming modes. Versatile and compact, the Leica has a gorgeous, tactile design that houses the breadth of a compact system model.
SONY ALPHA A9 Sony’s flagship product is a fierce contender on the Compact System market. It sells itself with lightning fast performance. Designed with
a full-frame sensor and high-end processor, you can shoot continuously for 20-frames-per-second. A high speed gives you many choices when picking the perfect shot from playback. What’s more, there’s an electronic shutter that beats out mechanical equivalents. With the A9, say goodbye to ‘blink and you miss it’ moments, slowing a lightning bolt down to a millisecond.
LEICA Q £3500 It’s hard to fault the Q. With it, Leica promise ‘unlimited creativity’. It’s Leica’s first full-frame camera with an autofocus yet an analog
focus ring is there if you prefer. There’s manual dials for shutter speed control yet also an autofocus option. Neither model nor rebrand, there’s a complete redesign. The frame is magnesium, the top plate is aluminium, yet Leica’s logo remains signature black. In the same spirit the Q inherits the performance and specification of previous Leicas. The aspherical glass gets sharp results regardless of depth of field or available light. With a focal lense, the Q excels in street, architectural and landscape photography.
SONY RX100 V £700-900 With boots to fill, this camera treads comfortably as the successor to Sony’s landmark camera. Inherited from the RX100 is a wide image
sensor and rapid autofocus. The result is the best-performing compact camera of its kind. Action shots are secured thanks to the sensor’s wide coverage, yet it’s still shots that come out cleanest. An electric shutter allows you to cut the sound and sneak up on subjects, whilst the fast processor sharpens and clears up still images in record time.
The world of photography isn’t easy. Getting that ‘perfect shot’ is every photographer’s simple wish, but one that doesn’t always come true. To make things a little simpler we got in touch with an expert to find out what’s really important when trying to get the perfect shot. After all, what use is all your kit if you don’t know how to use it. Helping us through the essential to do’s and to don’t’s is Leica Product Expert, Stuart Rayson. What are some littleknown tips on how to take the perfect photo? Provide the composition and make sure you’ve got the correct exposure. Make sure you’re not getting camera shake and that you’re not over-exposing, which is letting too much light in, or under-exposing. Get the focus right, compose your image and take the shot in the right moment at an interesting angle. The main thing is getting the right camera for the right customer. If you’re shooting your family and kids growing up, you want a different camera to a street photographer. I ask customers what kind of photographs they want to take, then find the camera that’s suitable for them in their budget. The Leica D-Lux 6 is ideal for a fit-in-your-pocket, take anywhere camera. What is a common mistake? I’d say slow shutter speed or getting it wrong with focus when they’ve got the foreground when they want the background in focus and vice versa. What essentials should a photographer take in a kit bag? Spare batteries, spare memory card, something to protect the camera with when it’s raining. Make sure you’ve got a fully charged battery which is the sort of thing people forget. Bring your SD card that’s ready to go in the camera. Take a lense, a wide angle or telephoto if you’ve got a long lense on the camera.
42 | The Essential Journal
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The Essential Journal | 43
words by JAN JANSSEN
SAMUEL L. JACKSON We sat down with the highest-grossing actor of all time to talk breaking broadway, his childhood stutter, swinging back to golf and his newest picture
44 | The Essential Journal
here are few more iconic or charismatic figures in Hollywood than Samuel L. Jackson. His distinctive voice, glare, and swagger are integral elements of a striking screen persona that has become part of the public imagination. Virtually every one of his performances is distinguished by an authoritarian élan and sense of menace. But there's often an air of mischief to his work. Ever since he quoted Ezekiel 25:17 as Jules the biblical assassin in Pulp Fiction, known as the "path of the righteous man" speech, audiences have known that his smile is often a prelude to a kill. Jackson's roguish appeal is on full display in his latest film, The Hitman's Bodyguard, a swashbuckling action comedy that recalls the great buddy movies of the 80s and 90s. Ryan Reynolds co-stars as a security special-
ist assigned to protect an elite hired killer (Jackson) scheduled to testify against a sadistic East European dictator (Gary Oldman). En route from London to The Hague's International Court of Justice, Jackson and Reynolds engage in wicked banter while trying to stay alive in the face of multiple attacks by the dictator's henchmen. It's the kind of role that Jackson devours with ritual glee, and this time out was no different. Said Jackson: "I like these kind of movies. I love Midnight Run (and) Lethal Weapon with Mel Gibson and Danny Glover...Even though in (this film) I'm a killer, I'm a likeable killer. I tend to do that with characters that are supposedly despicable like Ordell in Jackie Brown. A very bad person but fun to hang out with." It's that sense of comic play that draws us towards Jackson, now 68. One of the hardest-working actors in the business, he has accumulated credits in nearly 170 films and ranks as the highest-grossing actor of all time with $5 billion in box-office receipts. (Harrison Ford is a close second.) Apart from his five films with Quentin Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol. 2, Django Unchained, The Hateful Eight) and a sixth if one counts the Tarantino scripted True Romance, Jackson has boarded several massive film franchises including Star Wars (Mace Windu), Iron Man, The Avengers (as Nick Fury), as well as his friendly rival Ford's Jack Ryan trilogy in Patriot Games. He's also appeared in cult classics such as Snakes on a Plane and Coach Carter and most recently co-starred in Kong: Skull Island which earned nearly a half-billion dollars. The only blemish on his otherwise stellar record is his well-documented battle with drug addiction. Upon receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BET Awards, Jackson credited his wife and daugh-
