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Umbrella S T Y L E / C I T I E S / D E S I G N / C U LT U R E
Issue 11 â€“ Winter 2014 /15 33 pages of menâ€™s style / The new wave of maps Robert Elms on youth cults / Secret London photos David Peace / Greatest city crests / Is living in space boring?
Issue 11 Winter 2014/15
On the cover CAA House, London, shot by Matthew Reynolds
Editor Anthony Teasdale
This is Umbrella’s most important issue since we launched in 2010. After four years as a digital-only magazine we’re now expanding into print. Our content, however, remains as enticing as ever. This issue, we’ve got a great style section with five killer outfits, plus profiles of our favourite shops and brands. There’s also the usual mix of reportage, exploration, comment and, for want of a better word, urbanism. Enjoy the magazine. Tony & Matt, London, 2014
Creative director Matthew Reynolds email@example.com
Writers Phil Thornton Simon Cunningham Justin Clack Don G Cornelius
Pictures Adrian Callaghan John Ritchie
Online Dan Nicolson firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Jon Clements email@example.com
Printed by Buxton Press
Jon Young The author of our piece on post-nuclear TV drama Threads, Jon Young is a freelance writer and editor. He currently juggles life as a full-time father while writing, although says being a dad has tougher bosses, less perks and fewer tantrums.
Joshua Clare-Flagg Joshua Clare-Flagg is editor-in-chief of Watch it All About, a watch review site. Josh steers away from the more expensive watches, so he can focus on affordable timepieces. Read about his watch obsession on page 98.
When not at work as an NHS community psychiatrist, Greg is a respected music photographer. His feature on Glasgow’s Red Road flats was informed while working with homeless health services in the city. neatephotos.com
Mancunian illustrator Oliver Heald created the city crests for this issue. Currently studying in Leeds, he’s enjoying the opportunity to develop his visual style, while soaking up as much knowledge as he can. coroflot.com/ oliverheald/portfolio
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4 Umbrella Contents
Editions 06 A brush with fame
Field trip 30 Oslo
Stories 44 Red Road
Style 66 Trunk calls
Graphic biographies of Dali, Warhol and Pollock
Simon Cunningham visits the Norwegian capital
The saga of Glasgow’s most notorious block of flats
We visit Trunk Clothiers
34 Rolling news
52 Bossa nova
Triwa’s colourful watches
With Robert Elms interview
The story of Brazil’s greatest musical genre
70 Object of lust
Are Britain’s bike-hire schemes a waste of time?
London’s Kitchen Table
38 Badge of honour Umbrella’s favourite city crests and badges
56 New town, old conflicts
72 Steeple power
Growing up in Runcorn
78 Minimal effort
19 Simple pleasures
60 All mapped out
The Nomos Metro watch
A radical new take on maps
69 Bright ideas Stone Island sheepskin coat Liverpool’s Steeple Pine
20 Q&A Chris Hadfield
Five killer looks for winter
On life in space
90 Copa Mundial
22 Publish and be damned
adidas’s greatest boots?
Phil Thornton on David Peace
Cubitts: spectacle makers
Jon Young revisits the terrifying ’80s drama
08 News & Views 10 R obert Elms on British youth culture
12 Recipes from Kitchen Table 16 Cocktails with Hawksmoor 20 Chris Hadfield Q&A
Editions Consume with intelligence
06 A brush with fame The lives of Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Salvador Dali have been transformed into a series of brilliant graphic biographies. Find out more on page six.
26 Boom town If you grew up in the 1980s, you may remember Threads, the BBC TV drama set in the aftermath of a nuclear attack on Sheffield. Writer Jon Young recalls this terrifying programme and talks about its impact 30 years later. Itâ€™s a blast.
12 From what might be the most interesting (and intimate) place to eat in London to a passionate profile of Yorkshire author David Peace, Editions boasts a thorough briefing of everything we think is great about the current season. Add news, cocktails from Hawksmoor and a Robert Elms interview, and youâ€™re set.
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Pictures Laurence King Words Anthony Teasdale Further information laurenceking.com
A brush with fame Three very different artists are given the graphic treatment in a stunning new set of biographies The word ‘genius’ is banded about a little too lightly these days. Seemingly ordinary people, usually the attention-seeking or borderlineautistic, receive the epithet for the smallest things, from putting every line of Star Wars in alphabetical order to walking about in a colourful pair of trousers. “That is genius, Mike – let’s Instagram it,” their mates will say. You know the sort of thing. But real genius comes from fearlessness and a desire to change the way people think, whether that’s in the world of art or literature or advertising or chemistry. The subject isn’t important, the philosophy is. Salvador Dail, Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock were three such people, which is why it’s fitting they’re the subject of a beautiful new set of biographies that celebrate human individuality and fearlessness. The books (or ‘monographs’ in art-speak) combine biography with comicstyle illustration, to form objects that are as much like graphic novels as they are ‘normal’ books. + The books In the Dali edition, which opens with a photograph of contain a mix of the artist helping to hold a 12ft-long baguette, we learn that written biography interspersed with the young Spaniard was treated like a prince by his adoring beautiful illustrations parents – then, frustrated by the inadequacies of his school, decided at the age of eight to become a genius. As you do. Warhol and Pollock, too, both carried this sense of otherness, too. Warhol – the son of Polish immigrants – went from commercial artist to one of the great influencers of the age through his approximation of 20th Century consumer culture for his own artistic purposes. For him, like Dali, no subject was out of bounds. The story of Pollock is of the atypical American dream – a nomadic childhood, in which he showed little artistic promise, before school expulsion and eventually recognition after years of struggle in New York. His tale is told with beautifully realised maps and illustrations, including an excellent one of Pollock turning over a dinner table laden with food. There’ll, no doubt, be more detailed biographies of these extraordinary men, but for an unbeatable combination of life story and illustration, these are hard to beat. And they’ll look great on the coffee table of your choice.
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Pictures Wikimedia commons
News Matters of interest from the worlds of fashion, architecture and transport
Swede talk Sweden launches national font First it was the Netherlands, now Sweden has got in on the act by designing its own national typeface. Sweden Sans, created by Stockholm agency Söderhavet, will be used as part of country’s brand identity. Stefan Hattenbach, who created the font with Jesper Robinell, said. “We have an expression in Swedish, ‘lagom’, which means ‘not too much and not too little’. That’s the feeling we wanted to incorporate in this typeface.” Influenced by Swedish typefaces of the ’50s/’60s, the font will be used by government departments and in external communications, (eg, sweden.se website).
Modern Manchester Design map released of northern capital Mancunians with a taste of for mid-century architecture have a new map to help them find their way around town – and discover some serious buildings in the process. The Manchester Modernist Society has produced a map featuring the city’s best buildings from the 20th Century, which users can discover using the beautifully designed diagram. Highlights include the Granada TV Centre, Daily Express Building and Arndale Centre, considered an eyesore by many on its opening in 1975. The map is free of charge and can be ordered from the Manchester Modernist Society website. manchestermodernistsociety.org
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Capital idea New book explores London’s hidden secrets
+ Inside the south clock face at Big Ben + Abbey Road studios: The Beatles recorded most of their records here in Studio Two + Unseen London book cover + The Midland Bank vaults. The 25-tonne door guards 3,800 private boxes
London is a city familiar to millions around the world. But as with any great metropolis, its soul often lies in the bits that people miss. Those rarely-seen highlights are celebrated and examined in a new book, Unseen London, by photographer Peter Dazeley and writer Mark Daley. The book covers 50 locations around the capital, from the nooks and crannies of the Foreign Office to the sweat-soaked interior of Repton Boys Club, one of the most famous boxing gyms in the UK. Publisher Frances Lincoln says: “Unseen London takes you backstage at some of the capital’s great theatres, into the changing rooms of some of our greatest temples of sport, into the heart of the establishment, the boiler room of the city’s infrastructure and behind the scenes at some of the most opulent buildings in the Square Mile.” Unseen London is out now, priced £30. franceslincoln.com
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T HE UMBREL L A–IS T
No1: Robert Elms Quotes from people we admire Roberts Elms is a journalist, author and broadcaster. The presenter of the lunchtime show on BBC London, his 2005 book on British youth fashion, The Way We Wore: A Life in Threads, has just been republished. Here he talks skinhead, casual and why youth culture has never recovered from rave. “The first skinhead I saw was my brother Reggie. He came home with number-one crop and a razor parting. My mum went completely mad. In my mind’s eyes, he’s wearing off-white sta-prest, a pair of brogues, a Ben Sherman button-down shirt and braces. Mum knew that this meant trouble. I looked at it and thought, ‘That’s all I ever want to be.’ I was nine or ten.” “It’s around late ’67, spring ’68 when mod splits into two – that’s when skinhead begins. One lot, the art-school mods, go in the direction of hippie. But there’s a reaction to that: boys in Bethnal Green or Notting Hill don’t do hippie. And the only drug they take is light ale.” “Skins pared mod down to its absolute essentials: short hair and neat clothes. It’s a mix of Ivy League with workingclass British totems: work boots and braces. It’s some of what their granddads wore and a bit of what the West Indian kids who shared their estates with wore – pork-pie hats, trousers worn a bit too high, red socks. It’s brutalism.” “Euston Station on a Saturday morning in the 1970s was extraordinary. It was where the northerners arrived and the Londoners left from. It was the only place that Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham West Ham and Millwall would meet on
“Some blokes are good at football, some blokes are good at fighting and some are good at trousers” a regular occasion. Then they’d go and fight each other.” “Skinhead was like the Berlin Wall. Once it was gone, that was it. A cabbie told me that there was a day in 1970 when you could hear the hair growing in Mile End.” “I remember being chased around Sheffield in 1974. I had some pink pegs on.” “Acid house is the last spasm of this story. I’m in the Wag club in Soho, wearing a Gaultier suit, Paul Smith shoes, some expensive shirt, probably Margaret Howell, drinking a bottle of imported lager. My mate Spike, a hairdresser, says to me, ‘We’ve got to go down to south London, there’s this really funny club with slum boys on E.’ It was Shoom. There was this line of people outside dressed in baggy, lilac clothing. We went in, and they were playing U2 mixed into some house thing. I remember thinking, ‘This is amazing, but it’s not for me. I’m going home.’”
“I remember going across London on four different buses to buy a trench coat, because that was the coat to have. Now you click a mouse.” “Acid was the last hurrah because everyone was included. You can’t have elitist street fashion when everyone’s included.” “In terms of ‘casual’, I do remember seeing kids in the late 1970s, probably Liverpudlians, wearing what I’d call ‘pared-down soulboy’. It was that wedge haircut with Lois jeans. In its early incarnation, it wasn’t flash, it was more like neo-mod.” “The tribalism has gone. A lot of the clothing was displaced violence. We live in a much more rational, sane and dull society. It more bourgeois. People go to restaurants. There were no restaurants when I was growing up.” The Way We Wore by Robert Elms is out now, published by Indie. autharium.com
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In with a bullet Japan Maglev on track for completion
Making plans with Nigel AIgle gets together with menswear godfather for new collection French outerwear label AIgle is a brand that Umbrella has huge amounts of respect for – it’s one of the reasons we made its Addison Oxford parka our featured piece in the spring issue of the magazine. So when we heard that it was collaborating with Britain’s answer to Massimo Osti, Nigel Cabourn, it’s fair to say we were a little excited. The resulting work is even better than we could have hoped. Cabourn, whose obsession with mid-20th Century mountain wear is well known, has managed to fuse his rugged aesthetic with a softer, continental feel, creating a collection that could weather a fierce Alpine blizzard and see you safely into the bar at Claridge’s without breaking step. Highlights include that staple of the ’70s striking British worker – the donkey jacket – here transformed into a piece of beautifully-cut winter tailoring, and the Le Bricard parka, which is tough as old boots, beautifully cut and boasts a removable, padded lining. This stuff isn’t cheap, Cabourn’s use of natural materials and traditional protective techniques sees to that, but it’s absolutely what menswear brands looking for longevity should be aiming for. One of the collections of the season, seek it out. aigle.com
Japan has celebrated 50 years of the Bullet Train with trials of a new Maglev railway. While the Bullet Train can travel at around 320kph (200mph), at a test run last month between Uenohara and Fuefuki in the Yamanashi Prefecture, the Maglev reached 501kph. Onboard were 100 passengers who’d applied for tickets in a lottery. Opening in 2027, the Maglev will shrink the time between Tokyo and Osaka to an hour, meaning that the industrial heart of the country will in effect become a suburb of the capital. Meanwhile in the UK, business leaders in Liverpool are lobbying government ministers for HS2 to be extended to the city. In current proposals, only Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham will be directly on the £42bn railway, with times from London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly shrunk to 1hr 8mins. Liverpool will lag behind at 1hr 36mins. The completion for phase one of HS2 will be 2026, with phase two in 2032.
