1: DJ Mr Thing’s “Champion Nerd” mix of soul and funk – Nice and laid back, a perfect sound track to a bit of lollygagging.
2: Arc’Teryx Theta Ar Gore-Tex jacket – The best piece of waterproof outerwear I’ve ever owned, great at keeping me warm and dry on savagely wet and windy mornings.
3: Bananas – A little taste of sunshine in the morning, plus they keep you regular.
4: Coffee – Not instant shit, not vending machine shit, but the good shit, like Whittard’s “Monsoon Malabar”, shit that leaves you wired, but in a good way.
5: John Smedley knitwear – Nothing like a a lovely bit of fine gauge merino wool to keep you warm and comfortable when it starts getting a bit chilly outside.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: awaydays, casual, casuals, dressing, football factory, green street, hooligan, hooligans, man city, manchester, manchester united, soccer, survival, The Firm, urban survival
Football eh? Big business these days, clubs worth hundreds of millions, players earning hundreds of thousands of pounds A week. Its a long way away from the 1980′s of tiny shorts, bad hair and groups of lads smashing up towns, grounds and other lads every weekend, all over the country. It doesn’t surprise me that books have been written on this subject, some romanticizing, some honest and some fantasizing. It doesn’t surprise me that some of these books have then been turned into films.
In turn, I suppose I shouldn’t then be surprised that bad idiots up and down the country have taken to emulating (or should that be aping?) the characters and events in them. I made the mistake of going to watch Football Factory, during the film we had a group of scruffs in front of us chatting away, amazed at what was going on. After the film they were all geared up, banging on about being in a “firm” and going to the “footie” etc. I was properly embarrassed for them as they talked of getting Burberry caps.
So lets move on a few years, more books are out, more films have been released celebrating the football hooligan lifestyle, a couple even try and capture the whole “Casual” thing (Away Days). Kids that watched these have grown up, they go to the match now. Easy to spot. Very easy to spot. Usually they’ve got some generic hooligan wear on, Stone Island (possibly snide) maybe a shit Fila re-issue tracky top and some generic adidas (normally them snide quality re-issue Forrest Hills). I’ve seen them, home and away, grouped together with their shit spiky haircuts like they’ve come from an X-Factor audition. Shouting at opposition fans from behind the safety of the police.
Now if they want to act like bad balloons, fair enough, its their lives. But when they start infiltrating my day out at the football or my away days, then they have to start living with consequences. For example, I went to an away match at the San Siro earlier this year, as aways go, it was a top laugh until we got in the ground. Then all the idiots that had made the trip made their presence know. One even had the cheek to have a go at my mate Stan for not being in his allocated seat, then tried to have a go at him, calling him “grandad”. They obviously had no idea of the standing etiquette of an away match. Then at the end, some of the younger “lads” at the front, near the perspex barriers set fire to an Internazionale scarf.
They seem to think this behaviour is acceptable, they’ve seen it in films, so they want to do it. When I was an 18 year old lad going on a euro away, I travelled with a group of lads from my age up to seasoned veterans in their 50′s. I was schooled in how to behave, and what to do, my mate Nog telling me the following “If its the normal police, you fight, if its the riot coppers, run like fuck” to his slightly less maniacal “When you’re having breakfast or eating somewhere, try and keep loads of bread rolls on you for later when yer starving”. Its advice that has served me well over the past decade and I impart it where necessary.
Due to cheap flights they don’t have to rely on trips organised by a rabble of older lads, just whack the flights on a credit card and you’re off to play merry hell with dibble all over Europe without a care in the world. The same with domestic travel, how much for a coach to London £20, a few cans for £10, match ticket £40, few beers in London £50.. Its a fair bit of money, but to lads living at home with Mam & Dad, disposable income is in abundance.
Saying all this, I suppose we’re partly to blame, some of us slightly older people have highly elitist attitudes towards support, not in the sense that anyone is more of a “proper fan” but in the sense that its hard for us accept new people into our groups for fear that they’ll be disrupted. Maybe its time for us take some of these idiots under our wings to teach them a few things. Show them how to behave, how to avoid and how to get away with things. Jesus, I’m turning into me Dad.
Filed under: Urban Advice | Tags: bear grylls, dressing, humor, humour, ray mears, shine, survival, tyre, urban survival, windows
1: Change a tyre on a car/bike: Piece of piss this, if its a bicycle tyre, you need the three levers to get them on and off. Not so sure on changing a car tyre, but I reckon it would be a piece of piss.
2: Re-install Microsoft Windows: The technological equivalent of a tyre change, handy if you fuck your PC up and desperately need to get it working. Different for every PC like, but know the basics and know what drivers you need and you’re good to go.
3: Cook a steak: don’t cremate the bastard, hot pan, touch of oil and two minutes either side should do it. Remember if its a sirloin, or another cut with a nice piece of fat on, to sear the fat as well.
4: Stare down a dog: Glare at it and don’t waver and you’ll be in control of the soft canine shithouse. Just remember to stay far enough away that if it suddenly lunges for you, it can’t bite your nose off.
5: Shine shoes: Another skill people neglect these days. Get yourself some Kiwi polish, a yellow duster and two brushes (label the brushes on & off). Remember to wipe any residual dirt off first, let them dry, then apply a layer of polish with the on brush, work it in, then buff with the off brush, do this a couple of times to build up a layer of polish. Once you’ve got them buffed up with the brushes, you can smooth buff them with the duster. No need to get Armed Forces and go for a mirror shine though. Unless you want to, you oddball…
Filed under: Style, Urban Advice | Tags: casual, dressing, fashion, football casual, one upmanship, paninaro, sartorial, sartorialism, sartorialist, Style, the sartorialist
Fashion? Style? Sartorialism? What is it? To me style is a complex yet simple thing, a paradox if you will. I like wearing good quality, crafted garments, made by people who give a shit (Albam for example), simple enough? Wrong. I can’t just throw this stuff on me and expect it to work now can I? You can’t wear red with green, or a brown belt with black shoes, my top more or less has to match my footwear (unless its a suit). Its a complex formation of rules, that sometimes, not often, I’ll fuck off and wear whatever. But if I can adhere to a combination of classic styling rules, slightly skewed by my own take on this nameless thing, then why do others seem so bent on ripping up the rule book, setting the shreds on fire, then pissing on the ashes?
Its not like traditional looks can’t be twisted and fitted to your individuality. Look at the Sartorialist (www.thesartorialist.blogspot.com) and see the pictures of the Italian men putting their own twist on a classic look and tell me that they don’t look good. So why do lads today insist on using the likes of Hollyoaks and The X Factor as inspiration? Skinny jeans, dirty white pumps or deck shoes, lumberjack shirt, shit haircut copied from Mark Ronson… Yeah you look great fella. Oh you want to look a bit more formal, copy George Lamb, just bin off all your socks, get a trendy grey streak in your greasy mane of hair, and roll those trousers up so you can see the best part of your calf.
Fuck. That. The Italians are a fan of the roll/cuff/turn up, and so am I (to a certain degree), but anything above calf height is fucking ridiculous and unless you’re an olive skinned, aviator wearing “Paninaro” wear some socks. But I digress. Style is individual, and I appreciate individuality, I just don’t like to think about people wearing the same clothes as me, let alone see it (I’ve gone home and got changed when that’s happened before).
So adopt things you like, just try and do it with your own twist or look for something that no one else has, and don’t be afraid to ask about what someone else has on, its a compliment. And I’m not telling you what to wear, but just don’t go out and copy people especially me because I’ll smash your fucking face in. Joke, I won’t, I’ll just leave you behind and move on, looking as fresh as ever.