Fashion Architecture Travel Ideas Sport Design
ÂŁFree Issue Four Summer 2011 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Umbrella Manifesto here’s a lot to be said for telling a good tale. In these days of hi-resolution press pictures emailed directly to your inbox, it doesn’t take much to put together a menswear blog full of nice photos of the latest shawl-neck cardigan. But Umbrella is about much more than that. We believe in the power of stories, and this issue is full of them. Our standout piece examines the Westway, the stretch of elevated motorway in London that’s seen riots, gigs and even a separate state appear from under its shadow. Staying with the auto theme, we uncover the saga behind one of America’s most disastrous car launches, the Chrysler TC by Maserati, while a collection of beautiful city maps of the 16th Century illustrates just how much our great towns have changed. Of course, there’s lots more to read – including an extended fashion section – but that’s for you to discover at your leisure. Enjoy it. Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, Summer 2011
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Issue four contents 9 Editions
10 Love letters The endless creativity of graffiti calligraphy 12 News Morley – the most polite street artist in the world, Silent Cities, what’s happening at Ground Zero, Moscow expansion 16 Negative impact The iconic photos of Brian Duffy 18 Looking good isn’t about being fashionable argues Anthony Teasdale 19 The simple pleasures of gravy 20 How to cook Brazilian burgers 22 Sweet cocktails from the Jam pub 24 Q&A Tailor Charlie Allen 26 Our favourite things Leica Mini camera
29 Field trip
30 High life The Docklands Light Railway 32 Somewhere for the weekend Time to pack for Marrakesh 34 Urban outfitters The glorious maps of the 16th and 17th Centuries 38 City Report: Amsterdam 40 Cycling: Cuban wheels Trying to get a bike in Castro’s Cuba 42 Cycling: Rolling news
46 The worst of both worlds The Chrysler TC by Maserati 48 Something in the air A social history of the Westway elevated motorway 52 Ridicule is nothing to be scared of How Adam Ant helped one boy grow up 54 More than a club FC Barcelona
60 Umbrella loves Oak Street Oxfords 62 Mersey paradise: Weavers Door 64 T-shirts 66 Polos 68 Trunks 70 Jackets 72 Umbrella outfit 74 Shoes and bags 80 Vintage: the Albam Fisherman’s Cagoule
82 Obsessions Disposable cameras
Issue four’s contributors From disastrous car launches to the state of the Amsterdam underground, our writers are relentless in their search for stories
The author of a love letter to the pleasures of gravy, Duncan found himself launching the world’s first PlayStation 2 magazine, PSM2, where he outraged the entire gaming community by calling Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s seminal Rez “pretentious sh*t”. He also gave media-twonk Danny Wallace his first commission for which he’s now truly sorry. He’s subsequently had to slum it on titles such as Loaded and Wallpaper*.
In this issue, travel writer Edward Rekkers contributes his musings on the construction craze that’s currently sweeping Amsterdam. While doing his thing for Time Out and Esquire, he blogs about all things London for Dutch national daily de Volkskrant. For Umbrella, he donned his mac, hopped on a Eurostar and went back to the Dutch capital to do some digging of his own.
Originally from the other side of the Penines in Sheffield but now living on Merseyside, Theo is the author of our profile of Weavers Door, Liverpool’s most stylish new menswear store. When he’s not trawling city centres and the internet looking at clothes he can’t afford, he can be found at music festivals or searching for obscure hip-hop and reggae records to play on his online radio show.
A passionate discussion about the state of Spanish soccer in a London publishing office led to Nick writing about the football team he most admires, Barcelona. With a history in radical politics, Nick examines what makes Barça so different from their rivals – telling a tale of civil war, revolution and the central part the team plays in Catalan national identity. Visca el Barça!
The man behind our feature on post-punk heroes Adam and The Ants, Jonathan Sim is currently collaborating on an anecdotal book remembering the band’s early days. He also tells us that he’s looking for a large double room to rent – “en suite if poss’”- in the SW/West/SE of London. Communication on both can be mailed to email@example.com. Just don’t say a bad word about Adam.
Umbrella is published by Wool Media Ltd, © 2011 Editor Anthony Teasdale (firstname.lastname@example.org) Creative Director Matt Reynolds (email@example.com) Staff Writer Elliott Lewis-George (firstname.lastname@example.org) Technological Development Dan Nicolson (email@example.com) Advertising Manager Jon Clements (firstname.lastname@example.org) Fashion Editor Natalie Cornish Picture Researcher John Ritchie Other contributors Justin Clack, Don G Cornelius, Nikki Wicks
This issue, car writer/obsessive John Mahoney unearths the unholy marriage between Chrysler and Maserati that gave birth to the bastard child that was the ‘Chrysler TC by Maserati’. Mahoney, originally from south-west London, has been writing about cars for 12 years, contributing to titles such as Time Out and Intersection.
UMB013 Contact us email@example.com
Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement
Chic flicks Brian Duffy was, along with David Bailey and Terry Donovan, one of the key photographers in documenting London in the 1960s. Born in 1933, Duffy went on to work at some of the worldâ€™s greatest magazines, photographing the fashion, music and film icons of the day. See some of his best work on page 16.
10: Graffiti as calligraphy 18: Why style trumps fashion 20: Cooking burgers the Brazilian way 24: The secrets of tailoring
Love letters One book shows how far graffiti can take the seemingly mundane A-to-Z rrive by train into the centre of any western city and you’ll be struck by the sheer volume of graffiti down by the tracks. The works, for the most part, unimaginatively mimic the style of the first ‘writers’ from 1970s New York – endless rows of bubble-writing, bog-eyed B-boys and indecipherable left-leaning tags which make the make the environment look scruffy and threatening. Yet among the dross, you’ll find works that are genuinely original, especially the stuff that blends the lines between graffiti, calligraphy and typography. A long-time enthusiast of the sprayed word, writer Claudia Walde commissioned some of the world’s best graffiti artists to each design a 26-letter Latin alphabet – the only restriction being that it had to fit on a single page of a book. The results have been collected in Walde’s superb volume, Street Fonts, which shows what a force for creativity this art form can be. The sheer variety of lettering on show is absolutely breathtaking. Unsurprisingly, some of the fonts are influenced by more traditional graffiti styles from decades back, but there are plenty that take what you can do with the Latin alphabet to the limits, employing pictures of people or even household tools to form the characters. Graffiti, like all once-rebellious art forms, has become, for the most part, safe and unchallenging, staying within boundaries set down years ago. Yet this great collection proves, that at its best, it’s still the coolest kid on the block.
Street Fonts, Graffiti Alphabets from Around The World is published by Thames and Hudson, priced £19.95 www.thamesandhudson.com
Details The styles vary from New York-influenced traditional letters (right) to more abstract and inventive themes, such as the ‘saucy gymnast alphabet’ towards the top of the facing page. Some are nothing like ‘graf ’ at all ( far right).
WORDS: ANTHONY TEASDALE
Covered: Street art, font design
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… We’re always prone to a bit of medieval superstition, hence why we’ll be heading to see the various statues, paintings and phoney relics at the Treasures of Heaven exhibition at the British Museum, which runs until October 9… Loving the fact that London’s original mod and Ivy League specialist John Simons’ new shop is going from strength to strength with its own super collection of killer button-down shirts. More at www.johnsimons.co.uk… Samsung getting themselves very excited about the launch of the Galaxy 8.9, apparently the thinnest tablet in the world at just 8.6mm thick. Running Honeycomb 3.0 and boasting a 1Ghz processor, will it compete with the superb Asus Transformer? We’ll see… We’ve always been big fans of the BT (formerly Post Office) tower, hence our enthusiasm for Stefi Orizi’s retro screenprint of this, one of London’s most iconic buildings. Get yours at www.thingsyoucanbuy.co.uk, along with lots of her other prints… And finally, best football kit of the new season? It’s got to be the strip for the relaunched New York Cosmos. Yet again, Umbro set the standard. More at www.umbro.com big bear
Russian capital to gain new suburbs Moscow is going to dramatically increase in size, according to plans released by local authorities. With the population of the overcrowded city at 11m and increasing by 200,000 a year, it has been decided to expand it into the south and southwestern outskirts, currently home to around 250,000 people, many of whom will be displaced by the project. At present, Moscow is 264,000 acres in size, but under the plan, overseen by city Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, that will increase to 620,000, with government departments, including the president and prime minister, among the first moving to the new neighbourhood. The expansion is expected to take 20 years to complete.
Covered: Graffiti, art
Poster boy Morley’s street art billboards make the world a much nicer place to live in
Based in Los Angeles, street artist Morley makes arresting, but thoughtful pieces that straddle the ground somewhere between graffiti and public information posters. Unfailingly polite and supertalented, he’s now represented in the UK by London’s Lazarides gallery, Banksy’s 20-per-cent people. Just then, the sort of person we at Umbrella like to ring up and demand an interview with. Hi, Morley, what’s happening? Morley: Today, I’m at work. I cut casting audition reels for reality TV shows. As one who considers himself a writer, it always feels like I’m conspiring with the enemy. On the other hand it’s given me a pretty close look at the desperate lengths that people will go to feel special. A lot of the inspiration for my work comes from wanting to be a voice of encouragement to the dreamers who have lost their way. Watching hundreds of auditions for any of the numerous shows I’ve worked on has given me access to observe humanity from an interesting keyhole and given me glimpses into a range of subtle sadnesses that often go unnoticed. I like to think that while I may be contributing to the slow ‘illiterating’ of the western culture, I’m also doing my best in my free time to put words back into the world.
Morley’s polite posters from LA and London
U: When did you start doing paintings on walls? M: Predominantly I do what’s called ‘wheat pasting’, in which I put up posters up with a glue made of white flower and water. It’s not ‘painting’. U: Have the police ever stopped you working? M: I’ve never got busted though cops have driven past me as I’ve worked. I like to think it’s because they like my stuff and have decided to cut me some slack but it’s just as likely that they were busy thinking about gang-related shootings or Lindsay Lohan stealing a necklace, and just didn’t notice me. That said, if I ever do get busted I’ll do my best not to take it as a personal critique of my work. U: What’s the best thing you’ve ever done, art-wise? M: I might actually be the only person in the world that is not qualified to answer that. I’m sure there’s a few people online who would be more than happy to tell you in all caps “NOTHING” and follow it up with a variety of obscenities and misspelled adjectives. If you’re asking me what I’m most proud of, I would say it’s when someone tells me that something I’ve done has been heartening to them. The biggest objective with what I do has always been to be a kind voice in a city of hostile, greedy ones. U: Does being a painter mean lots of hot women now want to date you?
M: I think that the answer is absolutely, positively, 100 per cent YES! Sadly, I’m not a painter. I think I avoided the groupie problem by drawing a picture of myself in each of my pieces. While girls may day dream of how hunky Banksy is, they know exactly what kind of skinny dork in glasses they’d be getting with me. Fortunately, I’m married to a girl that’s way out my league as it is, so trying to impress her occupies most of my time anyway. U: What are your plans for the next year? M: When I started doing this, I didn’t really have a plan. I never aspired to any formal success as a visual artist, I really just wanted to put my stuff out there for people to see and hopefully respond to positively. Finding new ways of communicating visually is foremost on my mind, despite the text-based nature of
my work. I’m trying to make more handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces at the moment and hopefully they’ll turn out OK but if I never speak of them again, that means they look awful and were relegated to the boxes of unpublished screenplays and high school band demos I keep in my closet. U: If you had your own TV show, what would be on it? M: They’ve already made it. It was called Ghost Whisperer and it starred Jennifer Love Hewitt. That’s the joke answer. The real answer is: a serious drama starring cats dressed up like people. I would watch the crap outta that! Morley’s fantastic screen prints can be bought from the excellent Lazarides gallery www.lazinc.com
News & information Wizard sleeves
Quality analogue coverings for your iPad and MacBook Air
WTC update Memorial fountains open With the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaching, work on the new World Trade Centre in Lower Manhattan is gearing up after years of wrangling and disagreement. To commemorate the victims of the attack, two fountains, built into the footprints of the original WTC towers will open on September 11 itself. WTC say: “Visitors to the September 11 Memorial will be greeted by sheets of water cascading 30 feet down into twin reflecting pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers. These man-made waterfalls have a scale that is unmatched.” Meanwhile, construction on the project’s five towers is under way with British architects Norman Foster and Richard Rogers involved in the design of two of the buildings. At the centre of the project is 541m-high WTC 1 (or Freedom Tower) designed by architect David Childs, due to be completed by 2013. However, the project as a whole may not be finished until 2020.
The one thing with obsessively buying products from Apple (you know who you are) is new innovations in screen thickness/thickness mean an often less-pleasurable trip to buy a new bag. However, we’d be happy to trek miles for the range of Macbook and iPad sleeves/bags from Knomo, which mix battered leather construction with contemporary styling. While the outsides look traditional, the interior is a different matter, with models offering padding and tracker ID numbers should you lose your favourite toy. We’re especially keen on the Kilkenny messenger bag, ideal for the MacBook Air. www.knomo.com
Germany calling Deutsche Bahn make Channel Tunnel application
For more on the new WTC, go to www.wtc.com Direct train services to Amsterdam, Cologne and Frankfurt from London St Pancras are one step nearer after German train operator Deutsche Bahn applied formally to the Intergovernmental Commission, which oversees safety issues in the Channel Tunnel, to run ICE trains from the continent to Britain. If approved, services are likely to begin in 2013. With journey times of around four hours expected, UK Transport Secretary Phillip Hammond said, “This as an important step along the way to a truly European high speed rail network. Passengers can look forward to more convenient trips into the heart of Europe and I’m sure the list of potential destinations will grow longer every year.”