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+ Diners are seated around a U-shaped table, and given their food directly by chefs
food & drink
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Close encounters Intimate dining meets the freshest of ingredients at Kitchen Table, a oneof-a-kind restaurant in Londonâ€™s Fitzrovia
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he best restaurants often make you feel like you’ve stepped into someone’s home. This translates into attentive but friendly service, brilliant food and an atmosphere that’s lively but not damaging to your inner ear. Kitchen Table is one such place. Located at the back of queues-out-of-the-door-popular champagne/sausage gaff Bubbledogs, it’s a gem in an area swamped with dining choices. The man behind it – and Bubbledogs – is chef James Knappett. Formerly at London’s The Ledbury and The Berkeley (after having worked at much vaunted “best restaurant in the world”, Noma in Copenhagen), Kitchen Table is his idea of what a restaurant should be. “I feel like I come in and cook for a dinner party,” says James. “We don’t promote, we don’t advertise, so that means people who really love food come here. Just last week we had bloke here from Denmark – he’d flown over just to eat at this restaurant.” It’s not surprising that Kitchen Table inspires that sort of devotion. The menu changes daily and is totally dependent on what produce James and his team have been offered by their suppliers. Once the ingredients are in, then the evening’s menu is formulated, with fancy-sounding names discarded in favour of simple titles like ‘chicken’ or ‘lobster’. James again: “The origin of our food is important, there’s so much great stuff in Britain, that’s why 90-95 per cent of our ingredients are from here.” The personal nature of the experience is strengthened by the layout. The kitchen is in the centre of the room, encircled by a large bar at which 19 diners sit. With no waiters, chefs hand dishes to customers directly, telling them about the food before they tuck in. Providing a sanctuary for staff and customers alike, Kitchen Table shows what’s possible when you combine passion, experience and ambition. “Without sounding like an arsehole chef,” says James, “I’m not doing this for people to tell me how good I am. Ultimately, I think about food 24/7.” Here then, James presents two typical Kitchen Table dishes (plus one from Bubbledogs) for Umbrella readers to try out. Whether you can fit 19 diners around your dinner table though is a matter for you alone.
‘Lobster’ A simple but effective way with the king of crustaceans 1/2 a raw lobster 1/2 tsp fresh vanilla 3 tbsp brown butter 3 drops of sherry vinegar
Fry the lobster in a little oil over a medium-high heat until golden on both sides – around 2 minutes per side. Mix the brown butter, vanilla and vinegar together warm through in a pan.
Maldon sea salt to taste 10 sea aster leaves
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the aster for 1 minute, drain, then stir through a knob of melted butter just to coat. Lay the aster on the plate, place the lobster on top, then pour the brown butter sauce all over to serve.
The BLT (Bubbledogs) Sausage plus crispy bacon equals happiness 1 Bubbledog sausage – or other good-quality hot-dog sausage 1 hot dog bun
To assemble, wrap the sausage neatly in the streaky bacon, then gently fry in a frying pan until the bacon is golden and crispy all the way around, and the sausage is cooked through.
½ a baby gem lettuce 2 rashers of streaky bacon Truffle mayonnaise (see recipe, below)
Truffle mayonnaise: 2 tbsp mayonnaise 4 drops of truffle oil 1 tsp chopped fresh truffle In a mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients together
Split and toast the hot-dog bun. In a very hot frying pan, add a couple drops of cooking oil then add the baby gem leaves and fry only for a few seconds – you want the lettuce to get a little colour, but still keep some of its crunch. Place the lettuce in the bun, put the sausage on top, then drizzle the truffle mayonnaise along the sausage.
Pictures Kitchen Table, Umbrella
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information kitchentablelondon.co.uk
‘Chicken’ Roasted chicken skin with rosemary Mascarpone and bacon jam makes a killer combination Roasted chicken skin Chicken skin
Begin by scraping off the excess fat from the chicken skin, then season the skin and lay on baking paper between two flat trays. Bake the chicken skin at 175˚C until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Rosemary Mascarpone 1 tablespoon finely + Above, minimalism is key to the menu; Right, serious drinks are in order at Kitchen Table
Mix together the rosemary and mascarpone and season to taste.
chopped rosemary leaves 200g mascarpone Seasoning
Bacon jam 500g diced bacon 500g red wine vinegar 500g brown sugar 1 diced red onion
Sauté the bacon and red onion in a small frying pan until soft, strain off any excess oil. Add the brown sugar and red wine vinegar. Reduce liquid with the bacon and onion until the mixture reaches the consistency of jam. To assemble, use a palette knife to spread the rosemary mascarpone on the chicken skin. Randomly place bacon jam clusters on the top and serve.
+ Above, James Knappet; Left, things warm up as the stocks are prepared
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’Moor the merrier At the new Hawksmoor Knightsbridge, the cocktails are as meaty as the steaks
food & drink
There’s something decadent about descending down a flight of stairs into a cosy, but luxurious cocktail bar. These are places alive with forbidden possibilities, ideal for secret assignations. The bar at the new Hawksmoor in London’s Knightsbridge is such a place. While Hawksmoor – which we featured in Umbrella Issue 1 – is known for the quality of its steak, the restaurant’s cocktail list is equally revered by those who judge a place by what’s served in the glass rather than on the plate. At Knightsbridge, bar manager Max Riesebieter presides over a beautifully lit space furnished by smart leather banquettes and a polished bar, where patrons sit before entering the Arena of Steak in the adjoining restaurant. His cocktails are also a firm favourite with the post-work crowd, looking for a livener before the journey home – though they often stay for burgers and lobster rolls after their first drink. Here, Max takes us through three of his current favourite cocktails, all of which are simple enough to be to made at home.
food & drink
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Yeoman’s Warder “The Beefeaters (correctly known as the Yeoman Warders) were introduced in 1485 by King Henry VII with the principal job of guarding the Tower of London and all its contents: prisoners and jewels! To keep the warder of our location, Yeoman’s Row, happy, we feed him all the steak he can eat and water him with his favourite gin, Beefeater 24, shaken with Aperol, fresh grapefruit and lemon, homemade ginger syrup – all topped off with champagne.” 35ml Beefeater 24 15ml Aperol 25ml fresh pink grapefruit juice 5ml lemon juice 10ml ginger syrup Top with champagne Combine all the ingredients except champagne in a cocktail shaker, shake with cubed ice, strain into a coupette, martini or any other pretty glass you can find and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon zest. To make ginger syrup, juice fresh ginger and combine 50ml ginger juice with 100ml caster sugar and 50ml water. Stir until dissolved.
The Zenith of Man
50ml Buffalo Trace bourbon 10ml Bitter Truth Pimento Dram 5ml PX sherry 35ml apple juice
“The Zenith of Man was created by previous Head Bartender Dale Bebbington for a Buffalo Trace competition. He takes inspiration from a poem about the mint julep.”
10-15 mint leaves Add mint to a metal cup, press with spoon and rub around the cup then throw away. Add the rest of the ingredients and churn with crushed ice. Fill to the top with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and straw.
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Pictures Hawksmoor Further information thehawksmoor.com
80ml of Braida Brachetto d’Acqui 2013 15ml vodka 5ml Punt e Mes
“A light, refreshing drink inspired by Hawksmoor’s own Wine Minister, Mark Quick. He grew frustrated at the lack of people ordering this curiously delicious, sparkling, red desert wine, then one day, he topped up a flat glass with some soda and lemon juice to quench his thirst. That’s when the light bulb above his head switched on.”
A scoop of crushed ice Take 2 slices of lemon, lime and one slice of orange, cut into segments, and muddle in a tin. Pour into a wine glass Mix together and top with crushed ice, then garnish with a slice each of lemon, lime and orange
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The simple pleasures of… butter t’s been a positive few months for those of us who love their food bolstered with animal fats. From The Sunday Times declaring that fat didn’t actually make you fat to Time magazine telling its readers on its cover to “Eat butter”, the war against fat has largely been discredited as harmful nonsense. Not only is this good news for those of us who love the extra flavour fat brings to food (see belly pork for proof), but because it annoys the sort of puritanical killjoys who ban anything that could be construed of as fun. The king of fat products is of course butter, a substance that transforms the ordinary into the epic with a simple spread of the knife. Let’s look at toast. In its ordinary state, it’s just warmedup bread, but slathered – and isn’t this an excellent word? – with butter it becomes something else entirely: a hot, chewy vehicle for melted butter and the intense savoury flavour that entails. When you can’t think of what to eat, a piece of toast, butter melting into pools of hot joy in the corner is a wonderful thing. Butter is made from the churning of cream until the
butterfat separates from the buttermilk. This grains of butterfat float in the watery buttermilk, until the liquid is poured away. After that, the grains are worked and pressed together until they become a solid mass. The end products is around 80-85 per cent butterfat, 15-20 per cent buttermilk. Made since the earliest days of agriculture, in Mediterranean cultures, butter was associated with the barbarians of northern climes, largely due to the fact that its production is harder in warmer countries. Perhaps this is why pretentious restaurants in London still serve oil and Balsamic vinegar with their bread rather than the native butter. A silly thing to do. Now, that it’s been confirmed that butter – and indeed all animal fat – has little or no impact on our rates of nasty ‘LDL’ cholesterol, we can give margarine the elbow and wave goodbye to those silly spreads devised by scientists in the wake of the low-fat nonsense of the ’80s and ’90s. Instead, like our grandparents, we can begin our days with a thick slab of bread and an equally substantial layer of butter. Take that, puritans!
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Pictures Chris Hadfield Interview Anthony Teasdale Further information chrishadfield.ca
Q&A: Commander Chris Hadfield He inspired us all with his version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded in the International Space Station. Now he’s here to tell us what life’s really like in orbit
Umbrella: Hi Chris, what’s spacewalking like? Chris Hadfield: Everything pales in comparison to being on a spacewalk – to be alone inbetween the world and the universe is just incredible. Once, I was I just holding onto the ship with the fingertips of one hand – there was a weird effortlessness to it. I was hovering at a speed of 15,000mph! I got myself stable, then let go so the ship and I were floating along together. Magic! U: Speed’s a factor in maintaining orbit. Why is that? CH: The space station has to go fast to stay in orbit, and there’s nothing to slow you down apart from an occasional atom of oxygen. You can only sense the speed when you look down and see yourself crossing Africa in six minutes or the UK in a minute. That gives you the reality of the velocity, but there’s no physical sensation as you’re hovering. U: Where would you float if you did come away from the ship? CH: Depending on which way you’d taken yourself off the station, if you’d thrown yourself straight down you’d be in lower orbit and going faster around the world. If you’d thrown yourself up from the world you’d be higher up and going a little slower than the station. Either way, your orbit would decay down in speed because of the occasional
atomic particle, and you’d eventually burn up as a shooting star. They’d name a school after you or something.
U: And then there’s the jetpacks… CH: When we’re doing a spacewalk, we wear a tether that attaches us to the station. If that came loose I’d reach down and pull down a handle on my suit. A little door pops open on the side of my backpack and out swings a joystick. You grab the joystick, turn it on, then by moving the lever on top you fire the thrusters on your suit and fly back to the space station. It’s nothing like George Clooney in Galaxy though. The only way can we train for that is in a virtual reality laboratory. We put a helmet and gloves on and they stick us in a visual environment, before pushing us off a space station progressively faster and faster to show we can do it. It’s a real visual skill. As long as we can do that we’re allowed to do a spacewalk, which is the coolest thing ever. U: What’s a typical day like in space? CH: We get up at 6am, Greenwich Mean Time. We take turns in the bathroom [ISS has a suction toilet], brush our teeth – there’s no sinks so we have to swallow the toothpaste – then fix breakfast. We read the day’s plan and news, and then have a briefing with Mission Controls in Houston, Montreal, Alabama,
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Moscow, Germany and Japan. Then we start work. We run about 200 experiments in a day, so we’re working through them, plus we have to find time to do two hours of exercise. And in terms of staying clean, you take a sponge bath, because that’s all you can do without gravity.
U: Do you always know exactly what you’re meant to be doing? CH: There’s a computer screen that displays your schedule. It has a red line moving across it, and tells you what you’re doing for every single day of the six months you’re up there to make you stay efficient. It’s regimented, like a sort of monastic laboratory. We set records for the amount of science done up there. Despite that, I still took 45,000 photos of the world on my last orbit. Whenever I got ahead of that red line I’d float to the big window and take pictures of the world going by. U: How do you go sleep when you’re in orbit? CH: Everyone has a sleep berth like a phone booth. Your sleeping bag is tied to the wall with a couple of shoelaces. You float into the sleeping bag, which has armholes, hold the little door closed and flick off the light. You’re just suspended so you can relax every muscle in your body. When you wake up in the morning the drool is stuck to your face, and without gravity, your tears don’t drain. That’s why I woke every morning with my eyes stuck
shut. But it’s the best sleep you’ll ever have – you don’t need a mattress, you don’t need a pillow.
