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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 13 – Autumn / Winter 2015 33 pages of new-season style / The truth about ’80s Britain The world’s greatest passports / Cocktails from The Ivy Soccer in the 1970s / Abandoned places / London’s best streets
Umbrella: now available in print Order your copy here for just ÂŁ6 Umbrella is now available as a coffee-table enhancing 100-page print edition. It looks great, it reads brilliantly and it smells amazing. All for the price of a pint (in certain London bars). Go on, treat yourself.
Issue 13 Autumn/Winter 2015
On the cover Christ Church, Lambeth
Editor Anthony Teasdale firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel is one of the things – alongside expensive coats and limited edition maps – that gets the Umbrella team excited. But what of the documents that smooth our passage through customs – passports? In this issue we choose our favourites, judging them on typeface, design and colour. Who knew Norway had got it so right? Away from this, we take you from 1970s football to 2015/16 winter fashion. It’s one hell of a journey. Enjoy it. Tony & Matt, London, Autumn 2015
Creative director Matt Reynolds email@example.com
Staff writer Elliott Lewis-George
Other contributors Don G Cornelius Adrian Callaghan Peter O’Toole Federico De Cicco Joe Rampley Devashish Guruji
Online Dan Nicolson firstname.lastname@example.org
Advertising Jon Clements email@example.com
Printed by Buxton Press
A lover of cities and their stories, Rik documents the hidden, untold and fleeting. His Flâneurism project connects photography and the journey of the ‘Flâneur’. He took a stroll for Umbrella with his camera around Tel Aviv’s White City.
Michael Taylor is a writer and entrepreneur from Greater Manchester. He stood for parliament in the 2015 General Election and did alright. 40 By 40 is his first novel and was a finalist in the Pulp Idol firsttime writers’ prize.
Journalist Andy specialises in both hard-edged investigation pieces and observations on the nature of relationships. His main interest outside work is horse racing, which he writes about in our Obsessions feature on page 98.
One of the most influential journalists to come from the north-west football casual scene, regular Umbrella contributor Phil Thornton is back with a thoughtful piece on the fortunes of Robbie Williams, who he likens to a Pontin’s Bluecoat.
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Published Three times a year by Wool Media LTD
No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission. Every effort has been made to contact and properly credit copyright holders – please contact us regarding corrections or omissions. Printed on paper from sustainable sources. To stock Umbrella please contact firstname.lastname@example.org UMB026
6 Umbrella Contents
Editions 08 Northern stars
Field trip 26 Grand Canyon
Stories 46 Stuck in the moment
Style 70 Object of lust
The work of Liverpool’s Küla Studio
Don G Cornelius rides an incredible new bike
The abandoned places of Thomas Windisch
28 Saddle saw
54 The Bluecoat kid
Newfangle in the spotlight
With the beautiful wooden Tube station
Behind-the-scenes at Brooks saddle-makers
78 ’Bourne to rule
12 The Umbrella-ist
32 Modernism in Tel Aviv
Phil Thornton takes an honest (and affectionate) look at Robbie Williams
58 Having a ball
We look at football in the ’70s, with a an additional profile of FC Umbrella
Five looks for AW 15/16
Brutalist fan Corin Gibbon
14 Recipes From Terroirs, London
17 Simple pleasures Sweet potato
Umbrella goes to Israel’s biggest city in search of great architecture
72 New ideas Time well spent with the Melbourne Watch Company
90 Bright idea K-Way’s killer cagoules
38 The beauty of Japan’s Bullet train
92 ’Store thing 98 Obsessions
20 Book extract
Matt Reynolds travels east to ride the ultimate train
Michael Taylor’s 40 By 40
40 Stamp of approval
Umbrella’s countdown of the world’s most beautifully designed passports
18 Cocktails From The Ivy
Andy Beckett on Britain in the early 1980s
Inside The Garbstore Horse racing
14 R ecipes from Terroirs restaurant in London
17 T he simple pleasures of sweet potato
22 Q &A: Andy Beckett, author of Promised You A Miracle
Editions Consume with intelligence
08 Prints charming Liverpool’s Küla Studio is a collective of designers, writers and photographers that specialises in work imbued with British social culture. More on page eight.
12 Concrete evidence Modernist architecture is something we like, but perhaps not as much as Corin Gibbon, the man behind the @ThisBrutalLife Instagram account, which covers post-war buildings. He’s this issue’s Umbrella-ist – read about him on page 12.
18 When it comes to food and drink, you don’t get much better than The Ivy, which has been at the heart of London’s restaurant scene for a quarter of a century. After a restoration over the summer, it invited us down to sample some of its classic cocktails. We left somewhat merrier, with fuzzy heads and three great recipes.
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Pictures Küla Collective Words Anthony Teasdale Further information kulashop.etsy.com
Northern stars Liverpool’s Küla Studio thrives on collaboration to create beautiful products Being creative for a living is often a lonely existence. While writers, artists, photographers and musicians love their work, realising you’ve spent the last three weeks without seeing a single soul – apart from the staff of Lidl – can put a bit of a dampener on your mood. Maybe that’s why Liverpool collective Küla Studio works so well. A group of like-minded individuals, they come together to collaborate on projects when circumstances dictate, whether that’s putting together a magazine, creating limited edition prints or coming up with a logo for client. “To be honest, it’s pretty much an excuse for a few mates to put on some proper trousers, get out of the house and do stuff,” says Küla’s Roy McCarthy. “We’re like urban ramblers, or a fontobsessed support group, or something else that sounds a bit shit but is actually really enjoyable.” The work of some creative agencies can often a feel a little anonymous, but Küla’s products are soaked in British music and youth culture – check its pop-art prints of classic ’70s cars and ’80s training shoes for proof. Now, with the likes of Halcyon magazine and Twitter pisstaker Sarcastialist coming into the Küla fold, the studio’s work is gaining fans in the UK and beyond. But what makes it really click is the city it’s based in – a place that’s inspired the work Roy’s most proud of. “We all agreed that Liverpool would be the subject of our first group show, as it was a subject we all knew inside out,” he says. “We called it An Eye For The Unloved. The private view was really good, but my favourite bit of the project was making the film: our little gang driving around together, filming Liverpool’s unloved landmarks and eating chips.”
10 Umbrella Editions Pictures Wikimedia commons
Car-free for Paris? Europe’s smog capital takes a breather
Matters of interest from the worlds of style, culture and transport
Nomos on time to help Horological master makes a watch that looks good – and does good, too German watchmaker Nomos has announced a new range of timepieces that will directly help those affected by war and famine around the world. For every watch sold by Nomos in the special Doctors Without Borders range, 100 Euros, GB Pounds or US Dollars will be donated to the charity of the same name. Something that is especially needed with the current situation in Syria. Nomos said, “These special editions do not cost more than usual, since Nomos Glashütte and our retailers are covering this sum, not the customers.” The company has so far produced 8,000 watches in previous years for the charity, and each timepiece has been sufficiently different enough to tempt new and old customers like. Talking to Umbrella, it said: “These limited edition watches have a few special features the small inscription ‘Doctors Without Borders’ on the dial under the six, as well as a special engraving on the back referring to the humanitarian organisation. In addition, these special models have black oxidized hands instead of the usual tempered blue ones — and a red 12; as red is the colour of MSF (Medicins Sans Frontieres) and of international aid. The aim is to raise over one million dollars.” You can find out more at nomos-glashuette.com
+ The clear back of Nomos’s DWB watch reveals the beautiful movement inside
For the first time, last month Paris banished cars from the streets of its centre as a part of a move to reduce pollution. The scheme was backed by Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, who’s also vowed to ban diesel there by 2020. The event was not without controversy however. Taking place on a Sunday (September 27), disagreements between police and authorities meant that only a third of the city was able to go car-free. For its size, Paris has unusually bad air quality – in March of this year it was briefly the most polluted city on the planet despite the success of its Vélib bike-sharing service, as well as its electric car hire scheme. Paris is not the only metropolis to experiment with banning cars from its centre: Sao Paulo, Brussels and Bristol have all held similar car-free days. But there’s extra pressure on the French capital as it’s holding the world climate change conference in December.
Just the ticket DIY version of London Underground station makes its mark
+ Barnard’s work was accurate down to the free newspapers
A British artist had made a hand-painted replica of a London Underground station. Camilla Barnard displayed the installation, Wooden Tube Station, at the London Design Festival last month. As the name implies, the work was completely constructed out of wood, and contained ticket machines, advertising and even a network map. Barnard, who’s known for her playful, cartoon-ish approach to art, created the piece with the help of woodworker Gunter Luck and Transport for London, which made sure the dimension of the ticket hall’s furniture were correct. The event was sponsored by Dulux paints. The piece, housed at the old Central St Martin’s college in Holborn, central London, was part of an 18-month long series of events to mark the Tube’s 150th birthday. More will be announced soon. camillabarnard.com
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T HE UMBREL L A–IS T
No. 3: Corin Gibbon Quotes from people we admire According to the comments section of a well-known news website, Corin Gibbon is “a patronising voyeur of other people’s architectural brutalisation”. That all sounds a bit heavy, doesn’t it? Don’t worry though, Umbrella can confirm that Corin is just a regular bloke with a penchant for exploring cities, delving into the details and finding the beauty in things others would write off as mundane. No wonder we like him. We all have our ‘thing’, whether that’s trainers, cars or chilli sauce. For Corin, it’s brutalist buildings. So much so that he’s set up a designated Instagram account (@ThisBrutalLife) to document the concrete-clad constructs he comes across during his travels. We had a chat with him in a pub next to London’s brutalist River Court apartments to find out what brutalism means to him and why it should inspire us. “As a child I lived in Durham. Around the corner from our house was the university’s student union that occupied the brutalist Dunelm House. I remember, even at a really young age, being fascinated by this otherworldly, futuristic, concrete neighbour of ours.” “In the late ’50s to mid ’70s Brutalism offered a vision of the future. Brutalism was quite idealistic and came about at a time when people genuinely thought living in the future was going to be like The Jetsons. The architecture tried to answer the problem of a housing shortage and a rapidly increasing population.”
+ Brutalist icons including London’s Barbican Centre, Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower and the notorious Thamesmead estate
Pictures Wikimedia commons
Editions Umbrella 13
Interview Elliott Lewis-George
“The Barbican in London is a fantastic example of how brutalist architecture can work. It’s just so well thought out. From the spacious apartments to the walkways to the Tube stations that keep you within the complex, it’s all very clean and orderly.”
“Brutalist architecture gives you a great focal point for exploring the city. You can pick out these buildings and they can map out your route as you walk through the metropolis. You can end up exploring parts of the city that you would otherwise ignore.”
“The Alton Estate in Roehampton is interesting because it had a bad reputation in the ’80s and ’90s, despite the fact it had won awards. It was designed by London County Council Architects which was known for having a utopian vision. The estate offers fantastic views of Richmond Park, is really well planned and is apparently now a thriving environment.”
“I studied at Manchester University among the sprawl of concrete that spilled into the suburbs. I spent nearly every weekend partying at the brutalist Hulme Crescents in knocked-through flats and squats that were integral to that whole Madchester acid house scene. I don’t doubt that those buildings facilitated that ‘24-hour party people’ lifestyle.”
“In the late ’50s to mid ’70s, brutalism offered a vision of the future” “Critics argue that brutalist buildings don’t age well. However, I think there’s also a stigmatism attached to brutalism that derives from the way the buildings are managed. If corners were cut when the buildings were built and left unsupervised then these environments don’t just become brutalist by name but brutalist by nature.” “I live with my wife in west London and we can see the Trellick Tower from our bedroom window. It’s fair to say that Erno Goldfinger’s masterpiece is my favourite example of brutalism, and the reason I started the @ThisBrutalLife Instagram account in the first place.”