Covered: Photography, architecture
It’s sunrise and a group of goggle-eyed techno fiends stumble around the barren City of London like extras in a zombie flick, seemingly oblivious to the uncluttered beauty around them. These are urban explorers. However, thanks to the engrossing Silent Cities blog, you don’t have to reach for that battered Kangol cap to explore the built environment at its most serene. “The blog portrays a stark contrast to today’s 24/7 society, and shows cities in a completely different light,” say Andy Garner and Nathan Parnell: the early-rising duo who shoot these striking black and white landscapes with their smartphones. “We struggle out of bed at around 4am to find some locations. If you miss that time frame then
you’ve got no chance, as the trains start running and city life breaks into swing.” Founded in February this year, the Silent Cities blog portrays an eerie collection of otherwise frantically bustling locations: from London’s Camden High Street to an eerily deserted downtown Detroit. Asked about future plans, the pair are hopeful: “We want people to start thinking: ‘Why don’t I shoot my city in silence?’ Ideally, in two or three years, we want a catalogue of 40 or 50 cities all shot in the same unique way.” Visit Silent Cities on www.silentcitiesuk.blogspot.com and follow the blog on Twitter @SilentCitiesUK
words: elliot lewis-george
The dreamy world of Silent Cities
Crop top In this Duffy picture, writer William S. Burroughs, author of The Naked Lunch, is seen carrying a photograph of himself.
Negative impact If the swinging London of the 1960s had an in-house photographer, Brian Duffy was probably it rian Duffy photographed celebrities in the days when most – though certainly not all – of this privileged bunch could actually do something. Or at least look so good that their supposed occupations paled into insignificance against the irresistible power of their beauty. From the 1960s to the end of the ’70s, Duffy, like other working-class snappers such as David Bailey and Terence Donovan, was fortunate enough to find himself with a camera in a post-war pop culture revolution that transformed Britain and the world. Shooting for the likes of The Observer, The Times and Esquire gave unrivalled him access to the people who defined an era. The subjects of his pictures read like a who’s-who of this gilded generation: there’s Michael Caine in a suit, smoking (yet another) fag; David Bowie on the cover of Aladdin Sane (and later as a scary Pierrot for Ashes to Ashes) and Joanna Lumley in yummy-mummy phase, all pouty lips and earth-mother seriousness.
As his reputation grew, Duffy, born in 1933 to Irish immigrants in London, expanded into advertising, creating impossibly glamourous campaigns for the likes of Smirnoff vodka and cancer stick specialists, Benson and Hedges. He also shot the Pirrelli calendar in 1965 and 1973. Not bad for a tough street kid who grew up in bombed-out London and was sent to various approved schools because of his errant behaviour – though it was at these institutions that he was introduced to the arts which would so inspire him. Duffy famously gave photography up in 1979, burning many of his negatives in a bonfire in his back garden. Happily, some were saved and thanks to the perseverance of his son Chris, put into some sort of order – a priceless catalogue of a period that changed the way we view fame for ever. Brian Duffy died in 2010 but thanks to his images, he – and the spirit of that special time – lives on. Duffy is published by AAC, priced £45 www.antiquecollectorsclub.com
pictures: ÂŠ Duffy Archive
Covered: Photography, the 1960s
Looking good isn’t about being fashionable, it’s about knowing what works lothes lift the spirit in a way that’s difficult to explain. A good jacket with a well designed collar or a pair of jeans that hang perfectly over your shoes add the sort of assured confidence you normally only get with a decent tan. Maybe I’m unusual, but I like nothing more than popping out of the office at lunchtime and checking out what’s on the racks, whether it’s a simple jumper from the likes of M&S, a mac in Muji or a beautifully cut tweed jacket from Aquascutum. I’ve even caught myself sniffing waxed jackets in Barbour. This behaviour may be odd (though probably not for Umbrella readers), but it signifies an obsession with style that began when I was ten years old. And it has stood me in good stead ever since. I remember it like it was yesterday. June 1982. “I’m not wearing these any more, mum. Everyone’s laughing at me.” “What’s wrong with them?” I look down at the grey slacks I’ve got on, the legs of which have been tied up with assorted belts, early Anglo-Saxon style. “They’re,” and I spit the word out, “flares! Nobody wears flares. I hate them.” A day later and I’m looking at myself in the mirror, a big grin on my face as I survey my new yellow canvas kecks, blue granddad shirt and cricket-style tank top. I feel fantastic, despite my dad later tut-tutting at the “puff ’s trousers” his newly-ex wife has got me from Burton’s. At the junior school disco a few nights afterwards, the headmaster comes up to me: “I’m looking at you to go and start the dancing with the girls,” he says, nodding sagely. Straight away I know: good clothes make all the difference. What I will learn later on, however, is that change-for-change’s-sake does you no favours. For men, getting your style right is a journey made up of lessons learnt (pleated, checked jeans isn’t a look I’ll be revisiting) and successes taken on board. Once you have that knowledge you need never look bad again. Jeans are a good example. Sometime in the mid-’90s, thanks largely to Evisu, it became possible to buy authentic indigo denim in this
country. For a couple of years you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing some young blade in pair of beautifully cut, near-black jeans turned up to show that all-important red-lined selvedge that proved the garment had been woven on an old-fashioned loom. Suddenly, every pair of jeans that had appeared before was made redundant. Purveyors of denim up and down the land should have cancelled all future orders, shook their heads in resignation and placed signs on their doors declaring that from now on there was no point selling anything else. But fashion doesn’t work like that, it exists only in order to change. So predictably within a couple of years, pre-distressed denim was back with mad ‘oil washes’, weird white bits down the front of jeans and splashes of paint and crazed embroidery. I despaired. We’d had perfection, but fashion, that monster that is never more happy than when devouring itself was not satisfied. Fashion said: “You’ve looked good for too long, it’s time to look ridiculous again – add a badly dyed mullet, a cheapo blazer and some white pointy shoes to your sad new jeans and we’ll keep that going for a while until I say so. And hey, GQ are on board so that’s alright.”
‘Real style is something to be fine-tuned, added to and pruned’ And young men followed because when you’re young you don’t know any better. But what’s back in now? That’s right, dark denim. Which means that once you’ve seen that circle, if you’ve got any sense, you’ll learn not to be fooled again and trust your own instincts.
For those of us who care about this sort of thing, style is something to be fine-tuned, added to and pruned, not turned over and started anew out of boredom. Fashion, true fashion, is for women. One year they’re in high heels and flares, the next it’s French Sole ballet pumps and drainpipe jeans. Men over the age of 25 who take this approach are either gay, trying too hard or want to appear on The Only Way Is Essex. Would you go for a pint with someone who told you he was wearing “this season’s colour”? Exactly. Forget the wear-it-once-throw-it-away philosophy of the Primark generation – it pays to invest in your clothes. I bought an Armani zip-up Harrington-style jacket 11 years ago. Cheap it most certainly was not. But in those 11 years whenever I’ve put it on I’ve instinctively felt right, complete. It’s hanging up now, itching to make its first appearance of the summer. I don’t have to worry whether its boxy shape is ‘right’ for this year or whether its slightly frayed cuffs make it look a little too worn. I know it looks good. And at the end of the day that’s all that matters.
By Anthony Teasdale
The simple pleasures of…
Gravy Duncan Baizley pays tribute to the greatest liquid known to man rundling back on a train from west London, towards the end of last season, after a satisfying – and sporadically violent – Sunday league win, the in-carriage, post-pint team chatter turned to what was waiting for each of us when we eventually got home. A couple of pizzas would be ordered, a few were going straight back to their local boozer for the last-gasp before work began again Monday, but, for the most, it would be the full, traditional works. Chicken got a big nod; one or two beefs for the Sunday after payday; lamb was a minority, although a well-respected one; and our willowy playmaker – whose Alice band would be his undoing – was practically penning a sonnet for his nut roast. And then our centre-half – nose by Picasso, touch by Henry Cooper – says he’d be having a “cup on the side”. “Of what?” we reasonably asked. “Gravy,” he says, staring us down like the, mostly, Southern dipshits we actually were, with those one-tackle-away-from-being-a-police-matter eyes of his. The man would roast and double-up on the juices to have as a from-the-mug accompaniment. “Better than Bovril,” he says, and after a moment of group reflection, not a single man jack of us could disagree. Or would want to, even if we did. There was a lot of love for the basic building block of granules, with only a ripple of dissent from the purists who would have nothing to do with anything but meat juice, a thickener and a generous glug of port, blanc or cider, depending on the fleisch. Most would start with a suitable Bisto, added to a well-sweated red onion, with the liquor splashed in for depth. From there we moved on to recent developments in stock technology – whatever Knorr have got on Marco Pierre White, it must be disgusting, because the man won’t even entertain an interview these days without crowbarring in the K-bomb. But he’s lucked out there, because it’s decent. Although, maybe he knew that already before he went full-blown Faustus. But all agreed on two deeply, important points. The first being that if you add hot water to anything, it’d better have had veg boiling in it first. Secondly, the only excuse for not making the most of those mind-bendingly delicious crispy bits that ping off a well-roasted animal is if you’ve got a sweet right foot and you’re a vegetarian. Although as we headed towards Waterloo, discussing the pitfalls of not skimming and the joy of seared skin, I swear I saw nut roast boy imagining his hands around a pig’s throat, with a blowtorch on standby, and Marco Pierre White egging him on madly, like the massive stock-pimping, bullying oaf he is.
The ideal gravy is made with vegetable water, stock, thickener and liquor from the meat you’re roasting.
Words: Duncan Baizley picture: istockphoto.com
Cook a Brazilian burger Wider, juicier, tastier – the burgers from one special South American restaurant in London are worth crossing an ocean for e’ve read enough books, watched enough documentaries and passed enough gourmet fast food restaurants to know the simple burger is anything but. From those distinctly dog foodlike patties you can buy in tin cans to the intensely flavoured masterpieces at London’s Hawksmoor, there are as many variations of burger as there are places to actually eat them in. And often, it feels like we mean to try every single one of them. Our latest love affair is with the Brazilian burger, which we discovered after a trip to the X Burger House in Kilburn, north-west London. After one spectacular blow-out we decided to ask the owner, Paula Padilha if she’d furnish us with some recipes so people all over the Umbrella-sphere could try them out for themselves. She agreed. But first she wanted to tell us just what makes her burgers so good. “The first thing you’ve got to remember is that the size is different. In England, burgers are tall. In Brazil, they’re wide. A British burger will be five inches wide, but Brazilian ones are seven inches. And just as thick. We also add a mixture of sweetcorn and peas to give the burger a different texture, and then some homemade mayonnaise.” Is the size really that important? “Absolutely. I come from Caxias do Sol in the south of Brazil, which has a big Italian and German influence. In those two cultures it’s traditional to eat big portions – fine dining won’t last there, because people hate going home hungry. In our restaurant the Brazilians eat more than the British, who’ll often go for the smaller five-inch burgers.” Typical wimpy Brits. Along with chef/partner Sol Ariente, Paula’s X Burger House has become a fixture for in-the-know foodies in the capital and seemingly countless Brazilians who want a taste of home. “There are other recipes that you’ll get at a burger restaurant in Brazil, such as ones with cream chicken or calabrasa, a spicy sausage that’s hugely popular in the country. We serve those too, because they’re really unique to Brazilian cooking.” And finally, why ‘X Burger’? “We say ‘x’ as ‘chis’ in Portuguese. In Brazil, people use ‘x’ instead of ‘cheese’ when they order a cheeseburger. It’s a simple as that.”
X Burger House, 40-42 Willesden Lane, London NW6 7ST, 020-7372 1001 xburgerhouse.co.uk
Covered: Burgers, restaurants
Creamy Chicken X Burger by X Burger, serves 1 200-230g of chicken breast marinated in thyme, rosemary, white wine vinegar and olive oil 1 tablespoon of cream cheese 3 slices of tomato Lettuce 1 teaspoon of homemade mayo (or regular mayo) 1-2 tablespoons of potato sticks 1 burger bun Grill the chicken breast for around 4 mins before shredding the chicken. Once shredded, add the cream cheese and mix in with the chicken. Cut the bun in the middle and slightly toast it. On the bottom of the bun, add the chicken and cream cheese mixture, then the potato sticks, tomatoes and lettuce. The mayo will be used on the top of the bun.
X Burger House BURGER by X Burger, serves 1 First make the beef pattyâ€Ś 1kg lean premium beef mince Suggestion: 500g sirloin, 250g marbled chuck, 250g trimmed of gristle 1 tablespoon of chopped white onion 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 egg Salt and pepper In a container, mix the egg, onion and garlic. In another container, add the mince, then the mixture of egg, salt, pepper, garlic and onion. Separate the mix into 200g portions and press into burgers. Now the burger itself.
Grill the burger for around 5 min. While the burger is cooking, in another pan fry the egg and reserve for later. Grill the ham for 1 min, then add the cheddar and the fried egg. Cut the bun and slightly toast it. On the top half add the mayo, on the bottom add the sweetcorn and peas, beef patty, ham, cheese and egg pile, the tomatoes and lettuce. Serve.
Calabresa X Burger by X Burger, serves 1 2 calabresa sausages (can be replaced by 2 Polish kabanos sausages) 1 slice cheddar 1 egg 3 slices of tomato Lettuce 1 teaspoon of homemade mayo (or regular mayo) 1 bun Chop the sausages and grill them for 3-4 min. On the side, fry the egg and once cooked, add the cheddar slice on top so it can melt. Cut the bun and slightly toast it. On the top half add the mayo. On the bottom half add the sausages, fried egg and cheese, tomatoes and lettuce.
