Sunday, 24 November 2013

A New Balance for Skylon

SO I have been called upon to deliver ‘the goods’ for Skylon, with a listwhich was very reminiscent of a Fear and Loathing drugs collection, you know;
“We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls.
Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

So with the madman over water, I had understood the HMS HST as the ever changing name of the ship of fools went, was in need of plentiful supplies of booze, sun tan cream and clothes.

I also noted with much humour that Skylon had not asked for food, but why would such a man require sustenance, when he had a fulsome supply of hard liquor and narcotics???!!!

With the knowledge that the HMS HST is being sailed by a man, who is skirting along the edge of insanity, my first choice for inclusion was some of the Swims galoshes which are a superb way of ensuring safety under foot and protecting treasured shoes.

I included the brown, blue and orange. I also extended my on going romance with everything New Balance, including the ‘peppermint’ and ‘classic English breakfast’ 576s, known as the ‘tea pack’ range, both of these have to be seen to be believed, along with the tan nubuck and M1500, which is most performance driven shoe in the range, sporting the smaller N logo and comes in burgundy or green. Well having seen all those trainers go overboard with the former crew, it was all I could do.

I was always unsure, weather wise, what to drop in, but I knew I just had to blitz in some seasonal winter jumpers, would be appreciated, so I included a few Fox & Sons pieces.
Specifically the silver half Donegal, pure wool round neck and green half, along with the very festive Fairisle round neck, which is delicious.

Locating my old chum was not difficult, the sat-phone gave us the rough location and the constant music blaring out, plus His Nibs hanging from all aspects of the boat setting fires, firing guns and a constant volley of flares made him fairly easy to pinpoint.

The tunes of course have become a staple entertainment for the guys at Cohiba HQ, due in no small part to the one-way phone contact we have with Skylon, I am particularly taken with his choices.
The latest tunes de jour are:

Alpine – Hands
Dive – Human
Steve Mason – Fire
The Others  – Truth That Hurts
Future Pilot AKA  – Witchi Tai To 
I Am Kloot – Proof
DJ Greyboy – Guitar String
Real Estate – Beach Comber
Best Coast – Sun Was High
Temples – Colours to Life

Some mighty fine tunage from a rampant mad man lost at sea me thinks …

Haste Siempre Victoria

Friday, 22 November 2013

HEROES: Jon Kennedy talks fashion

IN THE  first of our new series of interviews, with cutting edge artists,  musicians and general men about town, entitled Heroes, we have the pleasure to shoot the breeze with musical, producer,  record label founder and all round top boy Jon Kennedy.
Originating  from Manchester, Kennedy now lives in Central Europe and has been blazing a trail behind the decks, drums and mixing desk for 13 years, producing five albums, the last of which Corporeal is proof the man is reaching a new peak in musical powers.

How important is your wardrobe to you and to your daily life?
JK: Very. I've been through many fashion stages in my life from a late 80's skateboarder and rebelious 'wearing t shirt inside out' and now …  I like to think I've found a refined, dinner jacket and skateboard-lower-body combo.

What do you think of the current styles and trends in menswear?
JK: I'm actually loving the recent fashions, maybe I'm more aware of them than I used to be … I don't know but as I get older I find myself being more interested in the thread side of culture

Clothes wise what looks or styles have you found room in your wardrobe for?
JK: I've managed to get rid of the hooded tops, lumberjack shirts and 't shirts with logo's', a look for me that I used to rock regularly. I'm somewhere between office worker, Alexander McQueen and skateboarder.

The Colonel: Can we suggest these Lacoste Live trainers, the Hellesdon Lem Black leather and the superb Croxton dark purple mid shoe.

What have you found the most exciting look or introduction to menswear this year?
JK:  I've been loving the injection of grey's, blues and shades there of.. It's a very minimalist, Japanese edge and I LOVE that Japanese design, mainly over there it's in the streets, houses and furnishings but to see that in fashion does it for me.

Preference: spring/summer or autumn/winter wardrobes?
JK: Bit of both to be honest, but finding a good pair of ACCEPTIBLE shorts is tricky …
The Colonel: Without hesitation Mister Kennedy  I would chose Orlebar Brown tailored board shorts.

