Fashion Architecture Travel Ideas Sport Design
ÂŁFree Issue Seven Autumn 2012 www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Umbrella Manifesto his issue of Umbrella has a strong architectural theme running through it, and that’s deliberate. We believe that the buildings that surround us mirror the clothes we wear – craftsmanship and structure will always trump onesize-fits-all and cheap, temporary solutions. We’re especially influenced by classic modernism, and our feature on the world’s most beautiful concrete buildings highlights that. We don’t just focus on how architecture looks, though – this issue’s story on brutalism’s effect on music is an eye-opener, too. Aside from that, there’s brilliant art, superb sports writing from Nick Hornby and what we’re proud to say is the best fashion section in the men’s market. As ever, enjoy the magazine.
Anthony Teasdale and Matt Reynolds, London, autumn 2012
printed Printed copies copies Beautifully bound, printed copies of Umbrella now available to order online here Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Issue seven contents 9 Editions 10 Prints and the revolution Pantone versions of iconic album art 12 News Second Avenue Subway on track in New York, Vulpine cyclewear, Kraftwerk 16 Column: How men eat in Paris by Thierry Richard 17 Column: The English job by Terry Daley 19 The simple pleasures of spaghetti bolognese 20 Pizza East’s favourite recipes 22 Cocktail recipes by The Experimental Cocktail Club, London 24 Q&A on the physicality of the internet by the author of Tubes, Andrew Blum 26 Our favourite things Imperial 50 typewriter
29 Field trip 30 Geordie sure The pioneering Tyne & Wear Metro network 32 A trip to Thamesmead A look at the much misunderstood suburb 36 Capital record London’s history captured in photographs 38 Rock of ages A beautiful pop music diagram explained 42 Rolling news
45 Stories 46 Block rockin’ beats How brutalism shaped modern music 50 Material world The stunning impact of concrete in architecture 60 First is everything, fourth is nothing Nick Hornby on soccer’s changed priorities
63 Fashion 64 Umbrella loves Nike’s NSW jacket 66 Stone love We pay respect to Stone Island, now in its 30th year 70 Jackets 75 Woollen wear 79 Backpack 80 Outfits 82 Trainers 84 Vintage: the K Way cagoule
86 Obsessions Tickets
Issue seven’s contributors World famous authors join fashion experts and art directors to produce content for those who refuse to be pigeonholed
The author of perhaps the most influential football book ever, Fever Pitch, there are few writers who understand British soccer better. In a fascinating piece, Nick writes about how the game’s priorities have changed so it’s now process that is the goal rather than trophies, as Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish found out to his cost.
The writer of this issue’s feature on architecture’s influence on music, Claire has written for The Guardian, The Independent and Dazed & Confused, as well putting together a music guide to Chicago. A former Assistant Editor of DJ magazine and respected pub landlady, she lives in south London.
A northern freelance writer and editor let loose in London, Jordan’s written for the likes of Esquire, Loaded, FHM and Sabotage Times as well as providing his editorial nous to brands like Lynx, Guinness and Lacoste. In this issue he discovers Tyne and Wear’s Metro. Follow him on Twitter: @PretendManBlog.
Art Director and photographer Dan Froude shot the hidden-away Experimental Cocktail Club in London’s Chinatown for this issue of Umbrella. Dan’s favourite cocktail? “A really good Bloody Mary – spicy-hot and icy-cold. But I was happy to sample everything I shot.” See more of Dan’s work at danfroude.com.
Working as a stringer for Thomson Reuters in Rome, Terry mainly writes about Italian football and its culture, and is occasionally called on by local TV stations to give a British perspective on things. Since he’s been in the eternal city, Terry has noticed the strange Italian obsession with English soccer. Read more on page 17.
For his first contribution to Umbrella, we asked Stuart to write about a piece of poster art – an unusual history of rock and pop from 1974. This led to a lengthy discussion with its creator – a semiretired professor from Boston. Away from Umbrella, Stuart writes screenplays and missives about film and music.
Umbrella is published by Wool Media Ltd, © 2012 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) Picture Researcher John Ritchie Other contributors Don G. Cornelius, Sally Anne Norman, Thierry Richard
UMB019 Contact us email@example.com
Editions Photography, ideas, technology, food, amusement
10: Pantone record covers 12: Subway for NYC, mod cycling wear, King’s Cross 19: Spaghetti bolognese 24: The physical ’net
pictures: © Dan Froude www.danfroude.com
Umbrella knocks on the door of the Experimental Cocktail Club in London, and finds delightful drinks of every hue. Page 22.
Prints and the revolution Artist David Marsh converts classic album covers to beautifully abstract works of art using one very simple idea s downloads replace CDs – just as for the most part, compact discs did with vinyl – music is losing the link it had with art. When we think of classic album covers we really are now thinking about classics, items from another time when music was a tangible object that acted as a catalyst for design, words and art. Artist David Marsh mourns the passing of this period, so has decided to weld his design skills to his passion for album art, recreating classic covers out of countless Pantone swatches (the little blocks of colour that designers use in the printing process). So far, the likes of Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, Kraftwerk’s The Man Machine and even Together’s house classic Hardcore Uproar have been reimagined with Pantone’s tiny blocks of colour. “I had the idea to recreate famous works of art using the little coloured swatches or chips of Pantone inks,” he says. “The first one I produced was the Pantone Lisa – a poor pun. I created the image digitally using Pantone swatches from Adobe Illustrator. This let me choose the ink swatches and the number of each I’d need to create the piece. Unwittingly, this was the foundation of the idea that’s now Pantone Album Covers.” Acknowledging that the golden period of album design is probably over, David believes that his work is important in maintaining that link with the past. “The Pantone chips were an indicator on finished artwork overlays from designer to printer on what colour was required. Now all artwork is produced digitally, the Pantone chip is nearly redundant.” With 30 classic covers receiving David’s Pantone treatment, (in Umbrella’s opinion Primal Scream’s Screamdelica and Island Life by Grace Jones look particularly fine), it’s not easy for him to choose a favourite one, but in the end his choice isn’t that surprising – after all, he is a designer. “It’s actually not as album but a 12” single, New Order’s True Faith. Peter Saville was right on it at that time. Factory just had the confidence and courage to ignore all the ‘rules’, like having the band’s name on the cover. The whole design ethos of the company was brilliant if you were a designer – not so good if you were their accountant.”
Covered: Vinyl, art
Details The cover art for The Man Machine was modelled on the modernist movement of the 1930s, particularly the work of artist El Lissitzky, who is acknowledged in the albumâ€™s credits.
For more information on David Marshâ€™s Pantone Album Covers or to order a print, just go to www.davidmarsh.sketch360.com
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
U-feed What Umbrella likes this issue… McDonald’s is to open its first all-vegetarian restaurant at Amritsar in northern India. Instead of meat, diners will tuck into non-flesh options like the ‘McAloo burger’, which boats a spicy potato patty. With only 271 branches in India, the company are looking to double their amount of restaurants in the country… Superb new fanzine launched, Stand AMF (Against Modern Football) aimed at “British football fans who are sick of the modern game and are willing to do something about it”. Issue one is full of brilliant writing from fans of Manchester City, Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City – the Bluebirds now forced to play in red. Follow them on Twitter: @StandAMF… London Underground’s Metropolitan Line trains are getting an upgrade which means the A Stock trains – the oldest on the network – will be phased out completely. New S Stock trains, complete with air conditioning, will take over the network by end of September, though luggage racks from the A Stock can now be bought at the London Transport Museum… Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee has described the UK government’s proposed Draft Communication Bill, which will allow unlimited surveillance of internet traffic, as “draconian”. Oppose it at openrightsgroup.org… According to Fast Company magazine, Amazon’s Kindle Serials are changing the way authors write. Books can be bought in serial format by readers, and their reaction to the story can influence what comes next. And with a the new Kindle Fire launched, Amazon are becoming serious player in both the technology and publishing markets. More at amazon.co.uk…
Cross words London’s King’s Cross station is celebrated in a wonderful new children’s book Up to the recent past, King’s Cross was a byword for everything that was wrong with London. The area, though home to hundreds of families, was plagued by drug dealers and prostitution while its imposing, early-modern facade was blighted by an appalling ’70s veranda stuck on the front. Things are very different now. This spring, the new concourse built at the St Pancras side of the station was opened, a bright and airy space with shops, restaurants and improved facilities for travellers going northwards.
The veranda, empty of retail premises will soon be demolished, its passing unmourned. To celebrate this, Cicada are publishing Discovering King’s Cross, a beautiful pop-up book that details the station’s history, from its opening in 1852 to the regeneration of today. Authored by Michael Palin, Dan Cruickshank and Jay Merrick, the book tells the story of the trains that used the station, the men who built it and the transformation of Euston Road into London’s railway hub. The book costs £17.95. www.cicadabooks.co.uk
Covered: Food, train stations, metros
S T A T I O N R E - f it
East Side story New York’s Second Avenue Subway looks well on track for completion Eighty-three years after the idea was first mooted, Manhattan’s East Side is finally getting its second subway line, to run under the length of Second Avenue. At present, only the Lexington Avenue line serves the eastern part of the island, with 1.3m passengers using it every day, more than the numbers who use the Boston, San Francisco and Chicago metro systems combined. The Second Avenue Subway was originally proposed in the 1929, but due to funding concerns was postponed, which, with the closure of the Second Avenue El, put further pressure on the Lexington Avenue line. In 1972, work began on the Second Avenue Subway only for it to be cancelled, again due to budgets. With funding finally agreed by the USA’s Federal Transit Administration, the most recent work began in April 2007, and so far two miles of tunnelling has been completed. The line will eventually stretch from 125th Street to Hanover Square, a distance of eight miles. Costs are expected to be around $17bn, with the completion date set for 2016.