“In the ’80s, certain trendy music mags labelled bands like Depeche Mode, The Human League and Soft Cell as ‘futurists’. I believe these bands were born in, and influenced by, a brutalist environment. Le Corbusier, the godfather of brutalism, famously said that “a home is a machine for living in”, and I think electronic musicians like Kraftwerk echoed that sentiment in their music.” “My appreciation for brutalist buildings resonates in other aspects of my life: I value attention-to-detail, functionality and cleanliness in everything from my job to my clothes.” “Whether you like them or not, these stark concrete edifices dotted around our cities provoke an emotion. I sometimes feel like today’s buildings are just a bit characterless.” Join Corin in celebrating the beauty of brutalism around the world by following @ThisBrutalLife on Instagram
food & drink
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The grape and the good High-end French cooking meets small-plate informality at this winefocused London bistro
Tapas-style eating makes sense in a city like London. Busy people may not have time to luxuriate over a three-hour dinner, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want quality nosh. And that’s where wine bar/restaurant Terroirs comes in. Located near Charing Cross station, it offers incredible French food for those who are short of time, but big of tummy. “Small plates play an important role in what we do,” says Cecile Mathonneau, Terroirs’ operations manager. “We want our customers to be able to pop in for a quick charcuterie board and glass of wine before jumping on the Tube, or stay for a feast on our comfy
banquettes that make you feel at home.” The focus at Terroirs, which opened in 2008, is on the provenance of its ingredients. Dishes like the homemade charcuterie, and smoked eel with celeriac remoulade are put together by super-talented head chef Dale Osborne, who’s built a reputation for his attention to detail. And then there’s the wine: to say it’s pivotal is an understatement. “Wine is in Terroirs’ genes,” says Cecile. “It’s the song stuck in our heads that keeps us smiling all day. It’s the passion and love that drives us through the long shifts from morning until late at night.”
Words Anthony Teasdale
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Pictures Terroirs, Umbrella
Boudin noir with beets, and cider apple sauce Dale Osborne: “I love blood sausage, be it English black pudding, Spanish morcilla or French boudin noir. At Terroirs we’ve sourced a boudin made to Christian Parra’s recipe and believe it’s the best you can get. The earthiness of the beets complements it and the cider apple sauce cuts through the richness.”
150g slice of boudin noir (we use Christian Parra imported from France) A selection of baby beetroot in various colours
F or the beets – Cut the leaves off, keeping all the stalk attached. Wash, then blanch in boiling water, refresh in iced water and set aside until needed. Boil the baby beets in salted water until cooked, check with a knife to see if soft. Let them cool in the water then peel by rubbing with a kitchen cloth.
A good spoon of apple sauce 5 granny smith apples
In terms of space, Terroirs is split between two levels, with decor that chimes with the French food. Celine again: “We have a large bar counter that can seat up to 14 people, with a great view of the open kitchen. The decor reflects our laid-back Parisian wine-bar vibe – an eclectic mismatch of bistro tables and banquettes, with pictures of wine-growers and prints by friends of the restaurant.” And like any good restaurant, service is instrumental to its success. “We aim to tailor our service to the type of customer,” says Celine. “Some prefer a more formal, attentive approach, while others just want a quiet glass of something without being bothered.” With food as good as the stuff Dale Osborne’s producing, we’d be happy either way. terroirswinebar.com
250ml real cider (We use some made by
F or the apple sauce – Peel, core and chop the apples. Place in a pan and cover in cling film. Steam on a low heat until soft. Add the cider, bring to the boil then blend.
Pat Sullivan) T o serve – Sear the boudin in a hot pan, then finish cooking in a hot oven (180°c) for 5 minutes. Drizzle the beetroots with olive oil and roast on a tray in the oven to heat up, when nearly ready, add the leaves to heat as well. Spoon the apple sauce on a plate, place the boudin on top, then arrange the beets and leaves around the plate.
food & drink
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Clams, ham and fino sherry
Home-made yogurt and honeycomb
Dale Osborne: “This is a favourite dish of mine that I’ve been cooking for years. It’s a classic combination of flavours you’ll find in many tapas bars across Spain. This dish is also perfect for home cooking as it’s made all in one pan and takes a matter of minutes to cook.”
Dale Osborne: “I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth so yoghurt is a flavour I love to have for dessert as it’s really fresh and clean. Making your own yoghurt is pretty simple, it just needs time. Honeycomb is a great ingredient to add that sweetness and plenty of crunchy texture.”
Makes one portion
Makes 10 portions
250g clams 10g Jabugo ham sliced into strips (Can be substituted for any good quality cured meat) ½ shallot chopped ½ clove garlic sliced 10ml extra virgin olive oil 25ml fino sherry Pinch chives chopped
In a large, wide-bottomed pan soften the garlic and shallots in the olive oil. Add the clams and sauté for a moment, then add the fino sherry, cover with a lid and cook for a couple of minutes until the clams steam open. emove from the heat, add the R Jabugo ham and herbs then finish with a crack of black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. erve on a shallow plate with all the S juices, and plenty of crusty bread to soak it up.
1lt milk (we use full fat raw milk) 2 tbsp milk powder 1 tbsp yoghurt culture (You can buy online) 140g glucose 400g sugar 75g honey 20g bicarbonate soda
F or the yoghurt – Heat the milk in a bain marie up to 80°c. Let the milk cool to 45°c. Whisk in the milk powder and yoghurt culture, then strain. Pour in a tray and cover with clingfilm. Set in an oven overnight at 45°c. When ready the next day the yoghurt can be potted into dishes or bowls for service. If you prefer the yoghurt thicker you can hang in a cloth to remove some whey. F or the honeycomb – Makes plenty to snack on! In a tall-sided pan heat the sugar, glucose and honey to 150°c. Add the bicarbonate and stand back! It will bubble up vigorously. Pour into a cold tray and let cool, then crack into pieces for service.
Pinch dill chopped Lemon juice Black pepper
+ Left, Dale Osborne – the chef whose inspired recipes are at the core of what Terroirs offers
Scatter the honeycomb over the yoghurt, drizzle a spoon of honey over and, if you like, sprinkle with honey pollen.
Pictures Shutterstock, Federico De Cicco
Editions Umbrella 17
Words Elliott Lewis-George
The simple pleasures of… sweet potato was about ten when my dad plonked a plate down in front of me with what honestly looked like a dehydrated turd sitting on it. “That’s a sweet potato,” he said. “It’s like a normal potato, except it’s sweet and orange inside.” After taking some time to debating whether dad had gone the same way as grandma, I took a bite. No butter – no melted cheese necessary – and it still tasted delicious. I’d go as far as to say that overmicrowaved sweet potato tasted out of this world, or at least out of the North West. Forget about the time I sampled a slice of star fruit in school and nearly spewed up, the sweet potato was the first thing I’d tasted that taught me there was great-tasting food outside of the freezer. Hundreds of sweet spuds later and my love for the ipomoea batatas (as it’s known on its Wiki page) shows no sign of subsiding. I’m still baffled by the fact that something so sweet and so florescent can be so good for us. Everyone from scientists to guest chefs on This Morning are keen to tell us that the sweet potato is a superfood. A category I typically reserve only for quinoa and other things that don’t taste very nice.
The sweet potato features a stellar line-up of dead healthy stuff. Vitamin B6 staves off degenerative diseases; vitamin C helps us cope with stress and keeps our skin looking fresh; vitamin D keeps our immune system in check; and then there’s the iron, magnesium, potassium and beta carotene. The list just goes on. From a culinary point of view, the sweet potato can bring even the driest dish to life. The humble spud is sound and everything but it’s filler, isn’t it? It doesn’t bring much to the party. If it was actually at a party, the normal potato would be the guy who laughs in all the right places, doesn’t try to get off with the bird you fancy and lets you drink their booze. The sweet potato on the other hand adds a bit of colour. It’s versatile but still accessible. You can mash it, bake it, boil it (boring) and all that stuff. However, I like to cut it into wedges, dust with some Cajun seasoning and sea salt and roast till crisp but still sticky and starchy inside. Yeah, get me. In short, you can keep your kale. I’m sticking to the sweet potato, cheers.
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food & drink
Covent Garden – is the antithesis to this. Since it opened in its present incarnation in 1990, it’s been an oasis of top-notch reliability, renowned for the quality of its food (we’ll be having the shepherd’s pie) and the beauty of its surroundings (the restaurant was refurbished in June). Away from the grub, The Ivy prides itself on its cocktails – so we asked Bar Manager Darren Ball to tell us why the Ivy’s drinks are taking centre-stage.
Umbrella: Hi Darren. The Ivy’s just had a major renovation… Darren Ball: One of the most striking changes to the interior is the addition of a coral onyx dining bar, which takes centre- stage in the restaurant. The venue’s new look incorporates the best-loved elements from the past like the harlequin stained-glass windows, the wood panelling and the great artwork dotted around the walls.
Ivy leads The Ivy serves some of London’s best food, but its refreshed cocktail menu means that barflies should make it a priority, too
Is there anything more tedious than the trendy restaurant? You know the sort: opening to rave reviews (usually down to connections in hospitality and media), it spends its first six months with queues halfway down the street, before being abandoned by the end of the first year when the Next Big Thing opens up somewhere else. Usually east London. The Ivy, in London’s Seven Dials – the northern bit of
U: What role do cocktails play? DB: A great cocktail provides an added personal touch to someone’s dining experience. So, whether they’re wowed by our take on the Strawberry Daiquiri, intrigued by a cocktail containing white wine, plum sake and Campari (the Polyglot) or are simply happy to receive an ice-cold martini, mixed to perfection – the cocktails allow our guests to remember their time with us, as well as providing them with another reason to return. U: How does it feel to drink cocktails at The Ivy? DB: With the bar now the focal point of the restaurant, it’s very special to sit and enjoy one of the new cocktails in prime position – I think it’s one of the best seats in the house! U: What’s The Ivy like on a good night? DB: The great thing about the West End, and The Ivy in particular, is that every day carries a buzz. This is down to the diverse range of guests that walk through our doors. U: Tell us about the selection you’ve done for Umbrella… DB: The Strawberry Daiquiri and the Espresso Martini are well-known classics which I’ve adapted for the 21st century. Most notable is the Daiquiri – our pastry chef Liza created a fresh and creamy strawberry sorbet for it. A boule of this is placed in an oversized coupe and served with a bijou carafe of daiquiri on the side to pour over. The secret is not to be tempted to guzzle the rum-soaked sorbet before it’s had time to melt! Finally, the Innocuous Pale Ale is a nonalcoholic cocktail inspired by the nation’s newly found love of ‘craft ale’ – it’s a caricature of an IPA served in a frozen trigger mug. And it’s super-refreshing! the-ivy.co.uk
Pictures The Ivy, Umbrella
Editions Umbrella 19
Words Anthony Teasdale Further information the-ivy.co.uk
The Ivy’s Strawberry Daiquiri
The Ivy’s Espresso Martini
50ml Havana Club Rum 3 Years
45ml Absolut Elyx
100ml fresh grapefruit juice
Juice of 1 small lime (ie 2 tbsp or 25ml)
25ml Illyquore coffee liqueur
(approx. ½ grapefruit)
2½ tsp sugar syrup
15ml (1 tbsp) Bergamot juice (If you
1 scoop of good quality strawberry
10ml (2 level tsp) vanilla syrup
can’t find one, then you can substitute
Garnish with a sprinkle of chocolate
with lemon or lime)
A mint leaf for garnish
powder or ground cinnamon
50ml good quality pineapple juice
The Ivy’s Innocuous Pale Ale
(NB we use Eager at The Ivy – available ut all the ingredients into a cocktail P shaker with ice and shake hard. Strain into a small glass bottle or jug. Put a scoop of strawberry sorbet into a chilled coupe. Pour the cocktail over the sorbet and serve. At The Ivy, we garnish with balsamic pearls, a mint leaf and a wooden spoon. At home, the mint leaf and a teaspoon would work just as well!
ill a cocktail shaker two thirds full with F ice cubes and add all the ingredients. Shake vigorously.
in most good supermarkets) 15ml (1 tbsp) sugar syrup Top up with low-alcoholic beer
train into a chilled martini glass (if you S have a tea-strainer or small sieve, it’d be better to double-strain it, but this is not essential). Garnish and serve immediately.
