Page 1

Umbrella

Fashion Architecture Travel Ideas Sport Design

ÂŁFree Issue One Summer 2010 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Introduction 3

Umbrella Manifesto he idea for this magazine started with a question: if we told you there was a disused Underground station near your office, would you want to see it? And everyone we asked said yes. This led us to believe that perhaps we weren’t the only men who liked studying maps or reading about secret tunnels under cities. Yet the individuals we spoke with weren’t your traditional ‘trainspotters’, but males who also loved sport, fashion and new ideas. Something was definitely going on. The other big influence on Umbrella has been the blogosphere. Blogs, whether they cover fashion or urbanism, present content in ways that make it exciting and relevant. Their appreciation of detail and knack of finding beauty in the everyday has changed the way we look at things. So we’ve combined the best of old and new media for Umbrella, to create something that truly reflects men in the second decade of the 21st Century. Enjoy it. Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, July 2010

T

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Contents 5

Issue one Contents 7 Editions

08 Bright sparks Indian matchboxes 10 News Amsterdam urban art, NY Subway map, African moonshines, Nokia 8210, Android tablet PCs, Guardian football guides 14 Ordinary world 1960s Portobello Road 16 How to cook a… steak with Hawksmoor 19 Letter from… Rome 20 Q&A: Spencer Wells The author of Pandora’s Seed on the bad side of civilization 22 Our favourite things Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works (vinyl edition) 24 The simple pleasures of… Japanese curry 25 How to stalk a celebrity

27 Field trip

28 This is the modern world North London’s twin jewels of early modernism 30 Berlin: the city they forgot to finish 32 Somewhere for the weekend Umbrella goes for a little relaxation at Le Meurice, Paris 34 Cycling Rapha Cycle Club and interview with author of Bicyle, Helen Addiss 36 Picture feature 20th Century Travel 38 Going Overground London’s new line 40 Maps: the British Library’s great exhibition

56 clothes

43 Stories

43 1990: The year that changed everything 45 Remembering the Poll Tax riot An account of an amazing, life-changing day 47 Spike Island and Glastonbury 48 Italia ’90 50 Ibiza Kevin Sampson’s 1990 classic, A Short Film About Chilling 52 The power and the glory Mussolini and the World Cup

55 Fashion

56 Umbrella loves Ralph Lauren’s Wimbledon collection cricket jumper 58 Chinos 60 Jackets MA.Strum and Albam 62 Trainers Adidas Samba and Vans 64 Vintage Benetton rugby shirt and Sergio Tacchni Dallas tracksuit

+

66 Men and their obsessions 68 Coming next issue

40 maps www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

16

steak


6 Introduction

Issue one’s contributors From Rome to Lewisham via Los Angeles and Liverpool, this issue’s writers represent the diverse worlds of journalism and filmmaking

Nick Soldinger

Author of this issue’s piece on the Poll Tax riot, Nick Soldinger was born and grew up in south-east London. He’s been fortunate enough to have earned a living from his writing for the last 16 years in which time his work has taken him everywhere from Oldham to Iraq. He believes journalism to be the greatest job on the planet and wakes up every day thanking the stars for the freedom it allows a man.

Kevin Sampson

Liverpool-born author Kevin went to Ibiza in 1990 and ended up making the definitive documentary of the times, A Short Film About Chilling. He talks about it in our 1990 special. The film version of Kevin’s classic book Awaydays is now available on DVD. His second novel Powder has just been made into a movie, too (out summer 2011). Kevin tells us that “the naughty Ibiza ice scene made the final cut. Hurrah!”

Jon Boon

Jon Boon, writer of our How to stalk a celebrity feature, is a reporter for Splash News and Picture Agency in Los Angeles. When he’s not working the latest big Hollywood-based scoop, or being shouted at by a number of celebrities demanding their privacy, he can be seen propping up a rock ’n’ roll bar on Sunset Boulevard dreaming of a Guns ’n’ Roses reunion.

Natalie Cornish

Natalie Cornish is Umbrella’s rather lovely Fashion Editor. She spends her days obsessing over men’s clothing trends (lately, the bow tie and summer jackets), running, sewing, travelling and attempting not to buy shoes (something she fails miserably at). This issue, she’s been tracking down the best chinos, parkas and technical coats, as well as becoming fixated by cricket jumpers. She lives in north London.

Terry Daley

Terry Daley is a journalist, translator and sub-editor based in Rome. He started out at ICE magazine in 2005 and has worked in various capacities for Maxim, When Saturday Comes and La Gazzetta Dello Sport. A resident of the Italian capital for two years, in this issue of Umbrella he details an odd experience with a mysterious visitor to his Roman apartment block.

UMB004

wool

Umbrella is published by Wool Media Ltd, copyright 2010 Editor Anthony Teasdale (tony@umbrellamagazine.co.uk) Creative Director Matt Reynolds (matt@umbrellamagazine.co.uk) Web Mitch Crease (mitch@umbrellamagazine.co.uk) Advertising Manager Jon Clements (advertising@umbrellamagazine.co.uk) Fashion Editor Natalie Cornish (natsyc@hotmail.com) Contributors Jon Boon, Terry Daley, Brett Foraker, Alex Rayner, Kevin Sampson, Nick Soldinger

media media

PLC LTD

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Contact us info@umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement

Old soaks Drinkers in Portobello Road, west London enjoy a refreshing pint of old fashioned porter, while assorted kids wait for daddy to finish his nourishment. The picture comes from the book Portobello Road, a collection of photographs which documents the area in the early 1960s. See more on page 14.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

7

10: Amsterdam, killer moonshines, Android vs iPad, 16: Know your steak 20: Dr Spencer Wells, plus celeb stalking, Aphex Twin, curry


8 Editions

bright sparks

Indian matchboxes are a law unto themselves hat with the British smoking ban and the availability of fourfor-a-quid lighters in our city centres, matches are now little more than a relic of a time when everyone puffed and the only way to light the fire was with a Bryant and May. Not so in India. Whether it’s because people can happily spark up without being made to feel like social pariahs or the lack of those ‘guns’ that mums use to light gas hobs with, matches are aplenty. And, in keeping with this colourful, chaotic country, the different brands of matchmakers ensure an absolute feast for the eyes. British artist Matt Lee, who lives in India, is fascinated by India’s array of matchboxes. He’s made it his goal to collect as many as he can. Which sounds dull, but isn’t – well, not in Umbrella’s eyes. “Walking around Bangalore city, where I live, you come across matchboxes everywhere. Cheap and disposable, they litter the highways and footpaths, often to be found scattered around any roadside chai stall, cigarette kiosk or dhaba.” The designs range from tigers (a favourite) and Bollywood stars (often wearing sunglasses) to cats and er… giant pencils. There is no rhyme or reason to any of them. For Matt, they’re reminders of where he’s been in this bewitching nation. “Each design signifies a personal memory. Together, the visible scars of all the battered boxes tell a story; mapping the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had.” Try explaining that to British customs officers.

W

Details The swastika is an ancient symbol used in Hinduism and Buddhism to denote good luck. Despite its association in the West with Nazism, it’s still displayed without guilt in India. Here, it’s truly a “lucky strike”.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Details Bollywood stars vie with cricketers for cultural popularity in India. Contrary to belief, Bollywood is not the whole of the film industry in India, but is just the most prolific arm of it.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Words By anthony teasdale, photography By Matt lee www.matt-lee.com

Covered: Collections, matchboxes, India


10 Editions

News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… The super-colourful Pantone Hotel in Brussels brings some brightness to the Belgium capital www.pantonehotel.com … 80s Casuals, from T-shirts with trainers to proper clobber for its winter collection 80scasualsblog.blogspot.com … Taschen’s Los Angeles: Portrait of a City makes us want to move there… 50 years ago www.taschen.com … Sotheby’s Polaroid Collection auction. Two-hundred-thousand dollars for a snap… Looking at Steve Jobs in a buttoned-up, button-down shirt introducing the iMac in 1998 on YouTube … Acejet170, the best font and typography site on the net that Umbrella’s found. So much enjoyment from such simple things acejet170.typepad.com … The new New York subway map – Manhattan: now 30 per cent bigger! www.mta.info/maps

The birth of Amsterdam One thing to see this season If the Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art exhibition at the British Library isn’t enough, another august institution is devoting its hallowed galleries to the study of urban living: the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. On The Canals of Amsterdam features paintings, drawings and exquisitely detailed maps from the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th Century, which saw the city grow into the most important metropolis in Europe. By 1672, the population of Amsterdam was over 200,000 and the construction of its world famous ‘half-moon’ canal system cemented its place as a vital trading port. It’s this fascinating, expanding city that the exhibition covers. The exhibition runs until September 6. www.rijksmuseum.nl

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Amsterdam, maps, media

African moonshines

Underappreciated…

Guardian football guides With writers as good as Paul Doyle and Martin Kelner on board, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the voice of liberal England’s pre-season supplement is excellent – yet we’re always blown away by just how ace it is. Crammed with stuff, you know, you might actually want to read, plus shedloads of insight and humour, the guides are an indispensable tool for football anoraks and inveterate gamblers alike. The one the paper produced for the 2010 World Cup was a fixture on the Umbrella sofa, ready to be consulted when the lure of Mr Hill’s online betting emporium proved too much. If this wasn’t enough, every guide is a satisfying A5-ish size – just right to be collected and put in a shoebox at the back of the wardrobe, ready to be leafed through in years to come.

…Overrated

Weekend fashion supplements To be a ‘journalist’ on one of the big broadsheets’ style supps is to have bought the winning ticket in Easy Street’s weekly lottery. It’s not a crime that these mags tend to be staffed by well-spoken gals with parents in the media, but their sheer metropolitan laziness really does tweak Umbrella’s tail. If these writers ever leave the capital, it’s only to write some patronizing article about how “glamourous” (ie “tarty”) Liverpool’s women are or why Newcastle’s nightlife is so much “fun” (ie “Let’s laugh at the proles”). So, while a certain supp could dedicate a recent issue to the completely fictitious ‘new style tribes’ of (you guessed it) London, countless scenes, trends and real tribes around the UK got missed out. It’s not just politicians who are lazy, is it, ladies?

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

The illegal drinks that are sending people crazy. And yes, they really are… Botswana: ‘Tho-tho-tho’, distilled sorghum brew, trans: ‘The dizzy spell’. Other local names include ‘O lala fa’ (‘You sleep right here’); ‘Chechisa’ (‘Hurry-up’); ‘Laela mmago’ (‘Say goodbye to your mother’); ‘Monna-tota’ (‘Real man’); and ‘Motse o teng godimo’ (‘There is home in heaven’). Benin, Togo: ‘Sodabi’. Corn liquor also used as a sterilizer in voodoo ceremonies. DR Congo: ‘Kasiki’, trans: ‘I regret’; ‘Mokoyo’, trans: ‘The dog that bites’. Kenya: ‘Kumi Kumi’, trans: ‘10 10’, as a glass costs 20 Kenyan shillings; ‘Jet 5’, distilled alcohol cut with plane fuel; ‘Hustle’, contains faecal water and formaldehyde. Nigeria: ‘Crazy man in a bottle’, a lethal palm wine distillate; ‘Chang’aa’, trans: ‘Kill me quick’. Uganda: ‘Waragi’, banana wine cut with industrial alcohol. The name is a corruption of the colonial term ‘War gin’. Zimbabwe: ‘Scud’, an unfiltered beer. Serious note: poorly distilled spirits contribute to hundreds of deaths across Africa each year. The WHO also believes moonshine contributes to malnutrition, impoverishment and domestic violence. Alex Rayner is the Editor of bspirit magazine. www.bspiritmagazine.com


12 Editions

News & information A real Gentleman One painter’s wistful look at the capital With London changing every day – witness the expansion of skyscrapers that have transformed the City since the mid1990s – it’s important that the capital is captured by artists and photographers so we can see what we’ve lost or gained in years to come. This is why Umbrella is so keen on the muted watercolours painted by David Gentleman, who spent the 1980s documenting both London’s more familiar central area, such as Primrose Hill (pictured here in various guises) and the less well-known suburbs where tourists rarely venture. Twenty-five years on, his works have been catalogued in David Gentleman’s London, a gorgeous exploration of the capital city through the dreamlike medium of watercolour paint. Give or take a Gherkin or two, London is instantly recognizable, a city with robustness built into its very fabric, yet here it looks fragile and otherworldly. If the town does one day sink into the Thames mud, hopefully we’ll have books around like this to remind us what this metropolis was really like. For now, however, Gentleman’s work helps us appreciate what we’ve still got. David Gentleman’s London is published by Antique Collectors’ Club, price £25. www.antiquecollectorsclub.com

Weather by name. Weather by nature Ron Burgandy’s weatherman was, if anything, an exercise in subtlety In America, local TV weathermen (or meteorologists as they like to be called) are a curious bunch. They exist in a kind of cheesy

stasis. They know that you know that they’re worthless, yet they’re rich and famous and you’re not. Something’s got to give – and that something is usually the name. Below is a list of some of Umbrella’s favourite actual US weathermen from the past decade. Please note that a couple of these fellows have recently retired. Also note that for several years Dallas Raines and Johnny Mountain actually worked in the same city. Amazing.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Ray Ban – The Weather Channel Dallas Raines – KABC, Los Angeles Joe Bastardi – AccuWeather Mish Michaels – CBS4, Boston Johnny Mountain – KCBS, Los Angeles Storm Field – WWOR (UPN), Secaucus, NJ Flip Spiceland – NBC WXIA, Atlanta, Georgia Brett Foraker is a film-maker and scriptwriter Tip: www.themorningnews.org


Covered: Tablet PCs, watercolours, mobile phones

Fancy a Moonse? How China and Google are combining to take on the iPad Apple’s iPad is, like the iPhone before it, spurring on a whole slew of developers to come out with rivals. Unsurprisingly, the most innovative tablets are coming, not from California, but from China. And Umbrella is especially intrigued by the Moonse E-7001 from Shenit.com. Running Google’s Android 1.5/6 operating system, the Moonse is, at seven inches long, smaller than the iPad, but it boasts two USB ports, SD slots, an audio jack, front-facing camera and a single Apple-like navigation button. It retails at just $160. Shenit is not the only company looking to get onto the Android bandwagon – Samsung will release its own tablet, the Galaxy, using the operating system in the near future. Web developer Loz Gray says it’s Android that is the key to the tablet market. “At the present time, Andriod is looking like it will be the only serious competitor to iOS (the system used by the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch) for tablets. Whilst they still lead in the desktop space, Microsoft currently seem to be trying to force that standard desktop

much missed...

