As the time swings around to Spring again, it's going to be all about this kind of music I'm afraid. There's just something Oasisy about summer sun.
Would you believe I used to use this as my alarm clock back in the day. I got a fancy new alarm clock for Xmas one year and this was the CD in the thing which started up every morning before school right before 6:45am. Or swimming before 5am.
Things were tough back then.
This is actually a pretty decent song that I have been allergic to ever since that time simply because it had a kind of Pavlov's dog terrorising effect on my brain (as alarm clocks tend to after a while).
Lesson: never put your favourite song as your alarm clock.
Having a bit of Sta-Prest revival at the moment, but always felt like if you really want to look your best, probably leave the Sta-Prest behind and get some actual suit trousers. That's even if you're not actually going to wear them as a suit.
They just have a different feel, either heavier or lighter (depending on the fabric obviously) and if you're feeling boujie, could even get them tailored with some nerdy Mod details like step-bottom (or "stepped hem"? I'm not sure what you'd call it) or epaulets on the cuff. Keep the shirt sort of neutral and it can be a good look.
On this subject, Adaptor have a set of two-tone trousers kicking around at the moment, the fabric of which is apparently "woven exclusively for Adaptor, and is available nowhere else!"
Feast your eyes. They've got burgundy/gold and blue/gold two tone, but with the important addition of a nice covered button flap-pocket.
As per their tradition, Art Gallery Clothing are pushing out some delights for those more connoisseur of you this season. It's still a bit chilly out so be sure to stock up. I have to say, this is probably the widest range of colours in roll-necks I have ever seen from a Mod shop.
They aren't cheap, but if you think they're expensive, you obviously haven't heard of John Smedley.
Something a bit special for you guys today.
Brought to my attention last week were these guys - Heavyball. Bit of ska, bit of Mod going on here (at least in the look) and that classic, slightly bouncier 2-toney sound you might have originally associated with the Specials... but slightly happier. They are from Nottingham, but nowadays they can be found kicking around London... like everyone sensible... [here comes the abuse]
They are a bit zany, but then I personally don't think you could pull off the ska style without a bit self-awareness nowadays. Anyway if you want more, go to their site here.
A couple of nice little new things on the Pretty Green website today. You can probably tell I’m getting a bit pissed off with the cold months now. It’s about time we moved on to a bit of sunshine and spring, but not before we've had a few weeks of dark and stormy and these two seemed appropriate for the season.
Anyway first ting is this paisley collar polo. They’ve got them in navy and sky blue, but I’m erring towards the navy personally. This is classic PG – I don’t know why nobody else seems to be getting involved in the paisley polo collar game. There are only so many Fred Perrys one can wear without it getting a bit tedious.
Second is this understated long-sleeved polo. I see long-sleevers as a bit special compared to your standard polo, simply because you see very few around. It’s also a great combo of navy and dark orange.... a strong contrast.
As usual PG are a bit pricey compared to your standard high street polo shirt fare. But sometimes it takes just that little bit extra to be able to stick your head up higher.
It has the edge, you know? It’s not beige like Ben Sherman can occasionally be. It has style that’s worth the price.
Avid fans are going to hate me for this one.
I actually genuinely enjoyed 22 Dreams as an album and it has some great atmospheric tracks on it (i.e. Weller playing piano), some absolute stompers (i.e. Weller playing guitar) and some strange but interesting stuff (i.e. a guy reading aloud while vaguely musical things happen in the background).
However, I would say this is probably the last banger of a song the great man accomplished. I realise some of you will probably question my taste after this. Most people stopped listening when the Jam broke up and the most hardcore probably still listen now. Drawing the line at 22 Dreams is a uniquely TC position I think
I don't listen now to his recent stuff except to the occasional single - the guy has left orbit as far as I'm concerned. Which is good, because it answers the lifelong question I had about how new kids are supposed to get into the charts if the old guys haven't died yet, which was never an issue until now. And I bet he doesn't care either. Wins all round.
Anyway, 22 Dreams seems to bring together all of the themes from his previous bands - the Jam, Style Council and his solo stuff and make it into a very listenable package.
This post is going to kick it all off (so to speak). So I’ll get in early with the excuses:
I know some people don’t think tassle loafers are proper Mod shoes. This has been debated in various places.
The results are inconclusive as far as I can see. If you could go back in time and take a look, see what Mods were wearing in the 1960s, I’d go by that metric. Although to be honest, if you had a time machine you’d probably have bigger fish to fry.
I’m sceptical because from what I do know, the shoes were first brought out in America in the mid-1950s, following a guy named Paul Lukas’ request for a tassled version of a kind of laced moccasin - which sounds horrific. Anyway, spotting the demand, the two companies he approached (Lefcourt and Morris) started making a slip-on version with tassles. By 1957, Brooks Brothers (of shirtmaking fame) wanted to get in on the act and ramped up production.