ter with getting him to clean up his act. But he applied his indomitable will to good use and has been sober since 1991. "[They] found me passed out on the floor after I left somebody’s bachelor party," he told the audience during his acceptance speech. "Put my ass in rehab the next day, and supported me and pushed me and give me a reason to get up and go and chase it day after day after day." EJ essential journal: Mr. Jackson, you’re the highest-grossing actor of all time and you seem to be working as much as you ever have. Do you have any intention of slowing down and spending more time on the golf course? jackson: Hell, no! (Laughs and scowls) Acting is everything for me. It’s my passion and I have zero desire to slow down. I love being creative and telling an exciting story - that’s why my work often feels like a paid holiday. I get to travel to places like Vietnam or Cape Town or London, say my lines for a few hours a day, and get to enjoy life the rest of the time. It’s a great job and it beats having to go to work in an office every day. And when I’m not doing my scenes, I get to sit in a trailer and watch TV. Not a bad way to make a living. (Smiles) You’re a living legend. How do you deal with the constant recognition that must be part of your daily life? I respect the attention that comes from people who have seen my work and feel a connection with me. I still get surprised when someone will come up to me and quote Ezekiel 25:17 (from Pulp Fiction - ED). Some actors will work their entire lives and no one will remember their lines from their films. It makes me proud to know that my work is recognised and I feel lucky to still be able to be part of big films that younger generations are seeing just like
older generations know me from my earlier movies. How do you approach your characters? I’ll ask myself hundreds of questions, whether he comes from a rich or poor background, what was his education, what are the kinds of things he believes in. I like to build a psychological profile of every character I play and then my performance will follow in accordance with that, including how I think he should speak and how he walks. All those things are important if you want to make your character stand out and be unique. Do you recall how you first became interested in acting? I blame my aunt! (Laughs) I grew up in a house with my aunt and my grandparents and she worked as a teacher in high school and she also taught acting. She was the one who encouraged me to read, taught me to dance, and would make me memorize dialogue and stick me in strange costumes. I would play act a lot as a kid and I loved the attention that came from putting on a little show for my aunt or my grandparents. I thought there was nothing better than having the freedom to step into the skin of someone else and be anyone you wanted to be. You did a lot of theatre earlier in your career and you got a relatively late start in film. Would you still like to do a stage play? I would love to do more theatre. I did a lot of stage work at the beginning and even though it didn’t pay a lot it was what enabled me to grow as an actor and I got a tremendous amount of satisfaction from it. Being part of that world changed my life and I was able to be on the same stage as Denzel Washington or Morgan Freeman on Broadway. I felt like I was part of this incredible group of talented people and I
had a lot of fun during that time. It would have been even more fun if we hadn’t had to struggle to pay our bills. Eventually they started doing movies and that’s when I realised I was in the right place and I would just have to be patient and wait for my turn to follow them into that world. You’ve enjoyed an extraordinary collaboration with Quentin Tarantino. What was your reaction when you first read the script for Pulp Fiction? I thought it was wild, crazy stuff. It seemed so absurd that I had to re-read immediately afterwards to try to figure it out. The idea of a white gangster and a black gangster working together - I wasn’t sure if the world would appreciate that. But I knew that it was the kind of story that I would love to see in a movie and so would my friends and that’s why I did it. What kind of relationship do you and Tarantino have? We’re like brothers. I understand his way of looking at things and his style of writing. I get the same joy out of playing his characters and delivering those lines as he does when he writes them. I understand who his characters are when he writes them and it’s so much fun for me to finally get to play them. We’re also kind of similar in that I’m an only child and so is he. So we grew up spending a lot of time watching movies and being absorbed and fascinated by that world. I understand his love of movies because I have that same kid of love. And there’s a great deal of love between us in terms of how we approach what we do. You’re known as an actor who casts a commanding presence in every film you’re in. Most people would be surprised to learn that you stuttered as a child... Any child who stutters is subject to a lot of ridicule. If you have any kind of a speech impediment, society