Nokia 8210 Anyone who says they don’t drool over the iPhone 4 is either a liar or er… someone who doesn’t drool over the iPhone 4. Anyway, while Apple’s latest communicator pretty much defines what technology is about at the beginning of the 2010s (along with HTC’s Android-running Desire), we’re still in love with the phone that made mobiles not just functional, but actually objects of desire, Nokia’s exquisite 8210. Weighing in at a tiny 79g with the battery in, and boasting dimensions of just 101.5mmx44.5mmx17.4mm, the 8210 truly was the most mobile of mobile phones. Small enough to be slipped in the pocket of a pair of jeans, it would only alert its owner to call with a discreet vibration. Something, in those still mobile-phobic times, that non-attention seekers appreciated. Today, it seems awfully basic – there’s no camera, internet or mobile film-editing function. And yet… truly, an 8210 is really all you need – especially if you favour form and function. So even though Umbrella’s is no longer in use, it sits on the shelf, ready to be turned on once more should Mr Jobs’ newest device have a terminal breakdown. “Connecting people,” that’s what they said – and that’s still ultimately what it’s all about.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

operating system (OS) onto a tablet. Windows 7 is a great desktop OS, but it’s designed exactly for that – a desktop machine with a mouse. For a tablet, Windows 7 is overkill.” Gray also believes that with hundreds of applications available for Android, it makes sense for programmers to work with it, especially as its free to license, which cuts down the cost to consumers. Then there’s the matter of ‘Webkit’. “This is the underlying technology for the web browsers used in WebOS, Android, iOS and, soon, RiM’s Blackberry,” he says. Why is this important? Because more and more people are using web applications, such as Google Docs, to get their work done. If you were a developer of such an application, why would you spend extra time and effort getting things to work with Microsoft’s browser technology, a minority in this space, when you can kill four birds with one stone by developing solely for Webkit-based browsers?” While the Moonse may not be the answer to all your tablet needs, its appearance is a sign that Google’s philosophy is paying dividends all over the world. www.lozworld.com


14 Editions

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: The ’60s, photography, London

Ordinary world How the swinging ’60s swerved one of west London’s most famous thoroughfares ortobello Road is a true London icon. Known primarily for its antiques market and, more recently, a plethora of organic grocers and falafel takeaways, this winding lane is one of the few streets in town where yummy mummies, first generation West Indians and old school cockneys can rub up together with little ill-feeling. But while the area around it – certainly at the upper end in Notting Hill – now contains some of the most expensive real estate in the world, this hasn’t always been the case. In the early 1960s, Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill were best known for race riots, slum housing and the sort of nocturnal dwellings that have always serviced the vicarious needs of the capital. This world has been captured in a new book, Portobello Road, which features the work of John Petty, a photographer who documented the area when it was still a relic of an older London. Looking at his pictures, we see that the W11 of this period was very different to the one of today. Instead of designer boutiques, we

P

An old street Portobello Road is named after a British naval victory at ‘Puerto Bello’ in the Gulf of Mexico. Originally a rural track from Notting Hill to the newly-named Portobello farm, by the end of the 19th Century, the road was lined with shops and houses. The current antiques market began after World War II.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

find formidable old women manning fruit and veg stores, men in ‘flasher’ macs searching for paintings and legions of (very) ordinary folk supping brown ale and smoking Embassy outside scruffy boozers. This terrific book also reminds us that no matter how deeply our roots grow, London, that most impersonal of cities, soon grows tired of us and sends us on our way with such speed that we leave barely a trace behind. Something the incomers of today’s Portobello Road would do well to bear in mind. Portobello Road is published by Antique Collectors Club, priced £12.95. www.antiquecollectorsclub.com


16 Editions

Covered: Dining, steak

how to…

Cook the perfect steak Getting to know beef requires knowledge of biology, agriculture and butchery Fillet

world of steak Argentina: “The steak here is all about freshness. They don’t hang their beef – what you’re getting is less flavour, but more moisture.” here is nothing so satisfying as a decent steak. At Umbrella we like ours juicy and marbled with fat (oh, how much we love fat), pink in the middle and charred and salty on the outside. With all the major supermarkets stocking properly aged beef, and restaurants like Meet in Liverpool and The Grill on The Alley in Manchester providing diners outside the capital with quality steak, it’s never been easier to buy the real deal, which, though it costs a little more, is always worth the investment. In Shoreditch, east London, an area known for more for its trendification than its quality eating houses, steak restaurant Hawksmoor takes its meat very seriously. Every day, hungry diners order chateaubriands, porterhouses and rumps, all of which come from carcasses that have been hung for 35 days to concentrate their flavour. “Our beef is produced by the Ginger Pig farm in North Yorkshire,” says one of Hawksmoor’s owners, Tim Gould. “They’re longhorn cattle – a rare breed – and feed on a diverse range of grasses rather than lots of grain, so they really taste of the land they graze on. The farm is the only one in the UK with an abattoir on site, which means the cows walk past it every day. It’s only on the day they’re killed that they turn right instead of left. Thus there’s no stressful drive to a slaughterhouse miles away, which can release chemicals in the animal and in turn taint the meat so it tastes bad.”

T

United States: “With little regulation, a lot of animals are reared too fast and may contain extra hormones.” United Kingdom: “We like to hang our meat in Britain, which means the moisture content reducwes and you’re left with flavoursome meat.”

Who better, then, to educate Umbrella about exactly what to do with the different cuts?

Position on animal: Back Hawksmoor says: “The fillet is shaped like a torpedo and hidden by other back muscles so it does virtually no work and has less flavour. But its texture is meltin-the-mouth. You can go for a chateaubriand at one end or the mignon at the other, but as there are only two fillet muscles in each cow, it’s the most expensive cut. A really good tip is to brush your fillet with bone marrow – so you get taste and texture.” Recommended wine: A Pinot Noir from Oregon or New Zealand

Ribeye Position on animal: Front Hawksmoor says: “As this area protects the internal organs there’s a lot of fat around. Add to this the fact the muscles here do little work and you’re getting something with a velvety texture, but with huge amounts of flavour. This should be cooked slower – ideally for 24 hours in the oven at 50 degrees – then finished on a charcoal grill.” Recommended wine: A full-bodied Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon Hawksmoor, 157 Commercial Street, London, E1 BJ. www.thehawksmoor.co.uk

loin chuck

Rump

rib

Position on animal: Rear Hawksmoor says: “As the muscles of the rump do lots of work, the meat is tougher, but tasty and low in fat. It shouldn’t be cooked for more than three to four minutes each side. And then it should be left for the same period to relax.” Recommended wine: Californian Zinfandel

rump round

Sirloin Position on animal: Lower back Hawksmoor says: “The sirloin does some work, but not as much as the rump, so it’s more tender. The higher fat content means that it tastes great too. We cook it on the bone so it keeps its shape.” Recommended wine: Chateauneuf-du-Pape

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

brisket plate

flank shank


Covered: Tricksters, Rome r

oma

Editions 19

leter from rome

m ro a

letter from rome

O

The administrator sits at the kitchen table in a foul mood, scowling at the hallway like a put-out loan shark. I just want my money, he’s clearly thinking, what is it with these stupid foreigners? Eventually he gets through to the landlord, who explains to him that it’s his responsibility to pay, “so come and meet me at the restaurant later on tonight, and I’ll give you the cash on the spot”. “I’ll go with him to the cashpoint though,” continues the man, talking about me, “and you can deduct it from his rent. Or I can wait here while he goes to get it.” “No, we’re not doing that; come to the restaurant tonight.” The guy hangs up and tells me it’s all sorted, thanks for being patient, before dragging himself out of the flat. Now, the lady and I are really p*ssed off about this, but the landlord rings up ten minutes later and apologises profusely for it. It’s an honest mistake, I let it go. Later in the evening Claudio is in his usual spot, the Napolitano restaurant that his firm delivers cuts of meat to, having a coffee and a bite to eat while he waits for the administrator. Only he never shows. Now being half an hour or so late in Italy is practically being on time, but this guy was desperate for the money right now, so where is he? He calls the administrator to ask what’s going on – after all, he’s not usually so insistent for the cash. “What do you mean, ‘Where am I?’” the administrator asks. “Well, you wanted money for the

The conman and the condominio Journalist Terry Daley gets his feathers ruffled by a very insistent Roman gentleman

cleaning work a few hours ago, what’s going on?” Halfway through Claudio’s phone call, the penny drops. “This man was a con artist,” he explains. The actual administrator had never done any cleaning work, and in any case Claudio always pays promptly and by direct debit. This fella (apart from doing a mean administrator impression) was going around flats with foreign names – in our case, the name of our Slovak housemate – attached to the buzzer button outside in the hope that they’d not have any idea what was going on. Not only that, he was doing it in the same building, over and over again, and others on this street. He’s probably researching his next mark as I write. If that’s the case, I really, really hope he comes back in here again. We can have a nice chat.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

illustration By Sasha Tugolukova www.fullofmeaningless.com

ften in a Roman block of flats, you’ll hear the sound of the buzzer. Mostly, it’s mates calling up to be let into the building, or a postman, or maybe even a spark or whoever else is being employed by the condominio (the collective of flat owners in the block) to do bits of maintenance work. It’s not a problem letting people in, even if they’re just pressing any old number outside to gain access, and I’ve had stilted chats with many a gruff Roman plumber in my time. Today, I’m working on a freelance contract I’ve recently landed, when the buzzer goes. I pick up the phone by the front door, and am asked whether I am one “Signor Iommi”, who happens to be our landlord. No, I say, he doesn’t live here anymore, what’s this all about? “Well,” the voice explains, “I’m the administrator of the condominio, and there are people in the building who owe us money for cleaning in the building, can I come in?” I press the buzzer to let him in the main gate, and this shambling, bristly-looking chap trundles up the stairs, walking in a ghoulish fashion, like his shoulders are carrying the rest of his body and his legs are there for show. Upon arrival, the man shows me a cleaning bill for €140 and asks me whether I can pay it now, as it’s been outstanding for a while. I explain in the best Italian I can manage that there’s no way I can hand over that much cash, and in any case it’s not my responsibility to do so. Speak to Claudio, the landlord. “No, no,” he explains, “I’ll come with you to the cashpoint.” Obviously I’m not getting through to him, so I call my Italian-speaking girlfriend and ask her to give him what-for more fluently, as well as our landlord’s phone number. She then rings the landlord to have a go at him: if he’s coming round, why not f*cking well tell us?


20 Editions

question

answer

The seeds of destruction In his new book, Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization, geneticist Spencer Wells argues that the human race’s move from a huntergathering society to one based on agriculture, laid the foundations for everything from global warming to the present obesity epidemic

s head of the Genographic Project, which collects hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from around the world, Wells has been able to build a ‘family tree’ for everyone alive today. The results of these studies form the basis of his new book. Umbrella spoke to him about agriculture, AIDS and why fatty food tastes so good…

A

Umbrella: The premise of the book is that civilization makes us ill… Spencer Wells: Yes, certainly the ancillary baggage that’s involved in it. It’s not uniformly bad, but it’s not this utter period of joy either. You look at the disease burden that’s increased as we’ve domesticated animals and how population density has gone up. You look at the shifts in government and people being unable to pursue their dreams and having to subsist under a regime. We’ve lost an awful lot of freedom. U: How? SW: People who study hunter-gatherers call them ‘the original affluent society’ because it took very little effort to go survive in the conditions they were living in. This meant they could tell stories, invent tools and innovate. Once you were tied to the field, you were working every day, up at sunrise bringing the kids out there, having more kids so you could till more fields… the population expanded, but it wasn’t because that way of life was better for us – in many ways it was worse. U: How did agriculture begin? SW: It was around the time of the ‘Younger Dryas’, [a mini-ice age around 11,000 years ago], that we were forced to innovate. People were using wheat, but the climatic shifts made the crop retreat. Yet people had already made a decision to stay in one place, build villages and gather wheat, which, if they did for two or three weeks could feed them for a year. When this stuff disappeared there was

no way they would go back to being nomadic, so they had to develop a way to produce more – and the way to do that was to plant the seeds.

from other species. That’s the major killer until the 20th Century. What’s killing us now are diseases from within. That was set in motion back then.

U: You point out that our domestication of animals led to an increase in disease… SW: Before we lived with domesticated animals, we hadn’t been in close contact with them unless they were dead. When you’re living with them for a number of years anything can jump back and forth. You’ve got all these plagues in The Bible that come out of this period. Render pest jumps over from cows and becomes measles and, because of the high population, there’s lots of rodents about, so smallpox is transferred from them. Even malaria, which had been around 100,000 years really exploded then, because we were creating perfect conditions for mosquitoes.

U: And then there’s the tooth decay… SW: Once agriculture starts, our tooth cavities go up by a factor of five, because of the starch in the diet. Hunter-gatherer populations living in wellstudied sties in Syria, just prior to the Neolithic period [7,000-3,000BC], ate 150 plant species. Immediately after agriculture they’re eating just ten, and it’s mostly wheat and barley. They’re ingested in the form of starch [wheat, corn etc], which sticks around and forms acid on your teeth and suddenly you have cavities on your teeth.

