Archive for the ‘music’ Category

features, music

Blur’s Parklife turns 18!: The Britpop classic comes of age

By Gerald Lynch on April 26th, 2012

 

Blur’s Parklife is 18 years old today! An ode to Blighty aimed at girls who are boys who like boys to be girls who do boys like they’re girls who do girls like they’re boys, Parklife was a wry, anthem-filled album that championed mockney Cockneys, a day at the (greyhound) races and…er…the shipping forecast.

All the people (so many people!) went out and bought Parklife that it became a pivotal moment in mid-ninteies UK culture, influencing not only the sound of music for a generation of now mid-30 something indie lovers, but also a revivalist fashion sense that saw all things Union Jack celebrated under the banner of Britpop.

Here, Brandish goes beyond the music to highlight just what made Parklife so seminal. Pop on the Spotify album playlist below and read on!

COOL BRITANNIA

Britain, Britain, Britain. The Small Faces, The Kinks, the Blitz spirit, Carnaby Street, fish and chips. We’ve got a lot to be proud of as Brits, but in the early-to-mid 90s we’d all been swept up in a wave of Americana. Dreary grunge dominated the airwaves, and in the immortal words of Morrissey “it [said] nothing to me about my life.” However, the 1993 self-titled debut from Suede sent a shiver down the spine of the lumberjack-shirted invaders from across the pond, paving the way for a more sophisticated, theatrical Anglo-influenced sound. Picking up the Brit-focussed imagery of their own 1993 album Modern Life is Rubbish and refining it into flag-waving call for patriotism, Parklife made us all realise it was as cool to be British in the 1990s as it was in the swinging 60s.

The umbrella of Britpop would later open the floodgates for a wave of copycats and bandwagon jumpers (Menswear, Gene et al) and became a contrived export marketing tool of worldwide proportions following the Spice Girls Brit Award performance and Geri Halliwell’s infamous Union Jack dress, fuelling champagne socialists and ill-conceived political partnerships. But for a short while, and in no small part thanks to the popularity and imagery of Parklife, Britain was back on the map for all the right reasons.

BRITPOP FASHION

“We wear the same clothes cos we feel the same “ sang Blur’s Damon Albarn on End Of A Century. And indeed we did, and Albarn did a fair bit to direct what we were all wearing too. After re-inventing themselves out of the ashes of baggy into Dr Martens-wearing mod warriors for Modern Life Is Rubbish, Albarn and co went a little more Carry On colourful for Parklife.

Clearly inspired by the 1970s sportswear of BBC Superstars, tracksuits from the likes of Kappa and Adidas were in, as well as Adidas Samba trainers, a little bling with a sovereign ring, polo shirts and parkas. Though pulling in brands from all over the world, it was quintessentially a melting pot of UK fashion trends from across the previous 30 years. And not a greasy mullet or plaid shirt in sight..

THIS IS A LOW

If Britpop did only one thing well it was its championing of British idiosyncrasies. It’s no better illustrated than in the swirling, epic closer to Parklife, This Is A Low. A floating journey around the the British coast, it referenced the antiquated shipping forecast radio broadcast, framing the album’s geographical pride. Pop it on now; it’ll give you goosebumps.




music

Review: Retro Infinity Gold Headphones

By Laura on October 31st, 2011

Over the past few weeks I have been testing out i-Mego Retro Infinity Gold headphones.
i-Mego are relatively new to the audio market, but have been making a name for themselves as producers of high quality designer headphones, earphones and core audio accessories.

The Retro Infinity headphones, feature genuine leather headbands, with signature i-Mego stitching and in-line microphone and adaptor cables compatible with all mobile phone models, including iPhone, Sony-Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung. The headphones combine a vintage design with leading-edge audio technology, creating stylish audio gear that delivers clear and heavy sounds.

When I first saw them I was quite impressed by their appearance, but wondered whether they would be all looks. I could not have been more wrong. These headphones deliver great sound, block out background noise, and are probably some of the most comfortable headphones I have worn. Overall if you are looking for a fun looking pair of headphones with great sound – make sure to check these out.

To promote the headphones, iMego are running a competition in association with legendary Dubstep DJ, DJ Hatcha, called The DecksFactor. You can enter the competition on i-Mego’s facebook page by submitting your top five floor-filling tracks and win a one-to-one coaching session with DJ Hatcha in his studio. If that wasn’t enough you will get the chance to join him at a London club night.

Its an absolutely great opportunity for any budding DJ’s or anyone else who just loves clubbing and fancies a shot at DJing.

For you audio types find the i-Mego Retro Infinity Gold specs below.
Driver Diameter: 40 mm
Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Sensitivity: 102 ± 3dB
Impedance: 32 ohms
Weight: 230g
Cable: 1.2 or 2 m in length
Connector: 3.5mm stereo plug



Coats & Jackets, Gallery, Jeans & Trousers, music

A|X Armani Exchange Autumn 2011 collection & DJ residency

By Elisabeth Edvardsen on October 20th, 2011

Credit: Vicky Chan

There is definitely something debonair about the A|X Armani Exchange Autumn 2011 collection. A mix of blazers, plaid shirts, vests and jackets with elbow patches it looks like they’ve taken inspiration from the British gentry. Then again, the leather jacket and red outfit (see gallery below) brings the mind to more indie/rock so perhaps we’re mistaken.