is not going to regard you as being intelligent. People would laugh at you or feel sorry for you and either way it feels humiliating and degrading. I had a real bad time with stuttering. But I decided that instead of just sitting at the back of the class and never raising my hand to speak, I would work so hard that I would be the best in my class and prove to everyone that I was as smart or smarter than everyone else. And I did! You’re also very skilled at using your voice for TV commercials and you recently did the voice-over narration for the documentary I Am Not Your Negro (which earned an Oscar nomination - ED). Thank you. What’s funny is that most people don’t recognise that it’s me narrating that movie until they see my name in the closing credits. I can modulate my voice depending on the circumstances or the role. Just the rhythm alone as much as the tone and volume adds a lot to your character. One of your most memorable film lines apart from Jules’s speech in Pulp Fiction or some of Ordell’s dialogue in Jackie Brown - is your “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!” from Snakes on a Plane... I call that my “11” voice. I had so much fun with that line and that’s the way it usually is when you have a great line or interesting dialogue in a film. That’s what makes Quentin’s films so unique and you never get tired of hearing his characters speak. You’re an avid golfer. What makes you love the sport so much and how’s your game these days? I’ve had a few knee surgeries so I’m still trying to get my swing back to what it was....Golf is the kind of sport where you alone are responsible for what you do on the course. It’s not a team sport like football or baseball where you are dependent on the other players and if your team loses you take the blame with them. As an only child, golf really suits me because no one else can take the credit for a great tee shot and there’s no else to blame if you miss an easy three-foot put. It’s you alone out there.
The Essential Journal | 45
"I respect the attention that comes from people who have seen my work and feel a connection with me. I still get surprised when someone will come up to me and quote Ezekiel 25:17."
46 | The Essential Journal
words by TOM WILLIAMS
Nolan’s latest epic is another spectacular timebending blockbuster, but by no means should it be simply filed away under ‘war film’
he year is 1940 and hundreds intensity) heighten the escalating actions of thousands of British occurring within all three prongs of the soldiers are pinned back on narrative. the beaches of Dunkirk and The muted colours and minimalist with time running out, only a cinematography (courtesy of Hoyte Van wide-scale civilian effort can recover from Hoytema) add to the atmosphere in what what Churchill himself deemed a colossal is an incredibly precise depiction of war, military disaster. far from the bloated three-hour war epics Time is the main character in we have become accustomed to. The sub Dunkirk. Its presence is exhaustingly 120-minute runtime is also slight within etched into every sinew of the film, with Nolan’s canon of work, allowing the highHans Zimmer’s throbbing score at the tempo to only ease for fleeting moments heart of the multi-tiered, time conscious of compassion, whether it’s a Commander narrative. The parameters of each Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) speech or a segment of the story - The Mole, The Sea snippet of comradery between soldiers. and The Air - are laid out from the get go These sentimental moments never feel with the events lasting a week, a day, and too forced and Nolan frequently reminds an hour respectively. the audience that It wouldn’t be a Dunkirk was a "TIME IS THE MAIN Christopher Nolan military disaster and CHARACTER IN DUNKIRK. by no means an end film without some time-bending to the war – a point ITS PRESENCE IS spectacle which is emphasised by the EXHAUSTINGLY ETCHED brutally real final achieved by crosscutting events from INTO EVERY SINEW OF shot. His reduction all three different of the Germans to THE FILM, WITH HANS stages of the simply The Enemy evacuation. is a little murky, but ZIMMER’S THROBBING The film opens it gives focus to the with young Tommy SCORE AT THE HEART OF stories he wanted to (Fionn Whitehead) tell. After all, in his THE MULTI-TIERED, TIME own words, this is a in a rare moment of tranquillity, before a CONSCIOUS NARRATIVE." film more pointed clattering of bullets towards survival, not pushes the tempo to a point of intensity war. which becomes increasingly unrelenting The characters perhaps lack depth, as the week on The Mole progresses. but this is a film about the masses not Meanwhile, Farrier (Tom Hardy) battles the individuals, hence why the camera is the Luftwaffe in the air via a series of so frequently switched from one person twisting manoeuvres shot against the to another. Having said this, Tom Hardy hauntingly stark sea and Mr. Dawson gives an incredibly emotive performance (Mark Rylance) and his son Peter (Tom from under his goggle-cladded mask and Glynn-Carney) pace down the channel is involved in the most moving scene of to assist the trapped soldiers with no the film where he glides contemplatively help from war-disturbed soldier (Cillian over the beaches of Dunkirk. Murphy). This film is undoubtedly Nolan at All these rising tensions are made his best. The precision with which every uncomfortably, and brilliantly, poignant idiosyncrasy of the story is told is masterful from the ever-ticking clock that anchors and results in an unconventional war film Zimmer’s score. Not only this, but the that joins, and perhaps succeeds, the likes Shepard tones (looped sounds that of The Thin Red Line and Apocalypse create an illusion of infinitely increasing Now. This is what a blockbuster should be.