WORDS AND PICTURES: ANTHONY TEASDALE
200g beef burger 1 slice of ham 1 slice of cheddar 1 egg 1 tablespoons of sweetcorn and peas 3 slices of tomato Lettuce 1 teaspoon of homemade mayo (or regular mayo) 1 burger bun
the umbrella bar
Nice place for a jar Chelsea’s Jam Tree has cocktails we’re sweet on t’s more than a few years since the King’s Road was London’s hippest thoroughfare, yet despite its popularity with slackjawed sloanes and Burberry-toting tourists, it still has something about it. Maybe it’s the perfect terraces of townhouses that come off it, or the feeling that people have gone there specifically to have a good time, but whatever, the King’s Road is one of the capital’s most iconic thoroughfares. Getting a drink here has never been a problem but finding somewhere decent has – do you really want to spend your afternoon in the proximity to some bloke whose dad owns half of Wales, but spends his time opining loudly on the goings-on at Stamford Bridge? Thank the stars then for the
Jam Tree, a stylish new boozer on the King’s Road that not only serves a cracking array of beers, but does a fine line in cocktails, using – as you may expect – jam, rather than fruit purées, which, says manager Olly, “adds depth, texture and thickness” to the drink. Obviously, not all of us can get to this smashing pub, so we asked Olly to come up with a few summery cocktails, which Umbrella readers will be able to make in their own homes. Just the thing, we reckon, for a lazy Sunday afternoon in late summer. The Jam Tree, 541 King’s Road, London, SW6 2EB 020 3397 3739 www.thejamtree.com
Method Blend the jam so it’s smooth. Put to one side. Now take your glass and put the mint leaves in. Muddle the mint leaves by tapping them firmly about 20 times with the muddler, not by twisting it in the glass for 5 minutes as many people do incorrectly. Bear in mind you’re merely extracting the mint oil from the leaves and tapping the leaves a few times will facilitate this. Then add the lime juice, Sirop de Gomme, Briottet liqueur, the pureed jam and Bacardi Gold. Now add the crushed ice and mix with the bar spoon. Ensure that all the contents at the bottom are well and truly mixed throughout the drink. Add a dash of soda water. Now, add two straws and then top up the crushed ice to make a pyramid effect, and place the garnish on the top of the drink next to the straw. Your Jam Mojito is ready!
PADDINGTON BEAR’S REVENGE Ingredients: 30ml Hennesy VS cognac 20ml Cointreau 20ml lemon juice 20ml sugar syrup Orange marmalade Orange Misc: Ice Boston glass Brandy glass Bar spoon
MOONSHINE Ingredients: 20ml Disaronno Amaretto 30ml Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum 50ml apple juice Blackberry Jam One strawberry Mint Misc: Crushed ice Boston glass Tall glass Bar spoon Method: In a Boston glass, combine 20ml Disaronno Amaretto and 30ml Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum Add the apple juice, then add 1 bar spoon of blackberry jam. Shake hard for 10-12 seconds Strain over crushed ice in a tall glass, garnish with a strawberry and a sprig of mint. All done!
CONFITURE Ingredients: 30ml Cariel vanilla vodka 20ml Chambord 50ml pineapple juice 10-15ml lime juice 1 bar-spoon raspberry jam 1 strawberry Misc: Boston glass Martin glass· Bar spoon Method: In a Boston glass, combine 30ml Cariel Vanilla Vodka with 20ml Chambord. Add 50ml pineapple juice, 10-15ml lime juice and one bar spoon of raspberry jam. Then shake vigorously and double strain into a martini glass. Garnish it with half a strawberry and it’s done.
Method: In a Boston glass, combine 30ml of Hennesy VS cognac with 20ml Cointreau, then add 20ml of lemon juice and 20ml sugar syrup. After that, add a large bar spoon of orange marmalade Shake vigorously. Single-strain into a brandy glass full of ice and garnish with orange rind.
photography by anthony teaSdale
Jam Mojito Ingredients 10-12 large leaves of fresh mint 25ml of freshly squeezed lime juice 10ml of Sirop de Gomme (sugar syrup) 15ml of Briottet Crème a la Fraises des Bois (strawberry) or Crème de Framboise (raspberry) or Creme de Cassis (blackcurrant) 50ml of Bacardi Gold 50ml of soda water 1 fresh strawberry / 3 fresh raspberries / 3 blackberries (they work better for garnish) Strawberry, raspberry or blackcurrant jam Misc 12 oz of crushed ice 16 oz glass with a heavy base Muddler Bar spoon
Charlie Allen What’s the truth behind men’s tailoring? Is it really worth spending a small fortune on a bespoke whistle? And what happens to your suit when the good life takes its toll on your waistline? London tailor Charlie Allen tells Elliot Lewis-George about the method behind the measuring tape
hich way do you dress, sir?” A simple sartorial question we hope an informed Umbrella reader would be able to answer correctly. But spotting a corozo button at 100 yards or appreciating the hidden beauty of a floating canvas? That’s a different matter altogether. Charlie Allen is someone who be able to answer these – and a thousand more questions on the subject of suit making. From his courtyard shop off Islington’s Upper Street, Allen has been making bespoke men’s suits for years, instilling a smart mod-meets-Savile Row aesthetic into the lives of many a north London male. Allen’s airy workspace is inviting – much like its proprietor. Beyond the reception, a few mannequins stand to attention and a lengthy row of suits hang elegantly along the whitewashed wall – each one at a different stage of the bespoke evolution process. Friendly, expert, but without any sign of pretension, who better to take us through the many mysteries of the tailor’s craft?
CA: Yes, and to make a suit for an Italian is the ultimate challenge because they’ve got such brilliant tailors operating there.
Umbrella: How did you break into tailoring? Charlie Allen: It was a family business. My Dad is, and was, a tailor. He came here in 1955 and started his own company making suits. U: So your father was always very keen to teach you a trade? CA: Yeah. You got a trade and then you could be whatever you wanted to be. All of us had to be tailors first and foremost. U: How accessible is the business to get into? Is it a case of being able to walk up Savile Row and say, “Listen, I’ve trained as a tailor. Can I have a job?” CA: Yes. As long as you can show you can make
U: Who would be your ultimate nightmare customer? CA: An Italian [laughs]! They have too much knowledge. They know too much about how a suit should be. They know about the intricacies: they know about corozo buttons and how they’re dyed. They talk about ‘kissing buttons’. Details like that. U: What’s a corozo button? CA: It’s a button made out of horn and dyed in vegetable corozo dye – a natural dye, not just synthetic polyester. If you look at some of the buttons on the suits, some of them are ‘kissing’. When I say kissing, they’re touching each other. They overlap, which is very Italian. U: So working with a customer who knows everything can be a challenge? CA: No. It just lifts everything. It makes you want to take your standards higher. You have to raise your game to keep up with them.
a suit and jacket. There are trouser makers, jacket makers and waistcoat makers. If you’re a master tailor you can do everything: you can cut, you can fit – doing the fittings is a job on its own. In fact, each area is a job on its own. You could just be a presser if you want, or a finisher: someone who stitches the buttons on by hand. U: It’s that simple? CA: On top of that there’s seven years of training. U: Is it true that you’ve tailored the England football team, including Fabio Capello?
U: What differentiates a bespoke suit from a made-to-measure one? Are they that different? CA: A handmade suit is literally made entirely by hand. The buttonholes are made by hand, it’s finished by hand, and the lining’s built by hand. You work on the silhouette and then on the floating canvas [the cloth construction within a jacket]. I really could go on and on. There are about 122 different processes building up the layers on your body. U: Would a customer come in to be fitted for each layer? CA: Oh, you’re talking two or three fittings.
Covered: Fashion You should never need to dry-clean them. You just alternate them – wear them and hang them. You should wear a different suit over five or six days a week. That’s the ultimate. U: Is there a certain style of suit you can wear for any occasion? CA: Every man needs a blue suit. A blue suit does absolutely everything. Wear it to work, wear it to funerals – basically for any occasion. If you have just one suit, a dark blue one should be it. U: Do you think the nice suit comes before the nice shoes? CA: In the ideal world you have to have them both together. You’ve got to have a handmade suit with handmade shoes. And they’re both worth repairing and looking after. You should have that one pair of shoes that you only pull out on very special occasions. U: Do you think a shirt and tie defines an era more clearly than the suit? CA: No. It all goes hand in hand. If you look at a suit, it actually dictates the way that the collar and the tie should match. The tie must match the lapel: a thin tie for a thin lapel. You can tell an era from the suit – the fit, the length, the shoulders and the cut. U: So if you walked through the City of London, could you tell a bespoke suit apart from all the others? CA: I can because my eye is different to most people’s. I know how they’re cut. A bespoke suit has a natural shoulder – softer. You can just tell. Well I can. It’s my job!
U: How long would a bespoke suit usually take to make altogether? CA: Six weeks. Whereas a made-to-measure is fitted to your measurements and comes back from the factory engineered. No handwork, all done by machines. What it’s trying to do is imitate a bespoke. It’s fused together. It’s not made to be altered. U: So what happens if you outgrow the bespoke suit? CA: You just alter it. Traditionally, it was then handed down to the next generation. If you
spend three grand on a suit you want to keep it for a long time. It’s an experience that you have to go through.
U: Hence the George range? CA: Yes. Except I treat the range like I had a bespoke customer. I try to imitate some of the processes that go into a bespoke suit but at an affordable price. So, instead of using fabrics that cost £150 a metre, you use ones that cost £4 or £5. However, you still try to get that overall look to the untrained eye. I’ve also got a range of tweeds coming out for George. Very traditional.
U: Do you think that’s why men love all things bespoke? To experience something unique to them? CA: Yeah. After you’ve had your fifth or sixth Armani suit, this is what you end up doing. You have one made especially for you.
U: What do you think is the future of tailoring in Britain? CA: There’ll always be that top end no matter what. There’ll always be someone who can’t get off the peg – because they’re too big or too small. It’s like having a bespoke kitchen because your house is on a slant.
U: How many suits should a man own? CA: The well-dressed man should have 12.
Charlie Allen for George, stockists 0800 9520101 www.george.com
words: elliot lewis-george photography: matt reynolds
‘every man needs a dark blue suit because it can be worn for any occasion’
U: You’re branching out in to off-the-peg with a range for George at ASDA. CA: Yes. I get really upset when I see people wearing other people’s suits. Then only way to get through to a bigger audience is to have readymade. There’s no point making two or three of these a week [points to his bespoke range] and nobody knows who you are.
Our favourite things…
The Leica Mini 35mm film camera hotographer Terry Richardson, he of the long sideburns, bad dress sense and unfathomable attractiveness to supermodels, is famous for using a Yashica T5, a seemingly ordinary ’80s camera that produces outstanding images thanks to its superior lens. So, when Umbrella spotted this exceedingly retrolooking Leica Mini in the big Oxfam on Liverpool’s Bold Street recently, we got the familiar nagging feeling. The one that goes, “If you don’t buy this, you will regret it forever.” This, like the Yashica, could be an undiscovered treasure. Even though it may be a long-forgotten model, it is a Leica and there’s something utterly bewitching about that little red logo. It’s also nice to have a 35mm camera to use on our shoots, and with that Leica lens, it’ll produce brilliant, high clarity images. But what gets us, what had us at hello, is its looks. Ultimately (and this says a lot about Umbrella), we don’t care that much about the quality of the pictures we’ll get out of the camera. What makes us glad that we handed over 50 quid of our editorial budget is its beauty as a piece of late 20th Century design. The curved corners, double flash, logo and the glorious none-more-’80s box make this something we want to show off, display, tell people about. It makes us feel good for being smart enough to pluck it from the cabinet of a charity shop. All we need now are the adoring supermodels.
Covered: Photography, design
Really a Leica?
Rumours continue to circulate that the Leica Mini is in fact the same camera as the Minolta Freedom Escort. We say that the Minolta doesn’t have the ‘red spot’ logo and thus loses.
Life on the streets
The brand really made its name in the era of classic street photography, with legendary snapper Henri Cartier-Bresson making use of his Leica camera to shoot his iconic black and white images of Paris.
photography: anthony teasdale
Leica has been making cameras since 1913 when Oskar Barnak produced the first prototype, a 35mm camera made for easy transportation and the shooting of landscape scenes.
Field trip Architecture, travel and transport
Field trip 29
32: Two days in Marrakesh 34: City maps from the 16th and 17th Centuries 38: Is too much construction killing Amsterdam?
The Docklands Light Railway has gone from ‘Underground-lite’ to a vital part of London’s transport network. More on page 30.
