Interview with Mark ‘Bax’ Baxter about documentary Tubby Hayes: A Man in a Hurry (Part 2)

Jazz for Modernists 6 & 7

11: How did you go about promotion and distribution?

MB: I got so entrenched with making the film, I didn’t think about showing it to anybody. We set ourselves that target (Spring 2015)…we were well short – we didn’t have enough footage, or enough money to finish it. We had to finance it ourselves. An archivist who was helping me find the footage from the BBC said to me one day, “you need a distributor, someone to put this out for you”. I thought that was a really good shout, I hadn’t really thought of that. I found a company called Proper Records, a reasonably sized independent record label, putting out lots of stuff by Nick Lowe and Van Morrison, I think. They had a jazz department and the guy I spoke to used to work for Mole Jazz in the 80s, who were like Ray’s, a destination shop for jazz buyers. He’d put out a couple of Tubby Hayes reissue compilations, one being Mexican Green (1967 LP), which he put out through his own Mole Jazz label. So, it was a done deal. Once I told him about Tubby Hayes, he said “we’ll have that!”. So we knew we could get it out into the shops, Amazon was taken care of, Waterstones etc. He also mentioned Foyles, which was where Ray’s Jazz shop is now.


All Night Long (1962), featuring Patrick McGoohan, Charles Mingus and Tubby Hayes

12: The first showing was at Foyles in London [19 November 2015]. Tell us about that.

MB: That was amazing. I just walked in one day and said we were making a film about Tubby Hayes. Can we do a little bit of filming in Ray’s? People going through the racks – cut-away stuff. The guys there were great, really supportive. They said they had an auditorium upstairs and asked if I wanted to launch it up there. It was a 200-seater, fantastic space, so I thought “why not?” The [idea of the] film started in Ray’s, it’s gone back to Ray’s thirty years later. It was the London Jazz festival that week, around October. It all just came together, pure fluke. We were just desperately trying to get it out by a certain time. By getting those guys on board – Proper, Foyles and the London Jazz Festival, it suddenly became very serious. All of a sudden we had deadlines and fairly big-hitting companies looking to speak to us and put our product out.

13: Has the film done well?

MB: Yeah, it’s sold well, we had 2 000 DVDs made and pretty much sold them out within ten weeks. We were delighted with that. From those first sales we earned money to get some more made for Christmas. We’re into our second run. It’s worked.

14: Any evidence that sales of Tubby’s music have increased as a result of the DVD?

MB: I can’t say for certain, but the awareness of his name and his work has gone up. Through my social media, I get a lot of feedback, people saying they’ve never heard of this guy, but like the sound of him, the era, the music, the films he worked on (eg. The Italian Job, Alfie). A lot of 60s enthusiasts that I know personally would go and check out a film, or YouTube, or Spotify and then they may end up with a CD or a bit of vinyl, and then end up with the DVD. It had been quiet for a long time on the Tubby front but now there are a lot more reissues going on.

15: [question from April 2016]: What were the subsequent showings at Regent’s Street Cinema like, in February and just recently in April?

MB: Our screening at the Regent Street cinema in Feb 2016 was a sell out, which was very encouraging for us all and proved that word of the doc. had got round to the right people. A good mixture Mod and 60s enthusiasts as well as film buffs turned up in the 180-strong crowd.
We had Simon Spillett and his new quartet play live and after the doc, myself, Simon and director Lee Cogswell took part in a Q & A session. Then DJs took over in the bar with a fine selection of jazz-inspired tracks.
The night was such a success that the cinema immediately asked us back and in April we repeated it all again. This time we had an older, more jazz-based crowd, which pleased me. We had new people to tap into!
We also screened at Ronnie Scott’s in March, which was a real mark of approval from the UK jazz world. For the rest of 2016, we have other screenings already booked for Gateshead, Southend, Chichester, Brecon and back in London in the coming months.

16: If you had to recommend one Tubby Hayes LP, which would it be?

MB: The one album that everyone should get is Mexican Green, which he made in 66/67. It’s going the Coltrane style, more than the fast, ‘crash-bang-wallop’ sound of Tubby when he was in full flow in the early sixties. There are certain tracks with three or four different styles within one track. It’s not an easy listen, you’ve got to work at it, but that’s the education of it all. That’s the last album he made of any real note, he made a contractual album after that called The Orchestra (1970), an album of cover versions (‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’, ‘Hey Jude’ etc). But Mexican Green is the one I’d definitely go for. From the earlier period, Tubbs (1961), Tubbs’ Tours (1964) and Tubbs in NY (1961) are all valid.


