Sunday, 15 February 2009

We're back! With ugly sportswear!

Right then! It's been a hectic few weeks for the Leopard and moi which has involved us having to independently leave the safety of Tourist Towers to embark on some perilous trips South of our usual stomping grounds to visit Bristol and 'That There London' for business and some may even say a little pleasure. We've had people trying to sell us crack in the west country, a bout of spiking Geoff's drinks here in Town and I've recently fallen asleep in at least one boozer round here,,,, that I can remember anyway! So cutting a long apology short and ditching the lame excuses, it's fair to say that we've been heavily over indulging ourselves and as a result we've been a tad slack with the old blog,,, but,,,,! Let it not be said that contrition is not our middle name as we intend to make up for our recent slovenly ways with a bumper set of tunes and more opinionated rambling than you can shake a particularly shitty stick at in the coming weeks, starting right here and now with my unbiased look at the horror that is,,,,,

Ugly Sportswear.

A History.

Ali G Pictures, Images and Photos

At the end of the 80s Troop sportswear appeared on the backs and feet of the second generation of first American then British hip-hop artists in a 'Patrick Bateman-like' statement of wealth that went hand in hand with huge gold chains and cars with dead massive exhaust pipes. The XR3i of sportswear, Troop trainers were covered in all sorts of unnecessary accruements, eg, a see-through plastic bit in the sole, a stupid logo on the heel, and of course, a tongue so huge it could sleep a family of four in relative comfort.

British Knights:
A favorite with the early rave crowd, British Knights begged one question: What was a British Knight? Was it some ancient order of Arthurian warriors bent on defending the glory of Albion? Was it a secret Masonic organization? Or was it just a shite American sportswear company who made boots so obviously rubbish, that only people who'd spent the 80s wearing Gallini and Bukta on the mean streets of Blyth or Darlington would ever consider them remotely stylish! Hmmmm.

Admiral are the Mary Celeste of sportswear, disappearing for years on end (thankfully) before re-emerging from the ether with another batch of shit, unwearable gear, usually made of shiny fucking polyester. Their most memorable reincarnation took place in the mid 90s when the tache-sporting 'Happy Mondays' were brought in by their advertising company in order to convince us that Admiral were in fact 'old skool', as opposed to the makers of the worst England Football kit of all time.

Prada Sport Trainers:
There is a wise maxim that goes:

"Thou shalt not, under any circumstances wear sports shoes made by any one other than a sportswear manufacturer."

Prada Sport proves this. The makers of this shoe got one thing wrong about the product: a trainer must be designed - at least on the surface - for some sort of sporting activity, even if we all know they're only going to be used for hanging around outside an off license.

Prada trainers contravene all trainer law. They are not for anything, except drinking in identikit central Newcastle bars talking about sepia-coloured fashion spreads in shite Sunday newspapers. The fact that they look like a pair of geriatric slippers that Buck Rogers would wear when he got old only rubber-stamps their god-awfulness.

LA Gear:
LA Gear trainers were bought by people who thought that 'authentic' street wear had to have some sort of link to America. The fact that their LA Gear shoes had suspiciously thin soles, sparkly laces and a range of colours thought up by Zippy off Rainbow didn't seem to put off the large numbers of clueless poshos and teenagers who bought these monstrosities in order to get hip to the beat.

Rugby League Tops:
Up until 1990 rugby league manufacturers churned out the same kit designs year after year - simple, unfussy, middle-class garments that while not exactly threatening 'Chanel' or 'Armani,' had a simplicity that reflected the tiresome nature of this incomprehensible game. However, with the advent of the Murdoch money and the Super League, the teams decided to inject some much needed glamour into their sport by adding ludicrous American-style suffixes to their names. Suddenly Wigan became the Warriors, Newcastle, the Falcons and Huddersfield, yes, that Huddersfield, the Giants! Shirts-wise, out went the simple lines of old and in came crazy splashes of colour, three-quarter length sleeves and big sponsors' logos. Luckily, the fans kept a link with the past by continuing to wear half-mast Lee Cooper jeans and Hi-Tec Silver Shadow trainers!