30 Field trip
High life Londonâ€™s elevated DLR system is just the ticket for local and international travellers alike
n Issue One of Umbrella we got very excited about the London Overground, the capital’s newest train network, which sews together various disparate strands of inner city railway to create a near-seamless whole. From its inception in 2006, there was a strategic plan that encompassed reliability, speed and most importantly to Umbrella, a unifying livery that took in station architecture and train design. Anyone who’s used LO, which links places as far away as Crystal Place in south London to Highbury and Islington in the north knows
that it’s without doubt the smoothest arm of the London public transport system. The DLR, whose spidery lines spread over much of east London is a very different beast altogether. The Docklands Light Railway was originally designed to provide a skeleton public transport service to a rapidly changing part of London bereft of Underground lines. Taken over by the government in 1980, the capital’s docklands were, like Liverpool’s Albert Dock and Greater Manchester’s Salford Quays, in a state of disrepair, almost forgotten as Tilbury, far downstream in Essex and thus able handle the huge container ships that had taken over the maritime trade, became London’s main point of entry from the sea. As the government-backed Docklands Development Agency got to work on regenerating the area, so a transport network was needed to link its different zones. The three-line DLR, opened at a cost of just £70m in 1987, was it. From the start, the DLR was different. Most noticeably, the network was fully automated, meaning no drivers on trains, just ‘Train Captains’, whose Postman Pat-looking uniform added to the slightly Toytown-ish feel of whole network. The one-car trains, which for most of the time travelled high above ground on viaducts and flyovers, had a retro-future feel about them, more Disneyland than Deptford. And yet in the first year alone passenger numbers clocked in at a whopping 17 million. Over the following years, as Docklands developed into a city-within-a-city that generated vast amounts of wealth (and later, debt), expansion and investment inevitably followed. New lines were added and the network joined up with the expanded Jubilee line at Canary Wharf,
Connected Despite the relatively recent arrival of the Jubilee Line, Canary Wharf is still a DLR hub with five stations in the area.
plus interchanges with the Central Line and various Network Rail routes. It wasn’t quite the Tube or the regular train, but something that was developing a permanent character all of its own. Today, the DLR is unrecognisable to the one that was running 24 years ago. The network has been hugely extended with two Thames crossings, including the all-important one at Greenwich taking the DLR to Lewisham and south London. In 2005, an extension to George V station took in London City Airport, thus bringing the capital’s most central airport into the public transport network. And, just as importantly in Umbrella’s eyes, the dated ’80s ‘Rockwell’ typeface has now been replaced with London Transport’s classic ‘New Johnston’, helping to make the network feel fully part of the TfL family – something it wasn’t at its inception. With over 64m passengers using the DLR every year and further lines and stations opening for the Olympics in 2012, this once-forlorn transport system is now one of the most pleasurable ways of getting around town. Whether it’s the thrill that comes from sitting at the front of the train as it zooms over the rollercoaster-like bridges at Canary Wharf or the stations in the sky so reminiscent of transport systems in Chicago and Bangkok, the DLR has more than proved its worth to people traveling around east London. And when you’re getting an early morning flight from London City, seeing the sun glisten off the towers at Canary Wharf from the comfort of your carriage is one of the definitive experiences of the modern day British capital. A fare deal indeed.
words: anthony teasdale pictures: istockphoto.com
Covered: Metros, London
32 Field trip
Best of Morocco’s five things to do in and around Marrakesh Catanzaro is an unfussy but fabulous Alpine-style Italian. Permanently packed to the rafters, it’s been run by the same curiously calm, exceptionally efficient couple for decades. There are generous steaks, excellent wood-fired pizzas and a killer tiramisu. Dinner from a decent-value £20. For Umbrella readers in search of some less hectic coastal culture, the chic fishing town of Essaouira’s just a two-hour drive away. More spacious and less chaotic than Marrakesh, the place is famous for its purple ramparts, harbour-side fish auctions, winds, windsurfing and hypnotic Gnaoua music.
Somewhere for the weekend
Dar Les Cigognes, Marrakesh, Morocco here is a certain type of traveller that really falls for Marrakesh, Morocco’s third biggest city. He’s male, likes Arabic fiction probably just a little bit too much and perhaps owns a selection of pristine white suits. You, personally, may not be like this, but it’s hard to deny there’s something truly alluring about this historical city, white suit or not. Marrakesh isn’t romantic in the traditional holding-hands sense, but it is special – a mindblowing mix of Arabic, Berber and French cultures, perched near the desert and within easy distance of the Atlas mountains. Like many north African cities, there is a medina at the heart of the town, crammed with hundreds of stalls, the sound of haggling and bargaining a constant hum in the ears. Sedate, it is not. For Umbrella, the Dar Les Cigognes (French for ‘storks’) fits the bill hotel-wise, an exceptional riad (Moroccan house around courtyard) dating back to the 17th Century. Facing the gates of the Royal Palace in the heart of the medina, it was once a wealthy merchant’s home and has now been transformed into a luxury hotel. Just the place to escape the blazing sun. The Dar has just 11 rooms and suites, each unique, drawing on the rich cultural heritage of Moorish art and décor. There is a rooftop terrace, a spa (offering massage and treatments), a traditional hammam, Jacuzzi and a restaurant serving freshly prepared local dishes. There’s also the opportunity to join the head chef on his daily rounds of the markets to buy ingredients. Though with countless dishes also on sale at the medina’s Djemaa El Fna square, there will be many suitors vying for your stomach’s affections. No matter, you can idle the hours away in the courtyard of the riad, reading One Thousand And One Nights and planing your next trip to one of the city’s excellent hammams.
For lovers of more upmarket food, Pavillon dishes up magret de canard au miel under orange trees. Said to be the best French restaurant in the whole of the city, this wonderful eaterie’s menu changes daily. Dinner from £31. If you’re in need of a late night drink, Bo-Zin is the ultimate after-dinner den, a haute couture hang-out just a short taxi ride out of town. Super-smooth, it dishes up spoonfuls of Beluga caviar and tender tagines of camel with truffles in an atmospheric flame-lit garden. Go and visit one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Middle Atlas region – the 330ft Cascades d’Ouzoud – and you can picnic surrounded by lush vegetation and olive and carob trees, which fill with monkeys as the sun sets. Make sure you swim in the Cascade’s pools before you leave. Easily doable in a day-trip from Marrakesh, with long-distance taxis offering decent value. A seven-night stay at Dar Les Cigognes costs from £844 pp (sharing), including flights, private transfers and B&B, with Travelzest’s Best of Morocco, 0800 171 2151 www.travelzest.com
34 Field trip
Urban outfitters A 17th Century atlas showing the world’s greatest cities is a wonder to behold aps are the bread and butter of the urban experience. Whether you’re consulting your iPhone’s GPS to locate that exceptional tapas bar in Palma’s Santa Catalina or flicking through an A-Z to find a friend’s apartment in the Merchant City are of Glasgow, studying the layout of our streets is both indispensable and fascinating. Before A-Z atlases or Google Maps, before even the RAC spiral-bound numbers found under the gloveboxes of every British car in the 1970s and ’80s, there was Braun and Hogenburg’s Cities of The World, a phenomenally thorough collection of town maps of the planet’s major cities. Produced in Cologne by theologian and publisher Georg Braun, and largely engraved by Franz Hogenberg in six volumes by between 1572 and 1617, it featured 564 illustrations, maps and bird’s-eye views of cities such as London, Paris, Cairo, Jerusalem and Damascus. Now beautifully reprinted from a rare surviving copy in Frankfurt’s Historische Museum, the dizzying array of maps show not just how much our cities have expanded since this period, but how many of the basic layouts have stayed the same. The likes of London, Seville and Paris are all instantly recognisable, though the illustrations of toiling peasants, pious nuns and polite-looking gentlefolk in the fields outside of the city walls bear little relation to today’s overcrowded suburbs. While much of modern mapping is done electronically and thus forced to adapt to our towns’ constant changes, there’s something far more permanent about the map as a moment in time captured for good. You’ll find no interactivity or user recommendations in the engravings of Braun and Hogenburg. Instead, just the world-transforming glory of the city, the powerhouse of all civilisation.
Covered: Maps, cities
36 Field trip
Mapped On these pages you can see versions of cities like Cologne, Paris, Seville and Vlissingen, the latter now known as sea resort.
Cities of The World is published by Taschen, priced ÂŁ44.99 www.taschen.com
Covered: Maps, cities
38 Field trip
s t e r da
s With drilling activities for its new metro line literally undermining the city’s chocolate box image, and some of the Dutch capital’s main tourist draws closed for extensive overhauls, the time is right to leave the cosiness of the central canal belt behind and go north. Edward Rekkers ventures out to the new Amsterdam with the natives o visitor to Amsterdam could fail to miss the extensive works that are taking place in the Dutch capital. Exiting Central Station, you immediately stumble upon – if not quite into – the 28m excavation which, in time, is set to become the new metro ticket hall. If you trained it into town to explore high culture (some people do! I’ve come for the rather high-brow Holland Festival), be prepared for disappointment at several of the Museum Quarter’s hallowed temples while they’re being renovated. And don’t think you’ll find it easier to seek solace in some of the city’s earthier pursuits. With more and more display windows being closed for business in another famous, slightly less salubrious district, and government plans
well underway to make a Dutch nationals-only Weed Pass mandatory for any herbal purchases, low-brow thrills will be harder to come by as well. Time to cosy up to the locals. During my flying visit, I can’t get much cosier with my host than I am, seated on his push bike’s luggage carrier while he ferries me about town. With my mac’s coat tails flapping in our wake, I’m quite literally taken for a ride to Central Station’s hinterland, where a cultural revolution is taking place. While traditional institutions like the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Modern Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum have remained closed for too many years, Amsterdam North has attracted the attention of urban planners. Along the northern bank of IJ Lake, the former
Amsterdam: under construction
Covered: Amsterdam, art, metros Construction works in a new subway station
NDSM shipyard has become a creative hub, housing TV stations MTV and Discovery and offering a plethora of studios to avant-garde artists, web designers and other creative young things. This burgeoning scene has produced the North by Northwest film festival, IJazz and the Over Het IJ theatre festival. Moreover, people come to sip and sup at some of Amsterdam’s trendiest hotspots. You can gorge yourself on award-winning asparagus at the glasshouse Café Noorderlicht, or jostle for outdoor tables with the beautiful people at MTV staff favourite De IJ-Kantine. However short the free ferry ride (operated from 7am until midnight) to the Northern IJ Bank may be, many an Amsterdammer still considers the north of town not only the wrong side of the track, but the wrong side of the IJ Lake. A case in point is the EYE building currently being constructed on the former Shell compound, immediately opposite Central Station on the Northern IJ Bank. When it opens in 2012, it will house the Film Museum, which at the moment is situated across town in Vondel Park near Museum Square. As one fervent Film Museumgoer and cinema insider tells me: “I honestly don’t think that all those people watching an obscure Dutch film on a rainy Tuesday will travel all the way across the IJ Lake.” Perhaps more ominously, the EYE Film Institute, as it will be known, won’t be helped by the huge arts budget cuts recently announced by the Dutch culture secretary. EYE director Sandra den Hamer has projected that the Film Museum will have to increase its annual attendance figures from 80,000 to an, ahem, eye-watering 230,000. What should be EYE’s salvation – the longawaited metro connection to Amsterdam’s centre and beyond – may well come too late. When the ambitious construction of the North-South line kicked off in April 2003, total costs were estimated at €1.46 billion and the 9.7 kilometre trajectory was meant to be completed by 2011. The track would start at ground level in Amsterdam North, duck underneath the IJ Lake
and 1885, is undergoing extensive renovation. With the works estimated at ten years – longer than the original construction – administrators had the foresight to house 400 greatest hits out of its one million plus pieces in a temporary exhibition called The Masterpieces. In the already completed Philips Wing, visitors can admire Rembrandt’s Night Watch alongside other 17th Century masters like Vermeer and Frans Hals until 2013 – when the building will be restored to its full splendour, the way Cuypers intended. Things are much worse, however, at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Modern Art Gallery. Said to rival the Centre Pompidou and New York’s MoMA, the Stedelijk saw its doors closed on safety grounds by the fire department in 2004. What followed was a soap of epic proportions, with the city council spending millions before there was even a design for the proposed extension on the table. The project was put out to tender, internationally renowned architects pitched and were duly snubbed; and then, when plans by the Netherlands’ own Benthem Crouwel Architects were finally approved, their execution was delayed, not once, twice, or even thrice, but four times. The builders went bust, and one museum director, Gijs van Tuyl, served his term from 2005 until 2009 without ever seeing the museum open. When the museum does finally re-open in 2013, the €107m renovation will leave its international reputation badly dented. Riding back to the station, nestling alongside the new Central Library sits the Mint Hotel. Although the interior of the 11th-floor Skylounge fails to charm me, the breathtaking views from the rooftop terrace are just that. I look out over the old town’s spires before turning north and raising my glass to new Amsterdam.
Hermitage: art on the Amstel With the main collections at the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Modern Art Gallery closed until at least 2013, the Amsterdam branch of St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum has been doing brisk business since it opened in 2009. Situated in a former nursing home on the River Amstel, it can mine its Russian sibling’s vast collection to stage sumptuous temporary exhibitions. After a maiden offering including Matisse, Van Dongen, De Vlaminck and Picasso’s Absinthe Drinker, the current display shows off the power and the glory of orthodox Russian icons until mid-September.