U: Would you like to go on a proposed Mars trip? CH: No one’s even talking about designing Mars vehicles or suits. It’s an interesting thought experiment but there’s no reality to it. I’d love to go to Mars, but I want to be involved right from the ground floor. We’d have to go for a reason and make sure what we were doing was worth the risk. U: And finally, tell us about the Space Oddity video that became such a hit… CH: When people heard there was a musician on the space station there were steady requests online to record Space Oddity. My son insisted I did it. I got him to rewrite the words so the astronaut didn’t die at the end! I recorded it, then some musician friends on the ground added the instrumentation underneath. Bowie himself said it was the most poignant version that’d ever been done. The website where my son posted the video had 23-24m hits. That was pretty amazing. You Are Here: Around The World In 92 Minutes by Chris Hadfield, published by Macmillan Hardback, priced £20. Follow Chris on Twitter: @Cmdr_Hadfield
From left to right + Detroit, Michigan, right, and Windsor, Ontario – two countries, the USA and Canada, split by a single river + The Richat Structure in Mauritania, also known as the Eye of the Sahara, is an eroded dome, with a bright colour scheme + Havana to Washington: from the last refuge of communism to the HQ of capitalism
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The author of The Damned United and Red or Dead, David Peace, was in Liverpool in August to speak at an event exploring his book about Bill Shankly. I met him for a bevvy before the event and we spoke about fanzine culture and how the internet had replaced ’zines and forums for over a decade now but now, perhaps, the printed word was making a comeback. As a self-confessed fanzine evangelist, I believe the fanzine is the only medium that remains totally free from the corporate or commercial control of outside interests and truly reflects the culture in which we live. It all started for me, as for thousands of others, with The End, the first fanzine that refused to obey the self-imposed strictures of other titles; basically for fans of bands or scenes. At the time, this was mostly punk or mod/2 Tone but The End brought in football, politics, satire and very bad poetry. It laid the foundation not only for the likes of Viz, When Saturday Comes and Loaded but Boys Own, Jockey Slut and The Herb Garden. It was The End that gave me the confidence to try my hand at writing, and it was Boy’s Own which gave me my first break as a writer. Another great ’zine, Soul Underground was also an example of passion over production values, documenting London’s ‘rare groove’ scene of the mid-’80s. The problem with fanzine culture as it progressed through the ’90s, was that it became co-opted by the mainstream media. The Face, which I penned a number of articles for in its last great era of ’89-’94, copied ’zine fonts and layouts and added its own selfappointed ‘scenesters’ as columnists. Boy’s Own moved into record labels, bands, clothing, promotions and stainless steel cutlery sets whereas Soul Underground became glossier and added ‘star’ names as writers but in doing so lost its original appeal. Boy’s Own inspired a new wave of ’zines such as Manchester’s Freaky Dancing and Ace of Clubs, Nottingham’s Duck Call, Birmingham’s Sunnyside Up and Leeds’s
Herb Garden. During the ’90s the dance music scene could sustain an array of mainstream and specialist music mags such as Mixmag, Muzik, DJ, Jockey Slut, Seven and Blues & Soul, and ‘club culture’ became an industry in itself. Whilst writing for some of these titles, I was also producing my own ’zines, Hang Loose, Cuckoo and The Guttersnipe. With friends such as Scousers Ste Connor and Mark Malone, and Yorky, Shaun Smith, we attempted to carry on the original ethos of The End and Boy’s Own, covering music, politics and terrace culture with a provocative, cynical edge. As with any self-produced ’zine, it’s passion that fuels the title, a labour of love that requires you to produce and distribute the mag for minimal or zero payback. Then came the internet. Everything changed with the advent of websites and ezines. For fanzine writers, the internet gave them a chance to distribute their wares for the price of a hosting fee or even a free link to an umbrella site. With football fanzines, many became profitable by linking their forums to sites that then sold advertising and merchandising. Some of the greatest writers of the past 25 years have been fanzine columnists, such as United We Stand’s Rob Brady, whose unique writing style and surreal social commentary would have had no outlet in any other medium. Sadly, even once dedicated writers and editors succumbed to the demands of the publishing industry’s bottom line, which is fair enough, even paying writers and sellers a pittance or nothing at all, in most cases, doesn’t pay the printer. The collective ethos of a fanzine’s team stretches goodwill to breaking point. Once the internet took over, the whole structure of fanzines changed as ‘ezines’ cut out the middle man. No printing costs, no distribution costs, minimal production costs. In 2000, a few of us, including The End’s Peter Hooton and Everton fanzine writer,
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Mark O’Brien, started a new ezine Words called Partizan which we did for fivexxxxxxxxxxxx years. All those years of churning out often Further Reading brilliant pieces has been sucked into the www.xxxxxxx black hole of cyberspace. Website forums became the place where fanzines attempted to make money. At first they may have started as genuine places for like-minded people to share opinions, stories, memories and abuse but the more popular ones – mention no names – soon saw the commercial potential for a captive audience of niche fanatics – football fans, music fans, corned beef fans – to sell product. In 2005, I was getting sick of ezines but was persuaded to carry on with another site a mate, John Connolly was setting up called Swine and I ended up writing hundreds of pieces for this over the next six years. Luckily we kept the archive, so anyone who has a spare month or so to themselves can browse through six years worth of articles on everything from the origins of Liverpool’s ‘retroscally’ scene to the death knells of the American Empire. Then came ‘blogs’ and suddenly a million website designers became redundant. No hosting fees, no HTML knowledge required, no need to wait a month to compile a zine, just update daily, hourly! Blogging allowed even those with little technological talent (such as myself) the opportunity to bore even more people with multiple sites. An opportunity I didn’t waste. Then came Facebook. FB sounded the death knell for many websites, forums and blogs as more and more people signed away their personalities to a cabal of soul vampires (me included). Everyone has hundreds if not thousands of ‘friends’ and so, the social networks we have built up over decades, have now become a buy-and-sell marketing scam for mathematical pimps and cyberspace billionaires. Back in the early ’00s, I appeared on Right to Reply with my daughter, arguing that the internet would create a technological underclass if left unchecked. Twenty years later, there is a dongle demographic who can’t
afford unlimited broadband connections and 600 quid iPhones. They sit in libraries or internet cafes in order to join the information revolution, yet the information they’re accessing is increasingly becoming controlled by those who demand ownership over all means of communication, the government acting on behalf of their big business paymasters. So what the fuck has this got to do with David Peace and Bill Shankly? Well, Peace inhabits a rare place in British literary circles; someone who was born at a time and in tune with a fanzine culture that extended beyond mere ‘fan’ worship into reportage and satire, and reflecting the opinions and views of real people, free from the cultural impositions of those who think they know better, the same people who even now, deride and belittle internet blogs and websites as ‘crank’ journalism. Peace presents episodes of working class life and raises them to Greek tragedy. His literary style follows in the footsteps of the two Jimmys; Ellroy and Kelman, taking us dark places in our own social, cultural and psychological past by focusing on Brian Clough, Peter Sutcliffe, Arthur Scargill, Bill Shankly who in their own way are just as important to our lives as those who become lionised by the establishment elitists. In Peace we have an author who carries on the tradition of working class intellectual and political agency – the ‘prole art threat’ that terrifies our cultural overlords who attempt to coopt every aspect of our lives. He gives us hope that there is someone on our side, someone with a voice and a talent to counter the sneering attacks of Amis and Self and their acolytes, someone who still feels the injustices of the poor and the pissed-upon; the striking miners, the raped children, the brutalised football fan. He has been accused of being conspiratorial and yet, if anything, his fictionalised accounts of police and establishment corruption is being exposed, bit by bit, as the truth. Savile. Hillsborough. Orgreave.
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Pictures BBC Archive
Words Jon Young
â€œ...blood-soaked floors, scores of people with radiation burns, and a man having his leg amputated without anaestheticâ€? Thirty years after terrifying post-nuclear drama Threads was aired, Jon Young looks back at a television milestone
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In the pantheon of terrifying British movie experiences: The Wicker Man, An American Werewolf in London, Sex Lives of the Potato Men – a TV film from the 1980s surely ranks highest in the shityourself stakes. Unleashed on an unsuspecting British public one evening in 1984 on BBC2 , Threads tells the story of a working-class Sheffield family in the run-up to, and in the aftermath of, a nuclear attack on the UK by the USSR. Ruth (Karen Meagher) – pregnant and terrified of breaking the news to her parents – and her boyfriend, Jimmy (a pre-ID Reece Dinsdale), are the core characters, and this little domestic drama is played out against the rather bigger story of an escalating military situation between NATO and the Soviets. As we follow the totally unprepared inhabitants of Sheffield, the narration helps us along with stats and figures displayed on-screen like a 1980s schools programme from hell. (“Russia launches a small thermonuclear device in Iran. Twothousand people die. Exchange stops.”) Meanwhile, with the tension ramped up, Sheffield City Council prepares for an imminent nuclear strike on the city’s RAF bases in the best way they can. When the world is about to go to shit, get more Rich Teas in.
Bombed back to the dark ages After Defcon 1 is reached – and we’re not just talking about Ruth’s contractions – the first bomb is detonated over the North Sea, taking out most of Yorkshire’s electricity supply. Then the big one hits, 200 megatons of Soviet warheads, and 29m British people are vapourised. The filmmakers don’t hold back on detail: at the epicentre in Sheffield, cats burn alive in the streets, milk bottles melt, and mothers with 90-per-cent radiation burns hold scarred babies amidst the rubble. Ruth, who’s survived in her family’s basement, walks to a nearby hospital to find survivors only to discover
+ Threads was written by the author of Kes, Barry Hines, hence its Sheffield setting
a scene of pure hell: blood-soaked floors, scores of people with radiation burns, and a man having his leg amputated without anaesthetic. Threads then follows Ruth and her daughter over the next 10 years as they struggle against starvation, military rule, disease and nuclear winter. Looters are shot, casual rape is common, and those unlucky enough to survive are left to huddle in the freezing British countryside tending to fields where crops are as bad at surviving as the general populace. Just as the population begins to vanish from the British landscape, so do key characters in the film: in one scene they’re diving for cover from fallout; the next they’ve disappeared altogether – just another statistic among the millions of dead. The utterly unprepared Sheffield City Council? Let’s just say the Rich Teas don’t quite save the day. Gas and coal production come to a shuddering halt as cholera and typhoid reach epidemic proportions. And if they won’t get you, the radiation sickness will.
The ‘survivors’ of Britain reach ‘Attack+10 years’, where some electricity has returned, nuclear fallout and casualties have reached their peak, and the population – now largely irradiated and in shock – has shrunk to medieval proportions. As society attempts to rebuild, some schools and hospitals re-open (a chilling scene sees a group of mute kids gathered round an old video recorder playing TV show Words and Pictures in a makeshift classroom) but the new generation of Brits are rather less concerned about the latest computer games and more about where they can cadge their next morsel of rat-meat. In Britain MKII, 60 million have lost their lives, none of whom will have got to experience an episode of TOWIE. Armageddon indeed.
The ultimate kitchen-sink drama What made Threads so terrifying was its sheer believability; in 1984 this was still all so very possible. Glasnost and Gorbachev pacts were a year or so away and there was still a fear that an itchy trigger finger was permanently poised above the red button on both sides. It was also the first film to show a nuclear winter, a then-new(ish) theory that a full-scale nuclear war would result in a permanent 10-20 degree drop in global temperatures. Hence, yearlong winters, and millions dead from starvation and cold. And that’s not even taking into account a typical Yorkshire winter. And of course, Threads is so bloody British to watch. The script was written by Barry Hines, best known for writing the bleak 1969 Kes (directed by the king of British social realism, Ken Loach), and directed by Mick Jackson, who cut his teeth making TV documentaries. No wonder Threads felt so tangibly real. Imagine Loach directing The Terminator and just leaving all the robots out – that’s Threads. Remember that scene
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A very British apocalypse In the UK we don’t have Mad Max or Kevin Costner with gills to guide us through the post-apocalyptic wastes, but it doesn’t mean the Brits don’t know how to handle a little Armageddon on the big screen…
in The Terminator where Kyle Reese is patrolling post-Armageddon LA passing kids watching burned-out TV sets? Now stretch that scene to two hours; that’s what watching Threads is like, with northern accents and biscuits.
Threads and its fallout The film had such an effect on those who saw it the film is still name-checked by British directors like Ben Wheatley, of Kill List and Sightseers fame, who called it one of the scariest British films of all time. But it wasn’t just young wide-eyed British directors-to-be and 10-year-olds up past their bedtime who were rocked by Threads; rumour has it was played by US President Ronald Reagan to his Oval Office staff, and Margaret Thatcher to her cabinet. And so impressed was US television magnate Ted Turner that he paid for the film to be aired on his cable network out of his own pocket. I came to the film late, stumbling upon it on YouTube a couple of years
ago, and it’s made a lasting impression on even a man in his, ahem, late-30s. God knows what effect it had on kids who stayed up and watched it back then. While the Brits do apocalypses onscreen pretty well (see sidebar), nothing made on these shores has come close in sheer down-and-dirty horror. The Wicker Man is chilling, Witchfinder General is shocking in parts, and the more exploitative Ken Loach docudrama works have their terrifying moments, but nothing comes near to shitting up an entire nation more than Threads. Thirty years on, thanks to the efforts of assorted despots around the globe, Threads has lost none of its relevance or impact. So, is it due a remake? Someone get on the phone to Paul Greengrass quick-smart and let’s sit all the world leaders down again to remind them what’s at stake. Threads is available to buy on DVD from bbcshop.com
When the Wind Blows (1985) Threads came amidst a plethora of early-’80s nuclear-themed films (the ‘American Threads’ – The Day After being probably the closest thing the US got to a grim account of nuclear disaster) but this animated classic from Raymond ‘The Snowman’ Briggs, probably tops the lot. When The Wind Blows tells the tale of an elderly couple (voiced by John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft) as they prepare for World War III, blissfully unaware of the total destruction that’s about to come their way. The tragedy of the story comes in the couple’s faith in the ‘powers that be’, as well as their bemusement at the painfully touching ‘goodbye’ letters their children write to them. Even when they’re slowly dying from radiation sickness from behind their utterly ineffectual shelter, they try to muddle through with pure Dunkirk spirit. Terrifying and heartbreaking in roughly equal measures. Protect and Survive (1980) Margaret Thatcher’s government once denied the existence of this chilling public information film that dishes out ‘invaluable’ advice on surviving a nuclear attack. Top tip: if you do go outside after The Bomb hits, make sure you’re wearing rubber gloves and wellies. That’s alright, then. Children of Men (2006) London 2027: women have become infertile, and with no new children to repopulate the world the human race shuffles slowly towards old age – and destruction. Only Clive Owen, in a great performance, can save the day. Hardware (1990) A soldier wandering the post-nuclear wasteland finds a robot head that reactivates and goes on a murderous rampage. This British sci-fi curio starred, er… Lemmy from Motorhead. The War Game (1965) The original Threads, this portrayal of an English town destroyed by a nuclear bomb was deemed too shocking for TV and hit the cinemas instead. It won the Oscar for Best Documentary a year later.