Put all the ingredients, except the beer, into a cocktail shaker and shake hard. Strain into a glass tankard or beer glass (if you have a tea-strainer or small sieve, it would be better to double strain it and top up slowly with low-alco beer.
“Every day carries a buzz. This is down to the range of guests that walk through our doors”
+ Left, the new central bar at The Ivy, the centre-stage of the restaurant’s recent renovation
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£ “He’s stunted,
smart and ugly, but as hard a man as I’ve ever known. He might not be big but when he gets knocked down, he just gets up again. He never stops” Michael Taylor’s debut novel 40 By 40 tells the story of a Cheshire bad boy about to dive into the crash of 2008. In this exclusive extract, we find main character Roger Cashmore about to escape from the cold of a Manchester winter’s day to have lunch in the restaurant San Carlo…
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By midday I’m desperate to get out and show my face in San Carlo and should get there for one-ish. San Carlo is without a shadow of a doubt the number one gaff for nosebag in Manchester right now. If I get there in enough time I’ll get that parking spot on the corner behind Kendal’s, just before El Hadji Diouf finishes training at Bolton Wanderers and comes into town. It’s on double yellows, but it’s worth it to show off the new Hummer to whoever is in and it’s only £30 if the parking feds get you. My pride and joy is a H1 Light Utility, which I got repainted in metallic green just to show my commitment to the environmental cause. It has an electric sunroof, which is a waste of time in Manchester. It’s got side steps, roof rails, full leather interior and everyone turns and stares, wherever you are. I lend it to pals so they can pull birds and look good, for a favour of course. It’s a damp grey Manchester day but in San Carlo the sun always shines. And today it is buzzing like you wouldn’t believe. Breezy bedlam and merry mayhem with waiters flying about like it’s the rush hour in Central Station. The Doris on the door knows me by name and always sees me right, I don’t need to book, but today I’m being treated and there’s every chance they’ll cock it up. “Sort me a booth, love,” I say and give her my wink. I scan quickly through the crowd of various muppets: accountant, bank lads, lawyers, journalists, idiots basically, sat cheek-by-jowl alongside a few old dears. These are the ladies who lunch: brassy and obvious and they’re from Wilmslow or Hale, harder and older and they’ll be the Worsley wives. There’s this character at the bar called the Plumber, does something with pipes. I saw him getting dropped off by his driver in a jet black Bentley GT Continental, but he still dresses like a striking miner. In the far corner of the bar are four moody-looking lads, all in black with a big older grand-looking bloke with a mane of silver hair and a three-piece pinstripe suit. They’ve got a bucket of champagne and they’re obviously out celebrating. At first sight I didn’t think I knew them. But it’s all about context and, in this setting, I’m vaguely embarrassed when one of them clocks me. I’m surprised to see him in here, it’s not usually his domain, not like it is mine, so I just nod. But, fuck, he’s coming over for a chat. “Mr Cash, the main money man,” this brute says in a slightly sing-song way like he’s rapping or some such shit. He’s stunted, smart and ugly, but as hard a man as I’ve ever known. He might not be big but when he gets knocked down, he just gets up again. He never stops. He’s called Tosh and I know him from back in the day. He never quite thanks me for reminding him he had a scholarship to our fee-paying grammar school and I used to go to Man United with him before everyone else decided they liked football. He’s my tenuous link to the shady side of business. He’s as bald as a coot now, but in the early ’80s he had a big pudding bowl of a haircut, the biggest flick in the
scoreboard paddock at Old Trafford. He was always useful to have around. In the famous words of the Beach Boys, “the bad guys know us and they leave us alone”. He’s had a few run-ins with the law; been down a few times, a bit of a grafter, ticket touting, snide gear, knock-off clothes and electrical goods. He was also a hardcore football hooligan at United; he’s even written a book about his grafting days after spending a stretch in Sing Sing prison in America. Called Totally Tosh, it includes all the scrapes him and his merry band have been in all over the world: Thailand, America, even Leeds and Liverpool. Last time I saw him he’d become a bit of a fixer in his own right and claimed he was going legit and embarking upon a career as a serious businessman. I remember what he said: “Fook me, if you’re a millionaire it can’t be that fookin’ hard.” But his shot at the big time, as far as I know, extends as far as running unofficial travel business for getting lads to United matches abroad. He’s rung me a couple of times over the years for tips on avoiding VAT and stuff, but he’s gone a bit quiet of late. So while part of me gets a bit embarrassed when he crosses over into my space, other times I’m highly delighted. His brief, in the chalk stripe with lines as wide as what Tosh has obviously been sniffing slaps his hand on Tosh’s shoulder, “My client here is a respectable member of the business community and has been completely exonerated of the heinous charge of murder and once again I have exposed the utter incompetence of Greater Manchester Police and their lickspittles at the Crown Prosecution Service.” Fuck me, murder! Even that’s an upgrade for Tosh. “Dibble had fuck all on me, Mr Cash. No witnesses, all the phone tap stuff they’d done they couldn’t use, and they couldn’t match the petrol in my car to the type used to torch the car they found Caveman in because some bottles went missing at the labs,” he laughs, still talking in that slow sing-song menace that he’s always had. He looks at his brief, who’s smiling at him, probably because he gets him so much business. “The Old Bill were desperate, pal,” he says, “this one copper was up as a witness, behind a screen and all that. They ask him to describe me, and he says ‘a bully’ not, small, bald, white. But ‘a bully’… even the beak had to pull him on that one.” I smile and give him the Cashmore wink. “Catch you later.” He smiles, but not with his eyes, and amidst all the bonhomie and the cheering and the noise of a city centre restaurant he mouths to me – “Panacea pay back, Mr Cash. I’ll be in touch.” I make a mental note that at no point in all of that performance did he say, nor did his brief, even to me, that he didn’t do it. Just that the Old Bill couldn’t prove he did. Michael Taylor’s 40 By 40 is published by TH Media, priced £7.99. You can buy it from amazon.co.uk and independent bookshops
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I ORT P P U S MY NCE AMBULA E IC V R E S
THER B RA E
The early 1980s was a time of unparalleled change in British society as the old certainties crumbled, and new forces – in politics, business and the arts – took centre-stage. In Promised You A Miracle, journalist Andy Beckett forensically examines the years 1980-82, and here, tells Umbrella how they made the world we live in today…
S B JO T O N
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I won’t die for Thatcher
STOP CRUISE MISSILE S
CL NU EAR ?
NO Tax Poll way no ect coll y t ’ n a Do on’t P D
Q&A: Andy Beckett
Interview Anthony Teasdale
Umbrella: Hi Andy. What was the state of the UK in 1980? Andy Beckett: There was a hunger for a new Britain but people weren’t sure what it was going to be. There was a new [Tory, Thatcher-led] government in, making promises, but even by then it had become unpopular. There was an awareness from both the right and left, however, that some of the ideas from the last 50 years had run their course. U: Like what? AB: The post-war consensus where people did things collectively more than individuals. That shifted during the 1970s. There was growth of materialism and individualism, with people thinking in a more entrepreneurial way. One of the reasons Thatcher succeeded – at least in her terms – was because there was a readiness for something a bit like Thatcherism before she came in. That could have been a less right-wing, business-orientated version of the Labour party, because things were already on the turn before she came to power. She exploited it, as much as created it. U: Were the nationalised industries really as bad as we’ve been led to believe? AB: I don’t have the view they were useless. A lot of people were comfortable with the state owning things. But the car industry, which was mostly in state hands, was struggling. It had been producing lots of terrible cars, but the story of the Austin Metro, which I cover in the book, showed this supposedly hopeless, conglomerate could actually produce a smart little car which was very successful. U: What were the unions like then? AB: From the late 1960s to the beginning of the ’80s there were more hard left people in the unions – the SWP, communist types – but they were a minority. Most members were broadly on the left, though quite a few voted Tory – they really just wanted their union to get them as good a deal as possible. That’s been written out of history. The workers who were most militant were often women working as things like hospital cleaners. I’m not defending every strike, but they weren’t trying to destroy UK society. As miners’ leader Arthur Scargill said, his members were just people who wanted a conservatory and to able to go on holiday. U: You talk about the Thatcherite embrace of ‘monetarism’. What was it? AB: It was an economic idea that said you could sort out
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an economy like Britain, which was weak and had terrible inflation, by the government to controlling the amount of money circulating, which would reduce inflation.
U: Did it? AB: No, it went wrong pretty quickly. By the late ’70s the British economy was weak so by restricting the amount of money the recession got worse. as did inflation to start with. You had unemployment and inflation going up, and a worsening recession at the same time. They said, “It’s like an alcoholic stopping drinking – things will get better.” In 1980 and ’81, though, this wasn’t working at all. Its social effects were terrifying. U: That’ll be the riots then… AB: They happened in Liverpool, London all over the country – in every major city. A lot of cases, the long-term causes were to do with heavy-handed, often quite racist policing of mixed race areas. These were areas that were in trouble, anyway: Toxteth and Brixton had dropping populations and rising unemployment even before Thatcher got in, and what she did economically made it worse. The riots didn’t happen in the ’70s, it was something that happened on her watch. There were copycat riots in places like Keswick and rich towns in the south of England, too. There was a mix of reasons: some rioters had deepseated resentment against the police, some were politically motivated and others just wanted to do a bit of looting. U: Away from domestic politics, there was a bigger sense of anxiety around nuclear weapons, wasn’t there? AB: A lot of people were really frightened that there was going to be nuclear war between us and the Russians. Thatcher and [US president] Ronald Reagan were confrontational, and there was an ageing regime in the USSR that was trying to stay on. Things had warmed up in the ’70s, but got worse again in the ’80s. There was concern that there’d be a ‘limited nuclear war’, which was confined to Europe as there were American bases here and in West Germany. Britain was full of targets to the Russians. U: Was that the spark for the Greenham Common protest? AB: Yes, the missiles there were cruise, so could only fly a short distance – to eastern Europe. There was a sense they’d make us more of a target. U: How did the Greenham Common anti-nuclear camp come about?
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AB: The protest was the idea of a woman called Anne Pettitt – to stereotype her, a lefty-Guardian person. She’d been involved in radical politics in London then moved to Wales and begun to get concerned about nuclear power. She read an article in Peace News, the CND paper, about a march that happened on the continent against nuclear weapons and decided to protest against it here. They marched to Greenham Common, had a fantastic time and got some local coverage – and some on East German TV – but not as much as they wanted. They decided they needed more so chained themselves to the fence and decided they had to stay there for a bit. It was made up as it went along.
U: Did the British think they’d lose? AB: Argentina had thousands of troops occupying the Islands, its navy was quite big and it knew Thatcher was planning to cut the British one. But the Argentines jumped the gun. If they’d invaded later it would have been winter, and they’d have been entrenched there. It was incompetence on both sides. The Argentine writer Jose Luis Borges said the war was like “two bald men fighting over a comb”.
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U: Moving on to the 1982 Falklands War. Did the government have any idea that Argentina was interested in the islands? AB: The British had known there was a danger that the Argentines might invade for 15-20 years. In the 1970s, the Callaghan government sent a mini task force in secret to scare the Argies off when they’d hinted at an invasion. Thatcher was less interested in military matters. When an admiral said it would take three weeks to steam from the UK to Falklands, she said, “Surely, you mean three days?.” She had no idea how to defend this place. Argentina saw an open door and walked in. If you go to the Falkland Islands – and I have – and talk to the islanders, a lot of them are critical of the Thatcher government. They say the war was her cleaning up her own mess. Previous governments had kept a lid on things.
U: Did the camp really rock the Tory government? AB: It was spooked by it initially when it was set up in 1981 as it attracted a lot of attention. In the early ’80s, CND, which had been quite moribund during the ’70s, became a massive organisation with big rallies in London. Lots of fashionable bands started supporting it, which in turn started sponsoring Glastonbury. But the authorities never seriously considered saying, “We’re not having nukes at Greenham Common,” because the ties between the British and American defence establishments were – and are – so strong.