Pictures: © Umbrella / Shutterstock
Liverpool’s main underground hub reopens Central station in Liverpool has partially reopened for Wirral Line passengers, with the station back in full use by October 22 with the completion of Northern Line works. The station is used by 18m passengers per year and is the busiest underground station outside London. Once a main line station in its own right, Central is now a purely underground interchange, last worked on in 1975. The improvements will bring in natural light, better disabled access and larger waiting areas. The works have taken six months with passengers forced to use Moorfields or Lime St. Maarten Spaargaren, managing editor of Merseyrail, said: “We strongly believe that passengers will benefit from its enhanced facilities and find the station lighter and brighter. “It will be a vast improvement for workers, students and people accessing leisure facilities in the heart of the city.” Work will now begin on James St station. www.merseyrail.org
News & information A selection of the things that make the season worth living
It’s all ’werk, ’werk, ’werk New exhibition and book details the cover art of the German techno band Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk are the subject of a new exhibition and book that detail the cover art of their seven-inch single releases . Put together by pop culture historian Toby Mott, the work consists of 45 single covers taken from all over the world in the 1970s and ’80s. Every cover will be exhibited at the Vinyl Factory gallery in Chelsea until October 5. Meanwhile, the exhibition’s limited edition book, Kraftwerk 45rpm, is on sale through the Vinyl Factory and comes with an interview of the band pressed onto a seven-inch single. An essential purchase. www.vfeditions.com www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Covered: Kraftwerk, cycling, fashion
Mod carriers Vulpine brings a ’60s aesthetic to modern cycle wear It didn’t need Bradley Wiggins’ success in the Tour De France and the Olympics to convince us that cycling and the pareddown Umbrella style were happy bedfellows. But while a few riders on our roads sport nicely designed tops and coats, many – and we’re looking at you here, men – can be found on the morning commute in horrendous, skin-tight Lycra outfits that accentuate every unflattering bump and lump of the middle aged body. Happily, there is an alternative. Vulpine is a cycling wear brand that starts with a mod sensibility and
adds all the protective and safety features that cyclists need. From merino wool tops to waterproof jackets, everything is designed with the style-savvy rider in mind. As they say: “We’ve put in years of design, research and testing to create stylish technical cycling apparel that you’ll actually want to wear for ride and destination. We’ve made sure that it is all cut for cycling, with a classic British tailored influence. Chosen colours for grown-ups. Added innovations that are practical. Visibility features that you can wear with pride.” We’re on board. www.vulpine.cc
How men eat in Paris
As summer comes to a close, the restaurants of the French capital fill with men looking to eat, bond and occasionally boast, as Thierry Richard describes en keep up their friendships through rituals. So in Paris, at the ﬁrst sign of a cold snap in autumn, pullovers come out of the closet as the biting chill of evening falls earlier and earlier and strange gatherings occur at the bistros abandoned all summer. It’s September again, when men dine together. They gather in old restaurants with a faux 19th Century, Third-Republic air, savouring time’s passage over dishes as solid as the appetites they brag about. On such evenings it’s goodbye to steamed sea bass with fennel and scallops a la plancha. Those are for dining lovers. Now’s the time for pork of every kind. The offal glows in the plate, the cheese is strong, the wine straightforward. Back again are 19th Century tastes, terrines and game, men in shirtsleeves, and lots of wine. There are never fewer than three guys at the table, and rarely are there as many as six: they have to hear one another. In the warmth of emptied glasses and the comfort of a timeless decor, the thermostat of human relations runs high. Banalities are done with quickly, professional ups and downs are discussed, news about the youngest child is given. The men are in France, so they talk about food. It’s a habit they’ve never shaken: the latest restaurant discovery, the wine they got
from the wine cellar, how their meal tastes. A few more mouthfuls, and the subject turns to politics, as always. Sometimes the exchanges are heated, and voices rise as high as the soufﬂé au Grand Marnier. No harm is ever done, however, as they know each other so well. Finally, they detour into cultural matters: they love books and movies. And women, of course. Now it all comes out, they slowly spill their secrets, things they never tell their companions. It’s the reeling out of unedited soul-searching. Here nothing is taboo; friends bare their feelings with no discomfort. Then they’ll each go their separate ways, a bit grey, a bit pink, still wrapped in the warmth of the moment they spent together. They are happy to have spent it. This season will last till spring, when their gatherings will become more and more spaced out as the days lengthen. Then summer will come, and they will scatter to the four corners of the earth, ﬁlling up the tank for future conversations. Which will take place as soon as they get back to Paris. This is an extract from Thierry Richard’s Paris For Men, published by Chene, priced £14.99
couple of days after the end of last season, I went out for a drink with a friend I’d made playing five-a-side. He’s a fairly typical middle-class Roman, slogging away doing bits of video journalism for not much money, and in his mid-30s is still living at home with his parents. Like many young* Italians, he’s got a burning desire to flee the country, and has a tendency to stick entire peoples to pre-ordained types. He, like many of others, spends a lot of time in my company trying to pin down the English and our ways, asking questions about London, politics and journalism. Consequently, I spend a decent chunk of our time together exploding certain myths about us, particularly when it comes to our apparent honesty and trustworthiness. Italians have a bizarre view of the English/ British as being simultaneously cool, interesting, honest, loyal, aggressive, drunken, violent and savage – sort of like your nutcase neighbour’s guard dog. They’re in thrall to our pop culture, and our clothes**. Stick a union jack or a London Underground logo on a turd and the locals would be smearing themselves in it quicker than you can say ‘crippling inferiority complex’. But more than anything else they are absolutely fascinated by our football. Over a pint (in the singular, gently nursed over a couple of hours, naturally) my friend starts frothing about last season’s Premier League climax, utterly flabbergasted by the English never-say-die attitude. “An Italian player,” he says, “tends to let his head drop if he’s not doing well. You lot never give up, even if it seems impossible. Christ! You’d wouldn’t see something as dramatic as that in a film, and no-one would believe it if they wrote it.” Let’s leave aside the fact his opinions have no basis in reality (how many of Manchester City’s players that day were English?). What’s important is that he – they – believe this to
Covered: Paris, Rome, food, football
be true. In much the same way that they feel that they can physically dominate the weedy Spaniards (ahem), and outsmart the Germans, when they face the English they half expect a stomping from a gang of muscular warriors, noble savages, inventors of the sport and bastions of Fair Play. Which, by the way, is always said in English. They love the fact that the grounds are always full; that matches aren’t fixed; they’re baffled
As such the quarter-final against England in the Euros was a huge deal for the locals. There was always the fear, despite our obvious flaws, that a spurt of clumsy physical aggression would skittle Italian defence, a wild flaying of limbs that would somehow finish up with the ball in the Italian net and Buffon with a bump the size of a snooker ball. That didn’t happen of course; Italy did what every half-decent team does to England in the knockout stages of a tournament. But even winning the match didn’t cease the self-flagellation; the very next day on Italian Sky Sports News, an analyst was asked how he’d be feeling today if he was English. “If I were really English,” he said somewhat wistfully. “I’d be very happy indeed.” Obviously this goes far beyond sport. A colleague of mine recently said to me, surrounded by the nodding heads of like-minded colleagues that, “An Italian is never happier than when he is complaining about something.” Food was always better back then; music, politics too. Now, right now, is always the worst time, and it keeps getting worse and worse. Romantic nostalgia is in every fibre of Italian cultural fabric. ‘New’ or ‘modern’ is regarded with suspicion, food from other countries little more than shit on a plate. You can see it all around you, and yet you’ll never find anyone actually expressing those views; everyone you speak to complains about these very traits: the
The English job They may have humiliated the national team at the Euros, but as Thomson Reuters’ Rome correspondent Terry Daley explains, Italy is seemingly in thrall to the English way of playing – and watching – the game of football by the sheer depth of the sport, that teams which have no other aspirations than to maybe challenge for the play-offs every now and again can pull in five-figure crowds; and that they don’t all support Man United or Liverpool on the side. Ultras and those who hang about the world of the curva are well-versed in cheap hoolie porn, deck themselves out in West Ham gear, and will often take it upon themselves to tell you everything they ‘know’ about the scene, which is firmly set in about 1983. One chap once told me in no uncertain terms that West Ham-Millwall was “the true London derby”, despite never having been to the city. Normal fans marvel at our modern stadiums, the apparent/relative lack of crowd violence and racism, and the level of play, which is objectively higher than what’s currently being served up in Serie A.
small-mindedness of Italians, how terrible the culture of furbo*** is, and how liberating it would be to make a new life for themselves in a first world country. Because they think that being a thief is something innate in Italian culture, they therefore need a cipher onto which they can place all their hopes and dreams. That place is England. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve had to correct someone who has built up a false impression of England; they’re utterly crestfallen. They sort of go, “Oh”, and stare into the middle distance, and then either one of two things happens: they get depressed, or they get indignant. I’ve met people who refused to believe that The Sun was the biggest-selling newspaper in Britain, and had others sat open-mouthed while I described the Tories’ workfare scheme to them.
‘Nostalgia is in every fibre of the Italian cultural fabric’ I’ve described the situation members of my own family are in, who can’t get on the list for council housing or afford the extortionate private rents you find in London, and as such are stuck at home with their parents. They can scarcely take any of these truths in, and wave their hands about, going: “No, it can’t be true, it must be better there. It must!” On more than one occasion I’ve had people, usually women, beg me to take them “back to London” with me.**** Don’t listen to smug Anglo-Italians, or even worse, Italian-Americans, who have a strong communal identity that actual Italians don’t have, and who come ‘home’ and find out just how little they have in common with the locals. People here don’t strut confidently through the streets, dressed in top quality threads, stealing hearts and getting all the girls. They only wave the tricolore after the national team win an important match (Napoli fans booed the national anthem at this year’s Italian Cup Final), and the next day they’re back to dressing themselves in the union jack and wondering how they can get out of their paese di merda.
*It says something about Italian culture that 35 is still considered ‘young’. When studies on youth unemployed are published, the age bracket ranges from 18 to 35. Although as if by chance the latest figures (for 18-24 year olds) have recently been released, with 36.2 per cent of youngsters out of work. That’s compared to a Eurozone average of around 11 per cent, and around 22 per cent in the UK (as of March 2012), and is the highest rate since 1992 **In Rome you can find shops with the following names: Kingston, Hammersmith and Barry ***A difficult-to-translate word which sort of means ‘craftiness’ – in the same way a cold caller might craftily extract money off a pensioner – the petty thieves’ mentality ****A probably not-fit-for-print tangent, but one I feel is worth mentioning: young Italian women, particularly middle class Italian women, love English men. In much the same way that Anglo-Saxon women go wild for (a stereotypical version of) French and Italian males, the women here simply can’t get enough of (a similarly stereotypical version of) us. It’s very strange
Covered: Italian food
The simple pleasures of…
Spaghetti bolognese Anthony Teasdale pays tribute to a robust dish that laughs in the face of foodie fashion e know by now that spag bol isn’t authentically Italian. That you can go from Turin to Palermo, stopping off at countless trattoria along the way and you’ll never come into contact with the dish which, until the River Cafe and Jamie Oliver surfaced, was pretty much the only Italian meal that was served up in British homes. We’re also aware that the sauce isn’t really called ‘bolognese’, but ragu, and that, as Felicity Cloake reminded us in the last issue of Umbrella, it can only be served with tagliatelle – the dried stuff, of course, all that fresh pasta is for people trying too hard. And yet, despite all this, this fusion of pasta and sauce is a meal that can sit at the top culinary table with any other on the planet. Spaghetti bolognese is like chicken tikka masala or indeed, fish and chips – a domestic interpretation of a foreign dish that’s been tweaked, usually by accident, until it becomes the accepted standard. And done well it is undoubtedly delicious, pandering to the old British culinary lusts of stewed protein, carbohydrate and gravy – lots and lots of gravy. While it can never pretend to be authentic there’s no doubt we’ve taken on the lessons handed down by the likes of ’60s cooking guru Elizabeth David and got better at making it. When mums – and in those days it was mums – cooked spaghetti bolognese in the 1970s, the main ingredients were minced beef, tomato puree, Oxo and if you were lucky, a bit of dried oregano. Garlic was for foreigners and if a visiting Italian had wondered about the lack of sofrito (the softly fried mix of celery, carrot and onion that makes the sauce’s base), he’d have been shown the error of his ways with a reference to “changing sides at half-time” in the war. Now, we know better.
Pictures: © Umbrella
Today’s spaghetti bolognese is a thing of wonder. Thick tomatoey gravy, soft meat – often both beef and pork – and a rainbow of tastes produced by the veg that go from deeply savoury to sweet. Some versions of the sauces are made with red wine, others – like Felicity Cloake’s – are embellished with milk, but all end up covered in fresh Parmesan cheese, a blanket of powdery, savoury glitter that makes the dish sing.
In the end, whether the pasta used is spaghetti or the more correct tagliatelle, it’s the sauce that makes this meal. Its origins may be lost forever in the mists of time, its methods of production forever disputed, but there are few things that can beat its comforting, joyous familiarity on a darkening autumn evening. Mangiare!