30 O slo: how Norway’s capital is coping with change
34 T he key facts behind London’s bike hire scheme
38 U mbrella’s favourite city emblems revealed
Field trip Transport, travel and exploration
Hire and higher? Bike hire schemes are increasing around the world. Four years after the luanch of London’s, has it turned the city into a true two-wheeled town? We investigate.
38 Emblems The best city emblems provide a place with an immediately recognisable brand statement. They’re also often steeped in local legend. For these reasons, we’ve chosen our favourites from cities all around the world. See them on page 38.
30 Long thought of as a sleepy but pleasant backwater, Oslo is a city undergoing radical change. Over the last decade the Norwegian capital has been altered by both immigration and a slew of high-rise buildings springing up around the centre. Umbrella takes a trip north to see how it’s coping with its new character.
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Pictures xxxxxxxxxxxx Words xxxxxxxxxxxx Further Reading www.xxxxxxx
Northern star? Simon Cunningham visits a resurgent Oslo to find out how a city copes with an exploding population and a changing skyline
f you can judge the ambitions of a city by its railway station, then you can equally tap into the psyche of a nation’s capital by the state of its airport. While London drags its heels over future aviation expansion, the city’s main airports remain a cluttered hotch-potch of drab-meets-new. Meanwhile, capitals all over the world are making statements with their new airport terminals – think Wellington’s striking ‘boulder’ building or Madrid’s spectacular Barajas. So to Oslo where the Norwegian capital’s ambitious 12.5bn-krone airport expansion is perhaps the most obvious sign of a city in the middle of a building boom. The new terminal construction – along with all-new arrival and departure halls – will increase Lufthavn’s capacity to 28m passengers per year. Not bad for a structure that’s been sensitively designed to echo traditional Norwegian low-rise building methods.
Pictures Visit Oslo, Leif-Harald Ruud Words Simon Cunningham Further information visitoslo.com
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The barcode solution With the cranes of Lufthavn airport disappearing behind them, visitors to the city aren’t on the superefficient Airport Express railway long before more signs of Oslo’s building boom come into view. A row of skyscrapers now hugs a former dock on the famous fjord, and the neighbouring construction sites suggest there’s more to come. At the heart of this unashamedly modern quarter is Norway’s national opera house – a magnificent sloping structure that opened in 2008 with a 4.1bn krone price tag. The contemporary design, and that of its more recent lofty neighbours, has divided opinion in a city known for more traditional architecture. The five high-rise structures that make up the ‘skyscraper quarter’ are known locally as the ‘barcode buildings’ because, well, they resemble the thin stripes of a barcode when viewed sideon. Critics of the scheme argue that the development is a step too far for Oslo, and that it creates a physical barrier between the fjord and a vast swathe of the city. But the project’s chief architect Geir Haaversen disagrees. “A few years ago we had a flat city with just a few church spires. But we’ve had to adapt our ideas simply because there are so many more people living and working in Oslo.” He’s right about the booming population. Oslo currently has a population of around 624,000 (1.5m in the metro area) but that’s predicted to grow to 832,000 within the next 30 years, with a rising birth rate and huge rises in immigration cited as the main reasons. The municipality is already planning 100,000 homes within the next 15 years, so attentions are now turning to how its transport infrastructure will cope.
“A few years
ago we had a flat city with
sprires: we’ve had to adapt”
+ Above, sunny days at the Astrup Fearnley museum + Left, admiring the view at Tjuvholmen + Below, the Opera House foyer
Transport pioneers The area around the magnificent City Hall is a hub for Oslo’s tram network. But the light blue cars, as charming as they are, make up an ageing fleet. Interestingly, transport chiefs with a bird’s-eye view of the tram network from the municipal HQ will soon be embarking on a series of trips to Edinburgh to find out more about its new fleet. Although Edinburgh’s tram project was notoriously beset by delays, and massively overbudget, the actual running of the network in a geologically-challenging city is seen as a benchmark
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+ Above, one of Oslo’s tram stops + Left, even sculptures suffer in the cold + Right, a seagull in front of City Hall
of efficiency by an Oslo administration looking to overhaul its own tram system in years to come. One area in which Oslo is leading is electric vehicles. Charging points are a familiar site in the compact centre, but the city council is serious about persuading Oslo’s citizens to go green. The administration wants all municipal vehicles to be emission-free by 2015, and is already on track to have around 30 per cent of its fleet electrically powered by the end of this year. It’s also set aside 50m krone in interest-free loans for companies wishing to make all their vehicles electric-only. Though as Norway is Europe’s top oil producer, it could also be seen as just a carbon-offsetting programme.
An age of development How Oslo copes with population increase and further
controversial developments remains to be seen, but it’s certain that the city is gaining a reputation as one of the world’s most enticing capitals. Anecdotally, young people are flocking here from across Europe to settle permanently. Practically, the city is also attracting those wanting to play a more hands-on part in Oslo’s golden age of urban planning. Earlier this year it was voted the best place in the world for young architects to find work. Whether governing, starting a new life there or simply visiting for a culture-soaked weekend, it seems everyone has designs on Oslo.
Umbrella was taken to Oslo by visitoslo.com and Vauxhall Motors.Visitors to the city should take advantage of the Oslo Pass from visitoslo.com
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Pictures xxxxxxxxxxxx Words xxxxxxxxxxxx Further Reading www.xxxxxxx
Don’t bank on it Is the Barclays bike hire scheme the catalyst for making London a true two-wheel city? Umbrella cycling editor Don G Cornelius isn’t so sure
Pictures Rachel Reynolds, Wikimedia commons
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Words Don G Cornelius
n the 21st Century what does it require for a city to be considered modern? Not so long ago it was if it housed a cathedral or a university; then how many and how large were its art galleries and cultural institutions, ballet companies and opera houses; then came skyscrapers, and a modern metro system. Now the criterion seems to be whether the metropolis has a bike hire scheme. In 2008 there were 213 city bike hire schemes in 14 countries, now there are 600+ in 45. From Copenhagen to Rio de Janeiro, Hangzhou to Liverpool, Warsaw to Changwon, bike schemes are flourishing – a cheap, readily available transport which can reclaim the streets from the motor vehicle. Though many persist in calling the bicycles that the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme provides, ‘Boris Bikes’, the scheme was conceived by previous Mayor Ken Livingstone as part of his philosophy for a transformation of transport in London (and from thence the rest of the UK), through the use of ‘modal hierarchy’ which prioritises pedestrians, cyclists and bus users, in that order, to the detriment of the motor vehicle. This, sadly, was never fully implemented by his successor Boris Johnson. Instead of a radical redesign of city infrastructure to reduce the populace’s reliance on the motor car – all we got was this damn hire bike scheme, plus cycle superhighways (or blue paint on major roads). Of this great re-engineering of transport in London, the only bits to survive are the congestion charge, halved in size (which was to be the great engine of change, both financially and philosophically), and the hire bikes. There is no current commitment to encourage pedestrianisation, no plans to expand the bus service, no redoubling of efforts to reorder who cities should be for, just those ubiquitous blue hire bikes. But that doesn’t make them bad, in the six months from launch in June 2010, hire bikes were used over two million times, rising in their first full year in operation to over seven million uses. By the end of July 2014, bikes had been hired nearly six million times, and could break 10 million hires by the end of December, the first time in the scheme’s four-year lifespan. So Londoners seem love them and with over 700 docking stations and almost 10,000 bikes, it’s almost impossible to be
in the city centre without seeing one being ridden. Despite being heavy, under-geared, and so very, very blue, they’re useful and useable. No time of day or part of Zone 1 London is safe from them: office workers ride them, tourists ride them, night-clubbers ride them. And despite a drop in usage around the time the hire cost doubled in 2013, rising from £1 to £2 per day and the annual membership from £45 to £90, the question that’s yet to be fully answered is if they have the power to convert casual users into full-time cyclists in their own right: to be part of the process of tipping London into being a proper cycling city? Despite research claiming that 49 per cent of Barclays Cycle Hire members say the scheme has prompted them to start cycling I’d still say the jury was out. Riding a bike is big right now. Parliamentary committees are looking into what can be done to make cycling more popular (though there’s little actual action). In London, Boris Johnson and cycling aide Andrew Gilligan are proposing ambitious plans for north/south and east/west superhighways, radical transformations of major London arteries to accommodate cyclists, dedicated segregated cycle lanes, bike-prioritising traffic lights and the hope that making cycling ‘safer’ will create a virtuous cycle in which more people will start to use bikes regularly. The idea is that we move closer to getting a 25 per cent cycling modal share (percentage of travellers using a particular mode of transportation or number of trips using that mode of transportation). Johnson wants to raise the rate of bike journeys in London from the current two per cent to five per cent by 2026 – put into perspective, if the current rate of progress continues it would take us 300-odd years to reach a 25 per cent modal share, the current level in Rotterdam, which isn’t even the highest modal share in the Netherlands (that’s Groningen which has a modal share of 55 per cent, and doesn’t even have a bike hire scheme). Which leaves London in the position of Roy Scheider shoving shark bait over the side railings as Jaws rears up through the bloody water, realising that we’re going to need a bigger hire bike scheme. Or the conversion of all those 10 million bike hire riders into 24/7 London cyclists.
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Musettes: the solution for clutter-free cycling Cyclists are pack rats, hoarding and keeping and carrying lots of shit “just in case”. Spoke keys, spanners, lock-ring tools, chain breakers, anything and everything. If at one time something happened and you were caught short, then you now carry it religiously in an effort to always be prepared, for nothing to interrupt the ride again. But here’s the rub, the greatest thing about riding a bike is when you leave all your stuff behind, when you’re free and unencumbered, no sweaty back, no weight to carry, no fear of falling and breaking the precious cargo you’ve stuffed in your bag of choice – backpack or messenger. In the great scheme of things a cyclist only needs to carry six items with them at all times: tyre levers; spare inner tube; multi-tool or allen keys; lights; pump; lock. If you’re being sensible and making allowances for the changeable British weather you can add in a sweater or foldable rain jacket, or both. And that’s it. No really, that’s it, the whole shebang, the big enchilada. Everything you need to get you back on the road if something happens. But what to carry so little in?
What about a musette? The musette is currently my summer bag of choice, lightweight, foldable, with the ability to carry more than you’d think, like those extra tinnies for drinking al fresco, or some street food from that market I’m partial to visiting. Quick cycling history lesson, musettes are lightweight cotton bags that racing cyclists grab at feed stops, during long day- or multi-stage races. Filled with food, they’re easy to put on over one shoulder, pull the contents from to shift into back pockets and when empty launch into the surrounding countryside (Now, now – Ed). Over the last couple of years I’ve come to love mine and use it at every opportunity – it forces me to declutter, to get rid of the excess and to keep to the six items listed above at all times. Now the musette has become the goto accessory for every cycling company, whether start-up or established, to be ticked off alongside jerseys; bib shorts, cycling caps, socks and branded T-shirts. So if you want to spend your next summer weighed down with rubbish you won’t use, then be my guest, otherwise make a musette your next purchase.
1 / Rapha musette, rapha.cc 2 / Ilsoigneur musette, shop.ilsoigneur.cc 3 / Brooklyn Retro musette, prendas.co.uk
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Pictures Oliver Heald Words Simon Cunningham, Elliott Lewis-George, Anthony Teasdale, Justin Quirk, John Mackin, Matthew Reynolds, Terry Daley, Nick Soldinger
Badge of honour
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Every city has a logo, but which one best represents its town? Here, Umbrella writers take us through their favourites… A city’s emblem is its most powerful branding tool. What would Liverpool be without its Liverbird or the City of London stripped of its dragons? These abstract logos, emblems and coats-of-arms, end up adoring everything from flags to crests of the local football team. They are a distillation of city in graphic form. But which ones inspire us most? Which emblems do we want to see grace our T-shirts and mugs? What looks best on a flag? Here, Umbrella writers talk about their favourite city emblems, and what makes them so special. See if you can find your favourite.