U: What was killing us before agriculture? SW: It was trauma: you fall down, break a leg, it gets infected, you die. You get a tooth abscess – you die. You get into an argument, you’re hit over the head – you die. When we settled into densely populated societies, it became less likely. As I said, what happens more are these infectious diseases

Where do modern humans come from?

“There was an early coastal migration from the Rift Vally that went along the south coast of Asia about 50-60,000 years ago and it made it to Australia. About 5,000 years later, there was an inland migration that went to the Sinai Peninsula between 40-50,000 years ago. Most of us outside of Africa can trace ourselves to that migration. They would have moved up into central Asia into the Steppes, hunting wooly mammoths, then turned left into Europe about 35,000 years ago.”

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

U: Why is that unheatlthy food tastes good? SW: We have receptors for sweet-tasting and bittertasting things in our food. If things taste sweet it’s generally because they’re actually good for us. There’s a lot of calories, they’re not poisonous – think of a nice, fresh pineapple, everyone likes that. We’re also adapted to recognise bitter things can be poisonous. The issue is that now there’s an excess of sweet and fat – which, incidentally, is another thing that appeals to us, because it’s got lots of calories. We’re adapted to a life when it was difficult to find these things. Prior the 20th Century, sugar was hard to get, we used to honey, that was rare, expensive. Refined sugar’s a great way for things to taste good. Eric Schlosser says in Fast Food Nation that if you look at big name burger chains, there’s things that shouldn’t have sugar added to them, but do, because they’re appealing to those ancient receptors by adding key ingredients. U: Are there any other ways civilization is harming us? SW: Mental illness. The World Health Organisation estimates that by 2020, mental illness will be the second-biggest cause of death and disability in the


Covered: Genetics, pre-history

How humans nearly died out

“This phase was sparked by the volcanic eruption of Toba, which happened 74,000 years ago, the largest eruption in the last two million years. Hundreds of millions of tons of ash and sulphur dioxide went into the upper atmosphere and there was basically a global nuclear winter for at least a decade. That, coupled with the shift in the Ice Age, meant conditions were really tough for huntergatherers. The human population crashed to as low as 2,000 and we nearly became extinct.”

Pandora’s Seed: The Unforeseen Cost of Civilization is published by Allen Lane, priced £20

world after heart disease. Anti-depressants are the mostly prescribed drug class in the US and some European countries. Eight per cent of Americans are on them. This is the first time in history that we’ve taken drugs to feel normal. It’s another example of us being crammed into massive cities. Can you walk down a street and say hello to people? No, of course not, but that’s unnatural to our hunter-gather psyche, which evolved to live in groups of no more than 150 where you know everybody. Think of everyone in an elevator looking at the Blackberry and not talking, that’s profoundly unnatural. Our minds are reacting to this.

‘by 2020, mental illness will be the second-biggest cause of death in the world’ www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

U: As humans are we not programmed to act only when we have to? SW: It’s not just about education and incentives. Without them we’re not going to act. We need to see the proximal cost. Global warming, everyone has a sense this isn’t sustainable in the longer term, but to a lot of people that means, ”After I’m dead.” Basically, the science is saying that it’s going to take a millennium for the effects to be seen. We need to act now, but we don’t act unless we see an immediate benefit. If you penalise people for not recycling then they’ll do it. We need that sense of urgency, but we’ve been able to fool ourselves. We’ve been expanding since we came out of Africa, but for the first time in the middle of this century that will plateau. U: What’s been our worst innovation? SW: In terms of long-term affects, I do think agriculture. We were forced into it, but if you could take a broad view from say 50,000 years from now, you’d pinpoint that as a bad moment. U: What would have happened if agriculture hadn’t been invented? SW: We’d still be living as hunter-gatherers, but in a more sustainable way. It’s not easy to imagine, as civilization, cities, farming are so ingrained in what we are. And we like a lot of what civilization gives us – I do too. I’m just arguing there’s some downsides. We wouldn’t have cities, but we wouldn’t have epidemic disease, obesity and AIDS either. U: Finally, where now? SW: We have to want less. Greed is not good for us, it destroys us and the world we live in.


22 Editions

Our favourite things…

The Aphex Twin

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (vinyl edition) ome things are timeless. It’s hard, however to pinpoint what it actually is about these items (whether they’re material or not) that makes them able to withstand the assault of changing tastes. But, it’s fair to say, that simplicity is probably the key to their longstanding success. The Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works is a simple – and very beautiful record, both in the way it sounds and the way it looks. Released in 1992 on Apollo, the ambient offshoot of influential Belgian imprint (note muso term there, kids) R&S, the album was a clear signal that techno, the music that had soundtracked much of the early rave era, was moving in a more ‘thoughtful’ direction. Apollo, with its focus on dreamy ambience, was further proof of this change in philosophy. Richard James, the Aphex Twin, was already known for Didgeridoo, the 140bpm single that had taken rave – we thought – to its limit. But SAW was different. With the drums low in the mix, the album relied more on James’ knack for writing catchy melodies than it did on his ability to make a kick drum sound like someone digging up the road. In the days before virtual studios, a drum machine, sampler and some simple keyboards were all that were needed for the Cornishman to make beautiful, glacial, home-listening electronica. The fact that much of it was written, supposedly, when he was in his early teens made it even more remarkable. There was mystery here, too. Not for James the ‘aren’t-we-naughty?’ drug-referencing titles of his peers. Instead, his compositions we’re given names like Xtal, Pulsewidth and Schottkey 7th Path. These weren’t titles that slipped off the tongue. Finally, there was the design of the album and the appearance of that logo – soon to grace thousands of T-shirts and the walls of many a lank-haired student. Like all the greatest album covers – and indeed, the greatest albums – fuss was dispensed with, the only thing that mattered was the message. And on Selected Ambient Works, graphic simplicity knocked fancy new computer techniques (seen on contemporary records like Sven Vath’s Accident in Paradise) into a cocked hat. God knows what the message actually was, though. Stamped onto two slices of vinyl – itself a reflection that more people were DJing and thus needed a louder pressing – SAW is, without sounding too David Sullivan about this, 12 inches of pure bliss. That’s why nearly 20 years on, it’s still gets more rotation on the Umbrella stereo than anything else. Perfect.

S

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Ambient, Aphex Twin, vinyl

Details Selected Ambient Works was the Aphex Twin’s first LP. Later albums include Surfing on Sine Waves, drukQs and the Analord compilation of analogue electro.

Richard James, already aware of the power of symbols, did away with track titles on the labels, replacing them with his logo.

James’ odd titles are in keeping with the aura of mystery that surrounds him. The name Aphex Twin, comes from a brand of audio processing equipment.

R&S records was the premier European techno label of the early 1990s. It was based in Gent, Belgium.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Photography by matt reynolds

James has claimed to have over 100 hours of unreleased music from the period in which SAW was recorded.


22 Editions

The simple pleasures of…

a Japanese curry he British love moist food. It’s there in our devotion to smothering our roasts with gravy and our near-slavish enthusiasm for Indian curries and the thick sauces that make them so inauthentically delicious. In the east of Scotland, chippies spray their offerings with ‘sauce’, a tangy concoction of HP and vinegar, while a ‘sausage dinner’ in the north west’s takeaways means two pork bangers, chips and lashing of dark, unctuous onion gravy. No doubt about it, we are a wet food nation. Fighting for liquid supremacy in the chip shop with gravy is Chinese curry sauce. Distinct from the ‘real’ curries of Indian restaurants, this stuff is more of a thick, spicy gravy, ladelled into polystyrene cups by elderly Cantonese gentlemen, so it’s still hot when it’s poured on your steamed pudding and chips. But it’s the growing popularity of Japanese cuisine – mostly through the Wagamama noodle chain – that’s seen this oriental manna flourish in a new context – namely the chicken katsu curry. This hearty dish (overwhelmingly ordered by men, according to our source at Wagamama) takes a deep-fried, breaded cutlet of chicken and a portion of rice, and covers them with a flood of what can only

T

be described as Grade A chippy curry sauce. It is a wonder to behold, as can be seen by the hordes of blokes blissfully happy in the ‘katsu zone’ whenever one visits a branch. It’s no accident that this stuff is so well liked by British diners – it was our great-grandfathers who introduced curry to the Japanese through the eastern sea trade. The only trouble is that this meal is so nice, so utterly addictive, that the urge for it comes when one’s wallet cannot always allow for a trip to Wagamama or some such similar establishment. Happily – and believe us, Umbrella was ecstatic when we found this out – this deeply savoury sauce is available to buy in a variety of strengths from oriental supermarkets up and down the land. Which means that anyone who lives in a reasonably sized city can make this meal at home. All you need to do is buy some breaded chicken, boil a bit of rice and mix the curry concentrate with – in true ’70s style – a few cupfuls of boiling water. And there you have it, a hearty chunk of edible happiness that sits perfectly with a couple of bottles of Asahi and a rather good football match on the television.

Tasty The curry sauce in this dish contains apples, turmeric, honey, curry powder and garlic. We just buy the instant stuff.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Cooking, Japan, curry, celebrities, Los Angeles

how to…

Stalk a celebrity tep 1: The classic sit-outside-theirhouse-and-wait routine Every celebrity, no matter how boring (yes, you, Aniston) has stuff to do. You know, like, go to the gym, ponce about with their agent in swanky restaurants or parade their dog/child around a local park – usually while it’s wearing more designer gear than poor saps like us will see in a lifetime. Every pap worth his comedy-sized lens knows where they live, so you pick the one who’s had the most tabloid-worthy scandal in their life recently and wait. They come out, you follow them. Simple, unless…

S

Step 2: They don’t come out This can be a problem. If something really big happens they can just stay inside. For weeks. And if you live in a luxury Hollywood Hills mansion this isn’t really a hardship. So they stay in, sip cocktails and lounge by their infinity pool, while we sit outside, sipping Starbucks and relieving ourselves behind the bins of the crooner next door. Step 3: They try and lose you A-listers usually put up and shut up. Eventually, they’ll resurface and be tailed to

wherever they’re going, but still flash a smile for the camera, give everyone what they want before going about their business. Professional, see. It’s often the B- and C-list actors with ego problems that like to try and outrun you because they “just can’t stand the attention” and we’re ruining their champagne-supping, supermodelschtupping lives. These types don’t normally sell anyway, so you’re usually only bothering to try and stave off boredom while you wait for someone like Tom Cruise. When this happens, it’s best to do two things: keep following him simply to dick him off, then sit back safe in the knowledge he’ll be scouring the blogs for pictures of himself tomorrow and, seeing none, have to conclude that he is, in fact, irrelevant. Step 4: The mutual back-scratching Once you’ve been in the game a while, you realize that it’s not all lurking in the bushes like a sex offender while a poor, innocent celebrity goes about her daily routine, unluckily getting caught rollerblading in a bikini and a full face of slap. Usually, it starts with a phone call. Ms X: “Hi, I’m going to be down at Venice Beach with my new boyfriend in two hours.” Me: “Er, who’s this?” Ms X: “It’s xxxxxxx [recent divorcée]. Me and my boyfriend will on the promenade at around 4pm. We want to do a set-up. But you’ll have to do it from a distance so it looks candid.” Me: “OK.”

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Location sorted. Pictures taken. Ex-husband thoroughly f*cked off by the sight of his ‘cougar’ ex and her new jailbait boyfriend snogging. Job done and still time for a cheeky pint after work. Step 5: The undercover op Things have moved on a bit since the eyeholes-cut-out-of-a-newspaper routine, and this method can get great results. Say an international football star is in town, an international football star who has a rep as a massive shagger with a penchant for getting a tan – well, you go to where most of his work is done: his hotel. Grease a few service industry palms and you’ll know where people are staying when they’re in town. Then you book a room overlooking the pool, and keep your lens trained on it while ordering room service you can claim back as expenses. As inevitably as the recession of Wayne Rooney’s hairline, he will eventually come out, baby-oil himself up to cook in the midday sun and gravitate towards the nearest set of scantily-clad women. Step 6: The night stealth Aforementioned lothario will probably want to go out in the evenings too. But LA is full of hipster clubs crammed with sweating tossers, so which one will he be at? This is where your highly trained powers of deduction come in handy. Conceal a compact camera about your person, dress to fit in with the crowd and head to wherever Paris Hilton’s going. That’s where he’ll be.

photography by pd pictures

LA reporter Jon Boon knows the best way to tail a Hollywood star – and it helps if they’re in on the act


Field trip Architecture, travel and transport

Little Mo Le Meurice is perhaps Paris’ most famous hotel. We explore its sumptuous rooms, bars and restaurants on page 32.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Field trip 27

28: Modernism in London 30: Berlin, our view 33: Five reasons not to go to Brazil 38: London Overground


28 Field trip

01

02

This is the modern way North London boasts two treasures of early modernist architecture. Umbrella took the Northern Line to ponder how time has treated these jewels of 1930s utopia Highpoint, Highgate, London N6 Like Hampstead, its slightly larger sibling across the Heath, Highgate seems to have been transported from the Cotswolds and dropped into the middle of north London. The village, and it really does feel like one, is made up of Georgian villas, rows of elegant Victorian terraces and several modernist blocks, the best of which is Highpoint. As an example of urban(ish) living it really takes some beating. Highpoint is made up of two blocks (‘1’ built 1933-35, ‘2’ 1936-38), both designed by the architect Berthold Lubetkin, a Russian emigre who arrived in England during 1931. An enthusiastic disciple of Le Corbusier, Lubetkin designed other buildings infused with the French architect’s modernist philosophy, like the Genesta Road terrace in Plumstead, south London and the Finsbury Health Centre in Clerkenwell. Influential though these

1

03

structures may be, they cannot match the timeless simplicity of Highpoint. Like the Lawn Road flats in Hampstead (see 2), Highpoint benefits from a stunning location (the highest point in London, hence the name) and a large percentage of painfully tasteful residents, who pretty much define the ‘smug metropolitan elite’ tag. According to one, St Etienne’s Bob Stanley, the block… “comes into its own in summer. Lubetkin based the layout on nearby Kenwood country house, and the building looks most spectacular when seen from the sloping lawns. The swimming pool is always busy on sunny weekends — it’s your chance to meet your neighbour’s Russian cousins you’ve heard so much about — while the tennis courts are used by octogenarians who look so fit you feel ashamed to take them on. Lubetkin was obsessed with blurring indoors and outdoors; each flat is heated from the ceiling to give the impression of the sun beaming down. The sense of community is heightened by the building’s bi-plane layout, which means the flats overlook each other.” However, not everything Lubetkin designed was as elegant and livable as Highpoint. His block in Bethnal Green in the East End looks like the sort of place you’d want to throw yourself off rather than live in.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

04

However, if you do want go and see Highgpoint you’ll find it about ten minutes walk from Highgate Tube station. And the pub across the road isn’t bad either. Lawn Road flats, Hampstead, NW3 While Highpoint boasts a stunning location that overlooks the capital, the flats at Lawn Road sit on a pleasant, but ordinary, street just south of Hampstead Heath. It’s only on further inspection that you realise just how beautiful they are. Built between 1932 and 1934 by the London architectural practice Isokon for ’20s yuppies and their Bakelite telephones, the flats were described by one resident, the novelist Agatha Christie, as looking “like an ocean liner”. We don’t know about that – Umbrella certainly couldn’t find any retired hairdressers blowing their pensions – but it does have an elegance undimmed by time. Its principal architect Wells Coates said: “My scheme provides a place which every actor in this drama can call his own place, and further than that my idea of property does not go. This is where I sleep, this is where I work and this is where I eat. This is the roof garden where everyone can turn out...This is the garden where everyone goes. It’s like a park.”