The classic Mexican Green LP (1967)

17: Of all the British sax players of the time, he was perhaps the most well-known in America…

MB: Yeah, definitely. There’d been a musicians’ ban on UK guys going over there. Then it was reciprocal. If Miles Davis played two weeks here, we had to send someone to the States. They didn’t want anybody. There was no one of any note that they wanted. When Tubby popped up, they said “he can do it”. He went to New York in 1961 at the Half Note Club. Miles Davis was in the audience on the first night. Tubby was the one guy who could go out and hold his own in that company. He played two weeks there, mixed with the musicians, recorded and became part of the scene for a little while. A lot of the guys we spoke to said he should have stayed there, committed to two or three years in the States. Personally, I think he liked being the big fish in a small pond. Over here, he’d get plenty of work, plenty of press, TV appearances. He was the only one anyone had heard of.

18: One UK-based artist who did go to America before Tubby was Dizzy Reece. Did Tubby play with him?

MB: They played on a Blue Note LP recorded over here [Blues in Trinity, 1959], with a version of ‘Round Midnight’ on it.
19: By the mid-sixties, of course, we were getting great jazz musicians, but in return were sending over the likes of Herman’s Hermits….
MB: Yeah. Once the beat boom started coming in, jazz clubs would become a beat club, or they’d book more acts like that. That’s what the kids were demanding. Jazz suddenly became quite old overnight. The work dried up quite quickly, or the club gigs dried up. The recordings weren’t selling massive numbers. The Stones and The Beatles were selling in big numbers. The trade papers stopped writing about them [jazz musicians], maybe a little bit of a mention. But really, the front cover would be given to the Beatles, Stones, Small Faces, Who, Otis and soul music. This is why he stared to play on jingles and films, looking for other work.

19: And this would lead Tubby to other work?

MB: Yeah, he’d be hired for a session. He wouldn’t know a lot about the band. His studio or agent would get him a bit of work. He would turn up and pretty much be able to play anything. But the timing was all wrong for him, because he wasn’t very well. He was in and out of hospital for months on end. He was probably offered work, but couldn’t make the gigs for one reason or another. His health wasn’t great [around 70/71] and there’s a school of thought that maybe he was still dabbling a little bit [heroin], and he had a heart valve operation in 1970, and then again in 1972. In 1973, he couldn’t play – he was physically incapable of playing.

20: Finally, would you consider making a feature film about Tubby Hayes starring James Corden in the title role?

MB: Simon (Spillett) has said that he’s aware of Tubby Hayes. The similarity has been pointed out to him. Whether that will ever go anywhere I don’t know? James Corden would be perfect. The only problem is Tubby lost about five stone, six stone, around the 60s when the drugs kicked in and I think Mr. Corden might struggle to lose the weight.

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James Thomas

James Thomas was born in Bristol just the wrong side of 1970 (1971). His first encounters with the 1960s were his two-year-old elder brother’s reminiscences of the Moon Landing (since deleted by the BBC) and an afternoon in 1975 listening to the Beatles with his parents. He remembers 2-Tone and the ’79 revival, but was the one in his primary school still wearing flares until he persuaded his mum to buy him a black Harrington jacket (a stylish-enough copy by Burtons) and asked a hair stylist to make him ‘look like Suggs’. In the 1980s he became obsessed with almost every aspect of the 1960s, whether it were Star Trek, the length of George Harrison’s hair in March 1965 or the first colour TV broadcast of a cricket match (he thinks it was 1968). After being side-tracked by progressive rock (an ongoing guilty pleasure), James came to his senses in 1986 on seeing footage of Booker T and the MGs and Otis Redding on a programme celebrating the 60th anniversary of television. A flirtation with ‘indie pop’ (in the bowl-cut and anorak days) led to too much introspection, but also a new interest in the psychedelic sounds of the 1960s that seemed to go hand in glove with a liking for The Pastels and The Razorcuts. A summery afternoon in the jazz tent at Bristol’s annual (and long gone) Ashton Court Festival in 1989 opened his mind to the sounds of Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and most forms of modern jazz. In 1990, James attended his first proper 60s club night, the revered Kaleidoscope Pop! in Leeds. On his return from the North in 1992, he developed a new commitment to Mod culture. He recalls early Untouchables Brighton New Year rallies and in 1994 moved to London. A real education for him (in so many ways...) was a period in Barcelona (1997-2002) where he helped out with the Magic in the Air club for a year or two and where his IQ was permanently reduced by a record dealer who made him clean vinyl for four weeks in a windowless room. After a decade or so in the West Country, he is now living again in London, where he plans to write about jazz, meet like-minded people and study the history of the cravat.