This is all interesting, but basically I think it’s just a tiny bit too late for the original Mods in England. If we go by the usual assumption that English fashion looked to the American Ivy League for inspiration and was a few years behind, I reckon there’s only the slimmest of chances these would have made it to England in time for the early 1960s. Happy to be proven wrong of course.
But anyway this is all irrelevant because culturally, tassles are all part of the Mod wardrobe now anyway, regardless of when they were adopted, which brings me onto my latest acquisition:
Recently got these beauties from IKON footwear. That’s from their IKON Original line.
They are the Selecta style, in Bordo, which is the classic tassle loafer style you’ll all recognise - tassled frill fringe and the knotted leather “laces” on top. They do another one called “Quad Punch” but that’s without the frill fringe and has pin holes instead.
Turns out “Bordo” is basically oxblood, but the style is a kind of burnished effect, as if they have been polished in certain places and left darker in others. Anyway this gives the shoes a nice stylish edge over my brother’s (which are also oxblood, but all one uniform colour).
In addition, while these ones are actually lower priced than your Loakes, they also seem to be a lot sturdier and very well-made – the leather is tough and doesn’t give the impression that it’ll all fall apart if someone accidentally steps on your toe. Which, frankly, with some of the cowboys out there, can sometimes be a problem.
They were a snip at £80 from a trusted brand. I’ve had a pair of black desert boots from IKON before so I can certainly say they deliver! Although I suspect now I’ve blabbed about them they might try to put the price up, so get them while you still can!
A nice Oasis Christmas special for you all.
I'm joking obviously. It's in case you get tired of the relentless Christmas songs.
Actually there's a double joke here - I suspect many of you will probably be sloshed enough to enjoy this song as the makers intended.
Probably should do these kind of posts earlier on to help out the relatives (as opposed to me just putting together the list a few days before) but I find it's always good fun to think about your fantasy Xmas list.
Not necessarily "for me" (for any relatives who might be reading) but just a few bits and pieces that I was impressed by this year.
1. Bretons from Jump The Gun
Superb pieces, I think some of the best value on the market. Chunky, heavy knit (proper fisherman style), fitted, subtle colours and a nice shoulder-button thing going on. And of course from the shop at the beating heartland of Mod itself, Brighton.
2. Tab Shirts from anywhere
Still not got any of these due to my general penury and not really getting around to it, but I have been mucking about with a collar bar and I like the effect. It's a step up from the ordinary button down in terms of the exact look. I've seen them at loads of places, Pellicano, Modshopping, JTG and even a new French-ish place I found called House of Shirts.
3. Sta Prest Trousers in general
Undergoing a bit of a revival for me of late. Super smart-casual and a bit different to the usual blue Levi jeans look without the fuss of your suit trousers. Some excellent value items out there. If you're looking for classic at low prices, go to CX or Warrior. Merc also do a version called "Winston" which is closer to the original Levi Sta Prest, looks a bit more rugged and has vertical pockets. Costs a bit more though.
Some people have a huge downer on advertising. I think it's just like everything else - it can be done well or it can be done crap.
If it's done well, it should be like art. This is a really nice one from Ben Sherman, although obviously I can attest to the guy prattling on in the background about music heritage and lifetstyle because I wasn't there in the 60s. I just like the shirts.
Beaut. Frankly, I think Ben Sherman should just pack it in, sell all their shops on the expensive streets and re-open in poxy little ones like the Peckham Rye nr Carnaby Street, then just stack the place full of quirky, niche shirts. Stop trying to appeal to everyone. It just can't work.
This is a strong early look from Weller, a variation on the traditional black Jam suit, combining it with white trousers. My favourite part about this (as I remember from having the DVD of this performance) is the high quality definition that the film seems to be shot in.
You can see every detail of Weller's blunt-cut fringe and the roll of the button-down collar. Inspirational for a young Teddington! Decent tune too.
Following the theme of reflective, wistful tunes about romance comes this ab classic from the Style Council. This is the Weller version obviously, which is for some reason not find-able on Spotify. Turns out technology can't solve everything.
So get your headphones, don your Mac and head out for a walk along the river...
I've posted this song many times before, but it's one of my faves at the minute. It's very wintery and the dark nights are the perfect times for pianos and crooning. I can't think of anything more annoying than some Madchester lout singing about soonsheeine in the middle of December... Not to say I wouldn't whack it on in the afternoon of course.
My girlfriend says it's depressing, but it's really just reflective and wistful. Vulnerable and romantic. But then she also hates the Libertines, so go figure.
Ignore the video, I'm not sure what that's all about, just listen to the music.
This coat has been drawing my eye quite a bit since the weather turned cold.
It’s not your traditional greatcoat – the single-breasted button line is a bit of an optical illusion. It makes the wearer look much taller and thinner.
The buttons themselves are quite nice-looking brown (similar to the ones you’d get on your Cartwright Parka, for anyone who picked that up). But the main point here is the high collar and epaulets which mark this coat out as a bit edgier than your usual high street fair.
We’ve also managed to get away with not having a massive PG logo anywhere (except right at the very foot of the coat by the looks of it).
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