29 July 2010


This is a really nice jacket, The Nigel Cabourn Cameraman Jacket which is inspired by the original jacket worn by photographer Wilfrid Noyce during expeditions to Everest. This recent release is a painstaking recreation of the original, with Mackintosh uppers in a lovely orange and Harris Tweed lower sections, the contrast which really works for me. All made in England.
At nine hundred quid it's pretty damn expensive, the days of me being able to spunk that on one item of clothing are long gone, so the next best thing...posting about it on here.
Pics shamelessy taken from End.

26 July 2010

Universal Works.

Picked this up a couple of weeks back, the Universal Works Fell jacket, a four pocket lightweight parka in British Millerain wax cotton/canvas, I fancied this when it first came out, had to snap it up when I spotted it for half price. A great and fairly 'young' British label who are doing good things and well worth keeping an eye on in my opinion.

24 July 2010


The Swedes might have given us Ikea, Ulrika Jonsson and Fjällräven, but I bet not many of you have ever heard of Snus? This weekend gone I met up with a good friend of mine from Stockholm, he was over in Manchester with his lady friend for a few days, and came bearing gifts in the way of some ace Swedish chocolate, big old bars which you might be able to get a smaller version of in everyone's fave flat pack furniture store along with them dead cheap veggie hotdogs, but these were bigger and tasted better, also in this little haul was some Malaco Djungelvrål which I think might translate as monkey shit, this is a salty licorice which tastes a bit like you are drowning in the sea, but it's incredibly moreish especially for someone who doesn't really do licorice, even my dog likes it.
Anyway, over to Snus, this is a moistened bagged powder tobacco product originated from a variant of dry snuff, to me it smells a bit like stale piss, but this is a bit of a cult in Sweden and quite 'underground' too, created in the early 19th century in Sweden, and consumed by sticking under your top lip for a short period of time. Snus is actually a form of the more familiar snuff that is used in a manner similar to American dipping tobacco, but typically does not result in the need for spitting. Snus is also unique in that it is steam-pasteurised rather than fire-cured, is not fermented and contains no added sugar.
The sale of snus is actually illegal to buy in Europe, but due to exemptions, it is still manufactured and consumed primarily in Sweden and other parts of Scandinavia.

21 July 2010

Osti - blast from the past.

Following the Osti post, I was once a bit of a walking, talking advert for all things Italian designer wear, during my time on the 'catwalk' that was cobbled streets and seated terraces going to the football, I did like my Stone Island, CP Company and other bits, being my age, I was in school when this stuff really exploded in the UK in the early 90s, yes it was worn before then, but it was later when it really took off, as a young pup I often winced at the prices of this stuff on the occasional browse in stores and the odd shoot in the likes of Arena and Loaded et al, it was very expensive to someone who's only income at that time was a Metro paperound and I thought I'd never own any. Years later I did dabble with all sorts of jackets being the cutting edge cool cat I was (wink) jackets which shimmered, crinkled and shone, jackets which turned heads and some which admittedly looked better on a hanger than they did on my shoulders. I've still got the first item I ever bought, a cardigan that was probably two sizes too big, and still is, but I felt the bollocks when I got it.
What you have to understand, this stuff was still very exclusive then, you only really saw it on like minded types, sounds far fetched now, but it was certainly the truth back then. Before it was snided, and before every bandwagon jumper and Johnny come lately found themselves obsessed with art numbers and what brand of zippers they had, we just liked the garments for what they were and how they looked.
I loved the Mille, I had a nice rare grey one which wasn't released over here, it was and still is the most expensive thing I bought, and was actually something quite out of the ordinary when I had it, getting admiring and puzzled looks from Brentford away to the hills of Buxton before Chesterfield away earlier last decade. I had to put my hood up on request in them days.
Since then they have churned this one out each season, and in my personal opinion spoiled it, what was once a real one-off to many became the one must have for the young football lad, which is never a good thing from our viewpoint. I've since sold that one on. Another personal favourite label was Left Hand first released whilst I was an early teen, but an innovative label, shortlived yet ahead of it's time and one which still looks good today. Around 2007 if I remember rightly, there was a memorable wild goose chase which saw TK Maxx stores across the country selling old deadstock gems from Boneville Sporting Goods, Osti Production and Stone Island's colour changing ICE jackets, whilst many of us were guilty of running about like blue arsed bastards trying to get them, in hindsight it was a real pain in the arse for any big fans or serious collectors of this gear.

I tend to have moved on a fair bit now, I'm getting older, changing styles, more classic than contemporary, more desirable than designer, I still like to be different, but don't have the once disposable income I did have so it's all about classic and functional now, I can get a full outfit if I look hard enough, for the price of one jacket produced by this staple, which many my age will agree with I'm sure. These have had their place though and despite letting a lot of what I used to own go, there will be ones I regret selling, even if I wouldn't still wear them today. And I'll still say each season there's one or two items which look fantastic.
Above top, a selection of old photos I unearthed, stuff which has once been in my possession and on my back over the years, also included are some real older Osti gems with the help of cyber cohort and all round good egg Mr Beer from Staffs taken around 2006, and pre-dating that TK Maxx goose chase I spoke about, all sourced with genuine passion and hard graft. Centre, a selection of Osti finery, and the old and the new.