U: Looking back at the early ‘80s, what’s your view now? AB: The fascination for me about the time is seeing the start of the world we have now. When I first had a job in the early ’90s, Britain seemed boring and quite stable, but now it feels unstable again, similar to the ’80s. I think we’ve also become ideological again – there’s a big difference between Corbyn and Cameron. What’s different is the trade unions were still powerful and the fear of nuclear war was big – it’s not now. In the ’80s Britain was becoming more entrepreneurial. I live in Hackney, and everywhere you go there are hipsters talking in cafes, basically selling business ideas to each other. That was just starting then.
U: Today’s not quite as scary then? AB: There’s less violence. People always talked about ‘aggro’ – the idea you’d get beaten up because you were a punk or whatever. The sense of tension round football or subcultures has gone. It was an exciting time, but scary, too. If you want stable, the world of Tony Benn and Margaret Thatcher isn’t for you. U: Do the changes feel permanent? AB: Some do. The idea of running a business as a natural thing is pretty permanent. But other things are showing their age. The idea you’ll own property is going now – property ownership has gone back to mid-’80s levels. Interestingly, a lot of ideas from the radical left, especially the GLC (Greater London Council), have been very influential. Ideas that governments should get rid of prejudice around gender, race and sexuality is pretty standard now, even among Tories. It’s been an unspoken revolution. Some of those ideas have lasted better than the Thatcherite ones. Promised You A Miracle by Andy Beckett is published by Allen Lane, priced £20. Buy it here.
26 R olling news: the Canyon Commuter bike
28 B ehind-the-scenes at Brooks saddles
Field trip Transport, travel and exploration
32 Tel star Israel’s biggest city, Tel Aviv, is a centre of liberalism in a troubled – to say the least – region. Its modernist buildings are a highlight: see for yourself on page 32.
40 Pass masters Often ignored, the passport is one of the most important aspects of a country’s brand, seen at points of entry all over the world. After rather too much research, we’ve come up with our favourite ones – see if you agree with our ‘best of’ selection.
38 There’s a been a lot of fuss about High Speed 2 in the UK, but Japan has had ultra-fast rail travel – thanks to the Bullet Train (or Shinkansen) – since the 1960s. Umbrella Creative Director Matt Reynolds went east to check just what makes it such an incredible system, and what it says about Japan’s attitude to transport.
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Words Don G Cornelius
Further information canyon.com
Rolling news An incredible new bike has emerged from Germany, and our columnist has fallen madly in love with it…
Grand Canyon German bike brand Canyon has brought out the ride of my dreams. The Canyon Commuter 7.0 combines all the elements of one bike to rule them all: internal hub gear; disc brakes; a dynamo front hub and light; mudguards; and the ability to mount a rear rack. I. Had. To. Ride. It. Canyon is a new kind of bike company, started in 2002 out of Koblenz, Germany with an office in the UK. It sells direct to you, the bike comes straight to your door in a sturdy box, and the company offers a six-year warranty with 30-day returns. I’ve never had as many lingering looks, double-takes, and flat-out stares riding any bike as I have riding this one. People are intrigued by how it appears: the in-built, dynamo-powered light which gives it a little snout, the steep dive of the top tube into the seat stays, the rounded curves of the tubing with no visible welds or cable runs. The bike looks like it’s come from the future: sleeker, shinier, better. But as with all modernism, there are some who shun a better tomorrow, so the Canyon Commuter also elicits muttered expletives, frowns and queries: “What is it? No, really, what is it? For over a month I rode this bike everywhere, 15-mile commutes, quick nips around town, slow treks along towpaths, and it dealt with them admirably, equipped with 35mm tyres that make it feel weird to start off with, but a couple of miles in feel super-stable and nimble, eating up bumps, lumps and depressions in the road. This version comes with hydraulic disc brakes, providing lots of modulation and feel, while still being
powerful enough to stop you when you need it, even in the pouring rain. The Alfine 8 speed hub is glorious, though the gearing at some points felt too big, and it took a bit of oomph to get the bike going from lights. But once you did, it felt like it would roll forever, and changing gear while coasting or stopped at lights was a commute-changer. The Alfine gear shift indicator though, can jog the fuck on. I loved this bike, loved it more than I thought I would – my only major gripe was the handlebars and the subsequent lack of hand positions, which alongside the slightly too-small review frame, aluminium tubing (which I’ve never got on with), and shit load of seat-post on display, meant I was putting a lot of pressure through my wrists, which ached in response for the entire time I had the bike. If money was no object the Commuter should be at the heart of any bike regime, a modern sexy bike to ride around town on. But here’s the rub, this is a cycle that will be brought by people who already know bikes, and can afford the sphinctertightening £1,600 it costs. If they could get it under a grand and into cycle scheme territory, I would be the first to say, if you want a bike to ride to work, and to ride to play, this is the one. But it isn’t, so the majority of people who need this bike won’t be able to have it. And that’s a pity. Agree/disagree? Tweet me @dongcornelius
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+ The gear shift indicator is the only weakness on the bike
+ The VP Components VP-536 pedals provide plenty of grip â€“ cleats not needed
+ The Gates CDX belt is like nothing youâ€™ve seen before, especially when coupled with the Miranda Delta Howllowtube crank
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Pictures Handover agency
Words Matt Reynolds Further information brooksengland.com
Saddle saw If you know leather bike saddles then you’ll know Brooks. We go behind the scenes at its factory to see what makes its seats so special
+ Above, The Brooks logo is fixed to the back of every saddle
rooks was created by the need to make something better. Legend has it that the company began back in the late 19th century when saddle-maker John Boultbee Brooks’ beloved horse died and he was forced to replace it with a more cost-effective, newfangled invention known as the ‘boneshaker’ – or pedal bicycle. Compelled by the need to upgrade the uncomfortable wooden seat, Brooks used his background in bridlery to create a superior leather version. The Brooks signature leather saddle was born. Today, the company is one of the largest and most well-respected saddle-makers in the world. We caught up with Works Office Manager Steven Green at its Smethwick factory to ask him if Brooks still possess that spirit of innovation today.
Umbrella: Hi Steven. Has Brooks always been a Birmingham- based company? Steven Green: Yes. In the early days it was in central Birmingham, just off New Street. It moved to a purpose-built factory in Livery Street (adjacent to Snow Hill Station) in late 1890s. During the war, Brooks even made small parachutes for dropping of supplies to troops on the front line. The move to Smethwick came in 1960 as a result of the Brooks family selling the business to Raleigh Cycles. There’s no-one left at the firm from those days now, but there are a few employees (myself included) who have been here for over 35 years! U: The machinery in the factory looks incredible. Was it custom-built? SG: A lot of the machines still used here at Brooks are old – some date from the Livery Street factory, custom-built for Brooks in the 1950s. Some of the companies who made these machines are no longer in business, so we rely on the expert engineering knowledge of the local area to help out with repairs and spare parts when needed.
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+ Right, Saddles awaiting their frames on the production line
U: Does it all happen in the UK? SG: Yes, all of the leather saddles and small leather accessories are made in the England, most of them right here in Smethwick. U: How long does the production process take? SG: It takes more than a day to produce a Brooks saddle. Although there’s a considerable amount of waiting involved as we wet the leather and then dry it. It’s a step-by-step process. First we make the metal components and plate (or paint) those. Next, we assemble the frame and create the leather top, and then finally rivet the leather to the frame. U: How many styles of saddle do you currently produce? What’s the most popular? SG: There are around 25 different models, each with their own particular leather colour and frame finishes. In the UK, USA and Japan the classic Swift and Swallow saddles are the best-sellers, whereas in Holland and Germany the models with springs are the most popular. Germany is the nation that buys the most, but the USA is not far behind. Then come the UK and Japan. Other countries have shown increased interest in recent years like Norway, Australia and Thailand. U: How long does it take for a saddle to mould to the rider’s behind? SG: Ha-ha! This is the question I get asked almost every day, and unfortunately the answer isn’t so straightforward. Firstly, the weight of the rider will make a difference. The heavier he or she is, the quicker a saddle will mould to their shape. The duration of the ride is another factor. A longer ride time will allow a gradual and natural heat transfer from backside to leather, and the warming leather will mould easier. Lots of short rides do not
achieve this warming effect. Ambient temperature also makes a difference as hotter weather allows the leather to become more supple. Finally, model choice. Some models are more rigid than others because of their shape. For example, the Swallow moulds easily because of its narrow front end and lack of side flaps, but by contract the Colt is one of the most difficult because of its deep sides. Generally, the wider the saddle the quicker they are to break in.
U: Is it true that race riders use Brooks even though there are lighter alternatives available? SG: Back in the days before lightweight materials, almost every professional rider chose a Brooks. The way the side flaps were redesigned was born from requests from pro racers who sought extra clearance for their thighs during a sprint. These days weight is a key consideration and unfortunately leather is a little too heavy to race with. However, next year we’re due to launch a new Cambium saddle which will have a carbon frame and reduce the weight by around 40 per cent, so that might re-ignite some racing interest for Brooks – let’s wait and see!
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Pictures Rik Moran Words Anthony Teasdale Further information flaneurism.com
Modernism in Tel Aviv Some of the world’s best Bauhaus buildings can be found in Tel Aviv, as photographer Rik Moran discovered on a trip to Israel for Umbrella
el Aviv isn’t really like the rest of Israel. A world away from the tragedy of Gaza and the never-ending bitterness of the West Bank, the country’s second, and most tolerant, city is a magnet for party animals of every nationality and sexual orientation. Tel Aviv was founded in 1909 on sand dunes near the city of Jaffa – then still part of the British-controlled Palestinian Mandate. By the 1930s, it was attracting eastern European Jewish architects like Arieh Sharon and Carl Rubin fleeing persecution back home, who in turn brought stark, Bauhaus-influenced designs to their new home. The result was Tel Aviv’s White City, an area defined by modernist blocks which, eight decades after their construction, still shimmer in the heavy heat of the Mediterranean summer. Unlike similar buildings in Europe, TA’s blocks have small, recessed windows and flat roofs, the latter of which are used by residents to socialise on during the evenings. Most are built on pillars, which allow cooling winds to circulate and give somewhere safe for children to play in – all very much in the style of Le Corbusier’s ‘machines for living’. Photographer Rik Moran has just returned from Tel Aviv. Here he tells Umbrella about the effect all this modernism has on the look of the built environment, and whether these pristine blocks can survive in a city that refuses to stand still.
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Q&A Rik Moran Umbrella: HI Rik, what attracted you to Tel Aviv? Rik Moran: It was primarily to go and see the modernist houses, I was amazed to hear that there was such a concentration of Bauhaus-inspired buildings in one place. There’s over 4,000 built in the Bauhaus or ‘international’ style, the largest collection of any city in the world. U: What are these neighbourhoods like? RM: They’re pretty relaxed, there’s the obvious hubs of activity around shops, but mainly they’re pretty chilled. They’d be nice neighbourhoods to live in. U: How have the blocks aged? RM: A few years back, many of them were in a state of disrepair, a few were demolished and many were neglected to the point of ruin. However, in 2009 there was a bill passed for the preservation of over 1,000 of them, with many more earmarked for restoration. U: What were the best buildings you saw? RM: The area around Dizengoff Square is pretty impressive, around it there’s the cinema-hotel which has been restored beautifully and seems to be the poster boy for the whole area. I also loved the ‘Fire and Water’ fountain, a crazy op-art centrepiece that plays music randomly as you walk by. U: Tel Aviv has a reputation as a liberal town. Is it? RM: Yeah, it’s really mixed, very chilled out with so many friendly and helpful people. On a few occasions people would stop and offer their assistance just because we had a map in our hand. You can definitely tell there’s ‘history’ but it feels totally safe – shame that’s not always been the case. You can find out more about Rik’s urban photography at flaneurism.com
facebook.com/ umbrellamagazine @umbrellamag umbrellamagazine Follow us on social media Weâ€™re the kings of links If you like pictures of skyscrapers, tunnels, expensive jackets and old maps, then Follow/Like us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we promise not to update our status with pictures of our kids.