As part of the A|XX 20th anniversary celebrations this year, A|X Armani Exchange teamed up with one of the UK’s top dance labels, Toolroom Knights, and has since July hosted a series of Saturday afternoon DJ sessions in their stores nationwide. The collaboration is coming to an end on 17th December, so if you want to indulge in some tunes spun by the latest and newest music talent check out the A|X Facebook page or visit the DJ Residency Series website for more info before it’s too late.

A|X Armani Exchange Autumn 2011 collection

Picture 6 of 6
Picture 6 of 6

 



Accessories, features, music

Is Baggy/Madchester the next big thing in men’s fashion?

By Stefano on September 12th, 2011

The other day The Guardian’s music/fashion correspondent Alexis Petridis wrote about how men’s fashion has suddenly become massively influenced by one year, 1988 and specifically the time in which 80s fashions (think denim shirts, girlie pumps), collided with the 1950s (think quiffs, Levis 501s, Rayban Wayfarers etc).

This odd combination occurred for a number of serendipitous reasons. Firstly big brands – Levi’s, Southern Comfort among others – began to use 50s imagery and music for their ad camapigns. Secondly a nation of indie kids has become obsessed with Morrissey and in turn with his obsession with James Dean. Suddenly 50s fashions were coming at you from all angles.

So if 1988 is the current apex of cool, where is men’s fashion likely to go next? We have already seen Urban Outfitter’s rather lamentable attempts to hype ‘grunge fashion’ (in some ways that’s an oxymoron) with its Cobain label. But by shifting on to the early 90s men’s fashion would be bypassing one of its most fun, creative and populist periods. I refer of course to Baggy.

For the uninitiated, you are either too young or from North American, Baggy was one of those brief periods in British history (see also late 60s and mid 70s) where the nation’s young let it all hang out. This meant taking copious amounts of a new drug – ecstasy – and listening to oddly psychedelic music – The Stone Roses. The difference this time (compared with the 60s) was that Baggy was dance music-oriented with the dominant soundtrack, in clubs at least, the emerging Acid House sound from Manchester, via Chicago. So a killer combination of dancing and drugs predictably wreaked havoc with the nation’s trouser’s width. The 80s had been largely about skinny jeans morphing into easy fit vintage Levi’s as the decade wore on. Suddenly everyone was wearing Flares.

It wasn’t just trousers either. Baggy ought also to be remembered as the first time the hooded top became a high street fashion staple. Baggy also gave us dayglo sweat shirts, later appropriated by the nu rave crew, as well as Paisley and pattern shirts – which to be fair had been bubbling under for much of the 80s – huge Tees and some fantastic headgear.

Drab old Britain was suddenly a riot of colour and its young cared less about perfecting their quiffs and posing in their vintage shades and more about getting off their tits in fields in Berkshire.

Sadly Baggy didn’t last too long. Internal disagreements (and spiraling drug consumption) tore The Stone Roses and Happy Mondays apart. And as for the Baggy Beatles – the La’s – lead singer Lee Mavers decided that the world only really deserved one album of his genius songs and he went AWOL.

By the time Baggy hit the South (it was mainly a northern thing) the bands were on their way out and the clothes had hit the local charity store. For a few months the UK flirted with some horrendous grunge fashions before Blur, Pulp and Britpop smartened everyone up (a little).

So, Baggy is sure to be revived sooner or later, so now might be as good a time as any to comb your local Oxfam for a nice hooded top with mildly psychedelic patterns on the front. Flares will hopefully be optional this time round.



Competitions And Promotions, Lifestyle & Gadgets, music

Giveaway: Two tickets to the Ford Focus ‘Start More Live’ event

By Laura on May 16th, 2011

Ford has just launch the new Ford Focus and to celebrate they are hosting an event called “’Start More Live” on May 25 in Central London. In the run up to the event they have teamed up with Tim Lovejoy and Robbie Knox, to hunt down the best of everything from gadgets to golf, stunt driving and food.

At the event there will be the latest car tech on display, the chance to try out some golfing trick shots with Jeremy Dale, Stefan Gates cooking up an extreme culinary storm, and a performance by The Enemy’.

There are only 250 tickets to the event, but Ford have generously offered us a pair to give away to Brandish readers. To enter leave us a comment and we will pick a winner at random on Friday May 20th.

To find out more about the new Ford Focus and Start More Live” head over to their Facebook page.

***Please make sure you can attend the event in central London on May 25 before entering. You will be responsible for covering your own transportation/any accommodation costs.



Gallery, Lifestyle & Gadgets, music, photography, Top Five

Top 5 Gifts For The Gadget Lover

By admin on December 9th, 2010

Searching for the perfect gift for the gadget or tech lover in your life this Christmas? Well look no further, here at Brandish we have complied a list of some of our favourite gadgets to help inspire you this holiday season. From Headphones to Cameras here are our top 5 gadgets.



music, Video

Dr. Martens 50th Anniversary.

By ThomasHewetson on March 29th, 2010

To celebrate 50 years of Doc Martens and having an iconic association with music, Dr. Martens have teamed up with ten bands to release an album of covers. From April 1st drmartens.com will be offering downloads of full tracks, music videos, behind-the-scenes footage and documentary webisodes.




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