20 July 2010

Massimo Osti.

I've long been an admirer of the late designer Massimo Osti, as have plenty, I've featured him on my site for the last decade, a true innovator and legend in the business, an inspiration to many following on from him, so much more than just a patch on a sleeve and goggles in a hood.
Working for the brands we all know, and some we may not.
Aside from his clothing, he was always kind of mysterious - rarely doing interviews or press and seldom in the limelight. Recently the Massimo Osti Studio was launched online, an excellent in- depth look at the man, with rare photos, archive sections and features. With a forthcoming book release too.

18 July 2010


The Peter Storm cagoule, this simple nylon cagoule, originally made in England and over the pond in Ireland circa 1970's onwards, a breathable, non sweating and originally pretty innovative jacket that often packed up into it's own pocket, made for outdoor use but adopted briefly by a band of match going youngsters, predominately up in the North. I bought my first several years back, aside from those I was forced to wear as a child, this was before they were deemed a little bit trendy once again, and probably the first time since the original first wave of 'dress down' people were wearing them at the football once more, I was ridiculed by the masses, well, okay, a few people, sniggered at in that way which gives you a little smugness inside, you know you're doing something right when following your own path, typically later, some of those poking fun were predictably trawling eBay for them themselves.
I've had over a dozen or so of these anoraks in my possession over the last few years, from smocks to three quarter lengths, to multi-coloured ones, bought in and then sold on, but I always revert back to them every so often. Perhaps this is a result of living in an area famous for it's rain?
I just love the simplicity of them, an ideal layer in the cooler months and great in an unpredictable summer, they have an everlasting cool in my personal opinion, so uncool, it's cool, they remind me of Geography teachers on school field trips - nice bright layer of nylon over a tweed jacket, that emergency layer that can be thrown on over anything for twenty solid years, or perhaps over a Fred Perry/Lacoste polo as worn by late seventies northern hooligans and mid eighties anti-suss post sportswear casualists. These are the coats I remember from school trips and cub camp in the eighties, worn by TV newsreaders in a downpour, Blue Peter presenters, what Trevor Cleaver got drunk in, in Grange Hill and the choice of raincoat for many hillwalkers, crown green bowlers, nerdy guides at Blue John Cavern, pensioners nipping to the shops during some drizzle, and oddly enough very peculiar nylon fetishists aswell, I've seen them on flickr. Oddballs.

An original enamel pin badge.
The Peter cartoon character logo, created by artist Larry Lamb.
Original advertisements, circa 1970's.

My Vintage cagoules featured in Maxim Magazine's A-Z of Casuals April 09.
The R Newbold produced Oi Polloi cagoule (above) and the Connoisseur inspired homage, the 'Beat A Storm' cagoule and enamel pin badge.

Above and below: The original overhead green smock, and the version replicated for the film Awaydays. As worn by the Pack lads.

An original 'No Sweat' sou'ester hat.
Peter Storm the brand itself was created by Noel Bibby in 1954, a former Marine who served in the Second World War, Bibby formed the company to produce innovative, specialised materials for protection from the elements, they became the first company to provide 100% waterproof lightweight nylon rain wear, the first to weld together complete garments with no stitching, the first to make permanently proofed knitwear and the first with waterproof and breathable coatings with no 'pores', and of course offered out at places like Millets and Blacks at a sensible price.
To me personally it's got to be an original one, to many this shouldn't matter but to me it does, I've seen kids at the football in newer ones and it's just not right, maybe I'm a snob, but people will agree I'm sure, the simple full zip, white drawstrings and simple black and white embroidered logo is what really makes these.

15 July 2010

Old's Cool.

13 July 2010

The Last Picture Show.