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The beauty of the Bullet Train The 14.10 to Osaka glides into Kyoto station at 14.02 precisely. A smartly-dressed business woman smiles, pausing her conversation momentarily to lift her phone and photograph its arrival. The train comes to a silent halt. Suddenly, the doors glide open and scores of passengers disembark onto the platform, disappearing down the stairs towards the ticket hall. Teams of cleaners step forward and stand poised in small, patient groups by each carriage. They wear spotless uniforms and a large blue flower in their hats. It is 14.04. At some unheard signal they enter the train and begin to clean. Windows are wiped, floors are vaccuumed, tables are put away and the 360-degree rotating seats are all turned to face forward. The teams exit the train and the doors glide shut. The conductor looks up and down the platform at the passengers waiting to board. Each carriage has two neat lines of people next to itâ€™s doors, first or second-class travellers stood in their designated coloured walkways. He checks his watch. It is 14.08. He turns to the front of the train and makes a small bow. The doors open. The passengers board the train quickly, stowing their luggage and finding their seats. They make themselves comfortable, stretching out their legs in the double-size footwells and logging on to the complimentary wi fi. A whistle sounds. It is 14.10. The doors shut and the beautiful Bullet Train pulls away gracefully towards Osaka. Words and pictures by Matt Reynolds
Pictures Wikimedia Commons
Words Anthony Teasdale, Elliott Lewis-George Matt Reynolds
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Umbrella compiles its list of the worldâ€™s best designed passports, with a surprising number of minnows easing through customs
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Passport or design agency brochure? Thanks to the four language groups within its borders, Switzerland’s multi-lingual inclusivity is demonstrated on the cover of its passport, with the words “Swiss passport” written in all of the country’s languages (German, French, Italian and Romansh – plus English). A tasteful Swiss cross completes the cover, while the country’s Cantons are represented inside through depiction of their coats of arms. AT
For the world’s best travellers, a mix of the exotic and traditional passes muster At first glance, the Aussie passport has an orthodox, embossed ‘coat of arms on a blue background’ design, but up close, the emu and kangaroo that flank the shield show we’re dealing with something out of the ordinary. While some holders think the design is a little “busy”, we say it sums up the dichotomy of Australia’s dual Western/Asian identity perfectly. AT
Flamboyant and innovative – welcome to the new age of passports The new Brazilian passport, introduced in July, is a dream for the aestheticallyminded. As previously, citizens can travel passport-free in South America, but when they leave the country they’ll be carrying a passport that announces Brazil’s membership of the Mercosur trading bloc on the cover (hence the five stars). The new blue colour is a winner, too. AT
Striking design from the troubled nation’s pre-revolution era Libya’s passport is overdue an update, with the current version being a relic of the now-toppled Gaddafi regime. Featuring beautiful Arabic typography and a prominent ‘Hawk of Quraish’ crest set in gold against the green of the national flag, it reminds us that creativity can still flourish even under the most difficult of circumstances. MR
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Best designed passport in the world? After winning a national competition last year, Oslo-based design studio Neue delivered a document that captures the country’s love of minimalism. Outside, the white, turquoise or red covers feature a modernised version of the national crest. Inside, fine lines and pastel shades replicate Nordic scenery. Best of all, when the pages are shone under UV light, they reveal the Northern Lights. ELG
Modest beauty from the east Embossed with the Imperial Seal of Japan, this version is valid for ten years of travel. Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is considering a redesign of the pages before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – swapping the cherry blossoms for motifs of famous Japanese landmarks (and, we hope, references to both the Bullet Train and the looms of its famous denim weavers). ELG
Topless front cover shows breast is best for this African nation Obviously, what’s most striking about this passport cover is that it doesn’t include the former French state’s national flag or coat of arms but a topless woman holding a child. We had a Google around to see what this signifies and there isn’t a clear consensus. All we do know is that the female form is a thing of beauty and so is this passport. ELG
Following the star won’t get you very far The Ethiopian passport certainly catches the eye thanks to the star embossed on the burgundy cover, which signifies the unity between the nation’s people. However, although it looks eye-catching, an Ethiopian passport will only grant you access into 38 countries without a visa. We say, stick a pic of rastaman Peter Tosh on the front and change the colours to red, green and yellow instead. ELG
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Bosnia and Herzegovina
New – and very smart – kid on the bloc The biometric passport of Bosnia is a relatively new form of documentation for this bureaucratic nation. In all, 162 different internal institutions are involved in issuing each one. This red tape nearly led to U2’s Bono being stripped of his honorary passport after the government felt it was granted illegally. ELG
Heavenly power whispered quietly The smallest country in the world has some serious clout – not surprising when its top man has a direct line to God. Available to its 800 citizens – and held by about 450 – the passport enables holders to gain entry into 117 countries. Sadly, Pope Francis has decided to forgo his, and travels the world on his less tasteful Argentine one – God might forgive him for this, but we won’t. AT
Open up for a fun little secret inside Everyone – OK, just us – loves a good coat of arms, and the one on the front of the Finnish passport is a cracker. Enlarged from 2012 onwards, the shield features a rampant lion carrying a sword while standing on – you guessed it – a cutlass. But best of all is the fact that if you flick the pages of the passport quickly you get a page-turning animation of a moose walking about. What a world we live in. AT
Island nation wins the wooden spoon Its beautifully designed coat of arms features all kinds of cool/deadly creatures native to the country as well as a stylised sun that wouldn’t look out of place on a Vitalite advert. Despite this, the passport of the Solomon Islands is the least ‘powerful’ in the world, allowing access to just 28 countries (compared with the UK’s mighty 147) without an advance visa. Where did it all go wrong? MR
46 T he abandoned places of Thomas Windisch
52 R obbie Williams: the Bluecoat kid
Stories Longer reads for broader minds
56 It was the invention of colour telly that took football into the modern age with the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. Players who’d been little more than monochrome smudges on our screens were suddenly there – sweating, gasping gods in Adidas and Puma. The ’70s really was football’s golden age, and we celebrate it with a beautiful set of photos of the best players – flares, sideburns and all.
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Stuck in a moment
Pictures Thomas Windisch
Stories Umbrella 47
Words Matt Reynolds Further information thw.photography
The abandoned places that Thomas Windisch photographs are captivating, beautiful and occasionally terrifying There’s something about long-forgotten buildings that fascinates us. Maybe it’s the clues that suggest what was there before or the mystery of why the place was left exactly as it was. Perhaps it’s the suspicion that we might never know. Austrian photographer Thomas Windisch has made a full-time hobby of finding and exploring these decaying time capsules – documenting his adventures with an ever-growing collection of beautiful photographs. We caught up with him to talk about his passion for urban exploration and the responsibilities that come with it.
+ Thomas says this scene recalls the imaginary monsters that terrified him as a child in his bedroom + “The hoovers reminded me of Robin Williams who played Mrs Doubtfire”
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Umbrella: Hi, Thomas. What inspired you to start exploring abandoned places? Thomas Windisch: I bought a starter camera on my 30th birthday, went on my first exploration and took some photos because I loved the places I visited. I’ve always liked to photograph new things and combine my passion for photography with my love for history, travelling and adventure. I try to photograph as many places as possible, because they won’t be there forever. U: What are your favourite buildings? TW: Industrial sites, because there’s a lot to see and you get an understanding how things like paper or textiles were produced in the past. And of course, medical locations like hospitals, asylums or morgues. They’re usually really creepy and contain emotive scenes to capture. And you can do a lot of research there to see how people were treated in the past. U: How do you discover these places? TW: A major part is research on the web, and I sometimes get help by networking, but that only works if you’re trustworthy and a social person. You can also find amazing places while driving or walking around, in time you develop an eye for it. And sometimes you get insider tips from locals – they know really cool hidden places, because most likely they played there when they were kids. U: You’ve said you never take things away as souvenirs. Why? TW: I want to preserve the places as they are, so future visitors can experience them like I did with every little detail, because details matter. You could say it’s like visiting a dripstone cave or an archaeological site. If every tourist takes a piece as a souvenir, sooner or later the place is destroyed and there’s nothing left to see. + “This was taken in an abandoned neuropsychiatry unit where they did various experiments on patients in the ’70s” + “I’ve always loved old pianos, but with the leaves this was kind of special to me”
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Stories Umbrella 53 + I was about to leave when those ‘God rays’ appeared, so I took some shots. I titled this one Divine Intervention + Thomas says this looks like the aftermath of a riot
U: Can you feel the presence of people who were there before? TW: Well, I don’t see ghosts or hear voices. Of course, there are places where you’re captured by the past, because they’re so intense. They ignite my imagination and I can see how they’ve been in the past and what might have happened there. Unfortunately the most common sign of people is vandalism or dumped garbage. U: What’s the most unsettling place you’ve visited? TW: There are a few Italian manicomios (asylums) which are very creepy. Empty hallways, overgrown windows and objects like electroshock devices, straitjackets or operating chairs – just like a horror movie set. We also visited an abandoned prison – beside feeling caged everywhere inside, we met a former inmate with his friends on location who rampaged in one of the cell blocks. U: Have you ever injured yourself? TW: No, just a few scratches and bruises. But it’d be foolish to think that there are no major risks when entering buildings liable to collapse or roping down into old mines. All you can do is minimise the risks with training, equipment and preparation. And have a trustworthy mate with you if things go wrong. U: Where are you going next? TW: I have several tours in eight European countries in the pipeline, but unfortunately I have only five vacation days left this year so I’ll have to make a decision. Most likely I’ll pick out some eye-candy I definitely need to see and do a ‘Eurotrip’. Show your support at patreon.com/twindisch
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L ADIES AND GENTL EMEN… TH E BL UE COAT KID!
Tortured genius? Talentless attentionseeker? Or just a lad who got lucky? Phil Thornton examines the life and times of Robbie WIlliams When I was a kid the ultimate glamour job seemed to be a Pontin’s ‘Bluecoat’. These were Fred Pontin’s azure rivals to Billy Butlin’s militaristic ‘Redcoats.’ Essentially both sets of coats were salaried camp entertainers, a collection of piss-poor singers, dancers, comics and flannel merchants whose Hollywood dreams had faded to such a degree that a summer season at Sands became their Holy Grail. Every school class had its extrovert, the lad or girl who wanted to be the next Little Jimmy Osmond or Lena Zavaroni, who went to drama or dance classes after school. In the 1970s many of these kids went on to become Bluecoats. For those destined to become Bluecoats, the rise of the holiday rep in the ’80s offered them a new, exotic outlet for their ‘skills’ and by the ’90s, the new era of ‘boy band/girl group’ acts now became the ultimate ambition. BBs and GGs have been with us for as long as pop music itself, whether that was The Monkees or The Ronettes, the Bay City Rollers or Bananarama. You could argue that the Sex Pistols were a boy band of sorts, cynically orchestrated by a subversive version of pop agent Larry Parnes.