Are there any labels you have discovered this year that you would recommend?
JK: I came across a couple of suit brands, (see below for some of our favourites),  that I love but without sounding too cheap, I ain't gunna mention them. I have also discovered some SUPER GAREISH and pretty … erm … disgusting labels as well.

Heritage labels such a Loakes; Grenson and Crombie etc are now being worn alongside casual clothes, what do think of this combination of styles and are you a fan of the tie ups between bespoke suit makers such as Norton with labels such as Barbour?
JK: I love this idea and as I say I have been rocking this look for a long time now without knowing it was now ‘cool’.
I think it's fabulous to mix the whole culture, art, clothing, fashion of all kinds into one, they make sense together and if the look is what you are hearing then I support it!

London is becoming a Mecca for menswear shops, do you think this is deserved?
JK: I prefer to think you can't beat a bit of Northern charm.

If you could pick one item of winter clothing to complete your look, what would it be?
JK: For me it’s a 3/4 length woolen jacket. 

And what item would you not live without?
JK: Trainers.

Who would you class as a style icon and inspiration?
JK: Alexander McQueen is a DON. FACT.

What projects are you working on at present?
JK: Currently I'm touring the globe with my new LP Corporeal doing shows from China to Palestine, Hungary to Japan …
It's tiring but I wouldn't change it for the world. In fact maybe I can change the world … in some way to bring peace to some of the disrupted areas I have seen recently in the Middle East.

For more information on Jon Kennedy visit:

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

It's all gone Hunter Thompson on the HST

FROM LANDED gentry to captain of a scooner class vessel I may well contact the House of Windsor to ask for what I now deem as my rightful passage to an honour of the old fading Empire, such has my drunken rise become so glorious.

Do not worry ‘oh my droogies’, I have not become an Ahab style obsessive strolling atop the deck of the Pequod, arms folded behind my back. 

But during several lost days drifting in this steal coffin loaded on LSD and booze, while Bingo and Bubbles tan themselves to Icarus levels, I have found certain aspects of this sea bound mentally challenging and disheartening.

My attempts to emulate Brian Jones and Hendrix LSD voyage may not have produced any mind blowing music, but I now stand astride the quarterdeck sporting the iconic Orlebar Brown sky blue beach swims, Mikkel Rude cream check shirt, Woolrich Arctic black cap, Universal Works Hockey navy wool socks, a pair of Adidas Gazelle Indoor bluebirds and of course, Ray Ban Outdoorsman handed to me from my fallen predecessor as he slipped, with a little help from myself, overboard into the waiting waves.

With no real understanding of our route, viewing maps while under the heavy influence of liquid pharmaceuticals, dehydrated and sun burned is never easy, I have stuck to my initial plan of full steam ahead, while firing out countless flares, sounding the ships klaxon continually and firing off Geo satellite phone missives to The Colonel is working, well we are moving ahead if nothing else.

The latter has resulted in a planned alcohol, food and clothing drop, which is of course a life saver, but I have given up listening out for further calls from my old Cuban ensconced chum preferring to blast out countless tunes instead over the ship’s superb Tannoy system, Noriega stylie and share sun tan application duties with the girls.