Travel Fox:
Kylie Minogue wore them, Shaun Ryder wore them, even Tony 'I used to present the weather on Granda Reports, in fact I still do' Wilson had a pair. Yes, they were Travel Fox, the glamour training shoe that said, "I am a pop star and I live in a hermetically sealed bubble of bad taste and too much money, please feel free to laugh at me openly in the street!

Most things the Italians design are low key tasteful affairs, yet TravelFox, however, unfortunately appealed to the other side of Europe's most stylish nation - the part that likes ugly fuck-off gold jewelry, Buffalo platform shoes, sleeveless t-shirts and trance music.

If 'Ultravox' were around today they'd wear Acupuncture trainers. Think about it: Acupuncture shoes have space age bendy rubber soles, a preoccupation with the colour grey and a clumsy 'A' logo that sits atop the ridiculous Velcro fastening they use. Appealing mainly to post-university Jesmond types who take their fashion cues from magazines full of pictures of skinny models wearing sriped tank tops. Acupuncture are for people who decide to re-invent themselves as tag writing 'graf' artists after spending their first 18 years 'fagging' for prefects at public school.

Here endeth the lesson.

disco Pictures, Images and Photos

A wise man once said to me, "Mark, all of us are born with a set of instinctive fears - of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club dinner, of fat children and of the words 'Some Assembly Required'". Now the ramblings of my Grandfather in the grip of psychoses has nothing to do with anything in particular but I thought I'd try and inject some cod-morality before I get into the new tunes this week.
A likkle bit of everything this time. Some noisy electro from the Boys Noize camp, the nutty but brilliant 'The Bewitched Hands On Top Of Our Heads' cover version of Yuksek's new track 'Tonight', as well as a big bit of bassline bizniz from B-line don Herve with his nice raw mix of the new Prodigy track 'Omen'. We've also got a brilliant new bit of 'big room techno' from Style Of Eye with his remix of VV Browns 'Leave'. And finally a cracking mix of Jack Beats & Dynamite MC's new track 'What?' from Tourists favourite long haired Italian horror movie fan Boy 8-bit.

Yuksek * Tonight (The Bewitched Hands On Top Of Our Heads Cover)

Jack Beats Vs Dynamite MC * What? (Boy 8-Bit Remix)

VV Brown * Leave (Style Of Eye Vocal Mix)

The Prodigy * Omen (Herve's End Of The world Remix)

DJ Edjotronik Feat Spoek * Dirty And Hard (Boys Noize's Jump If You're An Idiot Mix)

There's also a couple of mixes from some geezers up our way for you to get ya chompers into. Both of the highest quality,,,,, as ever!
Stu Hedley - What Sounds Like, Mix.
Aretha Franklin - Get It Right
Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Annie I'm Not your daddy (edit)
Bangles - Dub Like An Egyptian (Todd Terje edit)
Freedom Machine - Jangada (Lee Douglas Edit)
Jacques Renault - Bad Skinned
Jeanette ''Lady'' Day - Come Let Me Love You (ShepsMasterMix)
Lexx - eebay city
John Ozila - Funky Boogie (Edit)
Mystic Merlin-Just Cant give You Up
Moxie Edit - bongi bongi
MGMT - Of Moons Birds and Monsters (Holy Ghost! Remix)
Trax - Crusader

And if that wasn't enough great music, regarde,,,,,

Fenris. Space Age Paranoia Mix.

The Human League - The Dignity Of Labour Volume 4
DMX Krew - Target Disk Mode
Dopplereffekt - Steralization
Nil - Comme Un (Presque) Printemps
Nagasaki Nightriders - ?
DMX Krew - Digital Input
Rude 66 - 1000 Year Storm
Dopplereffekt - Dimension 11
The Human League - The Dignity Of Labour Volume 1
Peverelist - Clunk Click Every Trip
Der Zyklus - Cherenkov Radiation
Peverelist - This Is Infinity
Der Zyklus - Der Tonimpulstest
Magnum Force - The Force
Dopplereffekt - Superior Race
Creepy Autograph - Chill For Your Neck
DMX Krew - Manhunter remix
Aux 88 - Electro Music
Voltaic - Abyss