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Almost all boy band impresarios are gay for obvious reasons. How else can middle-aged flabarses get close to so many taut, teenage bodies other than by offering them fame and fortune? As Larry Parnes, so Take That manager Nigel Martin-Smith. The boy-band explosion in the US during the late-’80s had witnessed a host of poppy, hip-hop and R&B acts from Blackstreet to New Kids On The Block find chart success, and Martin-Smith wanted to find a Hi NRG version that would appeal to a British gay crowd. The process was the same, the process is always the same. Find me young, ambitious, handsome working class boys and I will transform them into hunky, knicker-/undy-wetting icons for young flesh-adorers across the world. Thus; take one portly working men’s club crooner, two athletic breakdancers, a cute rent-boy type and complete the outfit with a ten-bob gurner from Stoke. In any other world, Robbie Williams would have been happy to fuck as many pissedup blondes from Pontefract or Plymouth as he could during an 18-30 bar crawl in Kavos. But Robbie had something deep inside him that needed an outlet, a thing he called ‘talent’. His arl feller had been a working men’s club comic and he had inherited his dad’s love of a Norman Wisdom impression. As a group, Take That were more than a sum of their parts. Dyed-blond singer, Gary Barlow was pure MOR, a boy brought up on Elton John not Johnny Rotten. He was the most talented as a lyricist and singer but he was stiff. Barlow moved as if the choreography lessons were a chore but he could keep up… just! The cute kid, Mark Owen, smiled a lot and pulled up his cutoff Baby Oil T-shirt to reveal baby abs for the boys/girls. He also sang a bit but was essentially just a bit of paedo-bait for the boys and pre-teen girls who couldn’t make the connections. Jason Orange and Howard Donald were both fine athletic specimens and superb dancers. That was their primary function, to look rugged and manly in contrast to the pretty boys and create a diversion from the singer. Later, Jason took to playing a guitar in order to give him a bit of gravitas and Howard even got to sing a decent song. But first and foremost they were circus acrobats. Then there was the other kid, the one who seemed to be
taking the piss out of this tawdry charade. It wasn’t exactly clear what Robbie’s role was. He didn’t have Barlow’s vocal range but he could hold a tune well enough. And as a dancer, Robbie was no Fred Astaire or even a Jason Orange but he was good, he could do the fancy footwork and even perform a windmill. If the others just seemed happy to be escaping from the cabaret circuit and The Hit Man And Her, Robbie seemed to be the one who wanted more than what Smith and his team were offering; single – LP – tour – interview – single – album – tour –interview – TV special – single – album – tour- interview – TV special – film. It all adds up to dollar bills y’all and there’s your signature on the contract, sonny. That’s the boy band/girl group way and if you don’t like it, there are plenty more desperate young mouths out there willing to suck dick to get a break. Take That formed in 1990 but their success really began in ’93. And it wasn’t long before a female version, The Spice Girls were created by yet another BB/GG impresario, Simon Fuller. They too were globally successful thanks in no small part to the personalities of the northern contingent; Mels B and C aka ‘Scary’ and ‘Sporty’. ‘Baby’ fulfilled the same paedo fantasy role as Little Mark in TT. Both ‘Ginger’ and ‘Posh’ came across as talentless, grasping Home-Counties opportunists. Meanwhile, Mel B from Leeds and Mel C from Widnes (not Liverpool) were cut from a different cultural cloth. The same cloth as the TT lads: self-deprecating, down-toearth, funny! It had been the same with The Beatles. Those Cockney groups were always a bit too up themselves, po-faced, aloof. Northerners were chips-and-gravy people. You could relate to them and they came across well in interviews. Whereas the ‘indie’ sneerers dismissed them as throwaway and shallow, both Take That and The Spice Girls continued the working class tradition of music-hall entertainment, working hard for their money, perfecting their routines day and night, sweating and aching through rehearsal after rehearsal, night after night to put on a show. Old fashioned showmanship is where Take That excelled. In many ways they were ahead of the game. Record sales via CDs, especially for singles were on the wane and touring became a more lucrative money spinner. As such, TT’s shows became
“TAKE ONE PORTLY WORKING
MEN’S CLUB CROONER, TWO ATHLETIC BREAKDANCERS,
A CUTE RENT-BOY TYPE AND
COMPLETE THE OUTFIT WITH A
TEN-BOB GURNER FROM STOKE”
Pictures Joseph Long the-rook.com
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Words Phil Thornton
ever more extravagant and required more and more from them as ‘performers.’ This is where, it seems, Robbie lost faith in his deal with the devil. Unlike bluesman Robert Johnson at the crossroads, Robbie’s Faustian pact was not eternal and his soul was not for sale. And so he wandered off into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights where the devil tempted him but Robbie was strong and turned his back on the wages of sin to re-emerge as ‘The Robster’. Whereas Robbie Williams had been the cheeky, subversive element in Take That’s cartoon show, as a solo performer he wanted to get as far away from the TT model as possible. In the ’90s, this could’ve meant producing ‘drill and bass’ tech-squank with the Aphex Twin but in Robbie’s case, it resulted in teaming up with writer, arranger and producer, Guy Chambers. The problem with Robbie now was that he believed he was that most dreaded of pop creatures, the Serious Artist who had “things to say”. All boy-band refuseniks from John Lennon to George Michael become obsessed with their own histories as if we’re as fascinated with their tedious careers as they are. They’ll belittle their former ‘pop’ selves, have a go at their former pals, managers and labels, present themselves as freedom fighters, original thinkers, even as philosophers and poets. Williams wasn’t quite that up his own arse but he truly did believe that he was now free ‘to be himself’, whoever that was. This self-assertion manifested itself a spiky blond hairstyle, an expanded waistband and a voyage into the already parodic musical stylings that became known as ‘Britpop.’ The Robster palled about with Oasis and sucked up to Chris Evans. Evans’s own rise was itself a cautionary tale of how far banal ambition could take someone in the ’90s. Like Williams, Evans was from a nondescript industrial town, in his case, Warrington, and rose to fame via a modicum of talent and whole lot of spiel and chutzpah. They were made for each other, two ‘pussy hounds’ who were “living the dream”, the dream of frustrated teenage boys the world over; loose women, fast cars, drugs, booze and good times all the time with yer pals, the same pals who’ll desert you once you check into rehab or the dough dries up. By the end of the 1990s, Robbie had established himself as a ‘serious’ artist, the kind whose LPs were reviewed in the NME and even featured on the covers of underground dance music magazines, the type of artist who played Glastonfuckingbury and wasn’t pelted off stage but cheered by the karaoke singalongtoeveryword, new pop fans. Here are some sobering facts : Robbie’s first seven LPs went to No 1 He had seven No 1 singles. He sold 77 million LPs and singles
He sold 1.6 million tickets for his Close Encounters tour in a single day. He was awarded 17 Brit Awards and was inducted into the Musical Hall of Fame after being voted ‘Greatest Artist of the 90s’. He is worth around £130m. Not bad for a Bluecoat eh? If this tells us anything, it’s that the Great British Public™ were easily pleased in the 1990s. Who could blame Robbie for amassing a fortune whilst pulling that smug smirk registering his own amusement at this turn of fate. If Williams was playing a role, one that say Tom Jones and Rod Stewart played in the ’60s and ’70s, that of the working-class lad made good, shagging his way through the world’s beauties whilst slightly taking the piss out of themselves, then maybe I’d go easier on him. But no, The Robster began to believe his own publicity. He saw the mass worship of his ersatz showbiz clichés as confirmation of his God-given talent. So he did the ‘swing’ thing and he did the ‘hip-hop’ thing and he did the repentant sinner bit. He began lecturing people on the ‘disease’ of drug addiction and his own tedious ‘recovery’ from its effects, he moved to LA and tried to convince us he was Big News over in la-la land. He even settled down and had a kid and shit. The kid from Stoke got spiritual on our ass. Gary Barlow could only watch in horror as his own solo career careered from one chart disaster to another. It was he who was supposed to triumph following the inevitable TT split, after all he actually wrote most of the songs, however schmaltzy and pedestrian they were. It was he who had the best voice, however conformist and cabaret it was. It was he who had played the game by the rules, stuck to the no drugs/no girls/no smoking in the lockers laws handed down by the gods of pop. And here was Williams rubbing his nose in it, literally. Mocking his squeaky clean image as he snorted away with his new groovy rock ’n’ roll pals. We know the rest. The Take That reunion, without Robbie, with Robbie, without Robbie, without Robbie and Jason. Barlow and Williams made up and Barlow re-launched himself as a born-again pop star who got to pal about with the Tory prime minister and even pen songs for The Queen Of Goddam Englandshire. Then came the tax loophole business and, well, them’s the breaks. As for Robbie, he’s still there somewhere, still knocking out LPs and turning up to pull faces in charidee TV events. Some people still think he’s talented, an all-rounder, a Sammy Davis Junior for the Britpop generation and there’ll probably be nostalgia tours lined up and maybe even a TT reunion with all the fellas when times get really tough. The kid did good. No doubt about it. He’s still a Bluecoat though.
Pictures Taschen Illustration peter-otoole.co.uk Words Anthony Teasdale
Having a ball A beautiful new book celebrates everything that was wonderful about football in the 1970s
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+ Johan Cruyff leaves the pitch after playing for New York Cosmos + It’s Adidas vs Puma as Brazil face Austria in the 1978 World Cup + Italian goalie Dino Zoff exits the plane in mid-’70s soccer chic + Paolo Rossi in training – note Adidas windcheater and on-trend bobble hat
The 1970s are remembered as the decade that taste forgot – a merry-go-round of brown flares, big collars and thick, itchy sideburns thankfully swept away by punk rock and microwave computers. Yet football seemed immune to this. Looking at the Netherlands and Argentina teams of 1970-’78, we see groups of young men at their athletic and creative best, wearing – and this is what really seals the deal – the greatest selection of sportswear the world has ever seen. This was the time when Adidas, Puma and Umbro were really starting to flex their creative muscles, going from being mere manufacturers of boots to all-encompassing lifestyle companies behind everything from leisure suits to hotels. For the first time, the kits they produced carried branding and were now made in fibres designed for local conditions – witness England’s ‘tea-bag’ top for Mexico ’70. Yet, despite the orange-and-purple madness of the outside world, the strips were simplistic, relying on bold colours and traditional designs to denote identity. Shadow stripes or textiles that ‘wicked’ away sweat were still years away. A new Taschen book, The Age Of Innocence: Football In The 1970s celebrates this period, taking the reader from the first modern World Cup, Mexico ’70, to the astroturf and cheerleaders of the US’s North American Soccer League in 1979, when the world’s best players saw out their twilight years across the pond. Though it’s a beautiful book, the use of the word ‘innocence’ seems incongruous. This period was, remember, the apex of football hooliganism, when Saturday afternoons in and around stadia in England were punctuated by large-scale violence. Groups of males – usually dressed like the Bee Gees and smelling of Double Diamond bitter – would try and take each other’s ‘ends’, leading to mass sways and punch-ups on the terraces. It was the era of pitch invasions, too, which in turn saw the construction of perimeter fences – something that would have dire
consequences a decade and a half later at Hillsborough. Despite this, in other senses, football was more innocent, still unaware of its global appeal and how it should be exploited. Players in England’s first division weren’t poor, but in those days, even the biggest stars lived in relatively ordinary suburban detached houses with wives called Jan or Jean. Even Bobby Moore – married to the lovely Tina – lived in relative mock Tudor modesty in commuter-belt Essex. These players were both extraordinary and utterly mundane, which is why fans could identify with them. While Pele was still the world’s biggest soccer star (with George Best sliding into his ‘fat Elvis’ period), the baton of cool was passed to the Dutch national team
and the Netherlands’ best club side, Ajax. Playing revolutionary ‘total voetball’ system that required players to be able to play in any position, the likes Johan Cruyff, Johan Neeskens and Johnny Rep crisscrossed Europe looking like a mix between progressive rock group Neu! and the Baader Meinhoff gang. In Britain, Kevin Keegan was the country’s best known player, and his forays into brand endorsement (he advertised Brut with Henry Cooper) were a portent of what was to come, though “splash it all over” is still long way from David Beckham in his designer underpants. For this magazine, though, it’s the onand off-field style that makes this period so special. From Puma’s King football boot to the Adidas button-up tracksuits the West Germany team wore before the 1974 World Cup final, this was a 1970s a world away from revolutionary violence, power cuts and strikes. This other, better, ’70s was populated by incredible physical specimens in some of the best sportswear of all time, playing a game changing as quickly as the world around it. Less the age of innocence, more the era of perfection.