‘It panders to the old British lusts of protein, carbohydrates and gravy – lots of gravy’ www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
Up a crust Pizza East began life in Shoreditch. This branch is in Kentish Town to the north-west.
Covered: Recipes, pizzas
All your base are belong to us London’s Pizza East does pizza the proper way with thin crusts, beautifully balanced toppings and ingredients from every corner of the Italian peninsula. Here, they exclusively detail three of their favourite recipes – just for Umbrella readers
Making the pizzas Set your oven to 240c without the fan. We recommend using a pizza stone to cook the pizza. Alternatively you can make the pizza up on the back of a very well-floured baking tray, then carefully slide it onto the floor of the oven, providing it is clean and flat. Providing your oven is really hot they should be cooked in 6-8 minutes. Since you’re not using the fan, it may be wise to turn it once during cooking to ensure it’s even all over.
Shaping the dough Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. You want it about 0.5cm thin, minimum. You can stretch it thin by picking it up and tossing it between your hands – just be careful not to tear it! Putting olive oil around the crust will give it lovely colour in the oven.
Toppings The dough (makes 6 pizzas) Combine… 260g bread flour 260g water 5g fresh yeast Leave in the fridge overnight. To make the dough place the above mixture in a mixer along with… 600g white bread flour 370g water 17g salt 10g fresh yeast Mix for 2 minutes on a slow speed to combine and then 4 minutes on a faster speed in a mixer with a dough
hook. If you don’t have one you can combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the fermented mixture and the water. When thoroughly combined, tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it has a strong elasticity. Leave in a plastic container covered in the fridge for 1 hour. Fold the dough in half from each side to knock out some air. Leave in a plastic container covered in the fridge for 1 further hour. Knock out the air again. Divide the dough into 6 tightly rolled balls at approx 240g in size and allow to prove for 3 hours in the fridge. Remove from fridge for half an hour before shaping.
Portobello mushrooms with Taleggio cheese Ingredients: Tomato sauce Portobello mushrooms (2-3 per pizza, depending on size) Taleggio cheese Oregano Garlic Method: Clean and slice the Portobello mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, add chopped garlic and olive oil. Roast at 180c for 12 minutes so they are par-cooked, allow to cool. Shape your dough and put olive oil around the crust. Put the sauce on the base of the pizza, top with the mushrooms and cheese place in the oven. Sprinkle over the oregano just before serving.
For the toppings, no measurements are needed. Just don’t overload the bases or the dough will become too wet. Ingredients: Tomato sauce Ikg San Manzano (or ripe plum) tomatoes 1 medium onion 1 clove garlic I tsp dried basil 1 tsp dried oregano Peel the tomatoes by making cross incisions on their bottoms and covering in boiling water. After 10 minutes in the water the skins should come off easily when peeled from the incisions. Sweat the onions and garlic gently in some good olive oil, till soft but with no colour. Add the whole peeled tomatoes and slowly simmer for 1-2 hours or until thickened, add the dried oregano and basil, season with a little sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
Burrata cheese, olive, tomato and thyme
Anchovy, chilli and capers
Ingredients: A tin of plum tomatoes Thyme Sugar Salt Olives Burrata
Ingredients: Tomato sauce Anchovies Red chilli Capers Dried oregano Fior di latte mozzarella
Method: Crush the tomatoes in your hands and then drain for 2 hours in a sieve or clean dishcloth to remove the juice. Season the tomato pulp with thyme, salt and a little sugar, drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 7 minutes at 180c. Allow to cool. Shape dough and put olive oil around the crust Place balls of the pulp around the pizza and sprinkle with olives. Bake and remove from the oven, tear burrata and place around the pizza, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with thyme.
Method: Shape your dough and put olive oil around the crust to give it that special golden colour. Spread the tomato sauce on the base. Top with the anchovies, chopped chilli, cheese and capers. Put in the oven until golden, and then add the oregano before serving.
For more on Pizza East and its Chicken Shop sister restaurant, go to www.pizzaeast.com
the umbrella bar
Made to measure London’s Chinatown isn’t all dim sum and MSG – if you knock on the right door you’ll find the Experimental Cocktail Club, home to some expertly conjured drinks hether scouring Chinatown for a post-pub ‘all you can eat’, or taking a crafty shortcut between Covent Garden and Soho, the chances are you may march past the inconspicuous door of 13a Gerrard Street – or the Experimental Cocktail Club for those in the know. Nestled between two neon-clad Cantonese restaurants, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only thing waiting behind the battered steel door was trouble. But step inside the ECC (once home to legendary rave club, The Clinic) and you’re in for some delicious cocktails and a seriously good time. Split across two floors, the tranquil ECC is as cool and considered as the ice cubes
that garnish every cocktail. And how they treat these chunks of frozen water is indicative of their almost-OCD obsession with getting drinks right. “It’s like boiling pasta with fresh water or dirty street water,” explains Thor, the bar manager. “You want wet ice, not dry ice, as this will melt and give you greater control of the drink.” If the ECC was in New York, it’d be tempting to call it a speakeasy, but Thor believes the truth is more prosaic. “When you hear the term speakeasy you think candle lights and stern cocktails. We’re just a bunch of easy going bartenders. We’re a jolly mess, behind a mysterious front door.” experimentalcocktailclublondon.com
Covered: Cocktails, London
“You want wet ice, not dry ice, as this gives more control” REQUIEM FOR A DRINK Liquids: 50ml Pierre Ferrand Ambre cognac 10ml Marsala 10ml Cynar 5ml Mozart Dark Chocolate liqueur 8 drops St Elizabeth Pimento Dram Solids: One star anise
TIMEBOXING Liquids: 25ml Sage, thyme and cherry tomato-infused Abelha Organic Cachaca (The infusion is 10x cherry tomatoes with the water squeezed out, 3x sprigs of sage and 4x sprigs of thyme to 1x bottle of cachaca, infused for 24 hours) 25ml Laird’s Applejack 20ml Fresh lemon juice 10ml Honey water (1 part honey, 1 part water) 10ml Tawny port Garnish: Skewered cherry tomato Method: Shake all of the ingredients together, then fine-strain into a rocks glass with a single, wet ice cube
GETAFIX ‘MAGIC POTION’ Liquids: 40ml Ketel One vodka 40ml Lillet Blanc 30ml Citric acid solution 60ml Water 2dash of Scrappy’s Celery Bitters Solids: Strawberries Coriander
Method: Make 30ml of homemade strawberry and coriander syrup by bringing one part sugar, one part muddled strawberries and one part water to boil. Leave to cool off with muddled coriander leaves until you get the preferred taste. Mix the other liquids in a separate container – keeping everything as cold as possible. Take a bottle from the freezer, add 30ml of the S&C syrup, take the other ingredients and carbonate using a Twist ’n’ Sparkle, then pour into a recycled glass bottle and close.
ST GERMAIN DES PRÉS Liquids: 40ml Plymouth 20ml Elderflower cordial 20ml St Germain liqueur 20ml Fresh Lime juice 5ml Cucumber water 3 drops of home-made chilli tincture (overproof rum infused with red bird eye chilli) Egg white Garnish: Thin slice of cucumber Method: Dry-shake everything, then add ice, shake and fine-strain into a chilled coupette glass
Words: Elliott Lewis-George pictures: © Dan Froude www.danfroude.com
Method: Stir until right temperature and preferred distillation, serve in a chilled rocks glass, without ice
It could be argued that the internet is now the worldâ€™s most cherished commodity. But what actually is it? Andrew Blum, author of Tubes: Behind The Scenes At The Internet, lifts the curtain on this magical necessity to reveal a very physical world of cables and warehouses
Covered: The internet, telecommunications
U: If a squirrel can disrupt the internet connection to your house, how easy is it to bring the whole thing down? AB: Difficult, because there are so many parts spread across the globe. However, in April 2011, a 75-year-old woman cut off Armenia’s ’net access by slicing through a buried cable with a garden spade. A little earlier, the Egyptian authorities simply switched off 70 per cent of the country’s connections in an attempt to quell the revolution. U: How did you approach exploring the real bits of the internet? AB: I tried to only believe what I could see with my own eyes – which meant I put the most emphasis on actually visiting places, travelling to these buildings, getting inside, looking around, and speaking with the people who worked there. I looked at the internet as if it were a single piece of infrastructure – almost like a single fantastical, globally sprawling, building. I treated it as architecture, as a physical thing that embodied meaning. U: Now that you’ve explored the ’net, how would you define it? AB: Well, the preferred image of the internet is that it’s a sort of nebulous electronic solar system. The fact that it’s a physical thing has fallen out of fashion, and we’re more likely
to think of it as an extension of our minds than a machine. But the internet is a network of networks. It’s not a concept, it’s a bunch of tubes: hundreds of thousands of miles of fibre-optic cable, crisscrossing the globe, pulsing with trillions of photons of light, linking us via anonymous exchanges in secretive locations with vast-data warehouses. U: What are the most important ‘physical’ parts of the internet? AB: There are three major categories to the internet’s infrastructure: the internet exchange points where networks meet; the data centres where information is stored; and the undersea and terrestrial cables that connect us all. We need to recognise that the internet has parts, before we can understand its potential. The thing to remember is that the internet exists. It is made of places you can visit – real buildings. I know because I’ve been there, I’ve felt the exhaust of London’s most important router and gripped the end of a cable that crosses the Atlantic. U: Which buildings are the most important? AB: There are about a dozen around the world where more networks meet than anywhere else. Two of these buildings in particular are Equinix’s Ashburn campus in Virginia and London’s Telehouse exchange. U: So what do these buildings look like? AB: Telehouse is a steely slab tower that sprouted from the wastelands of London’s Docklands area in the ’90s. They’re not top secret bunkers buried underground and you’d be surprised how easy it is to gain access to the majority of them. Almost every network engineer I contacted in London offered to show me around Telehouse. Inside, you’ll find aisles and aisles of high racks, stuffed with the same variety of equipment, and bundles of wires spilling from the ceilings – a popular joke amongst the engineers at Telehouse is that there’s a fortune made in copper mining there. It’s a surprisingly shoddy piece of internet but fantastically important part, too. It is what it is and almost impossible to change. It’s like complaining that the streets of London are too narrow.