Look at street furniture in Bradford city centre and you’ll notice it all features a wild boar. It all goes back to the 14th Century when (quoting a Victorian reporter), “A ravenous wild boar, of the most enormous size, haunted a certain Cliffe Wood and infested the town.” The lord of the manor offered a big reward to anyone who could slay the boar, which was eventually killed by a young hunter. The hunter, keen to claim his reward, severed the boar’s tongue (not wanting to take a full carcass to the manor house) as proof of the killing and set about claiming his bounty. However, another young lad found the boar’s body shortly afterwards, and severed its head to present to the lord of the manor himself. He ended up beating the actual boar-slayer and claimed the reward, but the lack of tongue aroused suspicion and the rightful hunter was eventually traced. So look even closer at Bradford’s boar today and you’ll indeed notice that he’s missing a tongue as folklore dictates. It’s a nice story and, although the council did away with using the city’s crest of arms in favour of some bland corporate logo years ago, the boar is still an instantly recognisable symbol in Bradford and is used all over, from the football club to the bins. And long may it stay that way. Simon Cunningham
Helsinki’s civic heraldry looks like it should be tattooed on the forearm of a bearded bloke who roasts third-wave coffee for a living. Simple, symmetrical and trendy, it’s clear to see from this bold insignia why Helsinki was crowned World Design Capital of 2012. The Finnish capital’s coat of arms isn’t cluttered like the country’s garish national arms. Instead, a simple boat, typically gold, but originally red, floats on top of water to indicate Helsinki’s historical role as a seaport and its nickname, ‘The daughter of the Baltic’. The golden crown that hovers above the boat is there to remind us that the city was born by order of Swedish King Gustav I in 1550. The crown is often decorated with red and blue jewels, but we prefer the monochrome version – as do the Nordic hipsters. Probably. Elliott Lewis-George
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Turin Trust the Italians to have the most handsome, best designed city emblem. Torino, to give Turin its proper Italian name, means ‘little bull’, so it’s no surprise that the city’s logo is an especially beautiful rendering of this most aggressive of beasts. While the bull of Spain is a broody, shadowy figure, Turin’s is rampant and rippled with muscles. No wonder he’s the symbol of the football team that carries the city’s name, though Juventus, whose support comes from all over Italy as well as Turin, also use the bull at the bottom of their crest. And who can blame them? This is one goodlooking, extremely fearsome animal. Cross him at your peril. Anthony Teasdale
Richmond upon Antwerp It’s no surprise that the most styleThames conscious city in the Low Countries uses Marked out by its vivid red colour scheme (with a flash of azure for the griffins’ beaks and the upright oars), the crest of Richmond (not to be confused with the one in Yorkshire) is supposedly rich in local symbolism: the rose and portcullis badge harks back to Henry VII; the swan is a nod to the river; while the oars refer to the end point of the annual boat race. But there is another possible interpretation: the griffins have upended a load of rowing berks on their morning race, the oars are dipped in their blue blood and the discarded hats are all that remain of the hapless crew. The swan, meanwhile, is symbolically dicking about on top of a castle, having reclaimed his place at the top of the watery pecking order. The stuff wrapped around his neck isn’t a rose but fishing tackle, a poignant comment on environmental destruction – like Michael Jackson’s Earth Song video, but less uncomfortable with hindsight. Justin Quirk
a bold symbol as its logo (though it’s not the official coat of arms). Found on everything from door knockers to the label of the local brew (De Koninck), the hand of Antwerp is a bold statement: strong, unfussy, abstract. Legend has it that the hand is that of a giant, whose paw was chopped off after doing the same to one-too-many travellers visiting the city. While this may be – alright, is – obvious medieval nonsense, it’s left Antwerp with a killer logo, and one that looks great on both beer glass and T-shirt alike. Give it a big hand. Anthony Teasdale
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Glasgow Glasgow’s coat of arms is comprised of four elements representing some frankly made-up sounding feats performed by city founder Saint Mungo. The bird represents a robin that St Mungo “magically” brought back to life after accidentally killing it. Symbolising another magical feat, the tree represents a branch that Mungo turned to flames after it had frozen solid – sort of like a protoDerren Brown. The salmons with rings in their mouths represent another dubioussounding tale about how the queen threw her wedding ring into the river after a bust-up with the king (a dashing knight was involved, apparently) and only got it back after St Mungo (who else?) sent a monk to catch a fish and it just happened to be the one that had swallowed the ring. Really. You get the idea. The bell (inscribed with the words “Let Glasgow flourish”) represents the bell that was cast in honour of a certain local hero – intended to be “tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul”. I’d like to imagine it was meant for Robbie Coltrane, but I suspect not. Matthew Reynolds
Rome Legend has it that Rome was founded in 753 BC after a fight between brothers Romulus and Remus, sons of the god Mars. The squabble was over where their new city should be located and ended with Romulus murdering his brother, establishing the city on his preferred location of the Palatine hill and naming the place after himself. For centuries the symbol of Rome has been a bronze statue, the Capitoline Wolf, of the pair suckling on a she-wolf on the banks of the Tiber river, where they’d been left to die as newborns before being saved and raised by a shepherd couple. It had been thought that the statue was Etruscan metalwork from the fifth Century BC, but carbon dating has confirmed it’s medieval, probably from the 13th Century. The finding irritated both local politicians and the curators of Capitoline Museum, who only recently – and reluctantly – officially acknowledged the truth. Our version comes from the badge of AS Roma, with the twins myseteriously removed. Terry Daley
Madrid You’ll see it everywhere in Madrid: from the football shirt of Atlético to manhole covers. It’s a bear, reaching into a tree to get at some strawberries. The bear has long been the emblem of the city and its earliest recorded appearance was at the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, when Madrid troops fought with Alfonso VIII against Moorish rule. Some years later Madrid councillors were in dispute with local clergymen over the rights to local resources. The king – perhaps not forgetting the support of the city – ceded the fields to the church but granted the forests to the council. The council celebrated their newly acquired rights by modifying the city emblem: the ‘Madrid’ bear is now enjoying the fruits of the forest, standing tall to proclaim his possession of the trees. The city shield is also framed by seven stars – the brightest ones of the constellation Ursa Major AKA ‘The Great Bear’. The most famous example of El oso y el madrono (The bear and the strawberry tree) is the 20-tonne statute in the main square, Puerto del Sol. The Madrono tree is not a strawberry tree, nor is its name the source of the city’s name. And no-one knows the real reason for either; which sounds very Spanish indeed. John Mackin
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City of London
Sometimes the best city crests are the most abstract. The Dutch capital’s is one such example. Its most noticeable element is the trio of St Andrew’s crosses placed vertically on a heraldic shield, said to be a relic of the ancient Persijn family – Jan Persijn was in charge of the city of Amstelledamme (Amsterdam) from 1280 to 1282. Explanations for the meaning of the crosses are somewhat vague, though there are allusions to plague, flood and fire. The usual scene. What the crosses mean isn’t that important. The thing here is the powerful message that’s conveyed purely through the simplistic design and striking, red, black and white colour scheme. Throughout the city, you’ll see the crest everywhere, and never does it look better than used as a banner by the fans of Ajax FC. The city and football club as one, exactly as it should be. Anthony Teasdale
The City of London’s logo may look like something off an EDL hoodie, but it’s deeply symbolic of the city’s heritage. That cross belongs to St George, a Greek/ Italian geezer who currently enjoys patronage in 18 countries other than England, and 25 cities apart from London – itself home to 270 different nationalities, including thousands of refugees. The shield it’s housed in fittingly represents protection, while the red sword is the bloodied blade which slayed St Paul, London’s patron saint. Saul the Jew, to give him his original cockneymoniker, hailed from modern-day Turkey (as did Boris Johnson’s great-grandpa), and was a persecutor of Christians until his road-to-Damascus epiphany. The City’s famous cathedral bearing his name celebrates this, and is itself famous for its dome – a design nicked from Islamic architecture. Finally there are the dragons. These winged creatures traditionally symbolise the ability to see the bigger picture (Londoners had to wait for The Shard to get a dragon’s-eye view of the City) and the motto below, which translates as ‘Lord Guide Us’, supports this. Why two fire-breathers? Perhaps because fire both destroys and creates. Apt, then, for a city that burns as brightly, and as often, as wonderful London. Nick Soldinger
For a city famous for embracing the counter-culture so emphatically, the emblem of San Francisco is surprisingly utilitarian. I’d expected something like a Grateful Dead album cover with the motto, ‘Do you feel lucky, punk?’. What we get is much more prosaic: a miner and a sailor flank a shield showing a steamship entering the Golden Gate. This is crowned with a phoenix rising from the flames. The phoenix is wrongly thought to reference the city’s rebirth after the catastrophic earthquake and fire of 1906. This emblem, however, predates that event by half a century. Instead it refers to the tumultuous events of the mid-1900s when San Francisco grew from a village of 200 to a city of tens of thousands following the Gold Rush. The new city was forged out of almost nothing by countless immigrants arriving by sea through the Golden Gate to make their fortune prospecting in the hills. The emblem is completed by a motto that emphasises this: Oro in paz, fierro en guerra (‘gold in peace, fire in war’). The use of Spanish (not Latin) serves to remind us that this city (as indeed was California) was Spanish- and Mexican-ruled until 1848. John Mackin
44 R ed Road flats 52 B ossa nova: from Rio’s beaches to the pop charts
56 F ighting and football: the tale of a new town childhood
60 The new wave of maps
Stories Longer reads for broader minds
44 Glasgow’s had a great year. It held the Commonwealth Games and then voted for the Yes camp in the Scottish referendum. But it’s not all good news. There is still indecision about what to do with the Red Road flats, the giant housing blocks built in the ’60s, which now lay partly demolished. Writer and photographer Greg Neate tells their sorry tale in a stand-out photo-essay.
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+ Glasgowâ€™s Red Road flats. Once the pride of the cityâ€™s housing stock, now awaiting demolition
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Words Greg Neate
Greg Neate describes how the proposed demolition of Glasgowâ€™s Red Road flats during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony was emblematic for the cityâ€™s relationship with its housing
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When the organisers of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games scrapped a proposed live demolition of five social-housing tower blocks during the opening ceremony, they spared a city and a nation from an own goal as spectacular as the 30-storey Red Road flats. The plan, which was backed by Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government, was for a “bold and dramatic statement of intent from a city focused on regeneration and a positive future for its people”. However, for many Glaswegians who signed a hastily arranged online petition, it was distasteful and an unpleasant reminder of previous attempts to remove the unsightly parts of the Second City of the Empire. Instead, viewers of Glasgow 2014’s “Window to the Commonwealth” were given Rod Stewart, Susan Boyle and a not-embarrassing-at-all spectacle of national stereotypes complete with dancing tea cakes, a giant kilt and the Loch Ness Monster. While these were redeemed by a knowing twist on the Glasgow kiss, an athletes’ entrance accompanied by Scottish terriers and Mylo’s cheeky DJ set, along with some respectable formalities, many were disappointed that the city’s rich culture wasn’t more effectively demonstrated.
The Glasgow effect To understand how what were once the highest residential buildings in Europe came to be built and condemned within 50 years, some knowledge of Glasgow’s history is required. Indeed, before the ceremonial demolition was dropped, Glasgow 2014 had intended to describe the city’s complex narrative and social history during its opening ceremony. That history can be found within Carol Craig’s book, The Tears That Made the Clyde. Here Craig outlines the rapid social change that occurred during 19th century industrialisation and mass migration from the Highlands and Ireland. It’s an engaging account of the circumstances and dynamics of a city that once achieved global acclaim for the quality of its Clyde-built ships before the devastating effects of deindustrialisation.
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+ Built as a solution to the housing shortages of the 1960s, the Red Road blocks were soon in a state of disrepair. In the end, the flats were populated by students and asylum seekers
Drawing on studies that detail the impact that inequality can have on the well-being of individuals and communities, she relates these to specific local phenomena including “the Glasgow effect”, that seeks to understand the markedly reduced life expectancy of Glaswegians. While adverse factors such as poverty, violence, addiction and gender relations feature, aspiration-sapping egalitarian values that thwart ambition and keep people in their place, are also highlighted. With regards to the post-war housing developments that were intended as solutions to the city’s overcrowded slum tenements, Craig writes, “From the 1950s on, Glasgow City Council embarked on the wholesale demolition of many old communities. Many found themselves living in inhospitable tower blocks or in peripheral housing estates with virtually no facilities and far from extended family and friends. This created widespread feelings of disorientation and dislocation, and territorial gang warfare became rife. Women’s support networks crumbled. Unemployment figures slowly crept up as traditional industries closed or declined – a trend which accelerated after the election of the 1979 and 1984 Thatcher governments.”