After that, it’s time for some Lowland art with a special exhibition of the Antwerp school. To complete its run as a sub for Amsterdam’s main galleries, the Hermitage will offer highlights from the Van Gogh Museum when the third of Amsterdam’s art super-trio closes its doors in 2012 for a(nother) refit, before reopening in 2013 – the museum’s 40th anniversary and Vincent’s 160th birthday – with a resplendent show which has been 10 years in the making. Hermitage Amsterdam, Amstel 51, Amsterdam, Tel: +31 (0)20 530 74 88 hermitage.nl
The Amsterdam Hermitage
Van Gogh museum
Rembrandt’s The Night Watch in the Rijksmuseum
and Central Station, then pass below monuments such as Berlage’s Stock Exchange building, Dam Square, the Royal Palace and Munt Tower before coming up for air at Zuid train station. Going on past experience with the Eastern metro line in the 1970s, the authorities decided to forego a so-called open construction – which led to widespread demolition as well as riots before the national government had to step in to complete the project. This time around, city planners opted for drilling rather than excavating the 3.8km tunnel stretch underneath the city centre. The idea was to follow Amsterdam’s street grid as closely as possible, thus avoiding destabilising foundations. Fast-forward a few years, and the inevitable delays have occurred: as Amsterdam was originally built in marshland, its town houses were constructed on long wooden piles. To complicate matters, Central Station stands on an artificial island supported by 9,000 of the buggers. All of this necessitates much deeper drilling – at 40 rather than the usual 10 metres. At this depth, groundwater pressure is much greater, which has led to tunnel leaks, more delays, the dreaded subsidence in the Vijzelgracht area, works being suspended, councillors stepping down, works being resumed, a budget hike to €3.1bn and the completion date being pushed back to 2017. At least by that time, some of the city’s other overrunning projects should be finished. This autumn will see the delayed reopening the Maritime Museum, but two of Amsterdam’s main art galleries haven’t fared so well. Pierre Cuypers’s Rijksmuseum, built between 1876
40 Field trip
¡Viva Fidel! Leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, was in office from 1965 to April this year. His brother Raul is now president.
Cuban wheels Cycling in Cuba takes determination and resourcefulness – and that’s before you even get on a bike, as Nikki Wicks discovers or the past two years I’ve been having holiday flings with my bike. We’ve been everywhere together, from Cambridge to the Champs-Elysées, and from Brighton beach to Barcelona. For days and weeks at time, I’ve disappeared on my like a man with a mistress. So it was no surprise that packing for Cuba, toothbrush in hand, the conversation with my girlfriend went something like this: “I want to take my bike.” “No! Because I know what will happen. You’ll go for a ride and I won’t see you for three days”. It’s nothing kinky, I don’t even own any lyrca. My bike isn’t flash and I don’t have any lights or one of those little bags you clip under the seat to carry tools and spare parts. I always wear protection – that is to say a helmet – and the only accessories that I’ve added to my second hand two-wheeler are a rack and two panniers. In less than two years, my bike has been on four airplanes, a ferry across the Channel and the Eurostar. It’s become a traveling necessity, as vital as my passport and toothbrush, and costing less than overweight luggage to get aboard a plane. My bike has shown me a new way to travel and together we’ve discovered more than any open-top bus or pile of guidebooks ever could. So the compromise was simple. If I wasn’t allowed to take my loyal steed with me to Cuba, we’d rent bicycles in each town we arrived in
Covered: Cycling, Cuba Seven days passed and we’d wandered the cobbled lanes of Havana’s beautiful old town, marvelled at the workers in Cuba’s oldest cigar factory, drank mojitos on the rooftop of Ernest Hemingway’s Havana hideout, discovered a deserted beach town and traced the legend of Che Guevara in Santa Clara. We’d opted to avoid all resorts and lodge in casa particulars (private family houses), staying up late drinking rum and conversing in ‘Spanglish’ (the awkward blend of English and Spanish) with our friendly hosts, learning what it really meant to live in communist Cuba. We’d ridden in the classic American cars, hitchhiked on the back of trucks and even rode horses among sugar plantations. But my arse hadn’t come close to a single bike saddle. The great “compromise” had backfired and I’d taken to photographing bicycles like some sort of cycle pervert. It wasn’t for a shortage of bikes in Cuba – they were everywhere – it was more a case of bad luck than bad supply. Hours after arriving in Havana, it had become clear that renting a bike was going to be about as easy as escaping the smell of cigars. The search for two wheels in Havana was fruitless – the only ‘official’ bike rental shop in Cuba had ceased trading. In Santa Clara, we were told that the owners of our casa would be able to find us bikes but our host was miffed by the request, and instead offered us two horses. She later turned up with a bicycle with a wheel missing. All but defeated in the pursuit for my first Caribbean cycling adventure, we arrived in Trinidad, where the clocks stopped ticking in 1850 and had refused to get going again. Declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1988, the Spanish colonial settlement is Cuba’s oldest city. Enchanting, colourful and pulsing to the beat of Latin America, Trinidad’s cobbled streets was buzzing with life, and to my delight, cyclists. Would I finally get a bike between my legs and be let loose on this dusty old town? Sitting at breakfast on the porch of Maria’s casa in the tiny seaside village of La Boca – a few kilometres from Trinidad – my prayers were finally answered. For a small fee, we could run riot on Maria’s finest two-wheeled machines. Half an hour later, we were rolling cautiously out of the driveway on our precarious looking contraptions. You see, Cubans are the most inventive folk you’re ever likely to meet. The country has very little that could be described as new, so they carefully maintain what they have and invent what they don’t – and bicycles are no exception to this.
Riding out onto the street, trying to take it all in but feeling slightly overwhelmed, I was grinning like a man who’d just be reunited with an old and very familiar friend. OK, the seat on my bike was more like the front end of a broken skateboard, the handlebars were bent, and the chain fell off three times in the first 200 meters. But my legs were moving and the wheels were turning, even if reluctantly. Map-less, but free and happy, we peddled out of La Boca in search of something new. We cycled for 30 minutes along the road that ran by the seafront. It was hot and scattered with dead crabs that had failed in their bold efforts to cross it. After around 15km, we came to a stunning deserted beach, were the sharp rocks of La Boca suddenly transformed into soft white sand. Resting our bikes in the shade of a tree, we went and cooled off in the warm Caribbean Sea, victorious in our newfound freedom. “See, we never would have found this if we didn’t have bikes,” I boasted. And then it happened. Pulling the bike out from under the tree, I noticed immediately that the front tyre was completely flat. It took just two seconds to notice the end of a crab’s claw, poking out from the bald rubber. I’d cycled over 1000km across Spain without a single puncture, and now after less than an hour, I was returning to La Boca, undone by a dead crab, my girlfriend barely able to contain her laughter. Humiliated and with the locals looking on in fascination, I lifted the two bikes from the back of the horse cart that had found us wilting 15km up the road. Paying the driver his fare, I decided that my cycling days in Cuba were over. The moral of the story is this: Cuba is an incredible country, bursting with life, culture, history, music and ambition. You should go there before Starbucks move in. But if like me, you enjoy the freedom only granted by two wheels, stick your bike in a box and put it on the plane.
Puffed out The number of Cuban cigars produced for export has fallen from 217m in 2006 to 73m in 2009 – a result of smoking bans.
photos: nikki wicks
and explore its treasures on lent wheels. I’d borrowed bicycles in Singapore, London, New York, Bali, Melbourne, and Mumbai, so it wouldn’t be an issue on the Caribbean’s largest island. Would it? The plan was to hit four Cuban cities in two weeks, allowing plenty of time along the way to brown-off on the island’s white, sandy beaches and possibly finding some time for a spot of deep-sea fishing. Starting in the Havana, we’d carve a trail through to Santa Clara before finishing up on the dancefloors of the music halls and museums of Trinidad. With our cultural fix totally sorted, we’d head back to the capital, stopping only to top up our tans and laugh at the swanky, all-inclusive beach resorts of Varadero. The plan would give us four cities full of possibility, four bikes and four days of cycling in the Caribbean. I could live with that.
42 Field trip
Rolling news Umbrella’s take on the world of cycling To NJS or not to NJS? Don G Cornelius takes a trip to the far east to buy the cycle frame of his dreams I have a secret I need to confess: I am about to join the ranks of the cycling obsessive. Cycling, once you get past the first blush of commuterism, becomes obsessional, whether it’s racking up the miles on a gloriously sunny weekend (or a miserable winter’s morn), looking for that period-correct crank bolt cover for a vintage restoration or weighing every component on your digital drug dealers scale of choice, because you need this bike to be as light as light can be. It will consume money, time and the capacity for rational thought. I can either fight the madness of this obsession or give into its siren call and spend money I don’t have on a bike I don’t actually need – one that will only be ridden for a couple of months a year. I was lucky enough to be in Japan not so long ago and took the opportunity whilst there to buy a Keirin frame, a holy grail of the West’s fixed gear community. A ‘Vivalo’ to be precise. A frame built for the all-weather velodromes which are the epicentre of Japan’s love for close-bunch racing. Where each piece of kit, from pedals to bars, to hubs and frames has to have the elusive NJS stamp, (Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai or Japanese Bicycle Association) designed to level the mechanical playing field for all competitors, so the outcome of each race is determined by the strength and skill of the rider, rather than the machinery that they are racing on. And with just under £10bn worth of bets riding on the outcome of the races, no discrepancy is allowed. Now the NJS stamp doesn’t necessarily mean the parts are any better or worse than any other, but the mystique that has built up around them means, if you have an NJS frame, say a Bridgestone or a Nagasawa or a 3Rensho (pronounced ‘San Rensho’) or a Watanabe or a Kalavinka or a Ganwell Pro, well, it would be sacrilege to build it up without going all in with the NJS parts. Except… to buy NJS hubs, seatpost, stem, pedals, cranks, saddle, bars and grips (the frame came with a headset and bottom bracket) would mean hemorrhaging money, it would run out of every orifice that I hold dear. But Damn! The bike would be sexy, and with summer here I want to look good out on the road. I want heads to turn, whistles to be emitted as I roll past, lustful eyes to admire it, and a whispered “Sweet bike! You take it over any sweet jumps?” to be spoken. So the dilemma is, to NJS or not to NJS? NJS frames and parts can be bought from www.tokyofixedgear.com, www.hubjub.co.uk and tracksupermarket.com
Covered: Cycling tracks
Velo mania Have the ride of your life at the capital’s vintage velodrome In the run up to the Olympics, it’s time to embrace the last remaining venue in use from the 1948 one – south London’s very own Herne Hill velodrome. With such a storied history, Herne Hill is a place that captures the imagination: dilapidated, but unbowed, it is cared for by a dedicated cadre of volunteers, united in trying to keep it open and to return it to its former glory. And with tickets for the track
cycling at a premium for next year’s Olympics, what better way to whet the appetite than by heading to the venue that has kept track cycling alive in London over the last 60 years. At Herne Hill, you can ride in the wheel tracks of greats such as Jacques Anquetil, Tom Simpson and Bradley Wiggins, who started his track cycling career at Herne Hill aged 12. From novice race training on Saturdays and Wednesday night league meetings, through to womenonly Sunday training sessions, this is a ride not to be missed. And all for six of your British pounds. So whilst the weather is still good, get down and get the blood pumping. And for a little while at least, before it becomes hard to breathe through the exertion, imagine yourself as Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton or even Bradley Wiggins, winning that gold medal. www.hernehillvelodrome.com
Give it a big Swrve Despite the time of year, it’s never too soon to start thinking about winter wear for the chilly, monsoon-filled nights that lie ahead. And the old adage rings true: buy summer wear in winter and winter wear in summer. So to get through those tough months over the horizon I give you the Swrve Milwaukee hoodie and the Swrve Schoeller winter softshell trouser. Now I’m going to say from the beginning, I’m biased. I love Swrve wear, the utilitarian design, the quirky-yetessential features that become indispensable, the hard-wearing nature of their clothing and better yet, the price, affordable for pretty much every cyclist’s wallet. But don’t take my word for it, try them for yourselves. The Milwaukee hoodie, with its water- and wind-resistant-yetbreathable outer, and super-soft fleece interior, will keep you warm and cosy though most UK winters, up to and including the one just past. Horrendously sweaty in anything over 10°c, it comes into its own as temperatures plummet, meaning you can lay off the multiple layers and ride around in just a baselayer. And the Scholler winter softshell trousers, made from the same material, will do just the same for your legs. With their understated cut and dirt-repelling properties you can walk around the office as if you haven’t just ridden in from the ’burbs. www.swrve.co.uk
Words: Don G Cornelius
A hoodie you’ll want to hug this winter
Journalism from the front line of the modern world
46: Chrysler vs. Maserati: a marriage made in hell 52: My life with Adam Ant 54: FC Barcelona: love, death, tragedy and triumph
The Westway: the road that gave birth to The Clash, the Notting Hill riots and a squattersâ€™ republic with a showbiz dwarf as foreign minister
The worst of both worlds The Chrysler TC by Maserati was meant to marry American solidity with the cachet of one of the world’s premier sports car brands. It failed spectacularly, as John Mahoney reveals
eet Lee Iacocca – saviour of the American car industry, the man who transformed struggling Ford in the ’70s to a $2bn-a-year profit. The very same man who, once leaving Ford, went on to repeat the impossible by dragging Chrysler from the brink of bankruptcy in the ’80s and ’90s with his trademark catchphrase, “If you can find a better car, buy it.” Iacocca oozes charisma and, save a few PR blips along the way (Iacocca dragged his heals over the exploding Ford Pinto’s design flaw), he could have been president. He made ugly, boring cars that everyone bought. Meet Alejandro de Tomaso, he too was a saviour of the car industry over in his adopted homeland, Italy. His skill was snapping up famous Italian carmakers, motorcycle companies and coachbuilders, and saving them from oblivion. Unlike the lovable Iacocca, almost everyone hated de Tomaso. He was a spoilt Argentinean ex-F1 driver who came from money, married into
money and managed to lose everyone else’s money. De Tomaso made cars that were very fast, very exotic and very beautiful, but alas, beauty was always only ever skin deep. De Tomaso’s cars were half-baked, poorly constructed death traps. Iacocca and de Tomaso were best friends, meeting back in the mid-’60s at Ford when the Argentinean was developing the first of a long line of his Ford-powered supercars. De Tomaso hoped to sell the concept to Ford but Iacocca, back then, wasn’t buying. No, de Tomaso had to wait until the mid-1980s before Iacocca came knocking with bags of cash. Iacocca, by then, was frustrated by the popularity of expensive European cars bought by middle-class Americans. To his mind, the cars were no better and were simply selling on badge cache. Iacocca struck upon an idea of an Italian-built American car with that allimportant European badge. Better for him, he thought he could do it cheaply, building it on a platform shared with existing Chryslers. Then, with the right badge, he could charge a big premium. Maserati, to a first-generation ItalianAmerican was the perfect match, with its glorious motor racing pedigree and history of making some of the world’s most beautiful sports cars. Conveniently, by then, none other than de Tomaso was running the firm after persuading, in typical de Tomaso style, the Italian government to stump up the cash to help him buy it. The deal wasn’t cheap – to build a Maserati-badged Chrysler turned out to be more expensive than Iacocca had bargained. Ever the skilful negotiator, de Tomaso convinced Chrysler to buy almost 16 per cent of Maserati even before development of what would be the Chrysler TC (Touring Convertible) by Maserati even began. The plan was to build between 3,000-6,000 cars a year. Iacocca declared to the global press on announcing the deal that his simple desire was to “change the way the world looked at Chrysler”. Immediately, things got out of hand. The complexity of the little sports car Style but no class: was mind-numbing. Built in Milan, the the TC was a disaster sheet metal and chassis came from the US, while the gearbox and special tyres were made in Germany. The engine, meanwhile, began life in the US and was redeveloped by Cosworth in England. All of this is common nowadays but in the mid-’80s, the basket-case that was Maserati couldn’t cope. If this wasn’t bad enough, Iacocca, in the meantime, was unknowingly scuttling his own plan to push Chrysler upmarket by commissioning another convertible based on the same underpinnings as the TC. That car eventually would become the LeBaron. The logic was buyers would lust after the TC, but buy the cheaper LeBaron. In Italy, as the 1987 launch date approached, things went from bad to worse. Poor reliability and even worse quality dogged the car’s development, and the TC arrived over two years late in 1989 – a monumental marketing disaster. By now, the LeBaron had been on sale for two years. The poor TC looked outrageous with its $30,000+ price tag – well over twice the cost of a LeBaron.