U: Surely, the big data storage centres in America look a little different, more futuristic? AB: The Equinix building in Ashburn – a small town that internet people like to think of as a giant city – started out as an unmarked complex that sat behind a hotel, no larger or any less nondescript than a small warehouse. But it soon grew and the empty space around the campus had been filled with what looked like massive aircraft carriers. These were data storage centres owned by a rival company. Getting into Ashburn requires more of an elaborate identification process. Some places are harder than others. U: So where do companies like Facebook store their data? AB: A company like Facebook, ebay or a large bank will have its own big data storage centre – perhaps renting space inside those aircraft carriers, or in a building all on its own, where electric power is cheap and there’s enough fibre in the ground to keep the company connected. Then a company will run a fibre-optic connection to a distribution depot and spray data out from a single cage – this is exactly what Facebook does. U: These buildings must be uncomfortable places to work… AB: They can be noisy and rather humid. To minimize energy usage, the temperature in data centres are controlled with what amounts to a swamp cooler, rather than normal air conditioners. Cool outside air is let into the building through adjustable louvers near the roof; deionized water is sprayed into it; and fans push the conditioned air down onto the data floor. U: Are there really tubes under the ocean, linking country to country? AB: Yes. Specialised ships cross the oceans, lowering a skinny cable behind them along a precisely prescribed path. The fibreoptic technology within these cables is fantastically complex and dependent on the latest materials and computing technology. Yet the basic principle of the cables is shockingly simple: light goes in on one shore of the ocean and comes out on the other. U: Will these physical cables and hubs ever become obsolete? AB: Not any time soon. We’ll need a major leap in wireless technology before it can supplant the wires. U: Is ‘the cloud’ just a fancy marketing term used to make it all seem simpler? AB: I think it is, and a dangerous one at that. The trouble is that ‘the cloud’ creates a fantasy that threatens the health and future of the real, physical network. To lose sight of those specifics is to lose control. Each time we move another piece of our digital lives into the cloud, we give up a little more responsibility for it. Google will sort and track your email (but won’t tell you where it’s kept). Apple will cache your music library. Facebook will store – apparently for free – your photographs. There are powerful conveniences in this, to be sure, but there are dangers, too. At the least, we risk an accidental violation of privacy. U: What would you like to explore next? AB: I’d love to explore the physicality of the weather and the realities that enable us to predict and analyse it in detail. Tubes is published by the Penguin Group, out now andrewblum.net penguin.com
interview: ELLIOTT LEWIS-GEORGE
mbrella: How did you discover the “tangible realities” of the internet? Andrew Blum: I noticed that my internet wasn’t working properly so I invited a repairman around to diagnose the problem. He attached an electronic whistle that looked like a pen light to the end of the cable and began to trace its path. When we got outside, he noticed that a squirrel was scurrying across a wire towards to a grey box fixed to a pole. This Brooklyn squirrel was chewing on the rubber coating of the wires and disrupting my internet connection. The crude physicality of this situation astonished me. Sure, the squirrel outrage was annoying, but the sudden appearance of the internet’s texture was thrilling. This led me on a two year journey to discover its physical infrastructure, following that wire from my back yard.
Details This Imperial’s patriotic pedigree is shown by the “War Finish” stamp that denotes it was used by the Army in World War II.
Covered: Typewriters, engineering Our favourite things…
Just our type The Imperial 50 show that nothing embodies the soul of writing more than the typewriter, argues Elliott Lewis-George (vehemently)
computer? Then I’d tell you that the functionality of the typewriter has barely changed since Henry Mill invented it in 1714. I’d take another swipe at your constant desire to be digi-savvy by asking if you can tell me what every chip does inside your Kindle, while at the same time I’d gently push a key on the Imperial’s keyboard – click – raising one of the many designated hammers on show – clack – that brands a virginal piece of paper with a letter (upper or lower case, of course). Built in Leicester during the 1930s my beloved Imperial 50 earned its stripes during World War II. I’d prove this by drawing your attention to the “War Finish” declaration embossed on its front – a stamp used to declare that this was an item used by the British Army and was no longer needed to support the war effort. I’d argue that this typewriter could’ve been used to knock out devastating pieces of propaganda more damaging than anything that ever came from a rifle. I’d brag about how my Imperial 50 was passed down through a long line of female typists working in Middlesbrough, and that my mum bought it from the daughter of its last user: an administrative secretary who worked for the military, who believed that her speed and dexterity was an admirable skill that empowered her and differentiated her from a nation of housewives. I’d back her up by reminding you that in 1910, 81 per cent of typists in America were women. By this point you’d either want to smash my Imperial 50 upside my head, like Paul Sheldon did to that mental lass in the film Misery, for being such a smartarse. Or you’d grunt, “Yeah, but who uses typewriters any more? Who even makes them?” To which I’d reply, “Well, certainly not Imperial, a company founded in 1914 by the Spanish-American
‘This is a robust feat of engineering that mocks your iLifestyle’ engineer Hidalgo-Moya. Because even after another company acquired them in 1966, Imperial were forced to cease trading altogether.” However, I’d ask you to check the following facts on Google: In 2008, New York City purchased a few thousand typewriters, mostly for use by New York Police Department, at the total cost of $982,269, so that officers could use them to type property and evidence vouchers on carbon paper forms. Another? Well, in Latin America and Africa, mechanical typewriters are still used because they don’t rely on electrical power. I’d probably want to remind you that I’m a proper writer again, by regaling you with tales of how I love nothing more than spending my evening click-clacking away at the QWERTY keyboard, first developed in 1874 by a typewriter company called Sholes & Glidden. I’d tell you that I’m not the only person to tap out poignant prose on my typewriter. Nietzsche used one in an attempt to stem his migraines and declining blindness. Ernest Hemingway used to write standing up in front of typewriter suitably placed on a tall bookshelf. Jack Kerouac typed On The Road on a roll of paper so he wouldn’t be interrupted by having to change the paper. Within two weeks of starting, Kerouac had one single-spaced paragraph, 36 metres long. You’d then remind me that my Imperial 50 typewriter is not actually my favourite thing. Yet.
pictures: © elliott lewis-george
y shelves are crammed with pristine journals, my drawers teem with posh pens and unused ink cartridges – props I’ve amassed over the years to distract me from the agonising actuality of putting pen to paper. This ever-increasing abundance of stationery only aids my poorly constructed persona as a real writer. On top of my desk – a surface that serves as nothing more than a waist-high shelf – sits the pinnacle of my redundant collection of writing paraphernalia: a vintage, Imperial 50 typewriter. This machine is certainly not my favourite thing. It doesn’t even fall into the category of Elliott’s favourite things. My turntables are my favourite things, ever. Fried chicken is also one of my favourite things. According to my bank balance, Guinness and Jägermeister are on record as being my top-ranking, alltime favourite thing. However, I wouldn’t tell you that, I’d tell you that my Imperial 50 typewriter is my favourite thing. My most cherished possession. I’d also remind you that I’m a proper writer after all. I’d tell you that the imperious, matt- black Imperial 50 that you see before you was given to me as a gift from my mother, a woman skilled in decoding the not-so-subtle hints I dropped in an antique shop on London’s Portobello Road. I’d be quick to denounce the fact that this typewriter, with its embossed golden insignia is merely a discharged antique. I’d point out that this robust feat of engineering is in fact a fully-functioning piece of hardware that makes a mockery out of your iLifestyle. If it ain’t broke then no need to fix it. And this typewriter certainly doesn’t need fixing. I’d ask you how many times you’ve felt pressured to upgrade your mobile phone or how often you’ve shelled out on a software upgrade for your
Field trip Architecture, travel and transport
30: Newcastleâ€™s Metro 32: Thamesmead: the story of an estate 38: Rock on: geology meets pop history
Good times A new book details the history of London in photographs. See more, page 36.
30 Field trip
Geordie sure London Underground may be the gold standard for urban rail in the UK, but Tyne and Wear’s Metro sees itself as a true innovator, as Jordan Waller reports ewcastle is known for a lot of things: the Tyne, the turbulent times of the Magpies, Newcastle Brown Ale, Jimmy Nail and Auf Wiedersehen Pet, Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits, and the gritty cool of Get Carter. It’s a city of cultural icons, and one Umbrella is especially keen on is the Tyne and Wear Metro. A publicly owned set-up funded by a combination of taxpayer money and fares managed by the governmentsteered Nexus company, the Metro has been running since the 1980. Conceived in an effort to reduce the burden of the local bus system, the Metro currently makes possible over 180m journeys a year, running seven days a week and bringing in over £40m in fares. With 60 stations and two lines (the Yellow and the Green) that run through Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, North and South Tyneside, it’s the third largest inner-city rail system in the country after London and Liverpool’s. It’s also one of the oldest. Prior to modernisation, several of the tracks had been in continuous use since the 1800s, including the main railway line running from Newcastle to North Shields, which opened in 1839. Along with the Brandling Junction Railway, also now integrated into the Metro system, the line has been operating as a passenger railway for over 170 years. Indeed, the Metro today is often described as Britain’s first modern light rail, a juxtaposed system that takes in long distance and high-speed suburban and inter-urban railways that some believe has gone on to influence the streamlined Tube in London. It’s easy to dismiss its creaky lines as dated and stuffy in comparison to those of London, Paris and Tokyo but at the time of its inception, the Metro was truly cutting edge. In its current state with many stations and carriages appearing weathered, that’s not so, but in 2010 the UK government pledged to spend up to £580m to upgrade the system fully by 2021. Changes will include improved carriages and ticket machines more aligned to those of London’s Oyster card system, enabling passengers to purchase and top up travel via their debit card as well as cash. For the retro aficionado with a keen eye though, the current Metro is a treasure trove of kitsch industrialism and design. The official identity and corporate logo utilises the now iconic
Calvert typeface designed specifically for the system by Margaret Calvert in 1980. And while it took a back seat in the 1990s, it’s been pushed to the fore again, most notably on the interior of the recently opened Haymarket station. The boxy carriages of the trains have a distinctly old fashioned feel and until this year, when some refurbishment began, had not been changed since 1996. Older fleets can be recognised by their yellow and cream stripes, akin to the
‘The boxy carriages of the trains have a distinctly old fashioned feel’ www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
classic Hornby standards, while the more modern rolling stock is singled out by its solid colour design, economical seating and ‘improved’ lighting. Improved but not perfect – a night time journey still offers the yellowed, flickering hue of old that if not for the increased numbers of student revellers sharing the carriage, would project an almost film noir-like aesthetic. Further individuality comes in the forms of various artworks dotted across its many stations and lines. From
Covered: Metros, Newcastle
the illustrative mural featuring different Geordie icons at Monument to the culturally ambitious Latin signage at Wallsend, commissioned from artist Michael Pinsky to commemorate the region’s Roman heritage, the works form part of a project that was included in Newcastle and Gateshead’s unsuccessful bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2008. Unsurprisingly, despite making a considerable profit each year from ticket sales, there is still a significant amount of fare dodgers caught every week, which is punished through a combination of fines (currently standing at £20) and archaic naming and shaming, whereby cheating passenger’s names are displayed on advertisement boards in stations. With no ticket barriers to deter free-riders (though 13 stations are earmarked for them), the only real preventative measure comes in the form of roaming inspectors, which makes the subject of fare dodging a game of odds that in the long term will easily outweigh the house. It’s easy to see why some would rather risk it than pay the fee. With the exception of fare dodging, anti-social behaviour as a whole has been minimal with crime figures on the Metro dropping year on year, perhaps due in part to the innovative approach of playing classical music at select stations. The song of choice is Frederick Delius’ Incidental Music to Hassan – a neutral tune that’s been playing since 1998. So successful has the initiative been that it was picked up by London Transport and a similar scheme has been in force on at Underground stations since 2005. More recently, the Metro was the first underground network to install electrical repeaters on lines to allow passengers continued mobile phone coverage in tunnels. A system that’s now being developed by London Underground. A trailblazer in its conception and an essential and integral part of life in the north-east – the Metro is an asset that, despite repeated grumbles of cost, reliability and aesthetic, has served the area in one format of another for over two hundred years and continues to be a benchmark of urban travel in the UK. Ride on.
pictures: © sally ann norman, nexus, shutterstock.com
‘The network is the first to enable mobile phone usage in tunnels’
32 Field trip
A trip to Thamesmead Umbrella’s Creative Director Matt Reynolds discovers south London’s ‘town of the future’ has a problem with shedding its past
Covered: Housing, modernism, London
he Thamesmead housing estate, south east London: familiar to most as the grim backdrop to Alex’s waterside assault of his fellow ‘droogs’ in Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, and more recently the setting for E4’s comedy drama Misfits. There’s clearly something about the brutalist concrete architecture that attracts filmmakers looking for a perfectly warped urban location – and that’s precisely what drew the curious Umbrella staff here for an on-site exploration. Conceived in the 1960s as an antidote to London’s overcrowded inner city neighbourhoods, and opened 9.4 miles east of Charing Cross in a blaze of publicity (its name was the winning entry in a newspaper competition) the so-called ‘town of the 21st Century’ was the brainchild of GLC division architect Robert Rigg. Central to his thinking was a radical architectural idea borrowed from Scandinavian housing complexes where it was believed that lakes and canals helped to lower levels of crime and vandalism. This led to the creation of a large, shallow lake as a centerpiece to the main housing zone at Thamesmead South which would act as a supposed calming influence on its residents.