This Month's Must See Five
A visceral masterpiece
Moment after moment of heart-wrenching drama
An important retelling of a timeless story of courage, but a little too un-politicised
THE BIG SICK
Charlize Theron is badass in this Cold War era David Leitch thriller. It also has an incredible soundtrack to boot and a phenomenal staircase scene
A fresh take on the tired out rom-com genre. Kumail Nanjiani plays a version of himself in a film depicting culture clashes between himself and his girlfriend’s family
Impossible to avoid and necessary to watch
The Essential Journal | 47
words by TOM WILLIAMS
How to Make a Christopher Nolan Film Blockbuster after blockbuster, epic after epic, Christopher Nolan has built an iconic film style on the big, often IMAX-sized screen, but what are the key features of a Nolan?
ith his recent wartime epic Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan has solidified his position as one of the greatest directors of his generation. He has surpassed Spielberg as king of the blockbusters with a stylised form of filmmaking that comprises excellent storytelling and mesmerising visuals – but how does he make his movies so spectacular? Perhaps what has become most synonymous with Nolan’s style is his elastic approach to narrative, frequently telling stories in a non-linear and convoluted way. This technique is used by many directors but few can boast the technical precision of Nolan’s work. He leaves breadcrumbs of information which although are made to feel significant, (think of the ‘ghost’ in Interstellar) don’t have their full function made obvious until the film’s closing stages. He implies the essentialness of these objects or theories by flashing forward or back to them repeatedly. For example, the field of top hats is the title card of The Prestige, but why such an odd occurrence has happened is not revealed for a lengthy period of the film. Nolan has mastered this art of giving us just enough information to keep us compelled, but never too much so he can’t blow us away with a mind-bending crescendo. Nolan loves to highlight the interconnectivity of his characters’ actions by crosscutting scenes together and has done so ever since his first feature, Following. We see it in Inception whilst the iconic bus descends tantalisingly slowly towards the water, with scenes from different layers of the narrative frequently being cut to in order to pile the suspense on. Similarly, in Interstellar, Cooper and daughter Murph are both coming to the same conclusions despite being light years apart. This champions one of the most successful aspects of humanity in Nolan films - community. Whether it be the British civilians in Dunkirk, the dream gang from Inception, or indeed the father-daughter partnership in Interstellar. Whilst on Interstellar, it’s appropriate to talk about one of Nolan’s most fanatical obsessions: time. In the Kubrick-esque space epic, the rules of time are manipulated by the director in accordance to scientific law and for an intrinsic narrative function. The tension of the film like Dunkirk, lies in the unavailability of time which in this case, comes as result of relativity and time in space progressing at a slower rate than that on Earth. This results in Cooper bearing witness to his daughter growing up without him via a series of emotion-fuelled video messages whilst Earth quickly deteriorates to a state of inhabitability. These huge Interstellar-type ideas are typical of Nolan and demonstrate one of his greatest strengths; rationalising the supernatural. It’s not enough for the director to just suspend disbelief, he’s more comfortable simply making you believe, and therefore completely immersing you in his storytelling. He’s made a realistic superhero, a teleportation-based magic act seem incredibly doable, and discovered the truth inside black holes – McConaughey fondling through a bookshelf. We are always fully subscribed to his stories because he intricately details every aspect of the world his characters live in, whether it’s as bizarre as hacking someone’s mind through dreams or not. This is Nolan’s greatest attribute, the ability to tell incredible stories. Having written, along with his brother, all the films he has directed – it is clear why his films are so technically polished. He is involved in every part of the filmmaking process, so the stories he creates can be perfectly realised by his own artistic vision and made into immense cinematic experiences. EJ