Couple that with a so-so drive, an engine that liked to grenade itself, a clutch that appeared to have been made from wax, dodgy electrics, a roof that leaked and an interior that shook itself to pieces, and the TC was a hard act to sell. One miffed TC owner was seen in California sporting the bumper sticker – ‘My other Maserati is also a piece of shit.’ The car writers of the day were only too happy to dig their claws in. Phil Leitz of Car and Driver: “The TC is the most shudder-worthy example of corporate avarice ever to roll off an assembly line,” going on to describe the Chrysler as appetising as “a wrinkly grandmother dressed up in custom running shoes and ill-fitting hot pants”. Earning its place in the history books Forbes magazine declared the Chrysler TC by Maserati as one of America’s worst cars ever, earning a place on the publication’s Dud List, describing it as a “bastard-child born of unfortunate need”. Worse was to come. So unreliable was the TC that Chrysler had to ditch the powerful ‘Maserati’ Cosworth engine and replace it with a wheezy LeBaron lump. This was the final nail in the coffin, and in 1991 the car disappeared off sale with just 7,300 sold. With bitter irony Iacocca realised, not only could you find a better car, Chrysler made it.
illustration: matt reynolds
Covered: Cars, corporations
Something’s in the air Umbrella’s architecture correspondent Justin Clack tells the story of the Westway, the short stretch of elevated motorway that’s gone from unwanted eyesore to an undisputed icon of modern London
t is, perhaps, the definitive London motoring experience. Few things equal driving a car back at night into the capital from the west on the eight-lane motorway that is the Westway, which runs two and a half miles high above Ladbroke and Westbourne Groves into central London. After passing the four 20-storey towers of the Silchester Estate, to the north is the Erno Goldinger-designed, 31-storey Trellick Tower with its distinctive, separate lift and service tower in Golborne Road. Then, again north, but much closer to the Westway this time, come the dark silhouettes, trimmed with blue twinkling lights, of the six high-rises of the Warwick and Brindley Estate off Harrow Road where The Clash’s Mick Jones lived in his grandmother’s flat. To the south is the back of Westbourne Studios with its ‘wild west highwayman’ Banksy piece and the elevated, red brick Ladbroke Grove
Covered: Motorways, social history station, before the backs of the grand 18th Century Gloucester Terrace appear adjacent to the iron bridge to Royal Oak. Ahead are the Battleship Building, Paddington Basin and the BT Tower lit up in the near distance. A further tower block, the huge 41-storey ‘Cucumber’, will soon join them when it’s completed in 2016, adding to this Bladerunner-like landscape as you enter the metropolis by car. What a journey it is. Yet nothing so brash as the Westway (and the adjoining West Cross Route) will ever be built in a UK city again. It is astonishing to consider that, with no public debate, an eight-lane concrete motorway on stilts ploughed through a densely populated, already poverty-stricken, workingclass section of North Kensington. But there’s a cultural side to it too. Not only does the Westway have important punk, reggae and dance music associations, it was also the venue for various riots in ’70s, with locals and police clashing in the shadow of the great road. The West Cross Route even helped spawn the United Kingdom’s first independent republic. This is no ordinary bit of tarmac. Beginnings Motorways or ‘autostradas’ were first introduced in Italy in 1921. Mussolini was a huge admirer, perhaps inspiring Hitler, who later
oversaw the construction of the autobahns of Kraftwerk fame. The post-war Labour Party introduced the idea in the UK in the late 1940s but it was not until 1958 that archetypal Bryllcreemed Tory, Harold Macmillan, opened Britain’s first, the Preston Bypass – later to become the M6. The Westway and West Cross Route were intended to form a link from the A40 Western Avenue at White City and the Shepherd’s Bush Roundabout to Paddington. At Paddington it would then join Ringway 1, a 1960s GLC-proposed, network of high speed motorways that was to smash through housing and sit on stilts, circling and radiating out from central London. The route of the Westway, a small western part of Ringway 1, would travel the easiest path by following the route of existing railway lines, but even this section involved the clearance of a large number of houses adjacent to the railway in North Kensington, where many roads were truncated or demolished to make way for the concrete structures. Similarly in 1960 in Birmingham, the then revolutionary Inner Ring Road was also constructed. This was later panned by architects as a ‘concrete collar’ that prevented the growth of the city centre, and by ordinary Brummies who hated using dangerous subways under roundabouts to go into town.
Between 1966 and 1970 the two-mile Westway and one-mile West Cross Route were built by contractors, Laing. The site was visited in 1968 by Prince Charles, as part of a programme of engineering visits drawn up by his father, Prince Philip. At its opening in 1970, the road was the largest continuous concrete structure in Britain, built with advanced features such as heating grids on slopes to control the formation of ice. Many people had been dispersed against their will however, but compensation was only due if your housing was actually demolished by the Westway. There was no duty at that time to compensate people for any adverse effects from living under the dark and noisy shadow of the motorway. At the Westway’s opening, residents unfurled banners saying ‘Get Us Out Of Hell’ and barracked minister Michael Heseltine, who admitted at the time, “You cannot help but have sympathy for these people.” Due to the huge construction costs and widespread public opposition, most of the Ringway 1 scheme was cancelled in 1973. The Westway, the West Cross Route and the East Cross Route, which links Hackney Wick to the Blackwall Tunnel in east London, were the only parts to be built of what now seems a rather foolish scheme in an age where high speed rail is de rigeur and commuting by car frowned upon. The cancelled North Cross Route would have meant a six-lane motorway on stilts, rising over the Regent’s Canal, Camden Market and at City Road over the Angel. Housing clearance and revolutionaries The so-called slum housing near the route of The Westway and West Cross Route was already being demolished as the road was constructed. At Notting Dale, terraced housing was replaced with the three 24-story blocks of the Edward Woods Estate next to the West Cross Route and the Silchester Estate just south of the Westway near Latimer Road. In Paddington, the Westway divided the Westbourne and Paddington Green areas from Royal Oak and the rest of Paddington. Streets of housing were demolished and replaced with the Warwick and Brinkley Estates between the Westway and Harrow Road. These were re-clad and trimmed with blue lights in 2003. Other areas near the Westway and West Cross Route remained semiderelict and were moved into by hippy/punk squatters, drug addicts and homeless people. In Notting Dale, over 100 squatters in Freston Road moved into empty houses after the construction of the motorways. When Greater London Council tried to redevelop the area, the residents all adopted the surname Bramley (after Bramley Road) with the aim that the council would then have to re-house them collectively. The GLC threatened formal eviction, so at a public meeting attended by about 200 people, resident Nick Albery, apparently inspired by the Ealing comedy film Passport to Pimlico suggested that they declare the street independent to the rest of the UK. A referendum returned 94 per cent of residents in favour of the plan, and 73 per cent in favour of joining the European Economic Community. They declared independence on October 31, 1977 and Shadow Chancellor, Sir Geoffrey Howe wrote expressing his support, saying, “As one who had childhood enthusiasm for Napoleon of Notting Hill, I can hardly fail to be moved by your aspirations.” In a legal dispute regarding the unauthorised performance of his play The Immortalist, playwright Heathcote Williams won a ruling from the UK courts that Frestonia was for this purpose not part of the UK. The playwright became the ambassador to the UK and Frestonia also applied
to join the UN, warning that peacekeeping troops might be needed to protect them from the might of the GLC. David Rappaport, the dwarf actor most famous for being the leader of the bandits in Terry Gillam’s 1981 film, Time Bandits, lived in a squat at Frestonia and became the foreign minister. He charged £50 for interviews to the visiting journalists that flocked to visit the new ‘state’ and essentially performed a comedy act based around blindfold knife-throwing and playing a chillum (a hindu instrument more than likely used as a cannabis bong in Frestonia). For most of its ten-year existence, eviction of Frestonia looked likely, however it is probable bad publicity prevented the GLC going ahead with it. Whilst the insecurity produced a sense of community and interdependence, there was a darker side of alcohol and drug addiction, mental illness and distinctly dodgy, criminal types who often preyed on the hippy community’s good nature (and stole their drugs). Electricity was in short supply. Many squats didn’t have any, others took it from houses that did. Former resident, photographer Tony Sleep, recalls the mains wire strung precariously across the road, just high enough to clear the double-deckers that passed below. He also remembers the constant scavenging for wood fuel in winter to heat housing with broken windows and leaky roofs. A house burnt down when the cider-drinking occupants fell asleep with a telegraph pole burning in the grate with the other end sticking out of the window and were lucky to survive. In 1982, The Clash recorded Combat Rock in Frestonia’s People’s Hall on the junction of Olaf Street and Freston Road. This is one of the few remaining buildings left from the independence period. London’s calling From the end of 1976, the words ‘The Clash’ were emblazoned on a Westway stanchion near Royal Oak, as the group promoted themselves in the area. Ladbroke Grove had become the centre of The Clash’s world, perhaps because of the availability of squats such as 42 Orsett Terrace. This punk rock squat was where singer Joe Strummer and his girlfriend, Palm Olive were joined by bassist Paul Simonon, who’d been to school and college locally, Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols and Keith Levene (then of The Clash, later of John Lydon’s Public Image Limited). Nearby in Ladbroke Grove, the independent record shop, Rough Trade, sold both reggae and early punk from its base in Kensington Park Road. The Clash’s music was hugely influenced by the reggae and ska of the Afro-Carribean people in the area and referenced the Westway in records such as London’s Burning. They were also frequently photographed where the Westway crossed Portobello Road. Later, guitarist Mick Jones featured the urban scene of the Acklam pedestrian bridge next to the Westway on record covers and promotional photography for Big Audio Dynamite. This was a man in touch with his surroundings. Under the Westway, various bays were used for industrial purposes or badly lit offices. At Bay 63, the old community centre called Acklam Hall featured many famous punk gigs, including The Clash who showcased their album London Calling there on Christmas and Boxing Day 1979. There’s some riots going on In a complicated clash of culture in 1979, local National Front skinheads (whilst socialising with local rastas) steamed into a Rock Against Racism gig at Acklam Hall to attack left-wing skinheads and punks who were at the time enjoying the mellow reggae of The Samaritans. A member of one of the bands, Beggar, said that, “although our stuff had gone pretty well with the heavy-duty skins in the crowd, reports of trouble in the area earlier had left everybody a little jumpy. Things came to a head when Crisis took to the stage, and before long chairs and bottles were arching stagewards with fights breaking out in the audience. “All hell then broke loose as a gang of hornet-angry skinheads tried to force their way into the building. It turned into a hell of a battle and we were barricaded inside trying to defend ourselves with chair legs and anything else we could find while the skins were battering in the windows, doors and skylights. When we managed to get to The Samaritans’ changing room to check that they were OK, despite the pitched riot going on all
01 02/03 04 05 06 07 08 09
Residents protest as the Westway opens Concrete supports and road signs today The Westway under construction Tower blocks Underpass at Harrow Road The street that fought the building of the Westway Railway lines at Paddington Trellick Tower. Once despised, now one of the places to live in west London Wheels of a different sort at Acklam Road
Covered: Motorways, social history
Umbrella’s Westway LP Listen via Spotify Kraftwerk Autobahn The ultimate motorway record. “Fahn fahn fahn an der autobahn” (Drive, drive, drive on the motorway) 06
Aswad Hey Jah Children Ladbroke Grove locals, regularly playing under the Westway during Notting Hill Carnivals Royksopp In Space The Wall of Sound label is based under the Westway Eddy Grant Living on The Frontline From the 1981 Live at Notting Hill Carnival LP that was performed on Portobello Green by the Westway Blur For Tomorrow Damon Albarn, a North Kensington resident, sings about being lost on the Westway
Soul II Soul Keep on Movin’ Played on Portobello Green during the 1990 Notting Hill Carnival John Barry & Shirley Bassey Goldfinger Erno Goldfinger was the architect of Trellick Tower, and the character in the film was named after him Hawkwind We Took The Wrong Step Years Ago The hippy, space-rock band are pictured performing under the Westway on the gatefold sleeve of the LP In Search of Space. They performed various free gigs under the road just after it opened Big Audio Dynamite The Bottom Line The cover features Trellick Tower, while Don Letts of BAD filmed The Clash’s Westway To The World documentary and is the rasta photographed in the famous picture of the 1976 Notting Hill Carnival riot 08
around them, the band – bless ’em – were stoned out of their heads and nonchalantly spliffing away on jumbo-sized joints, oblivious to the sounds of breaking glass, splintering wood and shattering skylights.” Other bands to play at Acklam included numerous reggae acts such as local group, Aswad, as well as Joy Divison. Later, by the mid-’80s it was renamed Bay 69 and became an indie mecca, with bands such as The Primitives, Primal Scream and Happy
Mondays playing. By 1987, hip-hop graffiti had replaced punk and hippy scrawling around the Westway and the venue under the road was now a club named Subterania. Renamed Neighbourhood in the early 2000s, it was run by Eveything But the Girl’s Ben Watt. Ironically, 12 Acklam Road is now a glitzy, expensive nightclub-cum-restaurant called Supperclub, probably about as far removed from its punk-reggae beginnings as it gets. As ever, change remains constant.