‘Residential units now stand empty – windows broken, garages padlocked’ It’s by this lake that Umbrella can now be found, watching a group of distinctly uncalm looking youths entertain themselves with the time-honoured ritual of launching a shopping trolley into the murky water. Some debate follows amongst staff members over which side of the lake was used for filming by Kubrick, the exact location of the original (now demolished) overhead pedestrian walkways, and whether Misfits is any good. Original estimates suggested that up to 100,000 residents would eventually call Thamesmead their home – although today the population is less than half that. Instead of housing the contented families of the planners’ imaginations (Dad tinkering with the car in the groundlevel garage, kids playing with a toy boat on the lake) many residential units now stand empty, windows broken or boarded up, garages graffitied and padlocked. Unlike its well-heeled urban cousin, the Barbican estate in central London, Thamesmead
has never been regarded as a success. Whereas the former’s cluster of concrete towers became increasingly desirable amongst the metropolitan elite, residents of Thamesmead began to suspect that the planner’s dream of their modernist utopia was just that – a dream. As one resident recalls: “By the time it was being developed, disillusionment with big highrise estates had already set in, and that, coupled with the area’s relative isolation – there’s no train
station, for example – meant that expectations were not high. As a result, Thamesmead was not seen as a desirable place to live in its early days, fairly or not. It takes a long time for perceptions like that to change.” As well as the disastrous lack of transport (which meant that commuting young professionals and their families were unlikely to put down roots in the area) the most significant design failure was the almost complete lack
‘The reality was a bleak, windswept landscape with litter in the water’ of shopping facilities and banks, with only a small number of corner shop-sized outlets initially being built in nearby Tavy Bridge. In fact, the only sign of life that Umbrella currently finds is the Lakeside Tavern which, happily serves us liquid refreshment. Truth be told, the regulars probably have us down as sneering movie-buffs; our well polished brogues and conspicuous cameras betray us as inner-city tourists on a day out, despite our best attempts to fit in by scowling a bit. Recently, Thamesmead has been back in the news for the wrong reasons. Dubbed by the BBC as “the fraud capital of the UK”, the Fraud Prevention Service revealed that they had identified an entire street in the town where there was evidence of people being involved in illegal activity at every address. Incidences
of West African fraudsters were so high that the area has become known as ‘Little Lagos’. As Umbrella takes refuge from the weather in the Lakeside Tavern’s sheltered concrete garden we admire the high rise blocks across the water (a recent dredging of the lake revealed 21 dumped vehicles) wondering whether it rains as much as this in Nigeria – and what exactly it was that sent Thamesmead into such terminal decline. The consensus is that the failure of this ambitious urban plan can be traced back misplaced optimism of its original creators. The sad truth is that not everyone behaves like an architect. Where they foresaw a futuristic, interconnected complex, the reality was dark, threatening alleys where muggers lurked. Where they foresaw families playing happily by the waterside, the reality was a bleak and windswept landscape where flurries of litter collected in heaps on the water. Thamesmead’s fate was sealed following the abolition of the GLC (the Greater London Council) in 1986, when the estate’s ownership transferred to a trust company and the founders’ wishful vision of a revolutionary project was abandoned in favour of tradit ional British suburban house-building.
The designers’ plans were fatally compromised. Instead of the town of the future we ended up with a regular scruffy estate – with bonus grimy lake thrown in for good measure. Concrete, when moulded into bold modernist architecture can often look beautiful in the sun-drenched climates of southern Europe or California, but on the drizzly reclaimed marshland of outer London, it paints a dreary picture. The people here deserve better – and with the Residents’ Association and Youth Awareness Programme working hard to improve the place, that day will hopefully come. The man behind the bar confirms our suspicions that we look like day-tripping movie-buffs. “Clockwork Orange fans, are you?” he enquires. As we finish our final round of drinks we agree that Thamesmead has come to be defined by Kubrick’s film, the reality now inseparable from the director’s vision of a bleak urban future. It stands as testament to the failed dreams of post-war urban planners, and somehow it seems fitting that the setting for Kubrick’s story about the permanence of evil should end up unable to shake the smear of his dystopian vision. Life imitating art? We’ll, sadly, drink to that.
pictures: © matt reynolds
34 Field trip
36 Field trip
Capital record London is celebrated in a new photo book that takes us from the soot-laden seat of empire to the post-Olympic megalopolis of today he city on the Thames is more than a city. Like ancient Rome or gilded age New York, London is built on a philosophy – one that encompasses trade, work, fortitude and humour. Always humour. London has been through a lot in its 2000 years. The first person to make their mark was uppity yokel Boudicca, the Iceni queen who decided she didn’t like the look of the amphitheatres, baths and civility of Roman Londinium and set the fire to the place. No Umbrella reader, she. Over the years came Saxons, Normans and assorted Huguenots, Jews, Chinese, West Indians and Bangladeshis, each adding to the city’s character, making it more complex and hardy, yet never really altering its essential London-ness. The last 200 years have seen the greatest change of all as the industrial revolution, so vividly recreated at the recent Olympic opening ceremony, sparked a transformation of the medieval city into a chaotic, smoking metropolis beyond the comprehension of a largely agricultural, 19th Century world. This period is celebrated in London: Portrait of a City, a collection of photographs that illustrate perfectly its modern history. There’s both the grand (Piccadilly Circus, the Houses of Parliament) and the humble (a girl sleeping during a bombing raid, a pair of twin boys waiting for their mum outside a corner shop) – two sides of the same urban coin. Then there’s the swinging London of the ’60s, (unsurprisingly well covered as the book is co-edited by Barry Miles, the age’s in-house writer), plus various Olympics, stage shows, and fashion shoots. In short, everything that makes London both familiar and beguiling. If the 20th Century belonged to New York then it’s becoming clear that the town from the old world that preceded it at the top of global metropolis charts is – somewhat improbably – claiming back the number one spot for the new age. This beautiful, essential book shows how it got there.
Covered: London, history
Clock on As many Umbrella readers will know, ‘Big Ben’ is the name of the Great Bell inside Elizabeth’s Tower, completed in 1859.
London: Portrait of a City is published by Taschen, price £44.99, www.taschen.com
38 Field Trip
Rock of ages One brilliant diagram shows beautifully the biggest players in popular music, as Stuart Wright discovers
n the 2005 documentary, New York Doll, bassist Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane, is happily reunited with surviving members of the New York Dolls. Twenty-two days after two sell-out reunion concerts, Kane suddenly dies from leukemia. During the history lesson part of the tale, the director, Greg Whiteley, turns to a visual aid entitled the Genealogy of Rock and Pop. Starting in 1955, and ending in 1977, this hand-written work of art charts the artists and genres that have defined popular music through its first 20 years or so. In the film it gives you a road map from Bill Haley and The Comets to The New York Dolls, the androgynous glam rockers who would become proto-punk pioneers. My wife tracked down a copy and it proudly
hangs above my record player. Only my version is notably different from one in the documentary. “The director of the movie actually made a special version of the chart that included the Dolls,” says creator Reebee Garofalo, Professor of Community Media and Technology at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Reebee has promoted the use of music as a community resource and an educational tool since the ’60s. When he was promoting benefit concerts in between studying music as a social indicator and playing in bands, he also witnessed the establishment of the large scale, corporately organised/owned music business. Conceived in 1974, the original version was called Marketing Trends and Stylistic Patterns in Pop/Rock Music and came with the book
Rock’n’Roll is Here to Pay he wrote with Steve Chapple. Seeing it in isolation all this time it seems odd to discover it’s part of a bigger text. “Well, I did it as a freestanding thing,” he says. “But it was at the time we were researching the book. So we just included it in that.” It was updated in 1978, per the poster version shown here. Presented and framed as a considered piece of graphical art, the focal point remains the 700 entries and 30 genres that Reebee lovingly hand-rendered over 120 hours into a wave of words. The published version recycles his pen and paper original pixel by pixel. “There’s two things that contributed to what you see there,” he says. “One. When I was a kid I liked to do pin-striping on cars – that sort
of curved, linear design you often see on the side of them. The graphic of that chart looks like the doodles I used to make when I was a kid. “The second thing was the original cover for Charlie Gillett’s [1971 book] The Sound of The City: The Rise of Rock and Roll which pictured a paper bag on which Charlie had scribbled a very rudimentary genealogy of rock’n’roll. I thought somebody ought to do a really nice systematic of that scribble.” Reebee’s configuration, however, draws only from the top of the commercial tree. “I went and tabulated how many hits each group had per year and did a longitudinal thing about how long they kept having hits. The little arrows that come out from people’s names show how long they remained on the
‘In ’67/’68 Bob Dylan appears in three categories’ charts as hit-makers. And the width of each category shows a very rough estimate of the market share. “So, a lot of artists you would consider important don’t show up there because they didn’t have hits. They were very surprised the New York Dolls were not there for one thing,” he says. He freely admits it’s a very easy chart to poke holes in because musicians and what
they represent is a subjective decision compared to chart position and time. For example, around ’67/’68 Bob Dylan appears in three different categories. “That’s because he comes from the folk revivalists, then becomes a rock’n’roller and finally decides to do an acoustic country album. So where to put people over time changes. And those are pretty arbitrary categories to begin with,” says Reebee. What isn’t arbitrary when you study it for more than the briefest moment is the thick foundation of black artists that prop up the entire genealogy of rock and pop. “It was not intentional at the beginning, but it was such a pronounced pattern in the way I started drawing things that I decided to make it intentional,” he says.
