Saturday, 27 August 2016

Technology has killed the 'moment'.

Why has there been no real 'movement' since the mid 90's? Meaning, a music and fashion trend which captures a moment (and mood) in time, producing iconic images, tunes and attitudes.

The answer is easy; technology. The Internet has made any genre of music and fashion accessible to no longer have to have been there in order to be a part of it. The vast majority of music ever recorded is now accessible in download format; and commentary and imagery of any trend that has existed is also easily found. Those underground events where a select few of like-minded people would regularly gather to be a part of something, like Wigan Casino, The Twisted Wheel, The Hacienda, The Marquee, that rave in a field in deepest, darkest nowhere etc. have been made available to all...virtually.

Gone are the days where you had to scramble to get your hands on that limited, coveted vinyl; travel and queue for hours to get into those 'churches' where people, just like you, congregated. There were no mobile phone distractions encouraging people to record the moment and to share with friends who weren't there. People were fully immersed and associated in the moment. The outside world was irrelevant. The physical medium and presence drove these movements into being; from modern Jazz through Northern Soul, Punk, Ska, NWOBHM, Two Tone, New Romantic to Indie and Acid House. You really had to be there to truly appreciate it, and also appreciate that you needed to keep it quiet. The last thing anyone wanted was for the word to get out and have any Tom, Dick or Harry turn up.

Now the whole world has turned up on the Internet. The positive is a second and third wave of new generations are recreating and re-energising these movements; Northern Soul has reached Japan and scooter clubs are emerging in the US. What's also great is those older 'originals' are made very welcome at these events, being asked questions such as "So what was it really like?". The grey hairs, beer belly and dodgy trousers make you someone people want to talk to. Multiple generations come together to do their thing to keep the torch burning, even if the flame maybe less intense and a slightly different colour. In fact, that's what makes this new, and it should be welcomed by all.

The sad fact, unfortunately, is no original, new movement has emerged since the Internet reached the masses, and the physical turned into digital. Yes, previous music and fashion movements have been injected with a new lease of live, but where is the new originality since the end of the 1990's? Have we witnessed the end? Was the period between the late 1950's and late 1990's a unique era? Or have the generations growing up with digital lost the desire to be original? Has Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat changed the way be think, behave and diluted our passion for the here and now....the moment?

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Here's to that rare breed of gent.

There comes a time when a man gets comfortable in his own skin, and doesn't give a flying Scotsman to what others think. There's no defined age when this happens, but suffice to say it does happen.

Over the years, and through a plethora of different experiences, they have built and acquired tastes across many things. This tiny place on the Internet is a celebration of that rare breed of gentleman who is at ease with their understated and fashionable appearance; always accompanied by a decent pint, a few good tunes, and maybe a few stories to tell.

They're not easy to spot, in fact you'll probably only see fellas like this if you look for them, but when you do see them, they are instantly recognisable. Should you see such a character, give them a nod of recognition, maybe start a conversation, even better, buy them a pint...your time will not be wasted.

Now, take a closer look at the fella above. What do you see? An old geezer having a beer, or something else? Here are some clues: Check shirt, top button done up; center panel check is diagonal, rest of shirt is horizontal and vertical; aging sheepskin coat and I'd guess he's mid to late sixties in age. Mean anything?

Track this timeline back to the late 60's early 70's when he would have been a teenager. A time when fashion followed music and affordability. He's the fella on the right of this picture; potentially a skinhead or suedehead.

Partial to a bit of Ska and Mod music, and proud of his working class roots. So, stick some Trojan on the Jukebox and stir those memories of his, he'll definitely have a few stories to share.