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May 4, 2016 By : Category : Bands Film Front Page Interviews Music Tags:, , ,
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Interview with Marco Santucci

Northern Soul – The Film

As a journalist I’ve always written about music, sometimes getting paid, but more often just for fun or to record for posterity the achievements of the great artists, DJs and paying guests that make the soul scene special. When the opportunity came up to interview Marco about the making of the new Northern Soul movie I took the opportunity to ask him about the challenges of locations, continuity, records, etc. and also how they managed to get some major stars on board for a small, independent film with a whole lotta’ soul.

When did you first decide that you were going to make the film and how did you start, what was the first thing you did to get the project underway?

I remember Elaine toying with mini DV cameras at venues around 16/17 years ago, just after we first met. Initially her intention was to make some kind of documentary record of the scene as it was back then. Pretty quickly however she became dissatisfied with that approach. I remember clearly a conversation in about 1998 where Elaine began to formulate the idea of capturing the scene in its youthful heyday. It was a bit of a fantasy at first – a sort of “wouldn’t it be amazing to be able recreate the scene as it was back in the 70s” flight of imagination. The more she thought about it the more she became convinced that was the only way to do it.

The first thing Elaine had to do was to learn how to write a screenplay, so she enrolled on an online scriptwriting boot camp based in LA and just started writing. That was around 1999.

Making a film about any sub group is tough, I imagine the hardest aspect is always going to be making it authentic enough to appeal to those on the inside while ensuring that it’s accessible to people who don’t have an in depth knowledge of the scene. Did you think about this and what was your approach to that problem?

That was always Elaine’s main intention funnily enough. She was constantly treading a line between being true to the logic and culture of the scene while creating a film that anyone could enjoy. So Matt and John’s story had to encapsulate something Universal somehow while being told through the particulars of the Northern scene. At the same time Elaine didn’t shy away from tackling some of the more arcane or darker elements of the 70s scene’s culture – cover-ups/squad/needles etc. Elaine spent years interviewing and researching these things – down to the language used – div, menk etc.

Much has been made in some quarters about the swearing, the drugs and the violence in the film and whether it was an authentic and accurate reflection of how things were then. Petty criminality and trafficking were an integral part of the scene in the 70s; it was far from one big happy family at times, as testimony from people who actually visited the toilets at the Golden Torch confirms. The real life story of what happened to Pete Lawson, for example, is far stranger and darker than anything portrayed in the film. We were lucky enough to have lots of friends and acquaintances who were heavily involved back then and who were invaluable sources of anecdotes and information – Guy Hennigan, Butch, Tim Finch, Ady Croasdell, Sue Brick, Chris Brick, Dave Clegg the sadly departed Fran Franklin, Mickey Cruise and Ant Wilson to name just a few…

One of the things that surprised me was the casting, getting big stars on board. How did you get Steve Coogan and the other established actors to agree to be involved for example?

The story of how Steve Coogan came on board is quite funny. His production company, Baby Cow, came on board a while ago as co-producers and his brother Martin was also on board from an early stage. But ironically that wasn’t what brought him in. I’m fairly sure that he hadn’t even read the script when a year or two later James Lance got hold of the script via a mutual friend (stylist Adam Howe who asked for the Ray Henderson part). The weekend after he was offered the role he was staying with Steve and made him read the script. The following Monday we got an email to say Steve was in. It basically took his mate raving about it to get him to commit to the project.

Lisa Stansfield was a friend of Elaine’s and we knew she was pursuing an acting career – it was an obvious move to get to pay John’s mum given that she’s from Lancashire herself.

Christian McKay was a total left-fielder as he’s actually from Bury and it turned out that his grandfather had been a friend of Elaine’s father’s many years ago – a real small-word story. He read the script and that was all it took for him to come on board.