“HE LEAVES BREADCRUMBS OF INFORMATION WHICH ALTHOUGH ARE MADE TO FEEL SIGNIFICANT, DON’T HAVE THEIR FULL FUNCTION MADE OBVIOUS UNTIL THE FILM’S CLOSING STAGES”
Daniel Craig shines in Steven Soderbergh’s latest heist-themed movie. It’s great fun with a charismatic cast and palpitating North Carolina setting
Perhaps not everyone’s cup of tea, but an empowered response to white-male dominated Hangover-type movies. Expect incredibly funny, and extremely crude sequences
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The Essential Journal | 49
Are you a practising illustrator or want to find out how to get a career in illustration to take off? The Association of Illustrators (AOI) is the professional body for illustration offering business advice, hosting friendly events for creatives and campaigning for a thriving industry. Find out more and join today at www.theaoi.com or follow us @theaoi
words by REUBEN TASKER
Draw No Conclusions We caught up with the World Illustration Award-winning Claudine O’Sullivan, the Irish illustrator drawing boldly on the commercial circuit, ahead of her exhibition “Leaves”
laudine O’Sullivan’s work does not just appear in galleries and editorials. Her colours feature in graphics for BBC Radio 4 and Island Records; on the walls of MTV and Apple’s work-spaces. For the latter, Claudine collaborated in a worldwide campaign promoting the Apple Pencil. Swapping her traditional pencil for theirs, she reworked her digital drawings onto an iPad. Her adaptability didn’t go unrecognised, going on to win the Professional Advertising Award at the World Illustration Awards this year. True to itself, her work bridges the creative and commercial world. Her upcoming exhibition, ‘Leaves’, showcases her plant-themed illustrative prints commissioned by plant studio Sprout London. Self-labelled as ‘traditional’, her work is comprised of countless coloured lines, usually purple and blue. Bold and clear, her subjects are mostly drawn from O’Sullivan’s love of wild animals. We caught up with Claudine to talk being creative in a commercial industry, the state of illustration in 2017 and not being inspired by artists. essentialjournal: Brief us on the proudest moments in your life and career so far. claudine o'sullivan: That’s a really tough one! I think what I’m most proud of is that I’m now supporting myself 100% through illustration. Certain clients and opportunities have made this possible, so I’m grateful for everything that’s happened along the way. That said, it hasn’t been easy. I’m glad I’ve had to work very hard and experience a lot of rejection, as well as working a lot of other jobs and not having a lot of free time or money. It’s important to remain humble. My main focus is to be happy and keep doing what I’m doing, so I have to keep working hard, especially if I plan to stay in London. Working with advertisers and companies, is there compromise on the commercial circuit? It depends from client-to-client and job-to-job. I’ve been lucky to work with art directors and teams that have had the confidence to let me do what I do, without a huge amount of constraint. Comparatively, I’ve worked with art directors that have pushed my work in new ways and mediums, creating results that I wouldn’t have reached myself. There’s a magic balance when you work with people that can see untapped potential in your work and in-
spire you to organically develop that. On the flipside, if a brief is too prescriptive it can stifle your creativity and knock your confidence. Blue and purple feature prominently in your work, is there a personal meaning behind the colours? Not really! I think that’s quite a subconscious thing. Most of my work stems from observation. I focus a lot on light and shade to create form and movement. I never usually plan my colour palette in advance, I just build up a piece gradually, concentrating on the balance between light and shade. I avoid using black and have quite a naturally abstract approach to colour, so my most used colours for shade end up being blues and purples. Funnily enough my most replaced pencil tends to be white! I’m always juggling a white pencil no matter what colour palette I’m working with.
"Now more than ever, we need to encourage illustrators to curate their own personal sources of inspiration and develop a truly unique visual language."