2


Covered: Architecture, modernism, London

05

06

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10

Highpoint announces its presence to visitors Greek goddesses as supports Right angles The beautifully designed entrance is framed by trees Highpoint lives up to its name Lawn Road flats The flats were described as being “like an ocean liner” Rounded corners and smooth passages face the street Shades of 1930s cinema on Lawn Road’s stairwell The flats still carry the name of the architectural practice that designed the building

10

Haven The flats were popular with Jewish intellectuals – several of whom were architects – on the run from Nazi Germany.

08

09

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Over the years, the flats started to deteriorate, but in 2001 the block underwent a restoration, and now look fantastic. However, much as we love the modernism the Lawn Road development represents, so many crimes were done in this movement’s name during the 1950s and ’60s that it will always be associated with asbestos-filled tower blocks, Soviet-style town halls and the destruction of some of our greatest city centres (see Birmingham). The problem is that on a rainy island like ours, the steel that reinforces the concrete in even the best buildings soon starts to rust, the once-pristine cladding goes grey and heroin addicts become magically attracted to the convenience of communal living/stealing. Maybe that’s why Le Corbusier’s vision of “a machine for living” works better in the Mediterranean. Unless, sadly, it’s Naples. Lawn Road flats then are an example of how constant upkeep should be as much a part of modernist living as grand ideas about communal co-habitation. A fresh coat of paint every year, a caretaker to make sure the residents are behaving themselves and as many good summers as it’s possible to hope for will keep our modern gems looking as good now as they did 80 years ago. Lawn Road proves that maxim perfectly.

photography by anthony teasdale and matt reynolds

07


30 Field trip

ost big cities have a trendy quarter, or more accurately a place where privileged arty types can take over and price the locals out. In Paris it’s Belleville, in London, Hoxton’s been a magnet for posers since the early 1990s and even Palma, Mallorca, has (the admittedly fantastic) Santa Catalina and its collection of arty cafes (ie ones with blackboards on the wall). But after visiting Berlin recently, Umbrella can categorically say that the German capital knocks all pretenders to the cool throne into a cocked hat. Simply put, every part of Berlin is trendy – even Wedding, which looks like the Shankill Road’s rougher cousin. It takes a while to work out the city out, but it basically follows the pattern of London: Prenzlauer Berg in the north/north east is Hoxton/Islington; Mitte is the West End/City; Unter Den Linden might as well be Piccadilly, while Kurfestendamm feels likes a scruffier version of Knightsbridge, largely thanks to the magnificent KaDeWe department store and its sumptuous food department on the sixth floor. As you might imagine, they’re big on the Wall in Berlin. In fact, the further in time we get away from the DDR, so the more the city celebrates the fact there was a big wall dividing the Coca Cola-drinking, Levi’swearing cool cats in the West, and the turnip-eaters in the East. Within five years there’ll be a musical about the Stasi or a pantomime based on Erich Honicker’s favourite interrogation methods. The city is, understandably, more reticent on those troublesome Nazi years, and has still failed to address what happened here up to 1945. There is no faffabout museum for the Third Reich like there is for East Germany, and the terror that was both inflicted on – and by – the people of this town 70 years ago has largely been put in a locked cupboard somewhere in the hope that no-one will ever find it. Even the slightly bewildering Holocaust Memorial is used by insensitive imbeciles as a place to run about with their kids in. Despite this gripe, Berlin is a brilliant city – a proper, enormous metropolis with miles and miles of suburbs and a mighty centre. It’s not pretty, doesn’t really fit together and, like Barcelona, is in danger of becoming a bit too pleased with itself. But with a huge amount of eating places, smoke-filled boozers and an iconic transport system, it has everything Umbrella likes about urban living. Imagine how good it’ll be when it’s finally completed.

M

01 B’ Tor The city’s gate Separating Unter Den Linden from Tiergarten, the Brandenburger Tor is the very centre of the reunified Berlin. Built in 1789, it’s modelled on the Propylaea in Athens. The Quadriga on the top was added later in 1791.

02 Alex Red square Named after Russian Emperor Alexander I after his visit in 1805, Eric Honicker made this former cattle market the centre of communist East Berlin. Its collection of Basildon-like brutalist buildings bear this out.

03 U-Bahn First class travel The Berlin underground is perhaps the thing that Umbrella loves most about this charismatic town. Whether it’s the temple-like structure at Tauentzienstrasse or the calm, non-stressed atmosphere of the predictably clean trains, it’s up there with the world’s best metros. The network has nine lines, 173 stations and 147km of track. When the city was split, lines from the West that ran through East Berlin would not stop in the communist part of the city, while Eastern lines were blocked at the border. The U-Bahn now carries 1,400,000 passengers day.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

,

rmany

Today’s German capital hasn’t quite made up it mind as to what it is yet, but, argues Anthony Teasdale, it’s all the better for it

in

Ge

Berlin 2010: the city they forgot to finish

Berl


Covered: Berlin, cities, metros,

photography by anthony teasdale

04 U-gear Souvenirs OK, there’s nothing to compare with a crop-top with the word ‘Angel’ on the front, but we picked up some great U-Bahnthemed stuff in Berlin. We’re especially fond of our Top Trumps-like playing cards (far right).

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


32 Field trip

Eat and drink in luxury at Le Meurice’s restaurant (left), Bar 228 (above) and Le Dali, named after the artist who spent much of his time here.

Somewhere for the weekend

Le Meurice hotel, Paris very city has its fair share of decent hotels. And Paris has more than most. We’re big fans of the ultra-smart Plaza Athénée across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower and the more cosy ones in and around the Left Bank at St Germain. But, best of all, better, we’re convinced, than anywhere else in the City of Light, is Le Meurice. Let’s get one thing straight. Le Meurice, located right by the Louvre and Gardens is not for you and your mates on a trip to catch your team take on PSG at the Park des Princes. For that, there are plenty of decent Ibises and Campaniles. No, this august institution, founded in 1817, is for chaps who want to show the special woman in their life (or, if they’re that way inclined, the man) a bit of proper TLC. It’s everything that a hotel should be.

E

Le Meurice recommeds that you… 1) Go on a cycle ride around the Tuileries on one of the hotel’s very own bikes. After all the food you’ll be eating, this may well be a very good idea in the waist-reduction department. Don’t trust yourself on a bike? Have a jog – you can always have a sly rest on a bench under the trees. 2) Umbrella is always up for a bit of indulgence, so you can have a Glaciers Moisturising Facial treatment at the hotel’s Spa Valmont, which smoothes away fine lines and wrinkles. Don’t, under any circumstances, suggest to your spouse that she has any wrinkles. Perish the thought. 3) Dine in Le Dali restaurant, which offers a less formal experience than the hotel’s main dining room. Look out for a chair with stilettos on its legs, a lamp with drawers and the inevitable lobster-phone. Sadly, it’s not a mobile. 4) Enjoy a drink in Bar 228 where over 50 whiskies and malts are on display. The bar offers a fine selection of cognac and armagnac, with some of the labels dating from the last century, including the Bas Armagnac Darrose 1900. Order six, see what happens when you drink them all. 5) Le Meurice is located minutes from Place Vendôme and Rue Saint-Honoré with their abundance of luxury stores and designers. Take your lady for macaroons in Laduree on Rue Saint-Honoré and then have a look around Hermès. You may want to bring your credit card. Le Meurice is located at 228 rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France. Tel: 01 44 58 10 10. www.lemeurice.com

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Paris, luxury, hotels, South America, travelling, snakes

Five reasons not to go to Brazil

It’s not like in the adverts Mention the word ‘Brazil’ to your work colleagues and their eyes will light up. In their minds they’re conjuring images of a magical, exotic land where the sun-drenched beaches are bustling with Gisele lookalikes. If you believed the hype you’d think that a visit to Brazil would be a visit to a non-stop carnival of beautiful young people, writhing in a multicoloured orgy of flamboyant outfits and handsome Latin lovers. You’d be wrong. The sad truth is that most people’s impressions of Brazil are so informed by marketing men from drinks companies that the country has become a kind of shorthand for everything that the Friends generation consider to be exotic: mystery, adventure, passion, sex, a cheap bottle of Bacardi from Costcutter. No one here is old, ugly, poor – or even remotely part of a cruel, regularly corrupt political system. The further this cultural stereotyping is reinforced, the further the country is reduced to an insulting caricature of itself – an image about as accurate as one of an England populated solely by Hugh Grant and some Beefeaters. Spending time in any third world country is not a non-stop party, it’s a non-stop reality check. People might be dancing in the streets, but they’re dancing in the dirt and broken tarmac – with no shoes on. The endlessly repeated images of buxom ladies shaking their booties to the tropical samba beat does nothing but reinforce the slightly patronising Western idea that even though the poor savages might have no material worth (like us) they are rich in spirit, passion and rhythm. Nice. So when you touch down in Rio De Janiero, be sure to have your passport ready for the lady on the check-in desk – just don’t expect her to be wearing a giant feather headdress.

1

2

You’ll get ill And I’m not talking about a sniffle. If your constitution is anything like mine

and the furthest south your adventures usually take you is Brighton, then expect a full-blown boxer shortsruining nightmare. The trouble with having a terminally upset stomach in a foreign city (Belem, at the mouth of the river Amazon, in my case) is that you dare not move further than 50 yards from your hotel with its clean, flushable toilets. Not that you can flush toilet roll in Brazil of course - you are expected to place that in a tiny bin next to the loo – because if you do the terrible water pressure and archaic plumbing results in an overflowing flood of tissue, water and last night’s dinner. And then you have to run away and hide from the cleaners and pretend that you weren’t responsible. But they know. They know. Eventually, due to a combination of boredom, an angry girlfriend and a sense that every minute of this trip is costing you money, you will venture more than 50 yards from your hotel. Big mistake. This will result in an embarrassing exchange in a restaurant with you desperately attempting to locate the loo by doing a ‘mime’ of diarrhoea to the manager (who speaks no English) while he shrugs his shoulders and looks rather confused. Failing that, you might choose to take a quiet, non bowel-upsetting walk down by the river (20 miles or so wide at this point, with a proper beach and everything) and end up having a blazing row with your angry girlfriend – “your stomach is ruining our holiday” – which ends with her storming off while you writhe on the sand doubled over in pain. Then you’ll start to panic, thinking “I have to go.. oh God.. where do I go? What do I do?” and crawl into the shallows of the river Amazon with the crocodiles and the electric eels and the piranhas and those weird little fish that swim up your willy (or so they claim in FHM) to relieve yourself. Then, while you’re wallowing in pain and muddy water and anxiety and exasperation – not to mention your own excrement – a little green snake will swim up to you and bite you on the chest. Seriously, this actually happened to me. It was a low.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

You’ll inevitably fall out with your girlfriend Needless to say, if you do have a girlfriend, she’ll want to come travelling with you. This is to be expected because if anyone was to be honest about the real reason they’re putting up with three months of sleeping on buses, deep fried beetles, grimy youth hostels, trench foot, pickpockets, drug dealers and scammers, it’s because of the vague possibility of a sexual encounter. Spending every night in a new town or city or bus shelter, seeking out a bar (erm, that’s what I did anyway) means that you’ll meet a lot of people. A lot of them will be your fellow travellers and most of them will be middle class – and therefore up for it. Seriously, there must be a special law that says that when you’ve finished your media studies degree you have to spend six months travelling with a piece of string braided into your hair, a newfound interest in Buddhism and an obligation to sleep with several anonymous sexual partners. Then you can go home to Surrey and work at daddy’s law firm. So, in an attempt to stop you from trying to hook up with the Abigails and Jemimas to help them fulfill that obligation, your girlfriend will insist on accompanying you. But she won’t enjoy it: The food will be too spicy, the climate will be too sticky, the men will be too leery. Her hair will go frizzy and there’ll be nowhere to plug her ‘GHDs’ in. She’ll hate it, basically and it’ll all be your fault. And she won’t let you forget it. Ever.