The film has a fantastic look to it; visually it’s about as good as it could get in my view. The continuity issues must have been a challenge, making sure there were no SKY dishes, the wrong type of traffic lights, or ultra-modern double glazing, etc. Who was responsible for that aspect? And was it hard to find and secure locations?

We worked with Robin Brown who did an amazing job on the art department/production design side of things. Our DoP, Simon Tindall was responsible for the overall photographic look of the film and there was a conscious nod to the look and feel of the realist cinema of the time. Elaine did a lot of the location scouting – finding the exterior for the Casino etc. Lots was done in post-production to take out all the contemporary ‘street furniture’, discs etc.

Clearly, Northern Soul was the bastard son of mod, in a roundabout way via the coalfields and working men’s clubs of Yorkshire. Given that there were certainly dozens of scooter clubs in the north at that time and northern soul was the soundtrack, was there a sense that you wanted it to be totally distinct from ‘This is England’ and ‘Quadrophenia’, both well known films and dealing with similar themes of youth culture, for skinheads and mods respectively?

I’m not sure how conscious that was, though we did want to somehow establish, cinematographically, that this was a new moment in British youth culture. The book, however, traces the roots in Mod much more overtly than the film.

The tantalising theme running through the film was the trip to America, I imagine budget, logistics and running time prevented this trip from being written into the film, or were you deliberately trying to show that about 2% of those who said they would go actually went?

Not necessarily, it was more that the idea of America held out the prospect of the boys breaking out of the narrow confines of prescribed working-class life at the time. The promised ’trip to America’ is a symbol of the boy’s horizons being opened up and the possibility of a life their parents couldn’t even have dreamed of a generation before.

Loosely, regulars at the Plebeians in Halifax, the Twisted Wheel and even the Torch were, for all intents and purposes, mods. But by 1975 how close to the 1960s mod scene do you think the movement you portray was? Did you get a sense from people who got into it in the early 70s that they knew it had developed from mod, or was it simply of the moment?

I think Matt’s older brother Paul would have had that understanding but for lads of John and Matt’s age the soul scene would have had its own cultural logic and its own foundation in their love of soul records rather than the trappings of Mod culture. That said there persistent working class desire to stand apart from the mainstream which was codified in their choice of clothes, their style of dance and their choice of music, so in that sense the lineage is still there.

Did you use any original footage in the film; I thought there were some street scenes in particular that might have been taken from documentary footage, albeit expertly spliced into the movie?

There’s one scene of crowds of workers leaving the mills right at the beginning of the film and possibly another landscape shot of a northern town and moors, to help establish the film’s northern setting. All the rest is new footage.

So, obvious question, what about the sequel, Northern Soul: USA or bust! Joking apart, what about a Director’s cut on DVD, there must be loads of superb scenes that you had to edit out that didn’t make the final cut?

The first assembly of the film was about 150 minutes long, so roughly an hour’s worth ended up on the cutting room floor which one day could see the light of day. There are no definite plans for a sequel but the lad’s trip to America is rich with possibilities – so never say never!

Finally, is there any special merchandise that people can buy to accompany the film and where can that be purchased?

I’m sure people will already be aware of the DVD and soundtrack CD. The DVD features a really nice ‘making of’ extra feature. There’s also a vinyl box set of singles featuring all the music in the film which is beautifully designed and produced by Demon records.

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Scotch Martin

Since the local youth club in the early-eighties Martin’s been Djing with records of one sort or another. Spots at the CCI National Mod Rallies across Britain in the 80s were followed in 1990 by the first in a line of successful northern soul and mod clubs in Glasgow. With four others he started Goodfoot in 91, with Acid Jazz-influenced playlists of Blow Up in London, and Brighton Beach in Leeds. Goodfoot arguably paved the way for a new generation of mod-influenced clubs in Glasgow over the past 20 years. Living in London in the late 90s Martin DJ’d at neuvo-modernist clubs including Where’s Jude and Lordy Lord, as well as regularly spinning at Duffer of St. George parties and other happenings. A career highlight was supporting legendary organist, Jimmy Smith, as well as pulling off 10 consecutive club nights during the 1995 Glasgow Jazz Festival. By 2001, back in Glasgow, Caledoniasoul launched. A definitive milestone in the Scottish soul scene, the club ran for six years and brought Butch, Mick Smith, Mick H, