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Back in print: The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads by Robert Elms back on the shelves

It went away for quite a while, but this month The Way We Wore: A Life In Threads by Robert Elms has returned to the shelves as a paperback and in a Kindle version too.

It's a book about street style, a very good one too, which is why we're talking it up. Street style from the 1950s to the '90s to be precise, everything from Teddy Boys to Acid house, from Notting Hill to Soho, focusing on how the working class youth of London became the coolest kids on the planet despite having just modest cash in their pockets.

From button-downs to loafers and bondage trousers, it's about the clothes you had to be seen in at certain points in time to make your mark, told by a man (and boy) who fell in love with clothes in the mid-1960s and never looked back.

If you love your clothes and love (or loved) the idea of standing out from the crowd on a Saturday afternoon and night, this is definitely a book for you if you haven't read it before.

The book covers 312 pages and sells for £9.46 as a paperback. As we mentioned, a Kindle version available too if you prefer to be digital.

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Posted in News By David Walker

Going out: The Modcast Autumn Boat Party in London

Friday, 29 August 2014 10:54:44 BST

Going out: The Modcast Autumn Boat Party in London

How does the idea of some mod-friendly grooves in the River Thames grab you? If the answer is 'a lot', then you need a ticket for The Modcast Autumn Boat Party in London.

It's the event of the mod podcast, if that makes sense. Think of it as the live version, but with less chat, more music and a boat. That just about covers it.

It takes place on Sunday 14th September, the boat leaving the Festival Pier at 1:45pm, but the day/night event running from 2pm until 8pm. In that time, you'll hear DJs Eddie Piller, Fred Ekander, Dave Edwards and Smiler playing a mix of mod sounds, soul, jazz, psych, reggae….even a bit of house!

Obviously you'll need your sea legs, as well as your best threads for the day. You will also need a ticket too. Those are available online and sell for £22 including a booking fee. Just make sure you are there on time - we can't imagine the boat coming back for any latecomers!

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Posted in News By David Walker
Soulful Manchester: The Hideaway Club returns to the city in November

Soulful Manchester: The Hideaway Club returns to the city in November

Manchester's iconic R&B hangout isn't the monthly event it once was. So when The Hideaway Club does make an occasional return, it's a good idea to clear your diary and make a point of going there.

The UK's finest vintage soul club returns this November, specifically November 30th 2014, with the venue being Upstairs at The Old Nag's Head, Lloyd Street (off Deansgate), city centre Manchester.

It's a day and night affair, with the daytime session offering open decks, record and clothing stalls, beer and food. Head into the night and you'll get the club itself, with the best in new breed R&B, classic club sounds, ska and soul jazz.

DJs for the weekend are resident Neil Henderson, Bill Kealy (For Dancers Only in Ireland) and Sean Courtney (Nowt But Northern, Glasgow). Daytime is free, night event is £5 and runs from 9pm until 2:30am.

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Posted in News By David Walker
Classic vinyl: Etta James At Last! 7-inch vinyl set available via Jazzman Records

If you love your vinyl, then the Etta James At Last! set from Jazzman Records is well worth checking out.

The R&B icon is given something of a mini showcase over three 7-inch 45rpm vinyl records, with six tracks that highlight her range and depth through her earlier years. Those tracks are floorfiller 'Seven Day Fool', the rasping 'Something's Got A Hold On Me', the mid-tempo groove of 'Spoonful', 'It's A Crying Shame' (featuring Harvey Fuqua), the calling card that is 'At Last' and the equally iconic 'I Just Want To Make Love To You'.

All of that in one package and we would guess, a set in limited numbers. £14.99 if you want to secure one now. It's available directly from Jazzman Records.

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Posted in News By David Walker
Playing the long game: Special edition Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt gets a long-sleeved option
Playing the long game: Special edition Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt gets a long-sleeved option

If you liked the look of the Special edition Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt when we featured in recently, then you probably find this long-sleeved version rather appealing too.

Yes, we know the weather is likely to turn for the worst soon and to be honest, we know some of you might prefer long sleeves to short too. With that in mind, here is an alternate version of what's likely to be a seriously sought-after garment.

The key detail change is that sleeve. Outside of that, everything is as expected, from the box pleat through to the trademark collar roll. Of course, the selling point here is still that reworking of the classic tartan in the colours of the Jamaican flag, a cloth that has already caused quite a stir.

Like the short-sleeved version, it will be on pre-order soon, with shirts bin shipped from 22nd August. Which might mean you can vie it an outing over the bank holiday weekend. More details on the main site.

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Posted in News By David Walker

The publishing industry has changed so much in the past few years. Once upon a time, a book of this depth could only have been undertaken by an author backed by a large publishing house. But Sawdust Caesars – Original Mod Voices by Tony Beesley is actually more of a self-publishing venture.

That probably conjures up something short produced for the Kindle. But that's not the case here. It's just that the book has been produced by author Tony Beesley's own publishing unit, which means it is very much a labour of love.

Early reviews of the book are positive too, so if you happen to have an interest in the mod movement, this might be one to chase up. It's a lengthy 450-page volume that takes in the mod scene from its earliest days to more recent times, with exclusive shots from over the years backing up what those mod voices are saying.

Talking of the latter, it includes Irish Jack (the inspiration behind the Quadrophenia album), Robert Lee (Mod’s Mayday album cover star), along with a number of lesser-known (but just as interesting) original 1960s mods and '70s revival mods, along with members of bands from that period, such as The Chords, Secret Affair, Purple Hearts and Back to Zero.

You can get one directly from the author (signed of course) for £19.99 for a limited time. If that appeals, the ordering page is here.

New book: Sawdust Caesars – Original Mod Voices by Tony Beesley
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Posted in News By David Walker

It's a bank holiday weekend, which makes it the ideal time to screen a mods and rockers TV show on the box. Although the Mods and Rockers Rebooted documentary isn't showing everywhere.

Well, it is and it isn't. It depends on how you access your TV. More on that in a minute. For now, let's focus on the half-hour show.

That is a new programme, narrated by Phil Daniels, which looks to separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to the bank holiday seaside riots of the 1960s. It also includes interviews with mods and rockers who were there in 1964, taking them back to those seaside locations to relive the heady days.

It screens on Friday 22nd August 2014 at 7:30pm on BBC One. But here is the tricky bit. It is a regional show, scheduled for ‘Cambridgeshire, East, Oxfordshire, South, South East only’. However, it should be on iPlayer for all afterwards and if you have Sky, the regional versions of the BBC are accessible there.

Like a lot of these things, will probably end up on YouTube soon after too.

Mods and Rockers Rebooted documentary screens on BBC One this week
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Posted in News By David Walker

Heavy Soul mod music fanzine hits issue 24

Monday, 11 August 2014 11:40:23 BST

When a fanzine gets to issue five, it is usually a cause for celebration. When we are talking issue 24, then it really does become something of a veteran. Which brings us to Heavy Soul.

The man behind the mod-friendly Rowed Out record label is the man behind this fanzine, which once again covers the ever-widening spectrum of mod-related music.

In this issue, the mag speak to Colin Swan from 80s mod band The Direct Hits, Paul Orwell, who released the superb Tell Me Tell Me track earlier this year, Parisian mod band French Boutik, John Reed of Cherry Red Records, talking all thing mod revival ahead of the label's much anticipated box set and finally Neil Lee on new club Gettin' To The Point in Leeds.

Much more on the way of news and reviews too, as you would expect. Is that all? Not quite.

As ever, the fanzine comes with a compilation CD, with this one covering 20 tracks of classic mod club sounds. If you want the tracklisting for that and full details of the fanzine, you can get that online. That is also the place to order the fanzine, which is out now.

Heavy Soul mod music fanzine hits issue 24
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Posted in News By David Walker

The word 'legend' is thrown around just a little too liberally these days, but I don't think anyone would object to it being attached to The Skatalites, now celebrating their 50th anniversary.

In their own right or as backing band for others (Prince Buster for example) or indeed as solo spin-offs, The Skatalites were pretty much the backbone of the original 1960s ska sound. In fact, they are still doing it today.

Ok, not with the original line-up, as pretty much all of that group of musicians have since passed away (with one exception I think). But if you want a night of top notch ska and Jamaican sounds, you still can't go far wrong with The Skatalites in their current incarnation.

To celebrate 50 years, the band are playing three dates in the UK, those being:

Manchester Club Academy (25th November)
Brighton Concorde 2 (26th November)
London 229 The Venue (27th November)

Tickets are on sale for all gigs now at the Eventim website.

Back in the UK: Ska legends The Skatalites announce UK tour dates



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Posted in News By David Walker
Rudeboy special: Special edition Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt
Rudeboy special: Special edition Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt

Regular readers of this blog will know that we have championed the Return Of The Rudeboy exhibition at Somerset House. If you've not yet been, don't worry, you still have time, as it runs until 25th August.

In fact, to celebrate the last week of the exhibition, we have done something rather special and produced what you see above, the Brutus Trimfit Jamaican Shirt.

Yes, that's right, a classic Brutus dedicated to the original Jamaican Rudeboys and their everlasting on British subculture. This special edition shirt sees our classic Brutus Tartan reworked in the colours of Jamaica, but maintaining the key detailing you would expect from a Trimfit, shaped and darted for perfect waist fit and with our iconic 3-finger button-down collar, rolled to perfection.

We are proud to be launching this very special shirt in partnership with The Return of The Rudeboy Exhibition at Somerset House on 22nd August. But you don't need to be there to secure one.

In fact, you need to be near a computer from the 15th August, as we are offering pre-orders from that date at www.brutus-trimfit.com. We will be despatching them from that official launch date of 22nd August, which should mean you'll be able to sport it over the August bank holiday weekend. Perfect timing.

Note that like the Brutus x Dr. Martens collaboration, this design will also be offered in sizes for both men and women.

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Posted in News By David Walker