Front cover Bloc Party’s view of the Westway sports centre from their the cover of Weekend in The City Rear cover Big Audio Dynamite’s painting of carnival type scene with Trellick Tower in the background Inner sleeve The classic Kraftwerk blue ‘motorway’ inner sleeve of Autobahn.
photography by istockphoto.com, matt reynolds and anthony teasdale
The Clash London’s Burning Acklam Hall regulars, this track describes driving under the yellow lights of the Westway
e l u s i c i d i r g o n i t h not be scared of For a Red Indian? ? e c in r P ? nt Pirate eing Adam A se , im S n Jo young od to from boyho im h k o to e play liv ening e magical e v n o in e c n e adolesc
Covered: Adam Ant, pop music
really, and it remains one of the most exciting nights of my life. They were supported by A Certain Ratio and a dreadful mutation that formed from the wreckage of the excellent X Ray Spex called Classix Nouveaux. I’ll never forget the thrill of my first ever gig. Man, it was good. The Glitter band’s Good To Be Back as an intro dipping into the slow strains of Plastic Surgery and a crowd reaction that was akin to a bomb going off to a pup like me. I suffered a fat lip in the melee but buzzed all the way home on the 68 bus. The gig prompted a gushing letter to the band’s fan club and a gorgeous, plump A4 package landing on the matt containing a Catholic Day T-shirt (a song off their first album Dirk Wears White Sox), badges, stickers, a signed song sheet and band photo that I treasure to this day. I only saw them once more, on the Kings Tour of 1980, at the Lewisham Odeon of all places. Pop stardom then beckoned but despite snobbery from his early devotes – what was it about the punk era and the fear of ‘selling out’? – there’s so much to admire in his pop singles, too. What do kids get served up these days? Robbie Williams? An endless production line of Simon Cowell-spawned nonentities? It’s not too much of an exaggeration to suggest that Adam was the last great English pop star, in the tradition of sharp outsiders stretching back to Johnny Kidd through Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Adam has suffered bouts of mental illness in recent years – he reportedly only took 11 days off during the intense five years of pop fame madness, but appears to be back on track, performing live again with a stripped down band and playing songs from his early career as well as pop classics like Dog Eat Dog and King of The Wild Frontier. A new album Adam Ant is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter is expected in the spring of 2012, and for a 56-year-old geezer, he looks remarkably well, fit and full of attitude. They say you never forget your first time and in terms of live music, I certainly won’t. I return to the man’s music often, and have frequently risked ridicule by declaring myself a lifelong Ant person. It doesn’t bother me, because we all know what the great man said about that.
Illustration: MATT REYNOLDS
he picture was from one of the music weeklies, I’m not sure which, we used to read most of them, but it was stuck on my brother’s bedroom door. It featured a petite male singer with gritted teeth leaping high in the air on a grubby stage. He was wearing leather trousers, karate slippers and had a bare chest, stark white-ish face make-up with simple black detail around one-eye and a slash down one cheek. That man was a one Stuart Goddard, Adam from Adam and The Ants, who appeared to be his new favourite band. He’d been to see them at the Marquee, reckoned their fans were a bit mental and was full of tales of how he was planning to follow them around the country on tour. In fact, he only got as far as Newport on the Zerox Tour of early 1979, but I was jealous as hell. I used to hang on his every word, and although I didn’t necessarily like everything he listened to, he had good taste, steering me away from a foolish flirtation with the Boomtown Rats for instance was as good life advice as anyone could ask for. But there was something devilishly exciting about the John Peel session from July 1978 that he shared with me one summer morning. Songs called Friends, Zerox and a hilarious funky ditty about a smelly girlfriend called It Doesn’t Matter. “I’d love to kiss you baby fall for your charms, but that’s all over when you lift up your arms.” The sound stood apart from the other punk bands and they had a certain style, a London swagger – from Adam’s aggressive stage presence through bassist Andy Warren’s pioneering wedge haircut to the pummelling but very danceable rhythms of Dave Barbe – a drummer who got me banging on the sofa with my mum’s knitting needles until I was given a drum kit for my 16th birthday. And so began an obsession with music and an enduring love and respect for Adam, and indeed his Ants that continues apace into my 40s. As the 1980s reared its ugly head, British music, or at least what became to be known as independent British music, was enjoying a period of intense creativity and it was what I was reared on: The Ants, Bow Wow Wow, Theatre of Hate, Martian Dance, The Monochrome Set, A Certain Ratio, Joy Division, Kraftwerk, early jazz funk, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera, exciting times for music amid a grizzly British landscape lurching towards the Thatcher years. As drummer Dave Barbe suggested in a recent online interview: “The Ants were, as you can hear on the first album, a very traditional British song-based band in the mould of The Kinks and people like that,” but at the time they were never given much credit, certainly not in the way that say, Factory bands were in the press. In fact, one music ‘journalist’ described them as the ‘fag end’ of the punk movement, while even some of the so-called punk elite appeared snooty towards them. Siouxsie Soux recently referred to Adam as a “weekend punk”, the cheeky old sow! Adam himself existed on the periphery of the King’s Road punk scene, befriended by Seditionaries shop assistant Jordan – who was also a guest singer in the early Ants – and aspiring to a cheekier and very English brand of stage craft, albeit one steeped in the darker aspects of life and sex. It was also obvious that he wanted to be a pop star from day one. He even wrote a song about his detractors in the music papers, Press Darlings. “We depress the press… we are a terminal case.” Music journalists were too busy championing crap like the Oi movement, Sham 69, The Ruts or some such similar dirge to recognise the unique musique of Adam and his boys. The pre-pop Antmusic existed in the netherworld between punk and dare I say, new romantics, but had a tougher edge, their fans a curious hybrid of styles; punks, soul boys, rockabillies and the first glimpse of a style that would curdle into the fluffy futurism of the early 1980s. They were sharper than most punks and made an effort to look good. Look different. As a 12-year-old I was somehow allowed to accompany my brother to the Electric Ballroom in Camden. It was the first of the classic line-up’s final two shows together: Adam, Andy Warren (bass), Matthew Ashman (guitar) and Dave Barbe (drums). It was incredible that I was actually let in
More Than a Club How did FC Barcelona become the future of football? Nick Soldinger reckons itâ€™s got a lot to do with a painful past
Covered: Football, Spain
hen FC Barcelona ripped Manchester United apart in this year’s Champions League Final the world saw what fans of the club have known for a long time. That Barça is, as the locals say, més que un club (more than a club). It is a philosophy, or more accurately a revolution that continues to defy many of the forces at work in the modern game by insisting that the world can be made glorious through great sporting achievement. It may sound impossibly naïve, but why not? In boyhood, the world is mythic. It’s good versus evil, and in the stories we are told virtue always triumphs. David defeats Goliath, St George conquers the dragon, Luke does for Darth. It’s not hard to see why the theatrics of football infiltrate the imagination of so many of us so early, or why its importance takes on such preposterous proportions. From Congo to Cowdenbeath lads scuff balls about streets and wasteland imagining they are Beckham scoring that goal against Greece, Gerrard leading Liverpool back from 3-0 down to win the Champions League, or Henry inspiring Arsenal to go a season unbeaten. Nike cynically pump this message out. “Impossible is nothing” they tell us, and we want to believe them. We want the world to be like this, we yearn for this romance to be reality, but as we grow into men we learn it isn’t true. There may be good and evil in this world, but all too often it is the shits who triumph, the cowards who put a dollar above a dream who end up with the fat watch, the flash car and the heart of a fair maiden – which they then invariably stamp all over. Barça are proving, though, that it doesn’t have to be this way… Legend has it that the Catalan city of Barcelona was founded by Hercules – the Roman demigod who used his guile and courage to rid the world of monsters. Around 3,000 years later another outsider, this time a SwissGerman called Joan Gamper came to the city, fell for her progressive, avant-garde charms and gave her the gift of a football club – FC Barcelona. From the first whistle, the club was to reflect the spirit of the area – proudly independent, romantic, idealistic, democratic and inclusive. A defining feature of Catalan cultural life is the practice of pactisme.
Since the 13th century, no ruler of the region could make any political decision without first consulting the Generalitat – an elected body that represented the law of the land. What was good enough for the city of Barcelona, Gamper reasoned, was good enough for its football team, and to this day the club is run by the fans for the fans, with its 100,000 members empowered to vote in – and out – the board of directors. As our beautiful game has become increasingly polluted by billionaire owners, cynical agents and player power, such egalitarianism seems refreshingly enlightened. To General Franco, however – the fascist dictator who took power in 1936 and choked Catalonia and the rest of Spain for nearly 40 years – it was simply subversive and his attempts to destroy it are key to understanding how it has become such a formidable force today. During the Civil War that would bring Franco to power, the city of Barcelona was the rallying point for Republican resistance against the fascist Nationalists, and the club – and all it represented – found itself on the front line. In August 1936, a month after the conflict started, the club’s left-wing president Josep Sunyol was arrested by fascist thugs and murdered, and before the war was over Franco’s air force would have bombed Barça’s social club. When the city finally fell to fascist forces in January 1939, membership had been squeezed to less than 3,500 with Franco targeting the club for punishment as a symbol of “undisciplined Catalanism”. The Spanish nation has long been an uneasy alliance of regions, and prior to the war Catalonia had been fiercely independent. Under Franco all that was to change. Almost immediately its autonomous government was abolished and its leaders murdered. Catalonia’s culture, too, was threatened with extermination. Its language was no longer to be taught in schools, its use outside the home could result in imprisonment, and the Catalan flag banned. For Barça, this meant fundamental changes to the club’s identity, with both its name being forcibly changed from ‘Foot-Ball Club Barcelona’ to the distinctly Castilian ‘Club de Fútbol Barcelona’ and the removal of the Catalan flag from its badge. In defiance, the Barça fans who’d cram into the club’s 60,000 capacity Les Corts stadium would openly cheer on in Catalan, refusing to allow their language to perish.
56 Stories It was during this time, too, that the annual showdown the world now knows as the El Clásico was forged. Franco understood the power football has in popular culture and adopted Real Madrid as his team. Under his patronage, Real came to symbolise Spanish nationalism and he would use the team to crush Catalan pride whenever possible. In 1943, after Barcelona had given Real a 3-0 thrashing in the first leg of the Spanish Cup semi-final, the team travelled to Madrid for the return leg. There, in the dressing room before the game, Barça’s players were threatened by local police and ordered to throw the match. In protest at the farce, they did so 11-1. Along with the match-fixing, Franco did all he could to ensure Real Madrid got the best players, most infamously in the case of Alfredo Di Stéfano. During a bizarre mix-up the legendary Argentine forward signed for both Barça and Real in 1953, leaving FIFA to rule that the fairest solution was for both clubs to share the player, fielding him in alternate seasons. Barcelona’s Franco-imposed president’s response was to hand him over unconditionally to Real. And so it was that CF Barcelona spent much of the Franco years in Real Madrid’s giant shadow. Then, in 1973, as the Generalisimo’s health began to fail and his grip on the country loosened, two things happened that would see the club reawaken from its enforced stupor. Firstly, the club was permitted to reclaim its identity and change its name back to the Catalan FC Barcelona; and secondly, Johan Cruyff declared that he would join Barça not Real (who’d also courted him) insisting that he could never play for a team associated with Franco. Cruyff was arguably the greatest European footballer of the 20th Century. At the height of his powers in 1973, he brought with him from Ajax the philosophy of ‘total football’ – the dynamic style of play that encourages players to express themselves and develop the technical skill to be able to switch positions with each other. In 1979, he suggested the club develop a youth-training facility to teach total football. Today, that facility, the world-renowned La Masia, produces players who are versed in the thrilling, free-flowing and graceful soccer used to such devastating effect against Manchester United. But just
as importantly they are also schooled in the club’s dramatic history, the politics, language and values of the region. They are taught the importance of playing for the shirt, for the fans and each other. “They don’t just grow you as a footballer at La Masia,” says Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, who first went to live at the academy when he was 13, “but also as a person. I grew up more quickly there. You learn to sharpen up your ideas but also to respect others.” And that, in essence, is the Barça philosophy. A philosophy that looks to dominate world football in the first part of the 21st Century. Of course, Barcelona aren’t entirely immune from the pressures of the modern game. Most of Europe’s big football clubs operate with massive debts due to the hyper-inflation of player wages and Barça are no exception. With debts of €350m, the club has finally acquiesced to a commercial sponsorship on the front of the shirt, with the Qatar Foundation paying €150m over five years for the privilege. The Unicef logo, which has graced the shirt for the past five years, with Barça donating €7.5m to the charity as part of the deal, will now switch to the back and sit just below the player’s number. Barça are the last major sporting organisation in the world to surrender to commercialism in this way, and it has taken global capitalism the whole of the club’s 111-year history to get a result. Not that it came easily. As you’d expect, the membership took a great deal of persuading that, given the debt, acquiring a shirt sponsor was a perfectly sound business decision, and it says much about the purity of the Barça ethos that fans passionately debated not only whether the club has been dirtied by the deal but whether the shirt’s actual aesthetic had been ruined. Which seems odd until you realise that this is also the city that also gave the world Gaudi, Miro, and Picasso. Whether the sponsorship turns out to be the first of many cracks to appear in Barça’s resolve remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure – right now FC Barcelona are the greatest football team on the planet. Indeed, it’s worth noting that when Spain won the World Cup last year, seven of the eight FC Barcelona players in the team were products of La Masia. As German coach Joachim Löw said: “They can hardly be beaten. You can see it in every pass, how Spain plays now is how Barcelona plays.” In other words, FC Barcelona has come to represent the very best of modern Spain. If only General Franco were around to see it, eh?