The 1978 version of the Genealogy of Rock and Pop is available at www.historyshots.com/rockmusic
Covered: Music, graphic design
like what Like youus see? Click here to like us on facebook and receive updates and links to things weâ€™re into. Whatâ€™s not to like? Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
42 Field trip
Umbrella’s take on the world of cycling
Heavy lifting Who needs a car to move stuff about when a cargo bike does the job? I’m getting older. I know this, because the thought of putting a front rack on a bike, having a coaster brake on the rear and pottering around buying artisanal breads/organic meats at the local farmers’ market doesn’t fill me with fear. I’m actually in the process of building up a porteur, which for the layman, is just a fancy French word for a bike that has a front rack and whose geometry makes it stable enough to carry heavy loads. It will be lovely, and I will swan about on it, looking suitably debonair, probably to the detriment of my other bikes. But here’s the rub, what I really want, what I really, really want, but truthfully don’t have space for, is a cargo bike. I have visions of dumping the kiddywinks into the spacious long narrow front box, and whizzing them courier-like through traffic to nursery school wing chun classes. Didn’t you know cargo bikes were the new vehicle of choice for courier companies? No? Well you do now. I’ve tried one, and once you get past the first instinct of turning rather than leaning, it all clicks into place, like a well oiled lock. Any self-respecting cyclist who’s got in the family way should demand one, rather than a car. And yes, I am being serious here. They aren’t cheap, but you get a whole load of flexibility and carrying ability for the money, and you’ll never have to rent/ hire/blag a car to collect stuff again. Unless you have to go out to the boonies to see the in-laws, that is.
human powered machines
where to buy
+ Bullitt Bikes, straight out of Denmark, 13 variants, built
on the same lightweight frame £2,130 GBP-£2,940 GBP www.thebullittbike.co.uk
+ The Long Haul – from Human Powered Machines in
Oregon. Frame-only, $1,900 USD/fully built from $2,300 hpm.catoregon.org
+ Bilenky cargo bike, custom made in the US, from $3,600 www.bilenky.com
I’ve got a question. Have you ever done a charity bike ride? If you answered in the affirmative, can I ask you another? Why? For fitness sake? Because you actually wanted to raise money for charity, because you were daunted by doing a long ride by yourself? Now I’m certainly no Scrooge, and I’m all for giving a percentage of one’s earnings to charity. But the charity bike ride just rubs me up the wrong way. I know it shows your compassion, the giving nature of your friends, family and colleagues, as you rattle the sponsorship cup, and I’m sure whichever charity you’ve chosen is extremely deserving. But, really! Really! Why the need to pull the joyous, freeing, activity of cycling into the charidee arena. Making it yet another activity that only they do. You know, everyone who is fitter, faster and already riding anyway. Cycling is for everyone, and is as everyday as brushing your teeth, going for a stroll across a park, or trying to decide between the two bottles of red in the local offy. Riding a bike is not an event that you should have to train for, or put a cross beside in a calendar. So you want to ride to Brighton? Well ride there then.
The Bicycle Film Festival Cycle-friendly cineastes will get their fix this Autumn Founded by Brendt Barbur back in 2001 after he’d been hit by a bus in New York City, the Bicycle Film Festival travels the globe hitting 24 different cities as diverse as Tallinn, Helsinki, Moscow, Istanbul, Lisbon, Chicago, Minneapolis, Montreal and London. Showing a range of shorts, features, documentaries and animations, the festival is your first port of call for all films bike.
Pick a day, any day, and head off to Brighton, Oxford, the Peak District, Blackpool – anywhere beyond the boundaries of your current abode. Why does it need to be for charity? The ongoing ‘chugging’ (charity mugging) of exercise in general and riding specifically, turning it into an endeavour for those who are fit, or who want to become fitter, means that its acceptance as a mode of everyday transport seems ever further away. Some may argue that once a person has engaged in a charity bike ride that they will more easily cycle in their everyday lives. Well I don’t know of many people who train for charity 5km/10km runs or marathons, who continue to run after the event. Cycling can be incorporated into any lifestyle, and as such is many things to many people: transport, passport to freedom, holiday vehicle, fitness tool, and racing machine amongst them. But what it shouldn’t be is something that’s pulled out once a year as the next charity bike ride rolls round, and the sponsorship requests hit people’s inboxes once more and flash up as status updates. Charity begins at home and the way to be the most charitable you can be, is to recover your bike from its place out back, and use it every day, from commuting to work or heading to the shops, to hitting the country lanes on the weekend. Then take the money saved from not using the bus, train or car and donate that to the charity of your choice instead.
Roll up on your steed, take advantage of the valet locking service, watch a whole raft of films which illuminate the plethora of different approaches to connecting with bikes, and then discuss them over a beer afterwards. What more could any self respecting bike fiend want? Plus the opening and closing parties are generally mayhem. The festival runs in London from October 4-7, so make a date in the diary and get down there. www.bicyclefilmfestival.com
words: don g. cornelius
Pulling out the bike for that once-a-year 10k? You’re not doing anybody any favours, reckons Don G. Cornelius
Stories Journalism from the front line of the modern world
46: Why brutalism still drives the music of the underground 60: Nick Hornby on footballâ€™s obsession with process, instead of success
the harder they come How concrete enabled the construction of the worldâ€™s most breathtaking buildings p.50
Block rockin’ beats
Music and architecture have often been seen as bedfellows, but how do the two disciplines really interact with each other in the modern world? Claire Hughes looks at the brutalist movement of the late 20th Century and wonders whether its legacy can be heard as well as seen
t was the German writer/philosopher Goethe who described architecture as “frozen music”. But there’s a British electronic music maker called Raiden who thinks it works the other way around. His debut album Béton Armé, an opus of dark, angular beats and harsh rhythms, is dedicated to, and inspired by, brutalist buildings from around the world. As a kid, Raiden, real name Chris Jarman, would be taken shopping by his mum to the Tricorn centre, an imposing, concrete structure that skulked in the centre of Portsmouth. The building, designed by architects Owen Luder and Rodney Gordon – the latter also designed the infamous Elephant & Castle shopping centre in London – was a modernist maze of gloomy alleyways scattered with entrances and exits, shop-fronts and the dank walkways leading to them. “It was such an insane building,” says 36-year-old Raiden, who’s been making music for over a decade. “The idea was that you could get everything you needed under one roof but because of the way it was designed, it attracted a lot of crime. It was menacing and a real inspiration because it was like another world, a city within a city.” When Raiden released Béton Armé last year, on his own Offkey Recordings label, Pippa Goldfinger, daughter of renowned architect and furniture designer Erno Goldfinger, tweeted about it. “She said how much she liked the tune I’d dedicated to Erno Goldfinger’s Trellick Tower building [which appeared on the cover of Umbrella issue five] but I was really surprised she’d actually got to hear about it,” he says. “Pippa got wind of the tune from a couple of architecture blogs. In the same day, someone else tweeted that they thought it was tenuous to associate brutalist architecture with d ’n’ b. But I totally disagree with that. I think a lot of these buildings are a backdrop for this music.” British architect Ben Kelly, who designed the structural interior of Manchester’s Haçienda nightclub, agrees.
“Buildings create a certain atmosphere that affects everything that surrounds them and goes on within the walls,” says Kelly, who helped create the recent British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age at London’s V&A museum. “When Factory Records bought the Haçienda it was an empty, industrial building. It was such a big, interior space and, essentially, a massive blank canvas. To me, it was like making a gigantic piece of sculptural painting. I wanted it to be like a theatre so I put up fly bars, which were on pulley systems so we could suspend objects from them.” Rather than being a fixed, static space, Ben says he wanted the nowdemolished acid house temple to have a number of permutations. “The venue itself was vast, the ceiling were high, so it felt cathedrallike,” says Ben, who now runs BKD Architecture but started out his career designing album artwork for 1980s synthpop duo OMD. “There were big steel columns, holding up the roof. I wanted these to seem potentially hazardous, so I had them painted with yellow stripes.” When he was 12 years old, Raiden bought his first mix tapes – of old rave sets – from a record shop based in the Tricorn. He saw Carl Cox and Grooverider play for the first time there back in 1989. “It was amazing to me that all this could be going on in this huge, ugly, exciting building,” says Raiden. “A lot of the people who made d ’n’ b in the early 1990s grew up around brutalist architecture. These buildings were intricately constructed using heavy, strong materials. I think that’s where a lot of the inspiration for the whole UK urban music thing comes from.” Ben Kelly says the same applies to the Haçienda. “I do think the venue inspired the music and vice versa,” agrees Ben. “The way music sounded in the Haçienda created a kind of majestic, ethereal atmosphere that collided with the gritty, industrial feeling of the building. I think you can hear that in a lot of music that was made by a lot of the bands that played and spent time there.”
“A lot of people who made drum ’n’ bass in the ’90s grew up around brutalism”
Covered: Music, architecture
The term ‘brutalist’ comes from the French words ‘béton brut’, which translate directly as ‘raw concrete’ – hence the title of the Raiden album. The concrete structures that were built by leading architects from the early 1950s to the mid-’70s were part of a movement that was celebrated at the time. But because these government-funded, cold-stone structures were poorly maintained they’re now often dismissed as architectural monstrosities. The idea that architecture influences music isn’t a new one. Classical composers Mozart and Beethoven were inspired by Prague’s gothic, renaissance, and baroque structures in the 18th Century. And reverberations of the futuristic ideas the likes of Goldfinger, Le Corbusier and Rodney Gordon distilled into urban architecture can be seen and heard in a lot of electronic music. In his 1955 Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography, French Marxist author Guy Debord defined psychogeography as “the study of the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behaviour of individuals”. Raiden would certainly endorse this: “When it comes to making music; I think it’s impossible not to produce sounds that are some kind of reaction to your environment. I’ve always lived in cities and been intrigued by the architecture around me so it had to come out in my music eventually. It’s also down to the way you make electronic music. You build a track up from a set of foundations. There’s a strong architectural element to making dance music.” Before he died in 2008; Rodney Gordon said: “If no-one notices it, it’s not architecture”. The same could be said for music. “The architects behind all of the buildings I’ve dedicated tracks on my album to had this idea of trying to build futurist cities within cities; most of which stretched up into the sky,” says Raiden. “And [Detroit techno visionary] Jeff Mills frequently references architecture when he talks about his musical inspirations.” You can hear the ghostly echoes of Detroit’s forgotten warehouses and industrial spaces left over from the fall-out of the city’s automotive industry running through Mills’ early productions. The time he later spent living in Manhattan was equally influential on his particular brand of techno. “Living in Manhattan, in the middle of all those tall buildings, it can really be overwhelming,” says Mills. “There’s too much congestion.
A hundred things can be happening around you but you can’t get to them and you just have to accept that the city is bigger than you. That feeling of inertia can really help the creative process. You have to escape your surroundings somehow and, for me, that’s always come out in my music.” Even if architecture isn’t the inspiration to make music, it can often be the catalyst for it. Historically, bands have chosen to record in a particular building because of the particular sound a certain structure or space can create. Radiohead rejected the option of a glitzy London studio to decamp to Tudor Manor House St. Catherine’s Court, near Bath, to lay down OK Computer. And Manchester band Delphic recorded some of the music for their 2009-released debut album Acolyte in Salford cathedral. “We knew we wanted this particular guitar sound and we’d always loved the cathedral in Salford so we called them up and asked if we could record there,” says the band’s Rick Boardman. If you listen really closely to the album’s Ephemera track, you can hear the ambience and reverb of the cathedral along with the traffic noises from outside the building and the sound of people talking and walking in the background. “It gives the track an ethereal quality that feels kind of like standing in the middle of the cathedral itself,” says Rick. “Creating that feeling, emotion and sound was really important to us.” There are no tracks dedicated to churches or manor houses on Raiden’s Béton Armé. The buildings that inspired his sonic soundscapes include the Genex Tower in Serbia, the Ryoyung in North Korea and Marina City in Montreal. Of course, he’s not the first electronic artist to reference modern architecture in his music. If you check out the album or single artwork from many urban music releases from the 1990s and early 2000s you’ll more than likely see an image of a concrete tower block. The Streets, anyone? “The whole urban music and tower block thing is a big cliché,” says Raiden. “That’s why I decided to make my album to get the root of the matter. The link between British urban electronic music and architecture goes a lot deeper than sticking a block of flats on an album cover.”