High-rise displacement Three miles north-east of Glasgow’s centre, yet seemingly cut off from the city by the M8 motorway, the six brutalist Red Road tower blocks (two have been demolished) loom like a minimetropolis between the districts of Balornock and Barmulloch. Built between 1964 and 1969 to house up to 5,000 people within an area that’s less than a square half-mile, Red Road symbolised
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the city’s move towards high-rise living that was modern, spacious and even once desirable. Within a decade, Glasgow would possess over 300 high rise dwellings and the highest percentage of its population living in such accommodation in Europe. However, as the tower blocks proved poorly suited to the climate and the needs of its displaced residents, comparisons with the Soviet Union that went beyond the city’s politics had some validity. The flats would later provide a convincing, foreboding location for the raw emotional drama of Andrea Arnold’s 2006 film, Red Road. By 2002, Glasgow City Council was not only struggling to maintain its 82,000 homes but was deeply in the red with a housing debt of £900m. The solution was the largest transfer of housing stock from public to private ownership when the thenChancellor, Gordon Brown, offered to cancel this debt if the
“Glasgow had the highest percentage of high-rise accommodation in Europe”
council’s tenants, including those at Red Road, voted to change their landlord to the newly formed Glasgow Housing Association (GHA). Three years later, GHA announced plans to replace the uneconomic, asbestos-ridden Red Road flats with low-rise homes as part of its strategy to phase out the use of tower blocks across the city. In commemoration of Glasgow’s tower block history, GHA and the city’s cultural service, Glasgow Life, commissioned the Red Road Flats Cultural Project. This features an exhibition, Red Road: Past, Present, Future that documents the buildings and its residents’ stories that can be seen at the People’s Palace near Glasgow Green. The Project also includes Alison Irvine’s semi-fictional novel, This Road is Red, which describes the initial optimism of the first tenants followed by the flats’ decline and their subsequent use as student accommodation and more recently for asylum-seekers. Filled with stories of humanity and dark humour, Irvine provides a compelling account of the complexities of tower-block living and how buildings can rapidly change from being utopian to desolate. For Glasgow, the year 2014 will be remembered for delivering a successful Commonwealth Games that demonstrated it as being a dynamic and modern global city. It will also be recalled for Glaswegians being at the forefront of the campaign for Scottish independence. As for Red Road flats, their memory will continue long after they’re eventually blown down, but at least through the response of ordinary Glaswegians, one final insult to injury was averted.
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beauty beat and the
Justin Clack reveals the story of bossa nova and the real Girl from Ipanema
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Whether we’re talking about blues, rock, soul or hiphop, the big genres of 20th Century pop music had their roots in the poor – usually black – communities of the USA. That is, apart from one: bossa nova. Originating from Brazil, not only was bossa nova born on a different continent, it emerged primarily from Rio’s affluent beachside neighbourhoods of Ipanema and Leblon, and the clubs of Copacabana. The Mississippi Delta this was not. The early protagonists of bossa nova (it means “new trend” in Portuguese) listened to George Gershwin, Frank Sinatra, Stan Kenton and ‘cool jazz’, that soft variant of be-bop found on albums like Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. Perhaps it’s this western influence and cool sensibility that meant in the mid-’60s bossa nova didn’t just remain in the domain of jazz enthusiasts but became an important part of popular music in its own right. It made jazz – and say this quietly – hugely popular. In the ’60s, major vocalists, such as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald all sang bossa nova and the beat became a jazz and easy-listening standard. The standout track of this movement, Garota de Ipanema (Girl from Ipanema, a song about a 19-year-old living in the upmarket Rio de Janeiro district), is now second only to The Beatles’ Yesterday as the most recorded and performed song in history.
It starts with samba Samba emerged at the end of the 19th Century when former African slaves migrated from the state of Bahia to Rio de Janeiro. In this city their rhythms came into contact with the ballroom dances like the polka, (an eastern European ‘2/4 tempo’ dance), the habanera (from Cuba) and the Brazilian tango. In the 1950s the samba beat became an influence on young, middle-class musicians, alongside classical and jazz sounds from the USA they were also listening to. Clubs such as the Sinatra Farney and the Stan Kenton Progressive Club were formed by these
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Pictures Rob Mieremet, Anefo, Ron Kroon, Vani Ribeiro Words Justin Clack
well-off kids as a way for like-minded enthusiasts to meet. It was this fusion that gave birth to the new sound of bossa nova. Pianists Johnny Alf and João Donato, both members of the Sinatra Farney Club, were early bossa nova pioneers, heavily influenced by composers such as Debussy and Bach, composer/ song writers such as Cole Porter and George Gershwin, as well as jazz musicians like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Alf was recruited to play in the nightclub of the Hotel Plaza in Copacabana, then a meeting point for musicians and bohemians. This venue became the birthplace of bossa nova. Among those who made the regular pilgrimage to watch Alf perform was Antonio Carlos Jobim or ‘Tom’ Jobim for short, the composer of The Girl from Ipanema.
Bossa takes hold The first bossa nova song to be recorded was Chega de Saudad (No More Blues in English), composed by Tom Jobim and recorded by Brazilian singer, Elizete Cardoso. It was released on her 1958 album Canção do Amor Demais but it was singer and guitarist, João Gilberto that made it a Brazilian hit when it was included on his 1959 album – also called Chega de Saudad. Bossa nova, with its new beat and gentle vocal style, was now a music genre in its own right. Without the backing from major labels, the scene needed its own independent imprint – in this case, Elenco, which put out records by Antonio Carlos Jobim, Sylvhinha Telles, Joao Donata, Nara Leao and Sergio Mendes. Its records were instantly recognisable on sight; white sleeves with highcontrast black and white photos to the fore. This was to save money on colour printing but it became the trademark of bossa nova, so much so that major labels such as Phillips and RCA later copied it when they released their own bossa albums. The world listens An early interaction between the USA and bossa nova was when nightclub singer, Lena Horne smooched with Joao Gilberto while singing Bim Bom in the Copacabana Palace in 1960 (at the time she was touring with Sammy Davis Jr). But in 1961, things
really started to heat up when jazz enthusiasts converged on Rio and Sao Paulo for the American Jazz Festival for music, drinking and joint-smoking marathons. Thanks to this mixing of cultures, the flutist Herbie Mann became the first US artist to record an album with local musicians, while Stan Getz and guitarist Charlie Byrd recorded Antonio Carlos Jobim’s song Desafinado (Off Key) for their Jazz Samba LP. It was a major hit in 1962 reaching 15 on Billboard’s pop chart and number 11 in the UK.
It’s all about The Girl In 1962, Helôisa Pinheiro, a 19-year-old girl living on Montenegro Street in Ipanema would enter and stroll past the popular Veloso bar-café, on her way to the beach (“each day when she walks to the sea”) buying cigarettes for her mother. She was “tan, young and lovely” with long brown hair and green eyes, and often left to the sound of wolf-whistles by bar regulars that included Tom Jobim, who decided to pen a song in her honour, with help from the lyricist Vincius de Moraes In 1964 in New York Joao Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz were recording the Getz/ Gilberto album. It wasn’t going smoothly. Getz was irritable and slow until he’d had his usual half a bottle of whisky to warm up, and as quietly as Joao Gilberto wanted to sing, Getz insisted on blowing his saxophone loudly. Nevertheless, eight tracks were recorded in two days. On the second day, as they began on their version of The Girl from Ipanema, Joao’s wife, Astrud Gilberto suggested that she sing the English verse that had been decided upon. The producer Creed Taylor agreed that a female vocal singing in English would widen the audience, despite the fact Astrud was not an established bossa nova singer. The track ended up being long, over five minutes, to allow for Joao’s and Astrud’s parts, as well as Getz’s saxophone solo. This didn’t matter when it was aimed at the jazz market, but pop needed brevity. Later, Taylor reduced the track to 3’ 55” by excising Gilberto’s part in favour of Astrud’s. The single could now be played on the radio and went on to sell two million copies, propelling sales of the Getz/Gilberto album into the
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stratosphere. It became one of the best-selling jazz albums ever, and turned Astrud Gilberto into a star.
+ Overleaf, Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 + Top, Sergio Mendes and Gracinha Leporace + Left, singer Astrud Gilberto in 1966 + Bottom, Ipanema beach, Rio de Janiero + Inset, Elenco logo
The Girl speaks The actual Girl from Ipanema herself, Helôisa (or ‘Helô’) Pinheiro, was a mystery until her name was revealed by the composers two years after the record’s release. As this was 1960s Brazil, Helô said later that “the middle-class philosophy was to discourage and even repress any attempts to do anything other than bringing up children and being the perfect housewife”. Speaking to Umbrella today, she says that unlike the girl in the record, “those characteristics did not fit me, because I was shy and insecure as any other young girl who lived under the pressure of her family.” So all offers of fame and fortune were declined. By 1978, this changed following her husband’s business failure and the birth of her fourth child, who suffered from numerous medical problems that needed paying for. The modelling assignments and TV appearances immediately came, and later in 2001 Helô opened her own beachwear boutique, Garota de Ipanema. One of the products offered was a T-shirt imprinted with the music and lyrics from the song. The estates of de Moraes and Jobim filed a suit arguing that the words and music belonged to them but the court found in her favour, stating, “Without her there would not have been the song”. Played so often you might think Helô is tired of the track, she says, “It marked my youth but has accompanied me into old age. When I am recognised in a place where there are musicians someone always tributes me with ‘Garota’ and I often get emotional.” Which is exactly the reaction listeners also have. And as for bossa nova itself, the lounge renaissance of the 1990s cemented its place in the musical canon of the 20th century. From the beachside cafes of Ibiza to the jazz clubs of Soho, bossa nova is still the music that refuses to be bowed by recession or polluted by tragedy or corruption. It’s the aching, bittersweet sound of love gained, and perhaps lost – soothing pain and easing stress one gently plucked guitar chord at a time. Dark and lovely, indeed.
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Pictures Phil Thornton, Ruth Donna Mills Words Phil Thornton
New town, old conflicts From the terraces of Anfield to the playing fields of his high school, Runcorn native Phil Thornton’s adolescence in the ‘70s and ’80s was defined by instances of casual violence. Here, he talks about life in a Liverpool overspill town, and the role conflicts over identity played in his and his friends’ journey into adulthood
– a Runcorn childhood
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Even though my dad was a massive Liverpool supporter and a Beatles fanatic, nevertheless the influx of thousands of Scousers during the ’70s transformed the size and culture of Runcorn. Once reliant primarily on the massive ICI chlorine plants at Castner Kellner and Rocksavage and the docks and tug yards serving the Manchester Ship Canal, suddenly new factories and estates sprang up for the ‘overspill’ population. Unlike Skelmersdale or even Winsford, the other two major new towns for Liverpool, Runcorn already had a sizable population and the town became divided between the ‘Scouse’ new town and the ‘woolyback’ old town. The older generation resented this enforced encroachment on ‘their’ territory and there was and still remains a genuine hatred in some quarters for each other. The previous decade’s depiction of Liverpudlians as loveable, witty and generous perpetuated by the media in the wake of The Beatles’ success was true to an extent but Scousers were also aggressive, volatile and extremely insular. We suddenly found ourselves surrounded on all sides by this fearsome warrior race with their own language, mating rituals and hairstyles. Yet I’d come across Scousers many times on my visits to Anfield in the early-’70s. Going to Anfield as a young six-year-old kid was a sensory experience that produced a range of emotions; excitement, fear, joy but most of all, sheer wonderment. The day began with my dad clocking off from a Saturday morning shift at Weston Point docks, picking me up in his huge Hillman car and meeting his pal, Col for a pre-match bevvy in the Devonshire pub (The Dev) in Dukesfield, Then we’d drive to Anfield via Halewood, Hunts Cross, Allerton, Childwall, Old Swan, Tuebrook and finally Anfield itself (the old signposts with their Liver Bird crests were themselves something magical) before parking up on a massive car park that seemed to be miles away from the ground. En route we’d stop off for petrol, sometimes at Shell garages, and me dad or Col would buy me the thin, tin coins embossed with player’s faces that would be stuck into cardboard folders, the first football memorabilia I can remember collecting. Then we’d walk down the seemingly endless cobbled streets that lead to the Anfield stadium and join thousands of others in the pubs and chippies along
Breck Road. Outside the Kop, huge police horses and angry, belligerent bizzies would attempt to corral noisy, unruly fans as they milled around the turnstiles and the sound of the thousands inside singing and chanting was thrilling. More than the sounds and sights however, it’s the smells that remain with me; fried onions, hot dogs, chips, vinegar, horse shit, brown ale, piss… aaaahhhh! Once inside the gigantic terrace, one of the largest and certainly the noisiest of the era, the rough and tumble of standing with 20,000 hardened Scousers and the odd ‘wool’ was sometimes terrifying, as the Kop surged back and forward for no apparent reason, then went wild after celebrating a goal. The St John’s ambulance men and women were much needed back in those days as limp bodies were dragged to the safety of the perimeter of the pitch. Yet even though I sometimes ended up 20 or 30 feet away from my dad, I always managed to weave my way back to him somehow, and it was never violent but good natured enough. Sometimes I’d get stuck in the boy’s pen under the Main Stand for my own safety but if anything it was even more scary in there as you were left to the mercy of young cut-throats from Scotty Road and other rough areas that made my council estate look like the palace of Versailles. Occasionally we’d sit in the Kemlyn Road which was a bit more refined but rather boring. Finally, we’d stand at the bottom of the Anfield Road behind the goals close to the whitewashed wall that separated the terrace from the pitch, before the fences went up a few years later. The Anny Road was where any away fans were placed, herded into the top corner next to the Kemlyn Road. As such, it attracted the most violent Liverpool fans who mocked their fellow Liverpudlians gathered on the opposite terrace. “Kopites are gobshites” they’d roar as “Scouser aggro” or “Get into ’em” was chanted by those at the other ground as the Anny Roaders launched another attack on any fan foolish enough to travel to their city in order to follow their team. The atmosphere was electric as fighting broke out seemingly all through the match behind us and burly coppers would come steaming in to drag young ‘bovver boys’ outside or to holding cells inside the ground. The sight of the Kop singing You’ll Never Walk Alone from the Anny Road end before the game was truly awe-inspiring. A mass of scarves
+ The author rocks the on-trend ‘David Cassidy’ look of the mid-1970s
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“My sense of humour and ability to draw soldiers got me through my barbaric infant and junior school”
+ Runcorn’s Southgate estate, completed in 1969, was nicknamed “Legoland” by locals. Blighted by poverty and crime, it was demolished in 1990
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and flags, a heaving, swaying body belting out this Rodgers and Hammerstein tune from Carousel was perhaps the first show tune used as a football song, it’s message of fellowship and solidarity entirely fitting for the fans of football teams. The song itself had been covered by Merseybeat band, Gerry & The Pacemakers and the cultural sense of superiority that Liverpool enjoyed during the ’60s still resonated on the terraces and in the streets of the city. I was quite a timid kid, never much a fighter and rather ‘sensitive’ or what less enlightened folk would call “a big puff’”. Yet, at Anfield, I took on another persona, I was pretty quick-witted and remember getting a big laugh one day in the Kemlyn Road when a player hoofed the ball above our heads and I shouted, “Eh mate, the floodlights aren’t playing.” It was my sense of humour and an ability to draw soldiers that got me through infant and junior school which was often barbaric. Halton Lodge Juniors was where I learned both how to avoid trouble and how to react to it once it found me. The trick was to ingratiate yourself with the hard-knocks and so I more or less avoided fights. However, one lad in particular had it in for me, a lad who lived just across the road from me, a lad with the most fearsome reputation on the estate. Even before I went to school he’d batter me and rob me toys and me dad would send me back out to face him. This lad went to a different school and his older brothers were notorious in the town. Then one day he joined our school but for some reason he left me alone most of the time. He just loved fighting and one day he led us up the small copse next to the Croft pub. There a Scouse kid with wild white hair was playing about and my mate B told us this lad was supposed to be hard. He just walked up to this kid and absolutely pummelled him, then casually walked off. I got the same treatment from him once at the summer holiday school they’d put on at the youthy, attacking me for no reason apart from showing off to a few other lads. I’d also had a few hidings from other kids in school, not just the odd smack in the mouth but proper beatings and so I knew at an early age I wasn’t really cut out for fighting. We had a ‘game’ in junior school called “kicking pot” which basically entailed selecting a victim, usually the poor bastard, O’Connor who tried to escape in his cailpers, and forcing him into the small circle at the centre of the concrete netball court.