‘youth players are taught the politics, language and values of catalonia’
Fashion Scorching summer clobber that will keep you looking cool
60: Piece of the month 62: Liverpool’s Weavers Door 72: Oliver Spencer special 80: How Albam’s Fisherman’s Cagoule changed men’s fashion
King Henri WORDS: ANTHONY teasdale fashion photography by matt Reynolds and anthony teasdale
Our favourite maker of sailinginfluenced casual wear is back with a new jacket, one that’s in step with today’s ‘heritage’ look.
Oak Street Bootmakers Vibram Trail Oxford shoes From Oi Polloi of Manchester, priced £225 buy
Such sweet sole music
Inside the shoes, there’s a form-fitting inner, meaning you can wear them without socks, as the interior will mould to your foot. No guarantee on what the smell will be like, sadly
The shoes boast tough but replaceable Vibram soles, something that’s usually reserved for more formal footwear. This way, the shoes will pretty much last the wearer for as long as he wants to keep them
Tied up nicely While the upper uses soft, supple leather, the shoes are tied with super-tough rawhide laces to prevent them snapping when wet
Leather forever The Vibram Trail Oxfords are made in the USA from handstitched pieces of Horween Chromexcel leather, which has 89 separate processes in its production
UP CLOSE It’s the details that matter Reminiscent of Timberland’s chunkier boat shoes, the Trail’s Vibram sole is just the right thickness to equal out a pair of dark denim jeans
Mersey paradise In Liverpool, men’s heritage brands have finally found a place they can call home in the shape of the excellent Weavers Door shop, as Theo Browne discovers iverpool has always been obsessed with clothes. It’s an obsession that can be tracked back to the late ’70s, when Liverpool FC fans returning from Europe with bags full of the latest sportswear shaped the style of the era. Back then it was small independent shops that supplied the look domestically, with retailers like trainer pioneer Wade Smith stocking the most sought-after premium European sportswear brands to a loyal following. This appetite for top quality, functional and rare gear is still rife in city by the Mersey, breeding an atmosphere of oneupmanship on the streets. The role of supplying the discerning Scouse clothing connoisseur has been handed to Weavers Door, a new shop which opened in November 2010. For the past decade, women’s designer boutiques in Liverpool have been at the forefront of the national scene, but on the menswear front the city has lagged behind – unless you count the local scallies’ love of Lowe Alpine hats and The North Face coats. If you wanted good clobber, you had to travel to Manchester. This is what led to Weavers Door’s inception. The store’s head buyer, Liverpoolborn Tim Keating, explains, “Friends would bemoan the fact that the city lacked a shop with real substance and that they would have to travel far to pick up the brands they were after.” Weavers Door therefore harks back to the great Liverpudlian independent stores of the past, with the aim of leading, not following and providing the best service possible.
Tim points out, “We like the fact people visit the store just to hang out and chat, listen to music and take in the product. There is no pressure to buy.” In terms of stock, the main emphasis is on the detail, from the cloth, to the cut and the final stitch. Yet Tim stresses that although the product comes first, label history is also of great importance. “We have to connect with the people behind the brand, hear their story and approve of their ethos,” he says. For a new store, they’ve racked up an impressive selection of clothes. This ranges from the traditional brands such as Gloverall, Barbour and Baracuta to fantastic contemporary labels like Folk, Norse Projects and Universal Works. It’s a mix that’s already having a marked impact on the look of the city’s males, as store manager/assistant buyer Lee Fleming explains. “We’re having a great response to the new brands we’ve introduced to Liverpool.” The collection is set to improve even further over the coming months with the arrival of clothes from Oliver Spencer and footwear from Redwing. With a great shop fit, a new website and a pioneering spirit, Weavers Door is set to keep Liverpool and beyond kitted out in great clobber for years to come. Lee adds, “We know all too well you can’t run before you can walk, so we’ll continue to keep to our philosophy and grow organically with the support of our friends and customers.” Sounds like the perfect fit. www.weaversdoor.com
Covered: Menswear, shopping
Money off For a 10 per cent discount at www.weaversdoor.com, just use the promo code ‘weloveumbrella10’ when you buy.
Carharrt T-shirt, ÂŁ35 he last few years have seen Carharrt extend their base from the skate/workwear area into a smarter, more preppy look, gaing a new a customer base in the process. This simple but beautiful tee is proof that theyâ€™ve become a major menswear player. thecarharttstore.co.uk buy
Oliver Spencer T-shirt, £59 here are many T-shirts you can buy with prints on the front but we really like this. Different, without being utterly ridiculous, this tee combines a bold front print with nifty pocket and quality shape. As you can see by er… looking at the picture. www.oliverspencer.co.uk buy
Shop front Oliver Spencer’s store on Lamb’s Conduit Street in London has just been joined by a Spencer accessory shop over the road.
Ben Sherman blue polo, ÂŁ55 he Modern Classics range from Ben Sherman sees the label move away from strict mod into a looser, Albam-ish philosophy, typified by this lovely, more formal polo. Contrast collar and subtle chambray-ish fabric make this is a summer essential. amodernclassic.co.uk buy
Covered: Polo shirts
Le Coq Sportif Camuset polo, ÂŁ60 evived and taken upmarket, Le Coq Sportif â€™s new collection is immersed in the sporting traditions of France, with a mod-ish, athletic philosophy. This shirt stands out with its soft construction, Smedley-like collars and oldschool cycling feel. www.lecoqsportif.com buy
Medwinds blue trunks, £39 ant to avoid looking like you failed the audition for Baywatch New Brighton? Then have a butcher’s at these simple trunks – cut just the right length – halfway between Stanley Matthews and Ian Thorpe. And you can wear to the gym when summer’s gone. www.medwinds.com buy
Franklin and Marshall trunks, ÂŁ60 right but not silly, these trunks will add a splash of colour to your swimming pool outfit. The nice length means you can wear with a plain T-shirt and pumps after youâ€™ve been for your dip and still look smart. Another good effort from an improving label. franklinandmarshall.com buy
Albam Trail parka, £199 ugged enough for the outdoors, but thin enough not to reduce you to a sweating mass – this primary-coloured parka will help you stand out, whether you’re stuck on Dartmoor or looking to meet your mates on Tib Street in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. www.albamclothing.com buy
Henri Lloyd Berkeley jacket, £265
Bright yellow windcheater with white buttons, this is absolutely the thing for a spot of sailing or, if you’re budget doesn’t quite stretch that far, a day on the boating lake in your local park. Either way, you’ll still look the business. www.henrilloyd.com buy
Button up! This jacket is one of many that’s been influenced by Albam’s legendary Fisherman’s Cagoule. Read its story on page 80.
Oliver Spencer shorts, £99 etting a good pair of shorts that combine quality fabric with – and this is important – a decent fit is one of the tougher tasks of the summer. These Oli Spencers are just the ticket and will look a dream with a superior pair of boat shoes. www.oliverspencer.co.uk buy
Covered: Shorts, jackets, Oliver Spencer
Umbrella outfit he suit-jacket-shaped jacketthat’s-not-a-suit jacket has been a defining look of the menswear world of the last few years, one that’s far more heavily inspired by the Japanese artisan ethic rather than the dictats laid down by the likes of GQ. Pieces like this Oliver Spencer number work because they’re shorter than suit jackets, plus the material is rougher, meaning they go with both jeans and chinos. We’ve stuck a nice Oli Spencer grandad shirt underneath and teamed them up with green chinos by Ben Sherman and that perennial Umbrella favourite, the Superga Cotu pump. We’d call the look ‘varsity mod’ if we weren’t scared of people laughing at us in the street.
Oliver Spencer Orme jacket (£279 buy) with Oliver Spencer collarless shirt (£89 buy), Superga Cotu pumps (£39 buy) and Ben Sherman EC1 chinos (£60 buy)
Sperry Topsider, £46 n absolute classic, these Topsiders boast a Vans-like sole that makes them look perfect with jeans as well as shorts. We’re especially keen on the off-white colour – guaranteed to make your pins look a little browner if you’re wearing shorts. True style. www.chemicaluk.com buy
Covered: Summer shoes
Lacoste Himos slip-on, £47 hat to wear on your feet in summer? Sadly, despite the hygienic gains, sandals don’t quite cut it, so for dash of Mediterranean yacht-rock chic, plumps for these espadrilles from the green crocodile people. Not to be worn after September. www.lacoste.co.uk buy
Hot stuff These shoes typify Lacoste’s shoes this season – with a focus on creating models with a Mediterranean beach club feel.
Pointer Saha suede shoe, ÂŁ99 arking back to the geography teacher chic of the â€™70s, these lovely shoes are built for coupling with jeans or cords, with an ergonomic shape that recalls the orthopaedic wheels so beloved of northern casuals. Pointer can do no wrong in our eyes. www.endclothing.co.uk buy
Pointer Tanju loafer, ÂŁ100 herry-red in colour and owing more than a nod to the classic Bass Weejun, these loafers mix Ivy league easy formality with more modern grip requirements. Will look great with chinos, shorts or turned-up, indigo Leviâ€™s. For modern-day Don Drapers. www.thegreat-divide.com buy
Calabrese Lipari holdall, £235 e all know that little suitcases are much easier, but this holdall really does the business. With a double canvas exterior and a soft leather interior which will caress your clothes, it also has brass ‘feet’ to save it from getting scuffed underneath. A classic. www.oipolloi.com buy
Mont Bell rucksack, ÂŁ140 onstructed from heavy canvas with a leather base, this rucksack is the sort of timeless item we at Umbrella love. Of course, its simple, stylish looks are what attracts at first, but itâ€™s the sheer strength of this bag that makes it a hit. www.oipolloi.com buy
Tough love The bag is ultra-sturdy, particularly on the waterproof interior, which also has a zip pocket for compasses and maps etc.
c la s s ic p i e c e
Fisherman’s Cagoule by Albam Umbrella pays tribute to the coat that sparked countless imitations onstructed from silicone-proofed cotton in shade of burnt orange or blue with distinctive disk-like buttons, Albam’s Fisherman’s Cagoule is perhaps the most influential piece of British menswear of the last ten years. “Some things stick in the psyche and maybe the Fisherman was one of those,” says Albam of the jacket, first released in 2007. “Casuals picked up on it quickly, but so did designers and ad agency creatives in Soho.” One early adopter was John Buchanan, from Warrington, who’s treasured his ever since. “I choose to wear it sparingly, but whenever I do, it always, without fail, draws a positive comment.” What a catch it was. www.albamclothing.com
Covered: Albam, jackets
Return? Production of the Fishermanâ€™s stopped in 2008/9, but there may be some instore in midAugust. Contact Albam for details.
82 And finally...
Disposable cameras t all started in 2008 and my digital camera packed in just before I was due to head to California for a three-week adventure. I purchased three disposable cameras, foolishly thinking they would last me the duration of the trip – little did I know I would end up using them up in the first three days. I returned from the States and over the following months got the cameras developed. It felt like Christmas with every set of prints I got back.” From then on, Gordon Armstrong was hooked on non-digital forms of photography. “I kept using disposables and racked up a further 20 cameras before deciding on New Year’s Day that I would be to take at least one photo a day and carry a camera around with me everywhere. One-hundred-and-one cameras later, here I am; still taking photos – of everything and nothing.” And so Gordon’s Disposable Diaries project was born: a tangible collection of snaps that document the life of a man addicted to capturing his existence through the window of a five quid camera. From pizzas to punk gigs to Iggy Pop’s arse, Gordon’s amassed 1,468 snaps, which he’s recently catalogued in a 736-page book. Whilst many of us amass a bunch of tat which we pass off as a collection, Gordon’s cameras produce a unique end-product. “I’ve now got into a routine carrying a disposable around with me, as it’s annoying if I leave a camera at home and spot something amazing.”
self portrait: gordon armstrong
The Disposable Diaries – Volume One is available at www.thisisgordo.com, while a website www.disposablediaries.com is coming soon
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