Illustration: © matt reynolds
or such an ancient material, concrete will forever be associated with the modernist architecture of the 20th Century. Unlike bricks and stone, concrete – that mix of sand, aggregate and water – could be formed into the futuristic shapes of architects like Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, an old tool for a new age. From Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim Museum in New York to Lubetkin’s Penguin Pool at London Zoo, a new book, Concrete showcases the greatest buildings constructed in this most maligned of substances. Publishers Phaidon say: “Arranged to promote comparison and discussion, the selected projects take the reader on a global tour of inspiring and intriguing structures: a German skatepark sits beside an Italian rooftop test track, a Japanese crematorium alongside a Portuguese swimming pool and a Brazilian government building next to a Chinese opera house.”
‘dreams become elegant reality’ While it has a reputation – certainly in Britain – for being the rust-stained canvas of a thousand ill-thought out tower blocks, used with imagination and in the right place, concrete can make impossible architectural dreams an elegant reality. Look at Brasilia’s National Congress Building or BFI Southbank in London proof. The book, though it pays tribute to the past, also shows the material being used to create fantastical structures in the new age, bent and shaped with computer programs by the likes of Zaha Hadid and Herzog & de Meuron. These are buildings full of light and space, that keep up the modernist tradition of progress, yet take on the painfully learned lessons of days gone by. Proof then, that like a century ago, the future really does belong to concrete.
Material world The beauty of concrete architecture is given its due in an inspirational new book
Concrete is edited by William Hall and published by Phaidon, priced £29.95. Copies can be bought from www.ukphaidon.com which also boasts a superb arts and culture blog
Meiso no Mori Crematorium, Japan
Clockwise from top left: 01 Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France 02 Church of The Light, Osaka, Japan 03 Hallgrímskirkja (church), Reykjavik, Iceland 04 National Congress Building, Brasília, Brazil 05 Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Tunnel, Kasukabe, Japan 06 Nottingham Contemporary Arts Centre 07 Kazuya Morita’s concrete pod
Teshima Art Gallery, Japan
Clockwise from top left 01 Niteroi Art Museum, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 02 Penguin Pool, London Zoo 03 Sun Moon Lake Visitor Centre, Taiwan
brolly Brolly brief Brief
Mildly amusing electronic diversions delivered weekly to your inbox. Sign up here Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk
First is nothing, fourth nce upon a time, it was easy for the bigger clubs to define success: success was when you won a trophy. The championship and the FA Cup were more or less interchangeable: the championship was harder to win, but the FA Cup final was the most glamorous match of the year, and for decades the only English club game shown live on television. The more prosaic League Cup was a poor relative of the FA Cup, but would do, if there were really nothing else on offer. Winning one of the three European competitions made for a memorable year, too. And then, right at the turn of the new century, the definition of success began to change: merely qualifying for one particular competition, the European Champions League, by finishing in the top four became more important to owners and managers and maybe even players than actually winning just about any of the domestic competitions, arguably even the Premiership, because Champions League qualification meant income, and income has become the biggest prize of all. If it wasn’t always like this, it was because the economics of the game were entirely different. The game was cheap to watch, poorly marketed, and TV rights more or less entirely unexploited. In 1980, according to the Professional
‘fans have been told that domestic cups aren’t worth winning’
Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch was one of the staging posts on the road that led to soccer’s acceptability among the ‘respectable’ classes. Here, in this extract from his ebook, Pray, the author reflects on how the money that status generated changed football clubs’ priorities for ever
is everything Footballers’ Association, a total of eight players earned £50,000 per annum; a recent survey of executive pay revealed that, in the same year, the biggest salary paid at Barclays Bank was £80,000, 13 times the national average income. In other words, football could provide a good living, but a top centre-forward, Steve Archibald, say, or Frank Stapleton, couldn’t live as well as a top executive. Thirty years on, things have changes to the extent that Wayne Rooney could comfortably afford to employ the best-paid banker in Britain full-time, if he could see any purpose or momentary amusement in doing so. When the reviled Fred Goodwin left the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2009, he was being paid £1.49m PA, around one-tenth of the money Rooney is on now. (I am talking here only about his day job with Manchester United – just one of his sponsorship deals, a contract with Nike, is worth nearly as much as Goodwin’s salary.) Rooney is just one of the players in the Premiership who is estimated to earn the average UK annual salary every day. This relentless inflation of players’ wages has reduced the operating margin of football clubs to around four per cent, a dangerously low figure which seems to indicate that they are all permanently on the edge of disaster. It’s no wonder, then, that they need the revenue that comes from the Champions League. This need is so great that it has even blurred the distinction between finishing top and finishing fourth: the former remains more attractive than the latter, of course, but there was a time when fourth place in the championship meant as much as fourth place in an Olympic event. Now, it is an achievement that is worth more than winning a trophy. “For us it is not comparable, the FA Cup and Champions League,” Arsène Wenger said before Arsenal played Leeds in the FA Cup. “The Champions League is compulsory. The FA Cup is something that is for enjoyment… The basis of our life at the top level is dictated by the championship. If we can add on top of that the FA Cup it is fantastic.” Of course, you have to follow football closely to understand that, in this branch of the entertainment industry, only a small portion of the product offered to the punters is “for enjoyment”, and in any case the enjoyment provided by either of the domestic cups is becoming quite arcane. Pay good money for a cup-tie at any of the big stadia in England, and you’ll find many of the star players sitting on the bench, or perhaps even further away from the pitch than that – Robin Van Persie saw the Leeds tie as an ideal opportunity to take the family to Dubai. None of the major clubs take the cup competitions seriously, and yet constant media pressure is placed on club managers who don’t win anything. Arsène Wenger is under incessant attack for
failing to deliver a trophy for seven years (even though barren periods like this are entirely characteristic of Arsenal’s history – when I started supporting the club, they hadn’t won anything for 15). “For Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish, beating Cardiff City in Sunday’s Carling Cup final would be absolutely massive,” said the BBC’s Mark Lawrenson in a preview. “People might say it is only the Carling Cup, but it is still a trophy. It would be the Reds’ first for six years, and Dalglish’s first since he returned as manager at the start of 2011. Dalglish knows it would act as a launchpad.” Lawrenson was wrong in several respects. Dalglish won the Carling Cup, but it really wasn’t “absolutely massive” for him, as we now know. His repeated misjudgements during the Suárez episode were clearly a factor in his failure to retain his job, and it might have helped if Liverpool had beaten the smaller side comfortably, rather than scraped a draw with a very late equalizer before stumbling to a win on penalties; but winning a cup clearly cut very little ice with the club’s owners, who want a long-term relationship with the prosperous clubs of Europe, not a bit of Carling Cup slap-and-tickle with Cardiff, however enjoyable. Fans care about trophies, of course they do. They want days out at Wembley, the emotional release of watching a roaring captain holding a cup aloft. But for 15 years, fans have been told by our clubs, in deed if not in words, that the domestic cups aren’t really worth winning, which is why we watch our reserve teams competing for them. And the trophies that are of real significance, the Premiership and the Champions League, are probably out of reach now for anyone who doesn’t have a sheikhigarch at their disposal. Even traditionally big clubs – Arsenal and Liverpool and Everton – can only look on enviously. So a place in the top four (or, this season, because of Chelsea’s win in Munich, only the top three) is a prize because there’s nothing else left. Whether that’s going to be enough for future generations of supporters is unclear; kids don’t dream of watching their team qualify for a tournament that will ensure its financial solvency. If that’s the point, then they might as well start cheering for a FTSE 100 company – I’m sure someone could produce a replica kit, and a set of executive trading cards. GlaxoSmithKline are looking solid for next year. The 20th anniversary edition of Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch is out now, published by Penguin Modern Classics, www.penguin.co.uk
Fashion Great clothes for the new season plus the best men’s classics
64: Nike M65 jacket 66: Thirty years of Stone Island 80: Umbrella’s outifts 84: K-Way cagoule
CP Company hit the heights again with a jacket that will lift any outfit.
All fashion pictures: © Umbrella
Nike M65 waterproof jacket Price £220 From store.nike.com
Stripy time As befitting an item made for the French team, the interior references the Breton fisherman’s jumper that also infects the side’s fetching away top (see insert)
Seal the flavour
Part of Nike’s French national team collection, the discreet pin badge will be a wow with les casuals Anglais this side of the Channel
The jacket’s stand-up neck is just to our taste, especially as it contains a rather fetching hood with luminous safety strip
Constructed from Stormfit 5, a breathable waterproof fabric, the jacket’s steam-sealed to make sure nothing unpleasant gets through
Covered: Fashion, Nike
This year, Stone Island is 30 years old. In this exclusive feature, we talk coats, technology and Italian design with label chief, Carlo Rivetti, before turning our attention to some of the brand’s greatest ever pieces
here are few clothing brands that have Stone Island’s cachet. For men who consider themselves modernists in the truest sense, the label’s philosophy of experimentation, innovation and exploration chimes with them perfectly. It is clothing that makes the wearer instinctively feel right. After 30 years of producing some of the most influential garments in men’s fashion, Stone Island have come up with something really special: Archivio ’982 ’012, a weighty, beautifully shot book of the brand’s most iconic clothes. From the earliest garments dreamed up by genius designer Massimo Osti to the brilliant work of the mid-2000s, the book is as much a record of a period of time as it is a history of one brand. Here, we speak to Stone Island CEO Carlo Rivetti about what the brand means to him, its position in the canon of Italian design and what the future holds for it. Overleaf, we look in detail at the clothes that have so inspired us down the years.
Covered: Fashion, Stone Island
Stone Island’s philosophy is based on the use of industrial materials in a fashion context
Umbrella: Ciao, Carlo. What would you say are your five favourite pieces from the new Stone Island book? Carlo Rivetti: A difficult question. I prefer to talk about the team instead of the single player. I’m a father of two sons and a daughter and I love them in the same way – I don’t have a favourite one! With my garments it’s the same. All of them have a story and they’re all special. I’d say that the Archivio ’982 ’012 book is like a family album to me. U: What is the purpose of Stone Island today? CR: Stone Island is about research, experimentation, function and use. It’s a sportswear brand that carries on an ongoing investigation, through and without frontiers, on the processing and ennobling of fibres and textiles, leading to the discovery of materials and production techniques never used before in clothing. We test a lot on dyeing and treatments in our internal colour laboratory. It’s a department able to combine advanced technology, experience and human capacity, and has developed more than 60,000 different dyeing recipes throughout these 30 years. We also study uniforms and workwear. Our archive is a very strong point of reference. I believe that our insatiable curiosity and the continuous sounding of the present and the tension towards possible future scenarios are the conditions for Stone Island’s continuous evolution. We always look forward!
U: Why are your clothes still so popular? CR: Why “still”? We’ve just started! First, our fans understand the functionality and research into fabric and treatments that we’ve always carried out. A Stone Island garment does the job: it protects, it keeps you warm, but it’s also very handsome to wear, very masculine. All of this and our removable badge on the left arm make Stone Island pieces recognizable, iconic. When you’re wearing Stone Island you feel proud. U: As your original buyers age, will you change your clothes to suit them? Or can your clothes be worn by anyone, regardless of age? CR: As soon as Stone Island was born, the brand had great success. The ’80s were great years for us! Customers, who used to buy Stone Island 30 years ago, are still customers to this day. A lot of them know almost everything about us. A few years ago I understood that the new generation didn’t have all this knowledge and didn’t fully understand the brand. So I decided to engineer the collection in a more complete way. It wasn’t meant to be a shift but a more organic and layered approach. Firstly, we worked on the product itself and use of the garments, paying more attention by giving a ‘Stone Island feel’ to the lighter families of product. Then we worked on the communication side, to fulfil people’s need to get more information about Stone Island, advertising in Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian daily newspaper totally dedicated to sports – all Italian males read it!