3

You’ll get eaten alive Ants the size of cockroaches, cockroaches the size of rats, rats the size of crocodiles, crocodiles the size of, well, you get the idea. If the most terrifying of nature’s beasts you’ve encountered up till now is a troublesome wasp at a picnic, then the Amazon rainforest is not for you. Within the space of a week I had been variously bitten by a snake, found a scorpion in my bag, got my legs/testicles bitten to pieces by ants (after accidentally stepping on an anthill) and had a tarantula placed on my head by our ‘hilarious’ local guide as a practical joke. You don’t get that at Butlin’s.

4

You’ll be a cliché Everyone goes to South America. Or, failing that, Thailand. But seriously, why does no-one ever go travelling to Norway? It’s closer, cleaner and friendlier – plus there’s not a single venomous snake in sight…

5

words by matt reynolds picture: www.istockphoto.com

The lure of Brazil has long proved irresistible to Western tourists. Its combination of dark, mysterious jungles and exotic, sensual cities promises much – but as reluctant traveller Matt Reynolds discovered – delivers little. Here he lists his top five reasons not to make a South American getaway…


34 Field trip

Raphalution Designer cycling manufacturer Rapha sets up in central London here are few better-looking pastimes than cycling. Not only are the bikes often wonders of engineering and aerodynamic technology, but some of the racing wear – particularly the retro-looking knitted tops – easily fits into a stylish man’s wardrobe. It’s for these aesthetic factors that we’re rather excited about the Rapha Cycling Club, a pop-up (ie temporary) shop and exhibition space that’s opened for the summer in Clerkenwell, London. Rapha, which, to Umbrella’s eyes, makes the most stylish two-wheel wear and accessories, has taken a space in one of the capital’s most cycle-friendly zones and turned it over to all things bike. That means exhibitions, race screenings, a coffee shop and lots of nice Rapha gear to spend your cash on. Halford’s this is not. Simon Mottram from Rapha: “Long frustrated at having nowhere to watch racing or share the love of the sport with others, we conceived the Rapha Cycle Club as the place we would most like to hang out in the summer. We’re looking forward to meeting likeminded fans, watching the racing and consuming cycling culture, surrounded by beautiful things.” Certainly worth going through a red light for, then.

T

Gear and gears: Get the Eddie Merckx look and a coffee at Rapha

The Rapha Cycle Club, 146-148 Clerkenwell Road, London, EC1. The space is open until July 31. More info: www.rapha.cc

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Cycling

question

answer

Cycling to work Author of Bicycle, Helen Pidd answers our questions on ditching the car or bus in favour of a bike for the daily commute mbrella: Do new riders need a cool bike? Helen Pidd: No, There’s no such thing as the ‘right’ bike. If you have a roadworthy bicycle, you can cycle to work on it. But if you want to buy a commuter bike, look for one with a more upright riding position and a way of transporting luggage (a rack or basket or handlebars capable of carrying a bag). Mudguards and perhaps a chain guard will keep your clothes clean.

U

U: Some people (us) are terrified of coming off. Isn’t cycling really dangerous? HP: Many novice bike commuters make the mistake of taking the same route on their bicycle as they would in their car or on public transport. If you are thinking of starting to cycle to work, ask your colleagues for tips on the quietest routes in. I sometimes plot non-scary commutes for friends using the very handy Gmaps Pedometer (www. gmap-pedometer.com). Also try www.cyclestreets. net and www.bikely.com. If cycling down a big road is unavoidable, make sure that you’re visible, and don’t cycle in the gutter. Though it sounds paradoxical, the closer you are to the kerb, the more likely cars are to pass you at scary proximity.

constitutes too far, but I think that any bicycle commute that takes more than an hour each way is pushing it a bit. Twenty minutes to half an hour is ideal, I reckon. Less than 20 minutes, and you’ll spend almost as long each end locking and unlocking it; more than 30 and you really will need a shower. U: We’re rather fond of our clobber here at Umbrella. How does a chap about town keep his whistle looking smart? HP: The smartest bike commuters I know do not transport their suits by bike, but keep them in the office to slip into on arrival. Do this. U: And finally, how would you carry a laptop? HP: Assuming your laptop isn’t from the dark ages and is relatively light, a messenger-style shoulder bag is probably your best bet. For some extra protection, you can wrap the computer in a padded sleeve, probably made out of a wetsuity sort of material, which will also help keep it nice and dry. Bicycle by Helen Pidd, is published by Penguin, priced £14.99

U: What about getting to work all sweaty? No-one wants to stink out the office HP: If you haven’t got a shower at work, carry baby wipes! With the baby-wipe option, do shower before you leave the house in the morning. That way, any sweat you do produce while pedalling will be fresh and untainted by the bacteria that makes you smell like a meat pie. And baby wipes are great for keeping your bike clean if you can’t be bothered to wash it properly. U: Should you cycle to the office in your work clothes? HP: If you want to cycle in your work outfit, you can minimise the chances of looking a complete state by choosing a bike that goes out of its way to keep you clean. Upright, Dutch-style bicycles are generally the best for this. U: And if it rains? HP: Either don some quality rain gear, or leave the bike at home. The website isitgoingtoraintomorrow. com is very useful. U: How long is the ideal cycle commute? HP: Everybody has their own idea about what

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


36 Field trip

The sky’s the limit

How the globetrotting dream was sold to a receptive public hen you’re stuck in the queue at Liverpool John Lennon or London Heathrow, stranded between La famille ‘Matching Shellsuits’ and the world’s rudest Blackberry user (“I’m getting on this plane whether you like it or not), it’s easy to forget that, until recently, travel was a byword for glamour and luxury. A new book, 20th Century Travel: 100 Years of Globetrotting Ads, catalogues how companies encouraged ordinary people to take to the seas and skies with beautifully composed ads, in which every man looks like Cary Grant and every woman is a dead ringer for Natalie Wood. As the price of air travel came down from the 1960s onwards, so more people could enjoy this experience, but in doing so, made circling the world at 35,000 feet seem as ordinary as getting the bus. Travel is now no longer a preserve of the privileged elite (and a good thing too), but these adverts show just how the Don Drapers of Madison Avenue created an ideal we could all aspire to. And what an ideal it was.

W

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Advertising, design, travel

20th Century Travel: 100 Years of Globetrotting Ads is published by Taschen, priced 27.99. www.taschen.com

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


38 Field trip

Going Overground London’s new metro is the definition of upwardly mobile here’s nothing that gets Umbrella’s heart beating quicker than an elevated urban railway. We’re especially fond of the U2 line on Berlin’s U-Bahn, which rises above the heads of the trendies on Schönhauser Allee, providing shelter from the driving Prussian rain and an ideal place from which to sell currywürst. In London, both the District and Hammersmith & City lines ferry their passengers above head height, while the viaducts between London Bridge, Waterloo and Lewisham thread mainline trains between modern office buildings and over gloomy Victorian arches. That’s one of the reasons we’re so blown away by the new and improved East London line, which will link the far reaches of south east London to Hackney in the north. The highlight of the extended line, which cost £1bn to transform, is the area around the new Shoreditch High Street station,

T

where it curves delightfully over one of the capital’s great roads, thanks to a beautifully engineered new bridge. And at 12 (fully air conditioned) trains per hour, normal people from places like Croydon will be able to pay five quid for a bottle of beer in a deliberately scruffy pub full of trendies whenever the need takes them. Way to go, London! The East London line is just the first part of the new Overground network, which will provide an orbital railway around the whole of the capital by 2012. And with 14 refurbished stations on the East London line alone, Transport for London is continuing the trend of investing in architecture that it began with the beautiful Jubilee line extension. All it’s got to do now is demolish Highbury and Islington’s superordinary ticket shed and we’ll be sorted. More info: www.tfl.gov.uk

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

01


Covered: Metros, London, trains London Overground geographic map 2012

Imperial Wharf

Interchange stations Step-free access from the platform to the street Connection with National Rail Connection with Tramlink Extension due to open in 2012 © Transport for London, London Overground, October 2009.

MAYOR OF LONDON

Transport for London

01 02 03 04 02

03

A new East London train The elegant bridge at Shoreditch High Street Curved rails take the train through the city Waiting for passengers at Shoreditch

Shore thing Shoreditch High Street station is encased in a ‘sleeve’ to stop the rubble from a nearby building projects getting on the track.

04

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


40 Field trip

01

Mapping the past The Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British library charts the history of cartography – and comes to some surprising conclusions n terms of what it means to be a man, a love of maps is right up there with being able build your own furniture and knowing all the names of the England squad for the 1982 World Cup. Has your wife or girlfriend ever scanned Google Maps, zooming in on an obscure oriental city, just because she’s always wanted to know what Ulan Bator looks like from the air? Have you? This is what makes us what we are. It’s this fascination with looking at the world – and how it’s presented – that forms the backbone of the Magnificent Maps exhibition at the British Library in London. Home to more than 4.5 million maps – probably about the same number as your dad’s got in the garage – the Library’s exhibition has room for just 100, from an 1800-year-old Ordnance Survey-like plan of ancient Rome to The Island, an incredibly idiosyncratic view of modern London by the artist Stephen Walter. Since our ancestors first scratched an approximation of where they lived onto a nearby rock, man has

I

used maps, not just as valuable tools of navigation, but for propaganda and proof-of-ownership purposes too. From Castilian cartographers putting the Spanish coat of arms on large, as-yet-unexplored tracts of South America to the fantastical here-bedragons monsters of medieval maps, what was, and was not, known, was displayed as fact. Beautifully crafted, hugely ornate maps were given to kings and political leaders, who would then display these awe-inspiring works on the walls of their palaces as a way of impressing on the visitor just how important they were. Maps meant power. The bigger the map, the scarier the monarch was. As Peter Barber, the exhibition’s curator, says: “Most of the message is in the decoration rather than the geographical outline. A map doesn’t have to be accurate or up to date, as long as it conveys a sufficient message of splendour and power. “People like to know where they are on earth. All of these maps are trying to associate the viewer with the viewpoint of the person who commissioned it:

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

06

‘If you look closely at my map, you’ll see you have a place in it, you can inscribe yourself into my world.’” Straddling the boundary between science and art, the greatest maps are timeless representations of the world, not just how it was, but how those in charge wanted it to be. And that’s why, with its insights into how power works, this exhibition provides more than just a geography lesson. Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art is on at the British Library until September 19. www.bl.uk


Covered: Maps, art, propaganda

02

03

04 01 02 03 04 05 06

Serio-Comic War Map for The Year 1877 Tea Revives The World, 1940 The Island, 2008 Map of England, Wales and Ireland, London, 1603-04 Map of Nowhere, 2008 Map of England, Wales and Ireland, London, 1603-04 (Detail)

05

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


42 Field trip

Covered: Maps, art, propaganda

03 01

02

The Siege of Breda

03 Power and propaganda The map as a symbol of triumph

01 Battle-ready

The final segment shows the train of the Infanta of Spain, Isabella Clara Eugenia, on her way into the town after it had been conuered. The Commander-in-Chief of the Spanish forces, Spinola, is seen at the back of the procession.

Putting himself in the picture The map, made in 1626, details the siege of the Dutch town during the 30 Years War between Spain and the Netherlands. This image shows artist Jacques Callot working on his own map.

02 Figures made real Beyond the siege As much a work of art as it is a piece of cartography, the map details the major events over the 10 months of the siege. This detail, however, shows two soldiers indulging in a game of dice inbetween hostilities.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Stories Journalism from the front line of the modern world

Stories 43

44: Surviving the Poll Tax riot 49: Woodstock at Widnes 50: Gazza’s beautiful game 52: Chilling in Ibiza

199 the year that changed everything The Poll Tax riot. Italia ’90. Slim-fit trousers. Why a period of 12 months 20 years ago defines what we are to this day.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


44 Stories

Remembering the Poll Tax riot

Nick Soldinger was just 19 when he got caught up in the most violent riot central London has ever witnessed. Here he recalls what it was like to be in the eye of the storm

’m in the Museum of London with my two young sons staring at supersized photographs of the Poll Tax riot. Frozen moments of terror in black and white. Screaming rioters, stick-wielding cops, wild-eyed horses, burning cars… “Was this a long time ago, Daddy?” asks my eight-year-old. “It was when I was younger,” I tell him. “Was it a war, Daddy?” “It felt like it,” I mumble, trying to find myself in the pictures. “Were you there, Daddy?” I was. Nineteen years old, battering on the door of adulthood, open to anything, up for anything, trying to make sense of the world around me. I’m in my first year of higher education, away from home for the first time and rave culture is in full swing. I’m being illuminated by books, people, music, drugs, ideas and though

I

I don’t know much, I know that prime minister Margaret Thatcher, with her Poll Tax, has picked a fight with people like me. I also know that I’ve never walked away from a fight in my life. It was such a sunny Saturday in London. Bright sunshine, cloudless blue skies. More like the first day of June than the last day of March. I travelled up to the centre of town from my mum and dad’s house in south London with a mate I’d been at school with. His name is Neil and he lives in America now. That’s all you need to know about Neil because shortly after we bowled off the train at Charing Cross station I lost him to the crowd. Remember, only yuppies had mobiles back then and with what turned out to be over 200,000 demonstrators on the streets that day, it’s not that surprising I didn’t see him again until he sent me a friend request on Facebook about a month ago.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Politics, riots, London