Monday, 18 November 2013

An ocean of Cocktails at Noon

AFTER A fairly intensive morning from the girls of chopping fruit, scraping ice from inside the boats abattoir deep freeze, a move that delighted our captors we set up the speakers and prepared for an afternoon I had quaintly nicknamed Cocktail-Apocalypse, which was designed to see us clear the sip of pirates, with a heavy salvo of cocktails.
El Patron had donned some particularly stylish Orlebar Brown Bulldog Spiral shorts, and Ray Ban Outdoorsman and joined us until his fourth or fifth shotgunned Old Fashioned, chased by several mescal golds, saw him fall face first overboard.
The Flaming Headfucker seemed a particular favourite among our sozzled audience who were imbibing a plentiful supply of booze, mixed with some extra spice.
It consists mainly of 100% proof bourbon, engine diesel and some fruit, with a healthy sprinkling of speed, gamely handed to me in a large bag by El Patron moments before his exit.
The Headfucker seemed to have a ceremonial aspect to it, with the pirates attempting to consume the tasty beverage as my old friend Samuel L Jackson famously once said, while performing a head spin and setting light to their Dockers, a nice variety of colours and styles were set ablaze I noticed.
I was particularly taken with the Do Brown extra slims and the Alpha Khaki stone wash.
The only issue with this particular firecracker of a cocktail was the pools of vomit it produced from those on their heads, but continual hosing down made the deck almost impossible to stand on and only added to the crews exit.
Now captain-less and with the girl’s topless, your old chum Skylon cranked up the tunes and began encouraging the other crew members to put on tedious acts of masculinity to impress Bingo and Bubbles, ranging from shot-gunning several near fatal cocktails before swan diving off the deck.
Their brief exits would not be followed by a return, once down they were definitely out.
Some tried to ignite their hair and jump off, ‘showboating’ I named it, while any passed out pirates were slyly rolled off the edge to join their splashing colleagues.
A porridge of bodies greeted anyone looking down and between mixing in Stuka by Primal Scream with Kick Out The Jams, Bingo, who then announced that all the lifeboats should be manned over the ships’ Tannoy for a fabulously simple coup de grace.
Within minutes an obedient, if completely paralytic crew, filled the boats and gamely hurled themselves overboard … Idiots.
A stream of trainers bobbed about as the pirates splashed and sank, including I noticed a few pairs of the storming new Nike Air 90s and Air Max 1 PRMs.
And so it was that the newly named HMS Prendre de la Hauteur pour Toujours was finally taken charge by the good guys, although we quickly changed the name to HMS Hunter Stockton Thompson in memory of the fallen literary general.
Now as the newly appointed captain the first task was obviously to organise full on comms and inform my old mucker The Colonel of my current predicament and of course capture of a vessel of the high seas, with little or no experience of sailing, despite my fabulously colourful maritime lineage.
I have of course made good use of my outgoing counterpart’s wardrobe and before returning to the quarterdeck donning a sublime Fred Perry 45s Brace gingham shirt, a Stetson Madison herringbone titfer, the delicious New Balance 996 in green, which has a nice higher ankle and heel in this suede running dynamo of shoes , plus a totally styled pair of Orlebar’s.
Unlike El-Patron I have gone for the navy Bulldog swims, and even though I know it’s chilly in Blighty, you can always head for the sun, which is roughly my plotting point on this good ship Venus.
Now it has been larks and japes a plenty, and with the news that my old friend Shaun William Ryder, with whom I wrote some of the greatest baggy dance tunes of that drug-fuelled musical period, has now started chasing UFOs’ I spent the night watching Bubbles and Bingo making crop tops out of the latest Paul Smith Red Ear T-shirts and firing off flares into the sky, hoping the Twisted Melon man may think they are travellers from another galaxy.


Friday, 1 November 2013

Skylon tunes out (BWGH)

AM SLIGHTLY confused by the latest satellite phone missives from Skylon, who is apparently at sea on some booze-fuelled cruise of some sort followed by numerous musical outbursts or interludes.
It struck me that a top ten of the tunes may be in order.

There seems no logical order to the songs or music, so sort your own, I tried, but then found it was easier to go with the flow and of course tank down a few of my old mockers favourite cocktails.

Alright pop pickers the first tune bustling over the wires at Radio Free Cuba X as I have solemnly nicknamed it should be followed by an Old Fashioned:

1: Boom Clack by Jon Kennedy.
2: Ice Hockey Hair by Super Furry Animals.
3: Gold Soundz by Pavement.
4: Smokebelch II (David Holmes Mix) by Sabres of Paradise.
5: B-Boy Bouillabaisse by Beastie Boys.
6: La Ritournelle by Sebastian Tellier.
7: Metro Boulot Dodo by Campag Velocet.
8: Hotride by The Prodigy.
9: Super Rich Kids by Frank Ocean (Ft. Earl Sweatshirt).
10: Deadbeat Summer by Neon Indian.

Not some half bad tunes, from my half mad amigo me thinks and a good way to spend crappy rain soaked Friday and weekend in Blighty, although cut with a series of Mojitos I am sure you will not notice.

Of course, here, well the sun is boiling the blood from my veins, although one thing that is looking good soaked in beer and sweat and that’s the most rock n’ roll t-shirts I have seen recently being from the Brooklyn We Go Hard range.

I am taken with the New York White and the Barber Shop, they seem very Beastie Boy acceptable, while the Paris and Feather, that comes in black, perfect for hiding beer used to facilitate the tanning process as a cult writer hero of mine HST once said.

Hasta La Victoria Siempre