Once positioned, the victim would then get kicked by about 40 or 50 pairs of Airwair. We also terrorised other schools during the town sports day which was held at our school one year threatening anyone who dared beat our competitors with brutality. It seemed to work. I remember having Slade vs Gary Glitter gang fights in the infant school and this tribalism remained in the juniors but was now centred around football not glam rock allegiances. The early to mid-’70s was the era of mass football hooliganism, and Liverpool and Man United ruled the roost in our school, with Everton close behind. That was it, there were no other teams really, the odd City fan or glory-hunters who began supporting Forest when they became successful. One of my dad’s mate’s sons supported Leeds and used to go their games which struck me as pretty weird. United had the most fearsome reputation at the time with the Red Army causing mayhem wherever they travelled to, so many of the lads on our estate emulated their ways. There were attempts to civilise us mostly by church going people and especially the Boys’ Brigade. I joined the BB (“Big Bummers” as we got called) when I was about seven or eight, and enjoyed its mixture of paramilitary posturing and trips to places like Hilbre Island and Snowdonia. The main issue with the BB was having to attend church every Sunday and now and then marching around the estate with a fucking Thunderbirds hat stuck on your head. Luckily my mate, Picky had joined with me and he was quite hard. I took it all pretty seriously even all the flagraising and the emphasis upon stern, puritan morality. “Sure & Steadfast”, “God Save The Queen” tying knots, getting badges, wanting a drum but ending up with a bugle, bird-watching visits with the vicar (me dad was suspicious about that), getting confirmed into the Anglican faith, singing hymns and psalms, believing in the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ and being ready to kill for Queen and Country. The BB was considered less middle class than the scouts but in fact it’s a far more insidious organisation, indoctrinating young working class lads at a very impressionable age. This is an extract from Phil’s book, 100 Per Cent Wool. Buy it at purewool.wordpress.com
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All mapped out A new book challenges our understanding of maps and takes cartography into new realms of discovery The map is a cornerstone of human civilisation. Ever since early hunter-gatherers painted maps of the night sky on caves 16,000 years ago, these diagrams have been a vital tool for human beings to explain their place in the world. While some cartographers have attempted to provide accurate navigational aids, others have used maps to project power or claim ownership over disputed territory. Maps can be abstract diagrams or photorealistic works of art â€“ or both. Their use is endless. Itâ€™s this understanding of the versatility of maps that underpins Mapping it Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist. With the goal of rethinking what a map is exactly for in the 21st Century, Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes at Londonâ€™s Serpentine Gallery, has commissioned 130 artists, architects, novelists, thinkers and scientists to design their own. The results are startling, varied and thought-provoking.
Pictures Thames & Hudson
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information thamesandhudson.com
From the map that demonstrates our globalised world by swapping one country’s name with another, to the diagram that shows Great Britain slowly disappearing under the rising ocean, every map challenges, subverts or amuses. And it’s not just the physical world that these works cover – there’s a map of a human brain, for example, in which each area is associated with a relevant person in the designer’s life. Traditional mapmaking this is not. For all the subversion – not altogether unexpected when contributors include the likes of Yoko Ono and Damien Hirst – the thing that strikes one most about this collection is just how good maps are at imparting information. Stories, ideas, philosophies can all be carried by these two-dimensional representations, whether they have anything to do with geography or not. The rise of the infographic, itself a ‘map’ of ideas or statististics, is proof of this. While Google Maps may have digitised what was once an analogue object, maps, in all their guises are more relevant than ever, defining not just the world as it is but what we think it should be. This book ably demonstrates just how far the concept can go – and, as you’d expect, that’s rather a long way indeed. Mapping it Out: An Alternative Atlas of Contemporary Cartographies, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, with a Foreword by Tom McCarthy, is published by Thames & Hudson, £24.95 hardback 3
1 / Previous page, map by Etel Adnan (writer) 2 / Albert-László Barabasi (scientist), How diseases link to each other thanks to shared genes 3 / Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison (artists), The Great Draughtsman, 2009 4 / Michael CraigMartin (artist), Imagining the World, 2011 Left, Mapping it Out front cover
66 Trunk Clothiers 70 Stone Island coat 72 Steeple Pine store profile 78 Nomos Metro watch 80 This issue’s outfits 94 Cubitts profile
Trunk Clothiers Italian suits that blur the lines between smart and casual are the staple items at this central London store. Read more about Trunk on the next page.
84 Cubitts Spectacles, like watches, are part of the armoury of accessories men can use to improve their appearance. We’re rather big fans of Cubitts, makers of glasses in London’s King’s Cross. Our profile of the company and its wares starts on page 94.
Keeping warm, looking cool Radically redesigned for our 11th issue, this edition’s style section is firmly focused on maintaining appearances in the face of the British winter. We’ve put together five outfits to inspire you – though their adoption may lead to a slight dent in your bank balance. Sorry.
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Pictures Tom Griffiths
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information trunkclothiers.com
Trunk calls In London’s Marylebone, one retailer is bringing a high-end international feel to the capital’s menswear scene
+ Soft-shouldered jackets accentuate Trunk’s tasteful interior space
he internet has shrunk the world of menswear, making the location of the stores we buy our clothes from almost irrelevant. Whether it’s Manchester (Oi Polloi), Liverpool (Weavers Door) or Newcastle (End Clothing), the best outfitters can have a beeswax-coated Nigel Cabourn jacket out to you quicker than it takes to say, “Well that’s the weekend away with the lady on the back-burner.” While anything that brings the regions together is to be applauded (apart from competitive morris dancing), it’s nice to know that a London shop is – at last – flying the flag for style in the capital. It’s called Trunk Clothiers. What makes Trunk so unique is its unique take on modern menswear. While selling some of the classic 2014 staples – high-end trainers, great outerwear – Trunk also adds Japanese, Scandinavian and Italian influences into the mix. The result is a fabulous selection of clothing halfway between the upper-class casual of Oi Polloi/End Clothing and the relaxed elegance of Italian stores like Al Bazar in Milan. Located in Chiltern St, near both Baker Street Underground and veteran Ivy League retailer, John Simons, stepping into Trunk is like entering a secret club: a place where you feel special just for having found it. While the schmutter is certainly high end,
the atmosphere is friendly and inclusive – unlike some shops we could mention (but won’t because they might advertise with us) on Bond Street. It’s exactly what a men’s boutique should feel like. Here, director Mats Klinberg takes us through the Trunk experience.
Umbrella: Hi Mats. When did Trunk start, and why? What were the big influences? MK: Trunk opened in September 2010, but it’s something that I’d been thinking about for quite some time. Although there was a lot to offer in terms of menswear in London I thought there was a shop missing where excellent customer service and a warm and welcoming atmosphere was of the utmost importance, and where you could find a mix of clothes from all over the world: from smart to casual and at different price points. I knew a couple of shops like this in Italy and Japan, but none in London. That’s why I started Trunk. U: How would you describe the sort of clothes that people can buy there? MK: Smart-casual sums it up pretty well. You can find a well-edited selection of smart jackets, suits, shirts and ties to more casual chinos, jeans, sweaters and outerwear. In terms of style and design most items are fairly timeless and understated, so they
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+ Trunk’s parquet floor is an indication of the debt it owes to Scandinavian design
will last for several seasons rather than just one. Jackets and blazers are selling the best, closely followed by trousers and shirts.
U: What brands should we be looking out for – and why? MK: Boglioli has been one of our favourite brands right from the start, but we’re now very excited to also be stocking the new Italian brand called Gigi (by the people that initially founded Boglioli), MAN 1924 from Spain and Massimo Alba of Italy. All of them offer soft tailoring in a great selection of fabrics and colours that will help you dress for any occasion, smart or casual. U: What style trends are you seeing for winter 2014/’15? MK: Trunk tends not to focus too much on trends, but on beautiful pieces of men’s clothing and accessories that can be enjoyed for several seasons. U: You do lovely Italian suiting at Trunk. What makes your suits different to ‘regular’ ones?
MK: Most suits at Trunk are unconstructed, making them much softer around the shoulders which gives you a less formal look while still looking very smart. Because they’re unconstructed and far softer they’re also much easier to pack and travel with.
U: How approachable is your store? MK: Being friendly is at the heart of what Trunk is all about, so I hope that comes across when you visit one of our shops. U: How important is online shopping for you now? Do you have customers all over the UK/world? MK: Our online store is becoming increasingly important. At launch, I wanted to focus on the physical shop, but with customers from all over the UK and the world I see our online presence as a way to serve our customers wherever they are. U: What’s your favourite item in the shop? MK: So many nice things, but this season I particularly love the light and fluffy cashmere sweaters from ESK.
Pictures AJ Callaghan
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Further reading triwa.com
I N F O C U S : T R I WA
Bright ideas Triwa’s watches add fun to form and function
Triwa Lansen with orange strap, £149 Triwa Lansen with brown face, £149 Triwa Lansen chronograph in black, £230 Triwa Lansen in brown with leather strap, £149 Triwa Niben with silver face, £149
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our favourite thing
Stone Island sheepskin jacket £1,595 buy When the weather gets really miserable, a man needs a coat that’s going to take on the elements and give them a real hiding. This jacket does it in style. Satisfyingly chunky, when the collar’s turned up, the windchill is less of a factor and more a total irrelevance. Exceptional.
+ The exterior shearling has been sprayed with a special blue paint to make it weatherproof
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+ The jacketâ€™s collar is fastenable, meaning you can turn it up and it wonâ€™t flop down
+ The coat is made from 100 per cent shearling, with the interior contrasting with the outside
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Steeple power Liverpool’s Steeple Pine supplies the country’s “keenly-eyed dressers” with a distinctly British mix of traditional and modern
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Words xxxxxxxxxxxx Further Reading www.xxxxxxx
+ Marshall Artist seam-sealed hooded rain mac in dark claret, £135.00; STAND fanzine, £2.50 from distantecho.co.uk
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+ TukTuk Larry Flannel purple check shirt, ÂŁ70
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+ Realm & Empire Stripe Crew T-Shirt, £35.00 + TukTuk brown corduroy trousers, £65
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Pictures John Johnson Words Anthony Teasdale Further information steeplepine.co.uk
Umbrella: What sort of garments do you feature on SP? Steeple Pine: We offer clothing for the ‘discerning gent’. Our self-imposed benchmark is: “Catering for a well-dressed young man who’s selective of his sartorial advances and shows good judgement.” If an item doesn’t meet that it doesn’t go on the site. Fortunately, there’s lots of nice gear that does match our criteria from the likes of TukTuk, Realm & Empire, Nicholas Deakins, Marshall Artist and more. U: You’re based in Liverpool. Is there a regional difference in what people buy depending on location? SP: Among who we sell to I wouldn’t say so. Obviously in the wider population there’s huge regional differences – there’s differences by suburb in many areas – but among our subset of keenly-eyed dressers there doesn’t seem to be too much difference. They have insight and understanding and this is reflected in what they wear. Starting with their socks. U: What labels are you really excited about? SP: TukTuk and Realm & Empire are the big two for us. TukTuk’s fusion of tropical Sri Lanka-meets-Brighton modmeets-northern lad is quite a concoction. Realm & Empire’s unique access to the Imperial War Museum military archives has allowed for a truly unique collection. Each item has a story, from crew-neck jumpers based on what an army recruiter would wear to a university lecture to peacoats that have 300 years of history etched into them. Not only do both labels offer stories and quality, they’re priced reasonably. U: Would you be interested in having a bricks-and-mortar store in the city at the moment? SP: Not at the present. We’ve worked hard to really tailor the online experience to make it as near as walking into a shop and picking up an item as possible. We use high-res photography, have neat descriptions and an easy basket process. We also send out same day – and for free. If you decide you want a new jacket on a Tuesday afternoon you can have it by Wednesday morning and you’ll save yourself the train fare into town. U: What’s the key influence on British fashion these days? SP: Instagram. The social network is providing a platform for people to intentionally or unintentionally spread new brands and styles throughout the UK and beyond far more quickly than any magazine, fashion house or subculture can.