I may have been on my jack but it didn’t feel like it. At least, not at first. The demonstration – which, if memory serves, gushed down Whitehall towards Parliament Square, before snaking back on itself and pouring into Trafalgar Square – was like a big party. It had the flavour of a rave, and not just because there were plenty of crusties and pillheads with whistles, but because it was a truly democratic protest. Sweet old couples and mums with kids marched alongside seasoned SWPers and tattooed anarchists. Everyone was welcome and as I walked though the middle of this mighty river of people, making my way to the front of the demonstration, I chatted to anyone who’d return my smile, and share a quick joke or toke. The front line of the demonstration was outside the South African Embassy in Trafalgar Square. A provocative place for the Old Bill to place their troops, on reflection. In 1990, South Africa was still in the grip of Apartheid and although Mandela had just been released it would be another four years before their ludicrous racist system finally got the boot. To many in the crowd, that building symbolised inequality, unfairness and a spiteful lack of justice – the very things that had brought so many of us out onto the streets that day. It’s not surprising then that it was the precise spot where the violence kicked off. I know, because I was there when it happened, just three rows back from the boys in blue when the spark hit the petrol. Now historians might tell it differently but my version goes something like this. As more and more protestors flowed into Trafalgar Square they started to push on the backs of those in front of them, who then pushed on the backs of those in front of them. These waves of pressure went on and on until I felt somebody pushing on my back, pushing me onto the row in front of me. Moments later the front row were stumbling forward, directly onto the batons and riot shields. Police a generation ago were different and Britain a far more brutal place than today. When I shuffle through the memories of my childhood, I’m shocked at the number of violent images I regurgitate… street violence, football violence, industrial violence, inner-city riots, terrorism… the constant din of it pervaded my

formative years and the men who policed the London streets of my youth were hardened veterans of it all. Trained by the government of the day to smash back the erupting chaos, these were hard men forged by hard times – ‘Thatcher’s thugs’, we called them. When the crowd began pushing against the police line that day, the Old Bill’s response was as swift, as brutal and as ugly as it had been when they’d charged down the miners at Orgreave in ’84, hammered rioters in Brixton in ’81 and ’85, or battered students on Westminster Bridge in ’88. In an instant, it went from a bit of push and shove to total war. It now occurs to me that in that moment there was a crack, a fissure in space and time irrevocably splitting me from the insulated innocence of my adolescence, plunging me into the world as I understand it today. A world where some men are monsters slavering behind civilised masks. The police came at us in a mechanical fury, batons whirling. A smack on the head was all the persuasion I needed to “back the f*ck up” as the cops were ordering, but where could I go? There were 200,000 people pressed up behind me. Still the police kept coming, slashing and whacking like knights on medieval battlefield. As we tried to scatter I saw one woman go down, I saw her blonde hair and white T-shirt, I saw her disappear down into the feet of the crowd and as she fell, the policeman kept hitting her. Again and again and again. I wanted to help but the surge of the crowd taking a collective leap backwards was too powerful. By now I had no control over my movements. I was bobbing along in a sea of people, arms pressed to my sides, being pushed forward and back. It was like it used to be at football before they made you sit for a game. Except this wasn’t fun-dangerous, this was scarydangerous and I was terrified. The South African embassy had scaffolding up outside it and there was a greeny-brown tarpaulin stretched over sections of the building. I remember this mundane detail because some lunatic set fire to it. So along with hundreds of baton-wielding riot police, we now had to deal with burning swatches of tarp raining down

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


on our heads. I remember looking up, to try to protect myself from the flaming clumps and gasping because the sky was thick with flying sticks. The placards the SWP and other political organisations had handed out came complete with a metre-long piece of plywood. Useful for waving your protest placard about, or in this case, hurling at the police. The air was alive with them. It’s how the arrows must have looked like at Agincourt. A fire engine tried to nudge its way through the crowd to deal with the flames but some rioters started throwing bricks and sticks at it, egged on by some bespectacled wanker from the SWP. I could see the terrified firemen inside the cab obviously wondering why the hatred for Thatcher and her Poll Tax was being turned upon them, ordinary, working men. People began rocking the fire engine, trying to turn it over. The men inside were petrified. I shouted for the people to stop, but they didn’t listen or didn’t hear me. Eventually the police, having seen what was about to happen, rushed in with sticks and boots. Somehow, I managed to drag myself out of the melee and make for a more peaceful part of the square where another line of police were watching the battle nervously. I asked one of the coppers if I could go through their lines. I was scared, I explained, and wanted to go home. The copper refused. The area was being contained, he explained. When I began remonstrating, he told me to piss off before he nicked me. Thinking that maybe I’d have more luck on the other side of the square, I wrestled my way past the National Gallery and up Whitcomb Street. This too was blocked off by police who wouldn’t let me pass. Bizarrely though, there was a pub, The Hand and

Racquet, that in the middle of all that chaos had its doors open and was taking advantage of the additional trade. I wandered in, open-mouthed and saw protestors, some with injuries, some with the sticks from their placards rested up against the tables, sucking on cold lagers and laughing over the top of the screaming, the shouting, the sirens and sounds of shattering glass outside. It was one of those surreal things that often seem to happen when the world around you has gone completely insane. I spent most of that afternoon sitting at Nelson’s feet on top of a lion, watching the roaring battle. I watched the cops cavalry-charge groups of protestors, people disappearing under the hooves, I watched lunatics jump policemen and smash them to the ground, I watched as cars were torched, windows smashed, shops looted as the heart of my beautiful city was smashed and burnt and spattered with blood. It went on like this for hours and hours, searing its horror into my memory for ever. As night closed in, I found a way out of the square. I ran to Charing Cross station, jumped on the first train back to mum and dad’s, to sleep in the same room I’d dreamt my dreams in as a little boy and cried until the morning light announced a new day. “Are you OK, Daddy?” my son wants to know. The black and white photos in the museum have turned my eyes red. “Come on, kids,” I say. “Lets go home.”

‘lunatics jumped policemen and smashed them to the ground’

Within the year Margaret Thatcher had resigned and her Poll Tax legislation was in tatters, later replaced by the Council Tax. Nick Soldinger went on to finish his education and now works for a well known men’s magazine

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

photography by matt reynolds and anthony teasdale

46 Stories


It’s It’s It’s not not not original original original unless unless unless it’s it’s it’s aaTimex. Timex. a Timex. Ever Ever since since Ever oursince our watches watches our watches moved moved from moved from thethe from pocket pocket thetopocket the to the wrist, towrist, the Timex wrist, Timex defi Timex defi nedned how defihow ned thethe how the world world told world told time. time. told By By time. thethe end Byend of thethe ofend the 1960s of1960s theevery 1960s every third every third watch watch thirdsold watch sold waswas sold a Timex. awas Timex. aInspired Timex. Inspired Inspired by by iconic iconic by Timex iconic Timex styles, Timex styles, Timex styles, Timex Originals Timex Originals Originals telltell a vivid a vivid tellstory a story vivid dating dating storyback dating back to 1854. to back 1854. to 1854.

©2010 ©2010 TimexTimex ©2010 GroupGroup USA, Timex USA, Inc.Group TIMEX Inc. TIMEX USA, is aInc. registered is aTIMEX registered istrademark a registered trademark of Timex trademark of Timex GroupGroup ofUSA, Timex USA, Inc.Group inInc. theUSA, inU.S. theInc. and U.S.inother and theother U.S. countries. and countries. other countries.


Covered: Madchester

Stories 49

199 0 digest

The

Why, culturally at least, the year still defines us

THE CLOTHES

If the two years previously had been dominated by acid house, then by the early part of 1990, the spectre of mod was rearing its good-looking head over the menswear horizon. While the ‘teds’ went to Spike Island in flares, Inspiral Carpets T-shirts and Kickers, the cooler kids were already donning the following… Old skool everything Tracksuits that had once been the preserve of kids whose mums wouldn’t (or couldn’t) buy them Fila or Lacoste were suddenly ‘in’. Two-stripe jobs favoured by PE teachers and old fashioned Adidas pumps were sold at vast profits by far-sighted salesmen in Affleck’s Palace and Kensington Market. Footwear too went from the ridiculous (massive Travel Fox, Troop and British Knights trainers) to the sublime (vintage Gazelle and Puma States). The fact this movement completely bypassed the likes of Adidas and Puma led to both of these clothing giants setting up heritage subsections so they could milk our seemingly endless obsession with German sports shoes. Shop at Size with any regularity? Here’s why. Flat-fronted trousers What do you wear on your legs when you’re going to a posh do? A pair of flat-fronted strides? They appeared as part of 1990’s (sigh) ‘neo-mod’ thing and we’ve been wearing them ever since. Pleats are never coming back*. White jeans So sexy! So slimming! So utterly impractical! Football chic With forward-thinking football fans in positions of influence in music, media and fashion, so the game’s iconic figures started to appear on clothing – spurred on by the World Cup tournament in Italy. Most influential was the ‘No All Violenza’ tee produced by London’s Burro, which was worn by the likes of The Farm and the Happy Mondays. Duffer of St George’s striped football tops and the Bill Shankly T-shirts produced by Liverpool group Thirty Five Summers also carried the soccer message into the mainstream. Hair From everyone walking about with a long, curly bob – always massive at clubs up north – to the ‘Soho’ or ‘French’ crop, the choice of smarter clubbers from Glasgow to Greenwich. Now the default haircut of the British male population. Apart from dreadful ‘parrot-heads’ in Cheshire/Essex, obviously.

SPIKE ISLAND AND GLASTONBURY

Festivals are now so establishment that the BBC spends millions of pounds sending its wildly overenthusiastic/wryly unimpressed presenters out to cover anything that involves bales of hay, unchallenging rock music and attention-seeking blonde women sitting on people’s shoulders. All this comes from two 1990 events: The Stone Roses at Spike Island and the Happy Mondays’ appearance at Glastonbury. For the – ahem – ‘baggy generation’, Spike Island, a nature reserve in Widnes, was their Woodstock. The chance to see the hottest group in the country – though, in truth the torpor that would define their later period had already set in – was something thousands of people simply had to be at. Attending this event, like going to raves, was partly seen through the prism of knowing that future generations would be making telly programmes around it. The fact that the day was ultimately a disappointment mattered little. If you went, you were there. Even if being there involved listening to Ian Brown redefine the word ‘singer’ (but not in a good way) and a convoluted journey home from Widnes. Glastonbury 1990, though seen as far less epochal, was actually more influential, building as it did on the barriers rave had broken down and getting working class kids to go to the sort of events they would have sneered at a couple of years previously. The Mondays appeared on the front of the NME with a mini-Stonehenge a la Spinal Tap at their feet, heralding a new festival spirit that was moving away from the standard indie/rock fare to something groovier. Every festival that’s come since, whether it’s Bestival or Creamfields, owes its existence to this one weekend. If it wasn’t for Shaun and the lads, there’d be no Edith Bowman. Oh. click to listen via

1990 Top Nine Primal Scream Loaded This. More than anything. A Man Called Adam Barefoot in The Head Timeless, sun-soaked Ibizan anthem

St Etienne Only Love Can BreakYour Heart Immense, dub-meets-indie cover version

spotify

Rhythmatic Take Me Back The bleepiest ‘bleep techno’ tune The Farm Stepping Stone Scouse indie goes house

Leftfield Not Forgotten Neil Barnes and Paul Daley invent progressive house

Happy Mondays Bob’s Yer Uncle Shuffling Balearic from Little Hulton

LFO LFO Futuristic, bass-heavy techno

New Fast Automatic Daffodils Big Abstract, percussive dance music with a little touch of out-there indie

* We reserve the right to be completely wrong about this

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


50 Stories

Forza Gazza! How Italia ’90 gave birth to modern football

ondon, June 2010. Wherever you looked there were St George’s flags. Flying from cabs, draped over balconies, stuck to the walls of seemingly every pub in town. Talk was of nothing but the World Cup and how England were going to do in it. Plans were hatched for afternoons off to watch games, while barbecues got organised around possible fixtures in the second phase. The new England away kit was on the backs of countless individuals, from pop stars to new born babies not old enough to understand what football is. No matter, because more than the election – and certainly more than the forthcoming 2012 Olympics – how England perform in the world’s biggest sporting event matters for a vast swathe of the population of this country. How it could not be so?

L

But turn the clock back 20 years and the mood before the Italia ’90 tournament was very different. The national side was routinely vilified by the media for its unimpressive record, while every paper ran stories of the inevitability of large scale aggro involving England supporters. The very publications that the fans read themselves (The Sun, The Star) gleefully anticipated their violent end at the hands (and batons) of the ruthless Italian police, the Carabinieri. A fate, their blustering editorials assured readers, that they would most certainly deserve. Bobby Robson had been in the England manager’s job eight years when his team boarded the plane to Sardinia for their group matches in June, 1990. Unloved and constantly criticised by a hostile English press, this

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Football, World Cup was to be his last tournament before he crossed the North Sea to take over at PSV Eindhoven. The island itself prepared itself for the English ‘invasion’ with stories running in both the Italian and English media about what the national team’s supporters would get up to. As far as football journalists were concerned the prospect for an early return was certain. But they hadn’t counted on two things: the rise of Paul John Gascoigne and a seismic shift in British society. Two years before Italia ’90, the acid house/rave scene kick-started the most exciting music movement since punk rock. Bands like The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, Happy Mondays and The Farm became popular – groups who weren’t afraid to profess their loyalty to football. At the same time, fanzines like When Saturday Comes gained prominence, detailing all the quirky, observational stuff that football fans loved to talk about. Quotes from Albert Camus and Bill Shankly started appearing on T-shirts with even style magazine The Face running a piece about the iconic ‘No Alla Violenza’ tees worn by London and Manchester’s hippest young things. The iconography of football, so common today, began here. And to cap it all, New Order went and recorded World In Motion, a brilliant melange of sun-soaked house music, British pop and terrace cheekiness. It zoomed into the charts at number one. Peter Hooton, singer with The Farm, explains its appeal. “The track was so good even if it hadn’t been a football record it would have been played everywhere. The fact that John Barnes did the rap just made it even better. Listening to it even now just makes me feel happy.” England, as is often the way, started the tournament off slowly. Placed in a group alongside Holland, Egypt and Ireland, they ground out two less-than-inspiring draws against the Dutch and Irish, meaning that to qualify they’d have to beat the Egyptians in their final game in Cagliari, the Sardinian capital. Happily, a floated free kick from Paul Gascoigne landed on the head of Mark Wright, who powered the ball into the net for a 1-0 victory. It wasn’t pretty and in truth, apart from the Dutch game when Robson had experimented with a 3-5-2 formation, England had been ordinary. But it didn’t matter – they were off to Bologna to play Belgium. Bologna is Italy’s Oxford, boasting the world’s oldest university and a beguiling architectural mix of the medieval and renaissance. It is certain that this fine old town had never seen anything like Paul Gascoigne when he stepped onto the turf for the game between England and Belgium. They’re not big on hyperactive Geordies in the universities of northern Italy (well not then anyway), but Gazza’s beautifully weighted free kick that David Platt managed to turn in on the volley with just 32 seconds of extra time left was pure poetry. In an absorbing, tense match, the goal was the only difference between two teams. At the end of game, Terry Butcher and Chris Waddle went over to the England fans and did a daft dance as the supporters sang, “Let’s all have a disco, let’s all have disco…” And at home, people – not just football fans – were starting to get excited, inspired by the team, by Gascoigne and even the Nessun Dorma theme used by the BBC in their World Cup coverage. Cameroon, the ‘Indomitable Lions’ were up next. For those outside of England, the real hero of Italia ’90 was Roger Milla, Cameroon’s veteran 38-year-old striker who’d taken the tournament by storm with his flurry of goals and dance-around-the corner flag celebration. In the July 1 quarter-final in Naples, the African side came very close to putting England out – in fact, with eight minutes to go Cameroon were actually 2-1 up. Thankfully, their clumsy defending came to England’s rescue, when they gave away a penalty with eight minutes left – Gary Lineker slotting the ball home. In extra time, a precision pass from Gascoigne set up Lineker for a run on goal but he was scythed down in the box. Lineker did the business again from the spot and England were 3-2 winners. England fan, Phil Sherwin was there.