The old cinema is of course a dying breed, growing up making trips to the local cinema/theatre/picture house is pretty much no more. The old school picture house has been replaced by the modern out of town multiplex, progress and moving with the time's it might be, but organs which appear from beneath the floor and stopping a film half way through for a Cornetto is no bad thing, you look at old photos and archive stills from the past, and it paints a picture to me, of a much better place, a thriving community brought together by film and theatre, and one which is depressingly becoming no more. I recently saw a website, which I'll come to later, that prompted me to reminisce about my own fare town's places, a town which had several. The grand old Davenport Theatre a lovely old building with both a Major and Minor auditorium that should have been listed or protected, instead it was demolished for the fucking close by private grammar school's overflow car park, so twats could park their Chelsea tractors when picking up Little Lord Fuckstick. There are many memories of film going at this place for me, the two tiered major, the smaller minor, big red curtains parting for the forthcoming attractions, the cheesy P, P, P, Pearl and Dean ditty before each film, intermissions as a lady walks up in front of the screen with a load of ice cream hanging off her shoulders, this was our local, this was our manor, from the Back to the Future films, the epic Empire of the Sun, the magic of E.T. to the spirit of Christmas with a kid left at home besieged by burglars in Home Alone and 'coming of age' watching shite older kids films without parental guidance, to doing the general annoying loud little twats on the back row thing during one of the Beverly Hills Cop sequels. I'd truly love to say I also put my willy in a popcorn box to impress/startle a young date, but that would be a proper fib. Not just the movies, plays and pantos were also staged here, not to mention the list of stars who'd treaded the boards there in the Christmas pantomimes and performed live acts, stars such as Jimmy Cricket, 'Shane' from Neighbours, and of course the likes of Rod Hull, Bernard Manning, Steve Coogan , Smith and Jones. Never even mind the free gig by the Christian rock band The Worldwide Message Tribe, which was put on for most of the town's local secondary schools as they came together as one and rocked for God thanks to some immoral bottles of twenty-twenty, thunderbird and cheap cider pre gig , I can say I was at that one, can you?
At the time of visiting these places you wouldn't realise less than half a century after a hard slog to build them they would be razed to the ground, but I remember the little details, the tacky, yet strangely inviting decor, ugly wallpaper, carpets like those in The Shining, a proper bar, stand up ashtrays, a waterfall, a fucking waterfall in the pictures? they were all great bits of character sadly lacking of the modern pay-up, sit-down, shut-up, piss-off, multiplex. This was a time before the technology we have now, 24 hour news bulletins, high definition reportage, cctv cameras in toilets, phone masts in trees, tweeting, facebook and anything and everything else we don't really give a shit about forced down our throats, you can see the days headlines before you have even finished your morning piss nowadays, but back then the only time you knew of a forthcoming film release was the 'coming soons' on the big screen and the new posters you could see only once you were inside, I can remember being impressed by the artwork from Naked Gun, amazed that Terminator was getting a sequel, actually being excited about the prospect of the millionth Police Academy even though Mahoney wasn't in it, and also seeing that another long since finished serial was being reborn with the forthcoming release of Carry On Columbus, which flopped like a pair of saggy sixties tits, but seemed a big deal at the time. Another cinema was the Cannon, based slap bang in the town centre, this is now a modern office block which replaced a conservation area where it originally stood, which I'm sure wasn't supposed to be built on in a bid for a more green town centre, my only memories of this place was that it was actually, probably in need of knocking down, I watched the big screen Dolph Lundgren He-Man outing Masters of the Universe here, and it really did stink of piss. I can also remember when in the late 80's and early 90's I had a brief flirtation with American Wrestling when 'WWF' was big the first time around for all of five minutes, or it was big to kids of a certain age and probably to daft gullible grown ups, I stole a poster for a shit British wrestling tour with Kendo Nagasaki on it, off the now boarded up facade, whilst under the guidance of my Grandma.

The Cannon above, The Davenport below:

There was also the Tatton in Gatley a smaller but equally as pleasant cinema too, I can remember watching a few things here, notably really enjoying Tom Hank's Big in 1988, which I'm sure was my most bestest film in the world for that period of time, it brings back memories of whizzing about on a Raleigh Extreme in search of disused funfairs and a Zoltar machine that could turn me into an adult overnight, to no avail, which in hindsight would be a rubbish idea anyway, who wants to miss being a kid to be a hairy grown up who has to go out to work? Another one I saw there which instantly springs to mind, the shit predictable bore-fest Halloween H-20 or whatever it was called, in 1998 ( I had to Google it ) where twenty years later Jamie Lee Curtis is still being chased by a psycho that looks a bit like William Shatner. I only remember this as some little ruffians from the 'shawe sat directly behind us and swore dead loud all the way through.
Then there was the grand Wellington Picture house, which is now a Rileys pool hall. And one of three massive pool and snooker themed places within two square miles, no demand for cinemas, but it seems plenty for boring snooker nerds.

There were even more in this town, with the Theatre Royal and the People's Opera house which were way before my time. The last of the truly old school ones is The Plaza which to be fair, they have rejigged, rehashed and rejuvenated over the last few years via begging, stealing and borrowing, and it is looking to be going strong, they had John Cooper Clark on here late last year and they even screened the classic Get Carter too.

there is, it seems a little bit of hope.

There's actually one old skool cinny still standing but only just, The Savoy in Heaton Moor is a 1920's building with a 460 seated auditorium, it has virtually closed it's doors on a few occasions, most notably one night after only two people turned up, this one's independently owned and to their credit they've soldiered on. People seemingly prefer to go to the out of town multiplexes, where admittedly there's more choice, but no real soul. I'd love to see this one go a bit more arty maybe introduce a nice bar with choice ales and show some better independent films, I'd certainly go more. But it's a tough one to try and keep going and please everyone. Earlier this year Barry Norman backed it suggesting people use it or lose it.
Anyway, I was prompted to this post after I'd recently stumbled across this depressing yet highly interesting site, it is unfortunately a sign of the times, and one which not just affects my own town. Abandoned Theaters.