Also featuring heavily are wild animals: bears, foxes, owls. Can you elaborate on your intention behind this? Like I said, my work is predominantly observationally inspired. I try to draw most days, even if it’s just sketching a used coffee cup or chocolate wrapper. I’ve always been an animal lover and I love the challenge of capturing a sense of character in different animals. I work from photographs when I need to, but mainly I like to sketch from life. Then I use a couple of reference photos to build up the piece, so my illustrations are never ‘perfect’ or photo-realistic. I live in London, so I have a lot of photos of foxes I’ve followed through parks. I also attend wildlife drawing classes every couple of weeks, which is a great way to observe and get a sense of different animals’ anatomy and movement. Talk about validation from an award body. What role does it play in motivating you? There can be a lot of opposing opinions about awards but they’re important as a celebration of the entire industry, not just those who win. Particularly in the illus-
tration industry, it’s easy to feel isolated working alone most of the time. A lack of confidence can be an issue. Confidence is something I definitely struggled with, but I’m getting better. Awards celebrate the whole industry and highlight the important role of illustration and design across different aspects of society. Our confidence as illustrators is the first step to getting a greater audience to respect and value our work. I think awards empower this. I always enter - but I honestly don’t think winning is the most important thing in terms of validation - it’s about getting your work seen and having the sense that you’re contributing to the wider industry. That said, winning the World Illustration Awards advertising category this year has been a huge boost in confidence for me, as a validation not just from the client but from experts in my industry. It’s also a huge motivation to push my work further and constantly strive to improve - I’ve always been my own biggest competitor. With the argument of smartphones killing the art of photography, do you find illustration software a threat to the world of illustration? Potentially. The most important thing is to find a unique personal aesthetic and avoid mimicry. It’s a saturated industry, so it’s important to not look at other illustrators too much. You’re bound to be influenced even on a subconscious level. I work across a lot of mediums - pencil and paper, painted murals and digital drawing, but my work is linked through my personal aesthetic. That’s natural, it’s how I observe and draw, I’m not really influenced by other artists. I think creative education and art direction have a more important role to play than ever. Technology and software are rapidly progressing and graduates are more skilled than ever before making it easy for them to create work in previously established styles. There’s a lot of examples of this cropping up. Now more than ever, we need to encourage illustrators to curate their own personal sources of inspiration and develop a truly unique visual language. EJ Claudine O’Sullivan’s exhibition “Leaves” opens 21st-24th September at Hotel Elephant, London. All WIA category winning works are currently being exhibited at Somerset House until August 28th.
50 | The Essential Journal
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words by DAVEY BRETT
A Bucket Full of Influence As the term ‘influencer’ slowly becomes more and more of a staple on the men’s style circuit, we caught up with one of our favourites to get an insight into the world of influence
he ‘influencers’ are a much talked about bunch at the moment. They’re filling lists, they’re garnering more of our attention as we peer into our phones, and according to the influencer marketing agency, Mediakix, they’re part of a billion-dollar industry, with brands chomping at the bit to collaborate on content. Jargon aside they’re also filling a void, a void left by dwindling television viewership, the rise of social media and a change of tact in the way brands advertise. The rise of the influencer has been especially notable in the men’s fashion and lifestyle world and one name stands out especially. Matthew Pike is an influencer. On Instagram he has a following of 42.1k and his blog Buckets & Spades, dedicated to Fashion, Design and Lifestyle has a loyal and active following. If we were a menswear brand we would go to him. His blog, which also chronicles his life, inspirations and blogging topics (such as fraudulent followers) is a thoughtful and aesthetically satisfying window into one man’s world. We caught up with Matthew to try to get to the bottom of all things influence. EJ
content I go on press trips, meet up with creatives and connect with small businesses. When I’m working on a commission I generally research into locations I haven’t used before, find a suitable photographer who shares a similar vision and get out there. I could be writing articles all day, editing photos, styling interior images or photographing another blogger.
There was a hike in my numbers on Instagram as they highlighted me as someone to follow. That didn’t bring more likes, rather just followers, so a lot of them weren’t interested but they just pressed follow. A few years on and I have built up a very loyal following, with good personal engagement and interaction within the community.
What makes a good influencer? What makes good content? Consistency with the brands, styles and subjects they cover. An audience grows to know what to expect from an individual - as soon as something doesn’t feel right (not that trying something different is a bad thing, but it still needs to feel unique to the influencer), people have a tendency to tune out.
What do you think the future of the influencer is? Many will move on, get bored. The people in it for the right reasons will continue to use what they’re good at, collaborate with brands and create really strong content (on what platform that will be, no one knows).
What is the relationship like between the influencer and the brand? Do you have to pick and choose according to your audience? There’s bad experiences but generally I have very good working relationships with brands as they respect my style, what I offer and the fact I know my audience. I do have to pick according to what my audience expects to see and my own personal tastes. It’s all about morals for me.