“The Cameroon game was very nerve-wracking. I couldn’t believe it when we finally won thanks to Linekers’s penalties. This result meant a bit more to me because I was due to fly home the next day to go back to work, but with a semi-final against Germany looming that wasn’t an option. I went to Turin and found a hotel.” Back home, the press had forgotten the pre-World Cup doom and were now in full-on, flag-on-front-page patriotism mode. At the centre of this mania was Paul Gascoigne, as England player Chris Waddle remembers. “Paul had no fear, he played like he was on the park. He just enjoyed himself, he was a young lad with no pressure on him. He didn’t care about reputations and thought, ‘I’m going to enjoy myself ’.” Naples was steamy and hot that July 4 evening when Germany faced England in the semi-final. England fans, so long derided and maltreated, outnumbered and out-sang the Germans as the teams prepared to kick off. Inspired by their supporters and with belief oozing from every pore, Gascoigne, Beardsley and Lineker set about their opponents, mixing passion with skill and imagination. For the first half, the Germans were rattled. Then on 59 minutes they got a free kick on the edge of the box. It cannoned off Paul Parker in such a way that it span into the night sky and back into the top of Shilton’s goal. Never has a goal felt more like being kicked in the stomach. But the England team, this England team didn’t panic, they carried on with their pressing, precise football and with ten minutes to go, a cross from Paul Parker landed on the thigh of Gary Lineker, who took the ball past two defenders and swept it into the net. One-all. Extra-time – both England and Germany came agonisingly close to scoring, but the real story was Gascoigne. The world’s second best player was booked for an innocuous challenge that meant if England won the semi, he would miss the final through the accumulation of his second yellow card in the tournament. The tears of course, came. How could they not? To Gascoigne, the World Cup final was where he was destined – to have that taken away from him nearly destroyed him. But it didn’t. Because after the initial shock, after Lineker’s “Have a word”, Gazza came back, fighting for his team. And yet, the deadlock in this magnificent match could not be broken. And so to penalties. And we all know what happened there. We know the heartbreak, the disbelief and the sight of countless mulleted Germans in their terrible kit jumping on top of each other with unrestrained joy as the Neapolitan ball boys tried in vain to locate the football from Chris Waddle’s penalty. It was over, the daft dream that people had only just started to believe in was finished. Today, Waddle is philosophical. “Our defeat wasn’t unjust, it was unlucky. We hit the bar and post, they hit the post and missed chances. It’s like any competition, you need luck. When we had our chances they didn’t go in. Ask the Germans or anyone else, they’d tell you England were the best team in the tournament.” But later, out of this wrenching defeat came rejuvenation. The defeat was put into perspective as the England team came back heroes and Paul Gascoigne was put on a pedestal he could never come down from. Paul Simpson, author of Gascoigne sums up his contribution: “You look at every English midfielder since the war and only him and Bobby Charlton have managed to perform at that level. After that, the tears gave us a classic image to sum up the experience.” And football itself? It changed forever. Don’t believe it? Read this quote from an England fan in Italy taken from Pete Davies’ excellent account of England at the 1990 World Cup, All Played Out. “I went for a beer last night (during the Czech-Italian game) and all these birds walk in and they’ve got their faces painted red, white and green… you can’t imagine the girls back home sitting watching in the pub with the St George cross on their faces, can you?” You can now.

‘Paul gascoigne had no fear, he played like he was on the park’

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


52 Stories

endless summer Twenty years ago, a group of DJs, bands and ravers went out to Ibiza in search of the perfect clubbing experience. Filmmaker Kevin Sampson recorded their antics – and in doing so made a timeless testament to the last great pop music movement

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Ibiza, club culture

990. I was living in Clerkenwell, London EC1 and working at Channel 4. In those days C4 had a budget especially ring fenced for ‘youth’ programming, and I was number two in a department of three people who decided how to spend it. It was great. We commissioned programmes like Network 7, The Tube, Soul Train, The Chart Show – and spent the rest of the time going to clubs and fending off slobbering charlatans telling us about The Next Big Thing. But I was 28 and already feeling too old for such a whippersnapper‘s job. So I left Channel 4, set up a company, Kinesis Films, with an old pal Paul Oremland, and set about trying to make and sell TV programmes to the only two channels interested in youth culture – BBC2 and C4. Around the same time, myself and (Madness frontman) Suggs started working with the Liverpool-based indie band The Farm. There was an element of frustration from The Farm that, although they’d cultivated a loyal, predominantly male following right from their conception in the early ’80s, the music press and record industry had dismissed them as a ‘football’ band, largely on the basis of this boisterous fan core. But in 1990 football became fashionable, and bands like James, Inspiral Carpets and, especially, the Happy Mondays tapped into that same laddish fan base The Farm had come to think of as their own. ‘Baggy’ was born and The Farm found themselves isolated; excluded from their own party and, to all intents and purposes, irrelevant. While the nation was going potty for Madchester’s dislocated groove, The Farm were the cod-reggae band with the brass section who’d supported The Housemartins on their last tour. The group needed a complete remix, and the first step for me and Suggs was to get them in the studio with a credible DJ/Producer. EC1 still hadn’t been trendified in 1990. It was one of the few affordable postcodes within walking distance of the West End, and as such attracted the creative community. My local was the Duke of York on the corner of Vine Hill and Clerkenwell Road. Just around the corner was Heavenly, Jeff Barrett’s PR agency and fledgling record label. Over the road was Creation Records. Everyone used to drink in the Duke, and it was here I first met a ginger-haired rockabilly called Angus Cameron. Angus had just made his first promo for Creation – a brilliant, psychotic cut-up job for Primal Scream’s Loaded. Immediately I saw it, I wanted to work with Angus. I blagged him repeatedly about directing a full-length film for Kinesis – I just didn’t know what, at that point. Back to The Farm; we persuaded the DJ Terry Farley to work on the band’s first recording session. Terry had seen his Boy’s Own comrade Andy Weatherall hit the heights with Primal Scream’s Loaded, and fancied the challenge of giving The Farm a similar makeover. We brought the band down to work, initially, in Suggs’s Liquidator studios and after-hours they took to London’s nascent Balearic scene like ducks to water. Places like Ziggy’s in Streatham, Gosh!, The Milk Bar and Flying were all embracing a slowed-down, laid-back, Ibiza-kissed soundscape and the clubs took The Farm to their bosom. And it wasn’t just the clubs who were transforming The Farm – there was a whole community, loosely linked by Boy’s Own magazine, whose input could be felt and valued; Fiona from Sign of The Times, Jonathan Richardson at POP, Matthew Collin, the photographer Glen Lutchford, hairdresser James Worrall at CUTS. All of them, along with underground mags like The Positive Energy of Madness, embraced their new Scouse house guests.

Perhaps the biggest ally, though, was club-runner Charlie Chester. Charlie was the ebullient entrepreneur behind Flying Records. He also ran the up-and-coming Flying nights at The Soho Theatre Club on Charing Cross Road. I struck up an instant rapport with him, and over the course of a vodka jelly session one Saturday afternoon, he told of his plans to run a bespoke clubbers’ holiday to Ibiza. It was to be in June 1990. Flying’s galaxy of regular DJs would be there – Harvey, Dean Thatcher, Rocky & Diesel, Glen Gunner, Ashley Beadle, Scott James and, naturally, Terry Farley – along with a whole tribe of guest jocks, too; Orde Miekle, Danny Rampling and Andy Weatherall among the glitterati. And it was one of those moments – many of my stories come along in one, fully-formed blast like this – when everything fell into place all at once in my vodka-stoked bonce. We’d get The Farm out to Ibiza. Kinesis would take a film crew. And Angus Cameron would direct. It all seemed deliciously simple and crystal clear – we were going to make the greatest filmic testimony to a living, live youth culture, ever. The film wasn’t without its hiccups and dramas; but it was inspired. It was inspirational. I knew from the very first night that we were getting – we were going to get – something exceptional. Our cameraman Tim Maurice-Jones found Herculean reserves of strength to haul his tank-like gear around the Ku Club (as it was then), dipping in and out of the bacchanalian crowd, somehow managing to capture the essence of a dancefloor that has just gone off, lit up, ignited in the way that club nights just do – without anyone noticing he was there. There were other sublime moments; A Man Called Adam on the rocks by Café del Mar, tablets just kicking in as the sun set, smiling beatifically as they got to the heart of Ibiza’s spiritual side: “How can somewhere so beautiful be so… mad?” There was writer Jane Bussman ripping up the dancefloor all by herself in Es Paradis as she had a rave-off with a non-existent groover (it was a massive big PA cabinet); and one of those moments you just wish the cameras could have been there for – the great and the good of the London club scene off their trolleys on chocolate brandies and MDMA powder, all sat cross-legged in perfect serenity, making animal noises. Andy Weatherall was a frog. The film made its debut on Channel 4 on August 31, 1990. It was loved by the people we made the film for – the club kids, old and young. Many of the artistes featured on the film went on to more mainstream success; The Source, The Shamen, Saint Etienne and, gladly, The Farm all had mega hit records thereafter; A Man Called Adam’s Paul Daley formed Leftfield, while tracks by The Grid and My Bloody Valentine underscored, I think, some of the most stunningly moving melanges of music and images you’ll ever see – prompting many a request for a soundtrack CD and (initially) a video and ultimately a DVD release. For me though, Ibiza: A Short Film About Chilling was definitive of its time. It spawned many imitators, and many a monster, Ibiza Uncovered perhaps being the nadir. Yet the film is no more or less than the joint inspiration of a scene and its people coming together at the right time, in the right place, with the right attitude. Without wanting to sound too hippyspiritual about it, ASFAC was and is an organic moment, captured and sealed in a time capsule. It’s online if people want to find it. I dearly hope it will remain elusive and semi-mythologised, out there in the ether – pure, original, innocent and joyful.

‘we were going to make the greatest filmic testimony to youth culture’

The film of Kevin’s second novel Powder will be out next year. Awaydays, his first movie, is available now on DVD

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

screenshots taken from A Short Film About Chilling http://tiny.cc/0n0ah

1


54 Stories

The power and the glory The World Cup proved that politicians of every hue are desperate to align themselves with the beautiful game. But, as Jon Spurling reveals, it was Italian fascist Benito Mussolini who first realised that football could be an invaluable propaganda tool way back in the 1930s

ow distinctly unsteady on his feet, former junior sprinter and long-jump champion Giovanni Maifredi is largely reliant on his son Enzo to ferry him around Rome. It’s an arrangement which constantly irritates Maifredi Jr, especially as his ageing father insists on carrying his Young Fascist black shirt (unworn for more than 60 years) and a photograph of the preening Il Duce, with jaw tilted at an outrageous angle, around with him, which he shows to passers-by. The pair spend most of the time arguing, not always in a goodnatured way either. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that Giovanni’s blind and incontinent Labrador continually yelps during our conversation. “The dog should be put down, and my father is a crazy old man,” Enzo tells me before adding, with deliberate volume for his father’s benefit, “but he’ll be dead soon, like his dog, I suppose.” Enzo’s cheek earns him a clout around the ear from Maifredi Sr. Seventy years ago, Giovanni was an enthusiastic member of Mussolini’s Young Fascists when Italy hosted the second World Cup and he keeps his black shirt as a reminder of the time when, “Italy felt like it was aiming for the stars. The national team was Il Duce’s football soldiers.” Giovanni has plenty of time to think about his life, and football in particular. “Italy has won the World Cup four times,” he says. “Twice, in the 1930s, there were strong links with fascism. And in 1982 and 2006, both triumphs came as scandal [Totonero which saw Paolo Rossi suspended for a year before the tournament and the Moggiopoli bribery and match-fixing scandal which broke during the 2006 World Cup] engulfed the domestic league. Whenever Italy wins on the grand stage, there is trouble. Whenever we don’t win, conspiracies fly around. Always, there is trouble, whatever happens. This is Italy,” he shrugs. His biggest regret is being ill on the day he was supposed to parade in front of Mussolini in Rome. “I had food poisoning,” he laments. “Others in my regiment saluted him, and he met some of them individually and shook their hands. It still gives me sleepless nights.”