The 30th Anniversary Tela Stella jacket is a recreation of Stone Islandâ€™s first ever garment
Covered: Fashion, Stone Island We also started talking with people through the internet, a truly amazing tool. Stone Island, its history and the value of our products are now known by younger people. Young people are quick and clever, they understand when you have a true story of product, quality and passion. So now we’re worn by a far broader range of people than previously. U: What are Stone Island’s great inspirations at the moment? CR: We get inspired by people, architecture, design. At present we’re currently studying some materials used in the car industry. During the Olympics, the outfits the athletes wore were very technical which is also inspirational. Everything inspires us. U: Where does Stone Island fit in the tradition of Italian design? CR: The heritage of my country’s culture is very important. I am the eighth generation of my family working with textiles, so the roots are really strong! Also, since the beginning, our headquarters have been in Ravarino, a small town near Bologna. It’s in the countryside and the relationship with the land there is really strong. Twenty kilometres away from us is the distretto – an industrial zone of cars: Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Bugatti, De Tomaso and if you need a motorcycle, Ducati. This is an area that produces dreams, not mere products. Italians are good at this.
‘we study uniforms and workwear’ U: What makes you proud about Stone Island after 30 years in business? CR: I’ll tell you a couple of things that makes me proud. In June, to celebrate the brand’s anniversary, we produced Stone Island 30, a retrospective exhibition that took place in Florence’s 19th Century Stazione Leopolda. The exhibition included over 200 pieces from the archives, divided in 10 thematic areas staged in some breathtaking settings, representing the innumerable treatments, tests and processes that were required to create them. Entering and walking through the exhibition was very emotional. I saw there in a very clear way the continuity within the Stone Island story. This made me feel really proud. U: And the other thing? CR: My customers! Just to give you an example: there is an Italian drummer. Every time he’s on tour, as soon as he arrives in a city, he visits our points of sale and sends me a postcard with a note about the shop and the products. After a few postcards, we met and now chat regularly over email. I was really happy to see him at the opening of the exhibition. We also had quite a lot of people attend from abroad, mainly the UK, that visited Florence because of the exhibition. Can you see the point? My customers are special!
CP Company bubble jacket, ÂŁ550 ant to make an impact on the piste? This ice-blue padded jacket will make you the darling of the slopes as you navigate the nursery slope to the bar. The removable hood means you can look smart when the gluhwein starts to flow, too. www.cpcompany.co.uk buy
Woolrich Arctic parka, £649 rctic by name, arctic by nature, this Woolrich parka provides serious protection against the elements. With a coyote fur hood and a filling of duck down and feathers – for fashion-savvy foresters there’s really no alternative when it gets properly cold. www.woolrich.co.uk buy
CP Company Goggle jacket, £850 ith a colour scheme that screams 1988, this acid house version of the CP classic comes complete with an inner gilet in a metallic mustard colour that’ll add extra warmth when you need it. Though we’d wear it whatever the weather. www.cpcompany.co.uk buy
Stone Island pea coat, £775 he pea coat is an ageless classic – a US navy staple built to keep out the elements on the open seas. Stone Island’s version is made from 100 per cent wool and finished with raw edges to give it that contemporary look. And it’s absolutely lovely. www.stoneisland.co.uk buy
Esemplare Brayden jacket, £385 ade from 100 per cent wool, this superbly fitting blouson has the feel of a British army shirt from the ’50s and the look of a modern Italian sport jacket. The result is something we’ve absolutely fallen for, a great autumn jacket. www.esemplare.it/en buy
Esemplare Conal cardigan, ÂŁ685 he inside says outside, the outside saysâ€Ś well, you get the picture. Chunky, wool cardigans always do well with us, and this is no exception. The padded polyamide interior ensures you stay snug and dry, no matter what. www.esemplare.it/en buy
Silas x Slam City Skates jacket, ÂŁ325 uper-waterproof, super smart shell jacket from one of the smartest street brands, Silas. With a stiff feel so beloved of Berghaus and Mountain Equipment, the slimline cut lifts it out of the purely technical arena. A really special piece. www.slamcity.com buy
Covered: Coats, T-shirts, knitwear
Paul & Shark knitted blouson, £450
art of P&S’ luxury Admiral’s Collection, this is one serious piece of clothing. Constructed from 100 per cent wool, the double-breasted cardigan boasts a button-on ‘scarf ’ to keep the neck standing proudly up. Chunky. www.harrods.com buy
Paul & Shark’s ethos of quality is highlighted with the thickness of the wool.
Nike NSW zip-up eferencing Nike’s classic Windrunner jacket of the 1980s, this zip-up top makes the humble hoodie a designer musthave. Fully zipped-up, there’s an extra collar to keep the wearer nice and snug, too. The fitted, cotton sweatshirt underneath provides a killer contrast and a more stylish twist on the American college classic. store.nike.com
Nike NSW zip-up top (£345 buy), Nike NSW sweatshirt (£145 buy)
Covered: Sweatshirts, bags
Fjällräven Kanken bag he Kanken really is a classic. Used by Scandinavian kids for donkeys years, and with a sturdy boxy shape that appeals to laptop owners everywhere, it’s now the perfect modern-retro rucksack. The super-smart shirt and sweatshirt inside highlight its capabilities. www.fjallraven.se www.thegreat-divide.com
Fjällraven Kanken bag (£55 buy), Silas blue shirt (£120 buy), Two Thirds sweatshirt (£75 buy)
Umbrella outfit one hile Umbrella may not have gone to the right school we’ve always had a sneaking admiration for those lords and ladies of the ’60s and ’70s who got in with the hip crowd. As a tribute we’ve put together this outfit which is tailored expertly but well, a bit bonkers. Ideal for ‘acid aristos’ of any age.
Peter Werth Bates trousers (£70 buy), Peter Werth Wingfield jacket (£190 buy), Drakes pocket square (£60 buy), Hush Puppies Quadro shoes (£125 buy)
Umbrella outfit two he ’80s. If you were you’ll remember how grim/violent they were. If you weren’t, may we recommend this outfit, which takes lots of tasty reissues and converts them into a rather fetching post-modern ensemble. Ideal for new school ‘johnnycum-breakdancers’ everywhere. And dads looking to embarrass the kids.
Adidas Adi FB tracksuit pants (£45 buy), Adidas Heritage FB T-shirt (£35 buy), Adidas Nizza Hi trainers (£55 buy), Urban Ears headphones (£120 buy)
Adidas Adistar trainers, ÂŁ57 imple, but sporty, these classic wheels tread the middle ground between technical and fashion wear. A staple for any man, wear them with dark jeans, a round-neck jumper and light coat. We like the super-fresh turqouise and white colour scheme. www.adidas.com buy
Nike Air Safari Deconstruct, £75 uper-chic, beautifully shaped Air Safari trainers from the cool NSW range. Absolutely perfect in every regard, they’re so tasteful they could have been made by Armani, except if they had they wouldn’t be as good. Bravo, Nike! store.nike.com buy
K-Way cagoule Loved by casuals and ramblers alike, the K-Way is impervious to the vagaries of both the British weather and the fickle nature of fashion he cagoule (or kagool, depending on your preference) has been a staple in many a wardrobe since the 1960s. Made of nylon, it’s the archetypal one-job garment. It doesn’t promise that it’ll help you attract beautiful women or get you a table at the best restaurants. It just keeps you dry when it’s raining. Useful in northern Britain then. The K-Way is perhaps the archetypal cagoule. Invented in 1965 by Frenchman Leon-Claude Duhamel, it was inspired by the the sight of his fellow Parisians trudging home in the rain, trying to protect themselves against the elements in clothes that weren’t up to the job. His solution – a nylon windcheater that could be folded up into a lightweight bag – was immediately embraced by the people, and he sold 250,000 in the first year alone. On first examination, the K-Way isn’t inherently special, but it has elements that lift it above the rest of the waterproofs that can bought on the high street. First, there’s the ever-so-slightly tailored shape, which lends the coat a subtle design feel that makes it feel less utilitarian and
anonymous. Second, there’s the coloured piping round the zip and the unmistakable logo, which give the jacket character. The fact that it really does keep every drop of rain out merely seals the deal. In Britain, the cagoule, for all its unpretentious simplicity, has an extra element to its story: the casuals of the late 1970s and early ’80s. In Liverpool, where the look first surfaced, Peter Storm’s green cagoule was an integral part of out the scally outfit, along with straight-legged jeans and Adidas Samba trainers. When the Awaydays film came out in 2009, the young mob were wearing replica Peter Storms. And they looked sharp. With Peter Storm seemingly unwilling to cash in on their history in casual, it’s been left to K-Way to fill the void, providing a cheap yet undeniably classic garment to thousands of savvy men who want something stylish to protect them against the elements. With its ‘Leon’ (smock) and ‘Claude’ (full zip) models, it does exactly that. K-Way’s Leon smock is priced at £45, while the zip-up Claude is £50 www.k-way.co.uk
V i ntag e
86 And finally…
Tickets Umbrella Editor Anthony Teasdale analyses a life mapped out in stubs f there’s one thing that the Obsessions features prove, it’s that men are seemingly addicted to keeping a record of the things they’ve done and places they visited. In the age of the smartphone, anyone is free to archive every moment of their existence, as can be seen by the countless held-aloft phones at big concerts, and more embarrassingly, football matches. But the ultimate “I was there” memento isn’t a digital file or photograph. It’s something real, an otherwise ordinary piece of paper that just happens to have the good fortune to have something important – to the owner at least – printed on it. We’re talking, of course, about tickets. Ever since I went to my first away football match I’ve kept the game’s ticket stub, an immediate aide mémoire, taking me back to a day that otherwise would be lost forever. The first one is a ticket for Coventry’s Highfield Road – now replaced by the soulless Ricoh Arena – followed by stubs for Old Trafford, the Victoria Ground (also gone) and Derby County’s Baseball Ground (sense a pattern here?). Later, come tickets for Wembley, Villa Park and most poignant of all, Hillsborough’s Leppings Lane terrace, dated April 15, 1989. The designs change, too. Even in the 1980s the digital hand of the computer is found, but as we enter the new century, multi-coloured printing comes to the fore with holographic images and flash sponsors’ logos. The prices change too, ever upward into the inflation stratosphere. These tickets tell quite a story then, not just my own, but of the role of entertainment, particularly football, in this country. It’s not just soccer matches, the difference in cost between Spike Island (£14) and Heaton Park (£55) demonstrates how ‘being there’ is something people are prepared to pay a premium for. And just as some like to watch a gig through the lens of their iPhone, so a number of ticket collectors may prefer the experience of slipping the stub into their album rather than actually witnessing the event the ticket is for. It may sound mad to some, but to me it makes perfect, and very orderly, sense.
‘The tickets tell a story of the role of entertainment’
PHOTOGRAPHY: © umbrella
next Next issue issue King’s Cross: the story of its reinvention, London’s new music mile and why Bradford is beautiful. Plus the best men’s winter fashion Umbrella magazine www.umbrellamagazine.co.uk