How did you get into the ‘influencer’ scene? Tell us about your background in lifestyle blogging. I’ve been writing a blog and online for nearly 10 years now. Social media wasn’t available back when I started, but when Instagram and Twitter kicked in it brought new opportunity to reach a wider audience. Ultimately, apps like Instagram have pushed me to be more creative and involve myself in the creative industry more. Any influence that those bring into my audience has been a natural one.
How well do you know your audience? What is the measure of success? I would measure success on how happy and content I am. If I’m proud of my output, what projects I have coming up and if I’m paying the bills. I don’t measure success on numbers.
What do you do on a daily basis? What does being an influencer involve? Every day is completely different. I travel a lot; to create
If you were to plot the timeline of your followers growing on a graph, would it look like a steady rise or are there key hikes in numbers?
What are your fondest experiences so far? Press trips? Free stuff? A couple of things but press trips are very fulfilling. The travel is the one for me, seeing parts of the world you never knew existed, and connecting with inspiring people along the way. The human interaction is a big deal for me, be that grabbing a coffee with something, being shown around a new city or helping someone else out with photographs. What effect does the job have on your personal life? I am away from home a lot but my partner is totally used to it. I would class the people I have met in the industry to be my friends, and sadly lost contact with a lot of my older friends. It’s a hard balance. Does the reliance on social media have a psychological effect? Oh big time. There’s a lot of pressure to keep up appearances, be on your A-game at all times and to be constantly having some form of output. Also, numbers, yeah, if you take too much time looking at those it will send your brain into meltdown.
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words by IAIN HOSKINS
This month, we’re very proud to introduce to you our latest columnist...
The Iain Hoskins Column As an opinionated sort, I’ve been asked by the chaps at the Essential Journal to entertain and thrill you with my thoughts, musings and rants every month joining the EJ team as its first columnist. I may touch on politics, culture, sport or I could just be ranting about whatever is ticking me off that month
t present, life finds me juggling a career as jobbing actor with owning and running three bars; Ma Boyle’s and Ma Egerton’s in Liverpool and Bock Biere Café in Manchester – along with a residential property business. You may also happen upon me as a news pundit on Liverpool’s talk radio station, City Talk. Because of the above I generally have no personal life. Prior to this I was Director of Music & Marketing for club brand Cream back in its Imperial days and was also Brand Director for the Baa Bar Group. A former career as a PR also had me as Press Officer at ITV for Coronation Street for several years and for film festivals around the world including Edinburgh, Berlin and London. However, I spent what I consider to be the best years of my life living the dream in New York when I was training to be an actor at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute. The combination of living in the best city in the world along with the best theatrical training in a school that had produced some of the best stage and screen actors of the last century, made this my halcyon years. But after my VISA and money ran out I had to be dragged back to England kicking and screaming, with a promise from myself to return to live there. Because of this I still feel that America and I have unfinished business and I make up for the lack of permanent relocation with as many holidays there as possible. When an opportunity arose last month for a
mini American road trip, I jumped at it. One of my brothers, Owain was on secondment playing for Detroit City FC’s summer league. And so a plan was hatched for myself, my Dad and two other brothers to take in four games during our 10-day visit - passing through a total of eight states between New York and Wisconsin. As you can imagine a lot of time was spent on the road, pounding the interstate highways and byways. We traveled through some pretty remote towns, and bizarrely our reception from locals in Trump’s rust-belt America at times meant myself and my better looking younger brothers were treated like rock-stars. Indeed, at one pit-stop gas station the worker gave us our petrol and our many bags of shopping, for free – just because he loved the English. One girl in a fast food outlet literally couldn’t stop screaming when I gave our order. Maybe that’s why I love America so much. Where myself and America part friends, like a lot of Brits, is the thorny issue of the Second Amendment - ‘the right to bare arms’ and that it entails. A particular favourite car game of ours became to count how many roadside billboards were advertising the sale of guns. The more rural you got, the more billboards for guns and ammo you saw. For the trigger-happy the messages became more alluring ‘try before you buy, ’ ‘no ID required’, ‘Guns are why America is still free’, “Pure American’, ‘July is buy your husband a new gun month’, ‘disarmament is why bad things hap-