N

Father and son are in the midst of packing for their annual excursion to the Museo del Calcio in Florence. Giovanni insists on travelling there every April to see the Coppa del Duce, the bronze trophy awarded to the victorious Italian side in 1934 by Mussolini, and taking his son with him. “My father is just a crazy old fascist,” grumbles Enzo, looking at his dad. “Couldn’t he just have died in the war like most of the others?” After seizing control of Italy in 1922, Mussolini stated his intention to make the country “great, respected and feared”. During the 1930s, he embarked on a series of lightning-fast invasions of Libya and Ethiopia in a bid to build his “new Roman Empire” and gain respect as an international statesman. He needed football in order to mobilise the masses at home but, added to his military success, if the national team gained plaudits in the World Cup, it would confirm his standing, official party propaganda claimed, as “our new Julius Caesar”. Under Mussolini’s regime, the country embarked upon an ambitious construction programme, and sporting facilities and stadia were right at the top of the list. Sports buildings, often with marble statues nearby glorifying the beauty of the human body, were designed to showpiece strength and athleticism and act as a signpost to a new, vibrant Italian youth that the country was in the ascendancy. “Mussolini had a desire to propagate his image of the ‘new Italian’ as courageous, physically attractive, vigorous, sporting,” explains Angela Tegy of Rome University. “He liked to think he could lead from the front on this.” Newsreel footage regularly showed a bare chested Italian leader skiing or horse riding. He loved flashy demonstrations of raw Italian power and sponsored Major de Bernardi’s successful attempt to break the water speed record. Before the Schneider Cup race in Norfolk, Il Duce sent him a telegram saying, “All Italy prays for your success,” as Bernardi prepared to fly a Macchi Fiat monoplane. In front of 60,000, he reached a maximum speed of 246 mph.

‘Mussolini needed football in order to mobilise the masses at home’

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Football, Italy, fascism

Mussolini was thrilled, describing it as “further evidence of Italy’s emergence into genuine power”. Mussolini revelled in the ‘glory’ of war, and in the ’30s, football was an entirely new ideological battlefield. By 1932, there were sufficient modern stadia for Italy to launch a successful bid for the World Cup. Il Duce was thrilled at the prospect of his country hosting the tournament and not only did he seek to use it as a propagandist tool but he also demanded nothing less than an Italian victory. With backing from Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano (CONI), he challenged the nation’s foremost sculptors to create a special trophy (to be presented to the triumphant Italian side, obviously), which would “reflect the glory of the nation”. The result was the Coppa del Duce, which consisted of a group of footballers fixed in an action scene in front of the fasces – a central bundle of rods carried by magistrates in ancient Rome. It was carved in bronze by the sculptor Grazes, who had been responsible for the winged statue of Victory on the roof of the Littoriale’s Marathon Tower. Standing at almost six times the height of the Jules Rimet trophy and laden with fascist iconography of pure physical power, it was the ultimate statement of intent by Mussolini. One official press release announced: “Besides the World Cup offered by FIFA, the football world championship is blessed by some of the richest prizes among which, unique in moral value, is that offered by Il Duce, who wanted to recognise the exceptional importance of the event in such a way.” Shortly before the finals, Mussolini had informed Italian journalists: “Good kicking is good politics,” and it quickly became clear that Mussolini had no intention of presenting the trophy to any other team but his own. This is an excerpt from Death or Glory, by Jon Spurling. Published by Vision Sports Publishing, it is available at all major book stores, inc. Waterstone’s and Amazon. An ebook can be downloaded for the Kindle. www.visionsp.co.uk

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


OKI-NI.COM

SHOP

MAISON MARGIELA ¦ RICK OWENS ¦ RAF SIMONS ¦ JIL SANDER ¦ ALEXANDER McQUEEN ¦ COMMON PROJECTS ¦ NIGEL CABOURN AND MORE

FEATURES

STYLE ¦ INTERVIEWS ¦ PRODUCT ARCHIVES ¦ TECH-NI-CAL ¦ INVENTORY AND MORE


Fashion

58: Ralph Lauren’s ultimate cricket jumper 60: Battle of the chinos 62: MA. Strum vs Albam 64: New! Adidas Samba Casual

all fashion photography by anthony teasdale and matt reynolds

Looking good when the sun shines – and when it doesn’t

Fashion 57

Button it The tournament’s over, but we’re still loving Ralph Lauren’s Wimbledon collection. Preppy rules our summer.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


58 Fashion

umbrella loves…

Ralph Lauren cricket jumper Cricket jumper by Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection, £375 buy

Cable knit keeps it cosy Proper cricket jumpers are made of cable knit cotton. This one’s chunky but not overtly so, meaning it will keep you warm if it gets a bit nippy, but not leave you sweaty and uncomfortable

The jumper is one of the core pieces of Ralph Lauren’s Wimbledon collection. Other standout items include blazers, white pants and our favourite, the slim-fit polo shirts

Back to the golden age

Keep it close to your chest

Even though it’s called a ‘cricket jumper’, the item in fact harks back to the days when tennis players wore long trousers and thick jumpers to play their chosen sport in

As it’s made from cotton, Umbrella recommends wearing the jumper over nothing more than a vest. It’s too close-fitting for a shirt underneath, so keep it simple

Complete the look

1

Cricket chic

2

3

Part of the bigger picture

4

They may not play much cricket in the States, but there’s no reason why the Ralph Lauren jumper can’t be at the core of a classic preppy outfit. We’re looking at midSeptember as the ideal time for this outfit. Warm in the day, but cool in the evening.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

1. Weejun loafers by Bass, £90 2. White pants by Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection, £135 3. Cricket jumper by Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection, £375 4. Blue and white striped shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection, £95 Stockists: Polo Ralph Lauren Wimbledon collection 020 7535 4600


Covered: Preppy, Ralph Lauren

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


60 Fashion

Now… where did I leave my khakis? For years, the chino was a relic of the ’50s-obsessed late-1980s. Today, however, the US classic is rightly regarded as an essential

Blue chinos by Universal Works, £95 buy

part from shorts, there’s only one solution when it comes to keeping your legs cool in the summer: chinos. A staple of American everyday wear since the 1930s, a pair of khakis are light and airy enough to stop your pins getting lightly steamed in the afternoon sun. Obviously, you should avoid any of the multi-pleated jobs so popular on Wall St dress-down-Fridays and plump instead for some better fitted options like the ones we have here. Just don’t wear them with brogues.

A

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Faded chinos by Polo Ralph Lauren, £95 buy


Covered: Chinos

Editor’s choice

Stone chinos by Dockers, £60 buy

Black chinos by Dockers, £60 buy

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

1969 chinos by Gap, £45 buy


62 Fashion

Hillwalker coat by Albam, £190 n a little over two years, Albam has become one of the most influential players in the men’s fashion market. It’s done this by creating simple, well made items that tap into our love for old school quality clobber. With its 1950s feel, this drawstring parka is just the sort of thing that appeals to the geography teacher in all of us. Righto, chaps, anyone fancy a stroll? Stockists: Albam www.albamclothing.com buy

I

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Albam, MA. Strum, jackets

Jacket by MA. Strum, £249 fitting tribute to Massimo Osti, the CP Company founder/ designer whose influence can still be found in much modern menswear, MA. Strum’s collections weld science to style. This jacket boasts a rubberised interior, waterproof exterior, all sorts of pockets and a zip so chunky you could spend years playing with it. An essential coat for the new footy season. Stockists: MA. Strum www.my-wardrobe.com buy

A

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


64 Fashion

Adidas Samba Casual, £75 here’s no more classic trainer than the Samba, though what actually constitutes a ‘Samba’ these days can be anything from the original black and white leather job to these limited edition crackers. Constructed of blue suede with a super-light gum sole, these trainers boast lovely trefoil detailing on the tongue and heel, and a sleek shape similar to Adidas’ Dublin shoe. An undisputed classic. Stockists: size.co.uk buy

T

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Trainers, Adidas, Vans

Vans Vulcanized pumps £40 f you’re a gentleman of a certain age, you may be reluctant to invest in a pair of Vans, fearing that they’re a bit too ‘skateboard’ for your tastes. Don’t be. These super-simple pumps boast a striking rubber sole, a blue cotton upper and satisfyingly wide gap either side of lace holes. Their flat, wide profile means they look fantastic with jeans or chinos. Just don’t wear them in the wet – no good will come of it. Stockists: size.co.uk buy

I

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


66 Fashion

Vintage

Benetton rugby jersey, 1984 nlike many ‘classics’ from the mid-1980s, Benetton’s signature rugby shirt has never been reissued. Something that Umbrella, which owns an original (in a child’s size!) is very pleased about. Designed for Mediterranean teenagers, it soon became a terrace staple in England, though girls also loved it. Alongside the brand’s polo shirts and duffle bags, it sealed Benetton’s iconic status – something that continues to this day.

U

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Covered: Vintage, Sergio Tacchini, Benetton

Vintage

Sergio Tacchini Dallas tracksuit e may have been a top tennis player, but to a generation of British males, Sergio Tacchini will always be most famous for his sportswear. Worn by people that mattered – whether it was McEnroe at Wimbledon or Spurs’ top boys on The Shelf – the Dallas came with a pair of flared bottoms so wonderful Umbrella still lusts after them to this day. Happily, a quick Google search will see you furnished with a new pair in a couple of days. Excellent.

H

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


68 And finally...

Covered: Collections, publications

obsessions

Fanzines n the days before Loaded, before lads’ mags, before adverts featuring sofa-bound football fans waving their fists at imaginary televisions, the only place you could find about our culture was in fanzines. We’re not talking about the punk mags of the 1970s, but ’80s fanzines that talked about the absurdities of everyday life, a world away from the rarefied atmosphere of publications like The Face and i-D. At the centre of their world was the football ground, but The End and Boy’s Own took in fashion, music and clubs, as well as people who sold hot dogs or played Sunday league soccer. Much of this writing has now transferred online with super-sharp blogs like Oneumanship and Swine, but that need to tell stories about the ordinary and occasionally, the extraordinary is as strong as ever. The collection of publications pictured here is testament to the British male’s knack of producing something brilliant out of nothing. It’s a tradition we at Umbrella are proud to uphold.

click for

updates

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

Words and photography by anthony teasdale

I


Next issue Hell’s Kitchen: what happened to the last working class neighbourhood of Manhattan? … creating the perfect pie with Canteen restaurant… beautiful London maps and guides of the 1920s… Autumn fashion special: clothes you actually want to wear, photographed in detail… plus the usual travel, transport, architecture and sport.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


U Umbrella updates

striking colours

updates

Matt Lee’s Indian matches get another examination f all the features in the first issue of Umbrella, the one that people seemed to like best was our spread of Indian matchboxes. Lovingly collected by British artist Matt Lee, their mad designs, crazy colours and bizarre (and utterly illogical) names made the Umbrella staff want to take up smoking again. Either that, or arson. Matt was so pleased with the reaction, he decided to send us a few more pics of his beloved, subcontinental sparks. Up close, we think they look even better/madder – especially the box with the kittens on. No wonder hanging around with smokers is more fun.

O

No smoke In India, smoking has been banned in public places. This may be good news for health, but bad news for matches.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Little fellas In India, smaller cigarettes called bidis have traditionally been the most popular, especially with the poor.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

photography By anthony teasdale

Click here to return to original feature


U Umbrella updates

berlin in danger? updates Too much of a cool thing may erase the city’s character

City-wide This bridge carries S-Bahn trains east to west (and vice-versa) between the enormous Hauptbanhof and Alexanderplatz

espite the amount of money that’s generated by – and flows into – the city, Berlin likes to believe it still has an ‘underground’ vibe. However, it’s in real danger of becoming almost a parody of itself, the de facto venue for young people from the around the western world to slum it in for a couple of years until mum and dad’s money runs out. Prenzlauer Berg, the sort of central neighbourhood where Umbrella readers will feel at home, is crammed with restaurants of every hue, but is almost devoid of any true Berliners. For us, the essentials of Berlin are not the shi-shi cafes, but the tiny kneipes – neighbourhood pubs full of men in sandals and women in leather jackets, smoking their regrets away. It’s vital, that along with the delis and cool bars, they’re still there the next time we visit.

D

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Too cool? It’s hard to get any sort of bargain in Berlin’s second- hand stores. There’s plenty of DDR kitsch, but prices are steep.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

photography By anthony teasdale

Click here to return to original feature


U Umbrella updates

Fanzines up close There’s beauty in words, pictures and paper

updates

t’s difficult to overstate the influence that fanzines have had on the men’s magazine market. However, the spirit which was distilled in the original Loaded magazine and the early Fantasy Football show on BBC2, has, for the large part, now been lost. Pictured here are the likes of Boy’s Own, originally a football fanzine that became the unofficial recorder of acid house, cynical soccer mag What’s The Score and even the Beastie Boys’ brilliant Grand Royale – the first publication to really examine the mullet in detail. Of course today, there’s still great independent writing around (particularly online), but we’re pinning our print hopes on Boss, the Liverpool fanzine that should serve as an example for anyone who wants to publish something themselves. At Umbrella, it’s something we always look forward to. More please, gents.

I

Laughing Chortlers was a grown-up comic for Balearic-minded clubbers published in 1992, and featuring the brilliant Moody DJ strip.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk


Own goal This poem – a critique of cocaine’s increasing influence on the early ’90s club scene is from Boy’s Own, the epochal ’zine.

www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk

photography By anthony teasdale

Click here to return to original feature


www.richardjames.co.uk +44 (0)207 434 0605 Bespoke +44 (0)207 287 9645

Profile for Umbrella Magazine

Umbrella Issue One  

Umbrella is a brilliant new online magazine for men. We think you're going to like it.

Umbrella Issue One  

Umbrella is a brilliant new online magazine for men. We think you're going to like it.

Advertisement