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+ Realm & Empire peacoat,ÂŁ275
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Minimal effort Is the Nomos Metro the perfect urban watch?
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information nomos-watches.com
When you’re buying a new watch, what is it you’re looking for? Timekeeping accuracy is obviously paramount. A mechanical movement rather than the tick-ticktick of a quartz calibre? If you can afford it, why not? But, as far as this magazine is concerned, the perfect watch has to have a design philosophy that’s in tune with both how we dress and how we see the world (and how the world sees us). That’s why we’re such fans of the Nomos Metro. To our eyes, the Metro, a project between watchmaker Nomos and Berlin designer Mark Braun, is the perfect urban timepiece. Despite its understated looks – and we’re smitten with its minimalist styling – there’s a huge amount of watchmaking power here. First, the movement. Created by Nomos at its HQ in Glashütte, east Germany, this handwound watch is powered by the company’s own DUW 4401 calibre, which + The Metro has a diameter of 37mm, can run for 43 hours on a smaller than many of single wind. Easily enough the large watches on to to see you through even the market. Compact timepieces are a trend the most intensive DVD box– witness UK brand set marathon. Christopher Ward If you’re that way inclined now bringing out smaller versions of its – and you obviously are as Trident diving watches you’re reading this magazine – there’s a crystal back which lets you see the wonderful workings in action. It’s all very hypnotising. Further joy can be found on the face on the watch. As you’d probably expect, clean lines predominate with tiny, dotted markings around the outside, discrete numbers every five seconds and two hands that narrow nicely for extra precision. There’s further complication goodness in the shape of a date window at six-o’clock and sweephand seconds counter under the centre. But best, and most useful, of all, is the ‘fuel gauge’ power reserve indicator, so you know exactly how much juice you’ve got left. Once it goes into the red, it’s time to wind the beautifully engineered crown up. A watch like this isn’t a quick, cheap purchase, but to our minds, the Nomos Metro will provide a daily dose of utilitarian sophistication long after the price is forgotten. A beautiful thing indeed.
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Fashionobsessed carpenter Working with your hands is no excuse for scruffiness, especially as many of today’s best garments have some – usually tenuous – link to ‘real’ labour. Cool chippie? This look nails it.
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Coalatree Leatherman Bunker jacket, £135 coalatree.com smalle
Rotary quartz complication watch, £395 rotarywatches.com
Universal Works work cardie, £295 universalworks.co.uk
Uniqlo check button-down shirt, £19.90 uniqlo.com
Camel Kicker boots, £95 kickers.co.uk
Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com
Norse Projects x Hestra gloves, £85 endclothing.co.uk
Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com
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Incognito courier Saying, â€œCan you sign here, mate?â€? all day takes its toll on a chap. With its combination of naturaland man-made fibres, this getup keeps even the most delicate courier snug, and anonymous, if he cuts up too many black cabs.
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All-black Nike Roshe Runs, £70 nike.com
Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com
Nixon Tangent watch, £380 nixon.com
Umbrella digital archive, free umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Paul & Shark jogging pants, £115 paulshark.it
Button-down Paul & Shark hoodie, Oxford£200 Shirt, £49.99, paulshark.it www.uniqlo.com
CP Company foam, padded bomber jacket, £375 cpcompany.co.uk
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Anarchist goatherd Pushing bleating goats around all day makes Vlad a dull boy. Happily, our hero always packs a copy of Bakunin’s God and The State in the pockets of his new sheepskin to keep boredom – and impure thoughts about Billy Goat Gruff – at bay.
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Aigle sheepskin cardigan, £170 aigle.com
Albam Shetland jumper, £149 albamclothing.com
Albam slim-leg jeans, £155 albamclothing.com
Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com
Peregrine waxed jacket, £199 peregrineclothing.co.uk
Triwa Button-down Lansen with Oxford orange Shirt, strap, £49.99, £149 www.uniqlo.com triwa.com
Penfield Harmon check shirt, £65 penfield.com
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Mod detective Our style-savvy gumshoe left the force following an incident with a silk scarf and an inflatable replica of Cathy McGowan. Now he plys his trade as a record store detective, getting paid in cash and â€˜blue bombersâ€™.
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Uniqlo black wool/cashmere blazer, £89.90 uniqlo.com
Button-down oxford shirt, £14.90 uniqlo.com
Rotary gents watch, £299, rotarywatches.com
Pre-owned Christian Dior silk handkerchief
Woolrich Boucle crew-neck jumper, £175 uk.woolrich.eu
Samsoe & Samsoe blue chinos, £151 samsoe.com
Loake 771 oxblood shoes, £160 loake.co.uk
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Part-time deckhand Receiving the model boat last Christmas wasn’t his idea of the perfect present, but a year on, he’s got this sailing lark sorted. He may still get seasick in a puddle, but he’s never looked better. Land ’hoy!
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Maurice Lacroix Prontos S Chronograph, £2,390 mauricelacroix.com
Henri Lloyd gilet, £95 henrilloyd.com
Paul & Shark puffa jacket, £750 paulshark.it
Aigle chinos, £90 Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com aigle.com
Paul & Shark striped jumper, £220 paulshark.it
Universal Works red shirt, £105 universalworks.co.uk
Pointer Barklay Gargoyle shoes, £100 pointerfootwear.com
Button-down Oxford Shirt, £49.99, www.uniqlo.com
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Pictures adidas Words Anthony Teasdale Further information adidas.co.uk
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adidas copa mundial: all-black, all-white, all class At Umbrella, we make no secret of our love for adidas’s beautiful World Cup and Copa Mundial football boots. Despite the many advancements that have taken place in footwear technology since they were released in 1979, few, if any, have equalled their perfection. No wonder we made the World Cup one of our “Favourite things” in Issue Two. While it would be impossible to improve on the World Cup and Copa Mundial, adidas has given the latter a timely makeover by releasing two new ‘remixed’ versions of the latter: one in all-white, the other all-black. Both are constructed in the soft kangaroo leather that gives the shoe its luxurious feel. As the very opposite of Sunday league fancy-dans, we’d probably give the all-white version a swerve, but the monochrome menace of the black really floats our boat. You just know you’d do some damage with it. If you feel the Copa Mundial’s moulded studs won’t be able to fully cope with winter’s muddy pitches, you can maintain your colour scheme with all-black (and all-white) reworks of the Predator and F50 boots, too. It’s like Jil Sander’s been put in charge of design development at adidas – and has begun with the brand’s greatest ever sports shoes. As they used to say in the ’70s, it’s champion. The blackout and whiteout adidas Copa Mundials are available to purchase from adidas.co.uk/football for £145 per pair
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we loveâ€Ś adidas copa mundial
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Cross-eyed 94 Umbrella Systems
Pictures xxxxxxxxxxxx Words xxxxxxxxxxxx
London spectacle makers www.xxxxxxx Cubitts combines traditional engineering methods with very modern designs. Matt Reynolds caught up with MD Tom Broughton to talk pin drilling, Kingâ€™s Cross and Victorian butterfly rivets
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Words Matt Reynolds Further information cubitts.co.uk
+ A selection of the frames available from the men’s collection and, inset, a cleaning cloth showing the evolution of King’s Cross – note the three Cubitts brothers in the bottom-left corner
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mbrella: Where does the name Cubitts originate? Tom Broughton: We’re named after the Cubitt brothers – engineers and master builders of Victorian London. They introduced the ‘modern system’ of building to Britain, which made construction more transparent, efficient and economical. We thought it was a splendid principle to apply what we’re trying to do, but for a very different industry – streamline the process and offer much better value, while staying committed to fine craft. We founded the company on Cubitt Street in King’s Cross, London, on the site of their original building yard, and all of our frames are named after streets in the area.
“We strongly believe in curation and never want to overwhelm with choice” U: What’s the story behind the logo? TB: The ‘tag’ which sits above the text is based on the shape of the Victorian ‘butterfly’ rivets found in Granary Square, behind King’s Cross station. They were laid there to hold together enormous granite blocks, on which sat a crane that lifted goods from the canal. I loved the geometric shape but that it also had a purpose – the bond which held things together. We then took that shape and divided it into two, so that the contour represents K and X, the moniker of King’s Cross. We designed our own typeface for the body of the logo – it’s called Buxton after the Norfolk village where the Cubitt brothers were born. We tried to make it strong and bold, but with small serifs at the same angle of the tag to reference the industrial, engineering heritage.
U: Your glasses are very affordable. The £100 price tag includes everything; frames, lenses and delivery. How do you keep costs down? TB: By doing everything ourselves. We do our own designs, manage all our own production, keep our overheads super-low, and sell directly to our customers. U: What’s included in the £100? TB: All our spectacles come with handmade cases that can fold flat, as well as a branded carry pouch for people that prefer something smaller. We also include oversized cleaning cloths with a colour scenescape of King’s Cross. We know some people like their spectacle arms to be tight, while others prefer a loose fit. So we also provide an optical screwdriver with every order. U: What’s special/different about your production process? TB: It’s really important to us to make our frames in the traditional way, they’re all handmade rather than injection-moulded. And each frame uses custom Cubitts pins that secure right through the acetate – this is called pin drilling. We do this by hand and it takes more skill to engineer than the heat-sunk hinges that most glasses use. U: How many styles have you got in the Cubitts collection? TB: Currently, we offer eight styles in four colours, but we’ll soon be adding another five or six, and two or three colours to the range. We strongly believe in curation, and never want to overwhelm with choice. We think meticulously about each style and prototype it extensively, including getting designs 3D-printed, before we start production. U: Do you sell prescription sunglasses? TB: We do, and can cater for pretty much any prescription. We can also offer a range of tint colours – whatever you prefer.
+ Right: Details of the King’s Crossinspired logo, and the injection-moulded acetate bridge
98 Umbrella Last Word
Picture Christopher Ward Words Joshua Clare-Flagg Further information watchitallabout.com
Obsessions: Watches Joshua Clare-Flagg’s time-consuming hobby is starting to pay dividends
hen I look at a watch, the last thing I see is the time. Of course, that sounds pretty preposterous doesn’t it? But isn’t every obsession? A watch is a timepiece – you use it to tell the time. But for me, it’s more than that. It’s an extension of your personality. In a world where watches can be replaced by mobile phones, I like to feel (like so many other watch-obsessed zombies) that I’m a champion of the traditional mechanical watch – a beautiful, remarkable piece of machinery that becomes your number one companion. I’ve got a particular focus for this obsession, and that’s affordable watches. I’m an average man with an average salary. Although I’d happily drop thousands on a timepiece, I don’t have that kind of money. That’s why I love hunting down great watches under the £500 mark. What exactly is a great affordable watch? It’s one that offers the specifications of a timepiece worth much more than it costs. For instance, you’d definitely want sapphire crystal rather than mineral, as it’s second only to diamond on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, and almost impossible to scratch. You’d also want a decent movement. If you’re looking at an automatic (AKA self-winder), you’d want a Swiss manufacturer, such as ETA or Sellita. If that’s not possible, one of the better Asian manufacturers, such as Miyota or Sea-Gull, would do. Oh,
and the build quality has to be top notch, too. So what does this affordable watch obsession mean for me? Well, firstly, hours of research on watch forums, and time spent finding new brands on social media. It also gives me a heightened ‘wrist sense’, that ability to work out what watch someone is wearing in a fraction of a second. It’s fairly easy to recognise an Omega or Rolex just from a glimpse of their bracelet or clasp. What have I done about this obsession? Unsurprisingly, I’ve fed it – and set up my own blog, Watch it All About. As a web designer, this made perfect sense. I could build it myself, so there’d be no cost involved. It would also give me the perfect excuse to buy and sell watches over and over again. My wife even thought of the name. Sometimes I revel in the genius of it all. Watch it All About currently receives over 15,000 visits a month. I’m not a brilliant writer, but the level of detail I go into, plus my fairly decent pictures and video reviews help to make it popular. I’m even getting manufacturers sending watches to review, so I don’t have to spend any money. I do have to send them back, though. Currently, I’m living in a fairy-tale land where I can look at watches all day long thanks to my self-sufficient obsession. After reading this, perhaps the next time you see a watch the last thing you’ll see is the time, too.
Next issue The world’s best overhead railways, spring fashion special, new British watches, Italy’s dark heart
Umbrella: now available in print Order your copy here for just ÂŁ6 The latest issue of Umbrella features: 33 pages of winter style, favourite city crests, Oslo: a city undergoing change, the new wave of maps, UK cycle hire report, a history of British youth fashionâ€Ś plus lots more. All for the price of a pint (in certain London bars).