+ The Age Of Innocence: Football In The 1970s is out now, published by Taschen, taschen.com BUY
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FC Umbrella, season 1976/7 Formed by typesetters at Madrid’s first ever graphic design agency in 1923, FC Umbrella have had a chequered history. While other clubs focused on buying in the best players, the management of FCU invested heavily in the typeface used in all its corporate communications. This investment paid off with the controversial ‘Season ticket prices, 1947-8’ press release, which saw the club go from Helvetica to Futura (light) – something which nearly caused a split at boardroom level. This dedication to all things tasteful hasn’t always had a positive effect on performance on the pitch, though through a combination of bribery and good fortune, FC Umbrella have managed to maintain their status in the Spanish third division. This season, hopes are high for ‘Los Paraguas’, with fans especially optimistic about the new stock in the pitchside knitwear boutique. The key signing of the close season, Halston, delivered its new collection in late July, and even though the Madrid summer sun has been as oppressive as ever, sales of beige roll-necks are at record levels. While other Spanish clubs are increasingly having to deal with the spectre of football hooliganism, officials at FCU have other problems: namely the habit of fans to leave ten minutes early to catch up with the progress of the Madrid Metro’s expansion. Talks are currently in progress with the local transport executive to try to resolve this. Manager Miguel Da Silva says, “While we remain hopeful that the club can gain promotion to the second tier of Spanish football, we will never compromise on the values we hold most dear: namely immediate access to quality tapas, the showing of historical documentaries at half-time and regularly transmitted reports on the latest developments in designer outerwear.”
Key player: Carlos Sanchez Born: 12/3/52, Buenos Aires, Argentina Position: Striker Style of play: Gifted but lazy attacker, usually more interested in the new season range at Gucci than actually playing football Style of clothing: Sanchez is influenced most by the off-field wear of Argentina’s polo players – namely luxurious cotton shirts, slacks, loafers and cashmere jumpers from Scotland Fave typeface: Arial (“Boring, I know!”) Favourite piece of design: the Adidas Beckenbauer football boot as worn by ‘Der Kaiser’ at the 1974 World Cup (“I’ll never forget how the boot accessorised with his white shirt – perfection!”)
70 Our favourite thing 72 Newfangle: with love from Portugal
78 The season’s best outfits 90 K-Way 92 Garbstore
’All or nothing Our favourite thing this issue is a beautiful melton wool jacket from vintage UK brand Gloverall – best known for its duffel coats. This, though, is even better.
92 MWC About as far from snobby Switzerland as it’s possible to get, the Melbourne Watch Company makes timepieces that would get approving nods in even the smartest Zurich restaurant. Read about its super-tasteful models on page 78.
Autumn and winter means that the season of coat fetishisation is upon us. There’s certainly some crackers in our 33-page Style section, plus a profile of one of the most respected menswear shops in the country: The Garbstore, whose jackets look just the ticket in ploughed fields (see above). All you have to do is turn the page…
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information magazinebrighton.com
Serious issues If you love independent publishing, MagazineBrighton is a shop you’ll want to flick through regularly
+ Lovely publications housed in a beautiful space – and staffed by family members – means that MagazineBrighton is the perfect place to stock up on your print goodies
ust three years back, print looked like it was on its last legs. Newspapers and magazine publishers – desperately trying to cash in on the emerging market for apps – were trying to work out how to ‘monetize’ content they’d been giving away for free for over a decade. But away from the mainstream, interesting things were happening. In the middle of a billion shrinking attention spans, independent printed magazines, covering everything from high fashion to coffee culture, were sprouting up at an unprecedented rate. Umbrella, a digital-only magazine until issue 11, decided to join them. Today, what sets these publications apart – and what major publishers just don’t get – is that magazines now have to do more than just provide information. They have to be collectible objects in their own right – as integral to a reader’s identity as her clothing or accent. One of the shops that’s emerged to cater for this trend is MagazineBrighton, located on Trafalgar Street, surrounded by coffee shops, clothes stores and excellent pubs. After visiting the store – it stocks Umbrella after all – we decided to ask shop owner Martin Skelton to take us through his stock and tell us how his dream of owning a perfect media outlet came to pass.
Umbrella: Hi, Martin. Why did you decide to open MagazineBrighton? Martin Skelton: I’ve always loved print and magazines. When I was nine, along with two friends, we produced the Medway Gazette every two weeks for about a year and a half. We sold about 45 copies of every issue to nice ladies who probably thought the mag was rubbish! But I always had the bug. As I grew up, I got to know something about how people learn, so with some other people, I set up a company to help people learn better. It gave me the chance to travel all over the world and I bought tons of indie mags wherever I went. I stopped doing that a year ago when we sold our company. The shop is my present to myself. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and something Brighton hasn’t had since Borders closed. U: How is print doing in a digital world? MS: Print in general is struggling, but some kinds of print are doing better, notably indie mags. My son-in-law describes it as “like vinyl, but print” and he’s right. As things get more corporate there’s a swing – supported by some passionate people – for something more real. As long as the mags continue to be interesting and don’t get lazy this sector will grow and grow.
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+ The store attracts buyers from all over who hoover up the magazines on show
U: What difficulties do you face? It cant be that easy to make a profit… MS: First, a shop selling only indie mags is always going to have to be careful as the profit margins on each one are low. That’s why you often see these mags on sale alongside products with bigger margins. Because MagazineBrighton is my present to myself we have lower expectations of it. We don’t want to lose money but we don’t want to make tons of money either. Getting to a small surplus would be good. In that way, we’re not unlike many of the indie mags we sell. Second, like with vinyl, real bread and craft beers, the proportion of the population that wants or can afford these things is relatively small. Our challenge in a town like Brighton is to find the – let’s say – 2,000 people who really love these mags and provide a service that will help them come back time and time again. U: What are your favourite indie magazines of the moment? Inspire us! MS: Oh, I hate these ‘favourite’ questions. But, as you asked, the list would include Brown Book – a great liberal magazine out of Dubai that explores Arabic culture around the world; a good half of the current issue is all about the falafel; Elephant – a beautifully produced arts and culture mag; Riposte, a “smart magazine for women” (their tagline) that hides some fantastic stuff behind the simplest covers; The White Review – full of long-form articles, essays and poems that make you work hard but it’s beautifully done.
Apologies to the many mags I really love but haven’t mentioned.
U: What are your favourite mags of all time? MS: I’ve been reading Dumbo Feather almost since the first edition. It’s Australian and tells stories about interesting people, most of whom aren’t celebs but who do really good, sometimes ordinary, things; I’ve always bought Monocle which, although hardly indie anymore, I love for the cultural and business insights it provides; Wrap, because it’s visually stunning. If you let me go back a long time, when women’s magazine Nova was first published, it blew me away with its editorial and design. U: What magazines are popular in the shop? MS: Our best-sellers are always Flow, Cereal, Kinfolk, Oh Comely and The Gentlewoman. But one of the things I really like about the shop is all of our magazines are liked by someone. It’s quite typical for us to sell multiple copies of a few mags every day but single copies of lots, lots more. U: Why is Brighton good for your business? MS: It’s got an independent spirit. It’s not like San Francisco or Portland or Melbourne in so many ways but it is like them in attitude. We have two universities, a design college and other colleges, a mix of people who walk, run, swim, eat, drink, read, argue, agree. People who go slow and fast! More at magazinebrighton.com
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our favourite thing
Gloverall Car coat £350, gloverall.com Gloverall is best known for its duffel coats, but things take a distinctly less rugged flavour with this lovely overcoat. Made of luxurious melton wool, we’ve opted for the ‘camel’ model which will lend an air of Lock, Stock… menace to your formal outfit
+ Another good touch are the lined sleeves, meaning your arms won’t get itchy should they be exposed to the interior
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+ While most traditional overcoats have suit-style lapels, this one boasts a lovely ’60s-style collar – all very Michael Caine
+ Cut short, the coat – as the name implies – is ideal for a Sunday drive, thanks to the extra freedom your legs are afforded
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’Fangled up in blue Portugal’s Newfangle mixes colourful fabrics with tailored silhouettes to create a joyful collection for 2016
+ Bacton artisan coat, £120 + Marston trench camo T-shirt, £40 + Tain slim-fit chino, £90
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Pictures Newfangle Words Anthony Teasdale
Portugal is a beautiful country, but it’s not one you’d associate immediately with casual clothing – the weather’s too good to spend your time obsessing over lambswool jumpers or expensive watches. However, menswear brand Newfangle is quickly changing our minds. Originally a shop selling casual clobber, Newfangle has started to produce its own gear – and it’s absolutely superb. For Spring/Summer ‘16, it’s delivered a range that combines well-thought-out tailoring (witness the breast pocket on that grey sweatshirt) with super-colourful fabrics. Deep, navy blue combines with spots of red on a killer shirt, while tartans, aquamarines and white come into play on a variety of jumpers and tees. It’s like being submerged in a tasteful version of The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine. So excited were we about the stuff – and when we get excited, you better make sure there’s no teetering piles of crockery about – we demanded some shots of the new collection. Then we asked Newfangle about, well, Newfangle. Here’s what they said: “We produce garments that can look good in different occasions, with utility in mind and where the attention to detail is taken to extreme by committed family factories. A combination between the functionality of sportswear with workwear aesthetics. Quality casual menswear made for any given situation. Our main idea is to reflect the good things about Portugal with a touch of style.” Even though we’re all now thinking about Autumn/Winter (groan), the sunny world of Newfangle can just be over the horizon… a shining, beacon of summer ready to take us in and buy us that first cold beer of the season. See you soon, friends. Discover more at the Newfangle website at newfangleclothing.com
All items from Newfangle’s Spring/Summer ’16 range
Further Reading newfangleclothing.com
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+ Bacton artisan jacket, £120 + Wittering demob shirt, £90 + Tain slim-fit chinos, £90
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â€™Bourne to rule The Melbourne Watch Company produces timepieces that are a down-under delight
Pictures Melbourne Watch Company
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Words Anthony Teasdale Further information melbournewatch.com.au
Australia isn’t a country associated with quality watchmaking, but one brand is helping to change that. The Melbourne Watch Company, located unsurprisingly in the capital of Victoria, is turning heads (and tempting wrists) with a selection of timepieces that combine classy design with accessible price points. Not a combination watch brands from other countries – we’re looking at you, Switzerland – are known for. MWC was started by Sujain Krishnan, a former IT consultant, who began his horology career by assembling custom ‘homage’ watches for online fans. The move to making his own watches, rather than imitations of other brands’, was an obvious one. The company’s first watch was the Flinders, which was released in January 2014. Named after the city’s beautiful main train station, its name and design reflect the city it was made in, something that’s at the core of MWC’s philosophy. “The concept behind MWC is simple: to produce high quality timepieces that are accessible while also celebrating Melbourne,” says the brand. “Each model is named after a locale or landmark and designs are firmly focused on a more upmarket, dressy style. We also aim to incorporate elements of local culture into designs, such as the historic W-Class tram that’s engraved into the case back on the Parkville model.” The watches are certainly classy, and like the UK’s Christopher Ward, show that quality watches with reliable mechanical movements don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. “We believe that many people appreciate the level of craftsmanship that goes into a mechanical movement,” says MWC, which uses Japanese calibres from Miyota and Seiko to power its watches. “There’s a lot of history behind + The Flinders 3Q Tan: inspired by mechanical watches and there’s no sign classic horology and of them ever dying out.” Melbourne’s main With a roster of watches that railway station include classic dress models and killer chronographs, MWC is building a serious reputation. And with a diving watch in the offing, it’ll soon have every genre covered. Down under it might be, but at this moment, MWC really is top of the world.
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Fastidious audiophile Former winner of Neat Teenager Of The Year award, everything about our man is precise, from his French headphones to his super-smart bomber jacket. All should be dandy, but sadly he’s still wracked with guilt after failing to coordinate his shoes and jeans in 1998.
