Posts Tagged ‘Madchester’

music

Sorted – The Baggy revival is on its way – with Jagwar Ma leading the charge

By Stefano on February 19th, 2013

jagwar ma 2

A year and a half ago I wrote about how if fashion was to stick to a strict chronology then the late 80s fifties influenced styles (Chambray shirts, angular hair cuts etc) that were popular at the time would soon be usurped by the look of 1989 – Baggy.

For the uninitiated – you are probably either too young or North American – Baggy was that brief period in the late 80s and 90s when Ecstasy collided with mind expanding 60s music and gave us a slew of great bands from The Stone Roses though to The Mock Turtles (trust me Turtle Soup is a fine album).

People had mixed psych with beats before – check out this classic 60s Russell Morris track – but Baggy was the perfect synthesis of drug influenced tunes both old and new.

Sadly the Baggy clothes revival hasn’t happened yet – my flares and cricket hats are still primed for action though – but there is more than a hint of a Baggy revival on the music front.

Bizarrely enough it isn’t coming from the north west of England but from Australia and Spain. In many ways it is a sub genre of the psych revival we are seeing at the moment with bands just adding beats to droney swirly 60s style melodies. It is certainly there in the music of bands like Alfa 9, The Moons and The See See.

I guess though Tame Impala got there first and there are several tracks on their Lonerism album, like this, that could have hailed from late 80s Manchester.

But if you want a new Stone Roses check out the two Jagwar Ma (they are from Sydney) singles on Spotify which are both great examples of how fresh and exciting a reinvention of the late 80s might sound.

There’s also this English/Spanish mob – The Chemistry Set – whose 2011 single Impossible Love is influenced by classic 60s psych and dance music.

Also let’s not forget The Stone Roses are touring as are The Three O’Clock (a big influence on the Roses) and The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess has a very fine album out too.

Now if only we could get the members of Flowered Up back together again.

 

 



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.




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