pen to good people’. One billboard cheekily announced, ‘Why carry a gun?” with the answer ‘ a policeman is far too heavy’! Hilarious, isn’t it? I also spotted an old flaking festive billboard with a rifle wrapped in tinsel with the seasonal warm message underneath ‘It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’. The big chains were also getting in on the act as well with Walmart advertising ammo rounds loud and proud ‘for less than a quart of milk’. Astonishing really. It felt like we were time travelling through a parallel universe and not through one of Britain’s closest allies. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is such an influential lobbyist that even stopping adverts encouraging people to carry guns is a non-starter. Try debating gun laws to average non-urban Americans and they think you are nuts – they’d rather have their healthcare taken away than their firearms. The coloration between more guns, more shootings and more innocent deaths just doesn’t seem to add up for most Americans. The prominent people that have spoken out against gun laws have become pariahs – accused of being un-American. Donald Trump used Hillary Clinton’s proposed revision to gun laws as a major attack on personal freedom in the US election campaign. On the open road in the US you begin to feel the vastness of the country, 52 states the size and diversity of almost 52 countries. A glorious country of states that’s very often not united. Until next time, America. EJ
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The Essential Journal | 55
words by DAVEY BRETT
Gents, we need to talk about:
TURNING INTO OUR OLD MAN In the fourth installment of our regular column – in which we use our pondering skills to delve deep into clichés, stereotypes and seemingly unimportant male-orientated issues – we consider the inevitable transformation facing us all
ents, it’s happening. I’m turning into my Dad. They said it would happen, they being television and films, my brother (himself partly morphed, having shown symptoms for some time) and other members of the family, ‘you can see your Dad in you’, they would say, to which I would respond, ‘I hope not’. It’s happening though, it’s definitely happening. The more I stop myself on the eve of or after an especially father-esque moment, and acknowledge what I have done and who I have done it like, the more I shudder. Slowly but surely, I’m turning into my old man. Before going further, I must slip in a quick disclaimer: The bloke in question (in case he ever reads this) is fine. Heart of gold, roof over our heads, kind, protective, can never do enough for you. This isn’t a deep dive penned by Luke Skywalker on his concerns about turning into Darth, it’s more the little things, the little terrifying signposts pointing me in the direction of Turning-into-yourdad-ville, the features of the old man that, in a perfect world, wouldn’t make it through the ‘quality control’ section of the life factory. Let me expand. Shit jokes. I’m telling a lot of shit jokes at the moment, and I can’t help it. I can’t blow my nose quietly, nor can I sneeze softly. I love a pint of bitter now, I’m finding lager too gassy, but then again I love that first refreshing lager on a sunny day down the pub. I want to go to the pub, alone, and read there, but the music is a bit loud and off-putting and there’s songs I don’t know. I like everything to be in its right place, I like there to be order, but I want other people’s things to be in their right place too. It angers me that other people’s stuff is everywhere. I’m getting angry. I’m getting moody, I’m com-
ing home from work and I feel like I’ve worked harder than any man ever before and as a result, I want a clean house. Did I mention I love post? Because I f**king love post. I’m also getting into gardening. I am growing tomatoes and I’m excited about it. I’m showing off my tomato plants to people that visit the house, because I think they’re great. Also, the news and food waste make me feel a bit sad. Reading back over this, there’s only one place all this could have come from. According to research undertaken by the world-renowned, peer-reviewed scientific research website ‘Netmums’, we fully turn into our parents around the age of 32, often coinciding with having children. Other hastily googled internet science suggests that when we become more stressed, as we often do when we get older, we mimic behaviors we observed in our parents when we were younger. Also, there’s something about neurological pathways in there too, but hey if you want something in-depth, go give New Scientist a few quid. I think the discomfort lies in picking up the annoying bits and the realisation, that you, like your parents, are becoming a bit irritating. You’re becoming the very thing you swore you wouldn’t turn into when you were younger. I sometimes wonder why, as I get older, I’m not morphing with the good bits? Where is my lack of, or perhaps complete underestimation of fear? Why am I not getting better at fixing, building or crafting things, like conservatories, garden furniture and anything else I put my hand to? Where is my endurance for long-distance swimming and running? Give me some of the good stuff. I guess either way, fingers crossed, I can count on a head of hair into my sixties. Cheers for that, old timer. EJ
“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” - Rose Kennedy Thank you for picking up Issue 25 (cue fireworks), a milestone issue t...
Published on Aug 16, 2017
“Life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments.” - Rose Kennedy Thank you for picking up Issue 25 (cue fireworks), a milestone issue t...