Samsøe and Samsøe bomber, £254.95, samsoe.com
Aëdle VK-1 headphones, £269, aedle.net
Aigle Vinton shirt, £80, aigle.com
Christopher Ward C7 Rapide Chronograph £299, christopherward.co.uk
Vans Sk8 Hi, £70, vans.co.uk
Yoshida wallet, £315, kafka.co.uk
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Outfit Vinyl runner
Since he lost his driving license, this music lover’s had to find alternative ways to get to record fairs early doors. His solution has been to take up jogging, which means he’s not only lost some flab, but has also been able to invest in some quality sporty threads.
Albam red smock, £239, albamclothing.com
Adidas Kirkdale SPZL trainers, £95, adidas.com
Triwa Nevil watch, £230, triwa.com
Velvet by Graham & Spencer jogging pants, £151, velvet-tees.com
Welcome To The Pleasuredome LP £2, ebay.co.uk
Samsøe and Samsøe jersey, £64.95, samsoe.com
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Zone two rambler The spirit of the great outdoors is strong with this fella, but while he loves rugged country clobber, he hasn’t gone beyond the M25 in seven years. His idea of a ramble is a walk overground along the Northern Line route, stopping short before it gets too green and boring. Cab home, naturally.
Woolrich outer shirt, £519, woolrich.eu
Woolrich outer shirt, £519, woolrich.eu
Penfield Fairton beanie hat, £25, penfield.com
Element Shasta pant, £60, elementbrand.com
Sperry Wolverine boots, £140, sperrytopsider.co.uk
Sperry Wolverine boots, £140, sperrytopsider.co.uk
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Regretful fisherman After getting nabbed trying to nick a copy of Today’s Angler from Smith’s, this fella has had to hang up his rod for good. Disowned by his fishing pals, he contents himself by getting dressed up for a night down the canal and watching re-runs of Extreme Fishing With Robson Green
Gloverall waxed duffel coat, £450, gloverall.com
Universal works hat, £39, universalworks.co.uk
Element jumper, £70, elementbrand.com
Gymphlex tartan grandad shirt, £95, gymphlex.co.uk
Johnstone’s Of Elgin cashmere scarf, £119, johnstonscashmere.com
Palladium Pampa waterproof boots, £89, palladiumboots.com
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Nightschool dropout While he might have got the outfit for the new term sorted, our friend’s persistent disruption, backchat and liberal use of stink bombs has made the Spanish For Beginners class hell on earth for everyone else. Including his mum, who takes the lesson.
Ten C raincoat, £695, ten-c.it
Ten C raincoat, £695, ten-c.it
Universal Works x John Smedley jumper, £160, universalworks.co.uk
Christopher Ward Malvern Slimline watch, £399, christopherward.co.uk
Pointer Safari trainers, £75, pointerfootwear.com
Aigle cords, £80, aigle.com
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Pictures xxxxxxxxxxxx Words xxxxxxxxxxxx Further Reading www.xxxxxxx
Rainbow coalition The K-Way is the cagoule. Invented in 1965 by Frenchman Leon-Claude Duhamel, it was inspired by the sight of Parisians trudging home in the rain, trying to protect themselves against the elements. Fifty years on, it’s still keeping us dry, whether we’re French or not. k-way.co.uk
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’Store thing London’s Garbstore is a menswear shop alive with craftsmanship, experimentation and a love of detail
f you’re interested in style, you may be aware of The Garbstore. A major player in the contemporary menswear scene, its founder Ian Paley and his team look after a store that houses clothing brands, books and beautiful objects that all share a particular ethos. Umbrella travelled to the Notting Hill shop to ask Paley just what that ethos is.
Umbrella: What made you open The Garbstore? Ian Paley: We wanted to present London with a well-curated lifestyle store that didn’t rely on big brand visions and hype. I launched Garbstore in 2008 and my wife set up the sister business Couverture. However, the business has existed in some form since 1999. We ran a homeware store on the King’s Road before
adding a women’s range in 2006. Women’s was then merged with the menswear business in 2008 with the opening of the joint Notting Hill shop.
U: What sets Garbstore apart from its competitiors ? IP: Our constant travel and the dedicated research into sourcing new products and brands before the parasitic web-crawling stores get hold of them. Thorough research is everything and so is a deep appreciation for how things are made. Over the years we’ve built up an understanding of what should feature in The Garbstore and what shouldn’t. We also show respect to stores who are following their own path and we try not to tread on anyone’s toes – although ours are often trodden on.
Pictures Garbstore, Umbrella Words Elliott Lewis-George Further information couvertureandthegarbstore.com
+ Top, Quality bags at Garbstore + Above, Heavyduty jackets + Left, New season denim
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“We wanted to present London with a well-curated lifestyle store that didn’t rely on big brand visions and hype”
+ Left, Knitted ties for formal occasions + Right, Bodywarmerchic for AW15/16 + Below-right, Minimalist timepiece
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U: You’ve done a number of collaborations with established brands like Reebok. What makes a good collab? IP: That’s an easy one. It’s like choosing what to listen to; the right things are obvious and the wrong ones aren’t even considered. A lot of it has to do with the will of the people driving the project, and if we all get along. If that’s the case then there’s nothing better than just making stuff for the hell of it. U: Why did you choose to open your second store, Garbstore Case Study in LA and not the UK? IP: Our US showroom is in LA so it seemed like a natural graduation. We know LA better than we do most other US cities. Plus, it gives us an extra reason to be there as often as possible. It’s usually the case that non-London based stores open a second in the capital but rare that capital-based stores venture out. I think that says lots. U: How important do you think the curation and appearance of your London store has been to the businesses success? IP: It’s vital how the store looks. So many businesses are written about and have an amazing online presence yet their actual bricks and mortar store is sub-par – hence why you never see many pictures. We really need more of an Asian aesthetic to how products are presented and, to some extent, romanced over. It’s not good enough to have a rail and a few pegs or, more recently, sad additions of leather sofas and sewing machines. U: You’ve been in the fashion industry since 1995. What have you learnt along the way? IIP: Always do what you feel is best – regardless of what the market and your competitors are doing. In short, ignore everyone, fly more and meet more people. U: What does the future hold for The Garbstore? IP: I wish I knew…
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Pictures Handover Agency Words Matt Reynolds
Grooming Honest skincare’s straightforward approach to cosmetics certainly washes with us
The truth be told We like to keep things simple here at Umbrella. It’s a philosophy shared by appropriately-named skincare company Honest which uses only the best bits of what mother nature has to offer in order to create its E-numbers-free ‘MAN’ range. Believe. honestskincare.co.uk
6 Six streets
Words Elliott Lewis-George, Anthony Teasdale, Matt Reynolds
In a new feature, Umbrella writers pay tribute to the best half-dozen roads in their city
CHARLOTTE STREET W1
One of the things you don’t realise about London unless you live here is that every area has its own town centre or high street. Upper St – nearby Essex Road was once ‘Lower Street’ – is Islington’s. Since the early ’80s, the borough has become gentrified, leading to complaints about its changing nature from the people who, er… changed it in the first place. These individuals say Upper Street is now “bland”. Well, if countless restaurants, posh delis and brilliant chain and indie shops are bland, I say bring it on. Or, preferably, take a trip to a part of the country where a shop closes every week and the only entertainment is getting headbutted in the bookie’s. Is that real enough for you, you gang of twats? AT
London, like many cities (with the possible exception of Venice) is best explored on foot. Sure, you’ve plodded up and down Regent Street, but have you really got under the skin of the city? Forget about the same bits of east London that Time Out bleats about, you need to go further. Bruce Grove is the exact point that suburban north London begins. South of here it’s all exotic restaurants and hair weave superstores, but northwards is a wasteland of 1930s semis and Carpet Right outlets. But fear not, the great thing about when your adventures have taken you this far – beyond the well-trodden edges of the inner city – is that you can finally call yourself London’s answer to Ernest Shackleton. MR
I used to be the tea boy at a well-known men’s magazine. Our office was just off Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia (call it ‘NoHo’ and we’ll personally come round and set your house on fire), an idyllic little run of cafés, pubs and a great value pizzeria. I spent most evenings standing, beer in hand, enduring a barrage or banter in a bid to earn my stripes as a proper London media wanker [Congratulations, you’ve succeeded – Ed]. Truthfully, I didn’t want to be anywhere else in the world. I still feel like that street’s a haven in the heart of the capital, reserved for those who appreciate city life at its most serene. ELG
BERMONDSEY STREET SE1 It’s weird how north Londoners are scared of south London. Maybe they should seek solace in Bermondsey Street. Nestled near the river and only rejuvenated in the 1980s, the converted riverside warehouses and wharves play host to restaurants (José’s tapas bar is particularly great), coffee houses and the kind of upper-middle class people we’re all jealous of. Although, a stroll around the White Cube gallery before a pint in The Woolpack will soon have you feeling like a lucky local. ELG
If you like the pop group St Etienne – they of oblique football, music and London references – then you’ll know the track Mario’s Cafe, which celebrates the eatery of the same name in Kentish Town. What the song doesn’t tell you is how beautiful the road it’s located on is. For a residential street just off the main drag, Kelly Street is monumentally pretty. Walk down it and you’ll be faced with a selection of pastel-coloured terraced houses that look like they’ve been transplanted from Nice or a Greek island. Why is it so beautiful? My theory is that behind it all is some terrifying old biddy ready to force anyone out who dares to paint their house a nonapproved colour. There’s a rumour that one chap once left an old fridge in his front garden. He’s not been seen since. AT
For me, this is London’s most perfect street. Yes, there are grander-looking terraces in Mayfair, but they’re not for the likes of us. And yes there are ‘cooler’ streets in Shoreditch, but they’re full of haircuts. Lower Marsh, on the other hand, maintains a perfect balancing act. Centrally-located (it’s behind Waterloo station) yet home to a close-knit community of residents and traders, it’s full of fashionable bars and a street food market yet also plays host to a greasyspoon and a bloke selling mops. Cool yet accessible, grimy yet fun, it’s the kind of place that only really exists in London and represents that pride in diversity that defines the city at its best. All in just a quarter of a mile of pavement. Bravo. MR
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Picture Devashish Guruji Words Andy Jones
Obsessions: Horse racing Andy Jones has had a lifelong love affair with the sport of kings…
’ve always loved horse racing. I remember Saturday mornings reading the Racing Post over my dad’s shoulders while my mom made tea and toast. I was fascinated with all the different jockeys’ colours, the pages of data and opinion. The idea that – within these pages – were the names of every horse that would win that day blew me away. Later, I’d see dad’s predictions played out against the live action on TV, looking for his horses rising or falling amid the running field. Suddenly seeing the flash of the right silk appearing on the rails, then going clear and holding off a late challenge was incredible. There was something thrilling about carefully selecting a horse, then seeing the race pan out almost exactly as you’d hoped. It’s the conundrums of the sport that fascinate me: how a race can turn on a hair – a horse exploding out the pack when all looks lost or a rider being unshipped at the final hurdle. I don’t need to bet to enjoy racing, though by placing cash I am nailing my colours to a mast. In that sense it’s like having a team to support in a match – it adds electricity. I’ve backed 33/1 winners several times and
regularly pull up double-figure winners during the season. Day-trippers enjoy it when they win – why wouldn’t they? – but having done so through hard work rather than picking a horse for its name or colours is a satisfaction only the hardened punter can understand. The key to successful gambling isn’t to back winners, it’s to avoid losers. The hardest thing in racing is to resist backing a horse on a hunch or throwing a tenner on “just in case it wins”. Bankruptcy courts are full of people who don’t. Cold, hard study is what it takes. Oh, and only betting what you can afford to lose, of course. Having said that, it’s important to stress that underpinning all this is a genuine love of the sport and the animals themselves. People think they understand what a horse looks like up close, but they’ve never seen a thoroughbred sprinting at close quarters – it’s magnificent. They’re an entirely different species to a nag in a country field. The power, size and noise of racehorses running against each other is genuinely thrilling – stand at the rails of a big meeting and try to disagree with me. Then perhaps you’ll understand this obsession of mine.
Next issue Bang and Olufsen – a retrospective; Heavenly Records at 25; usual stuff about maps and tunnels
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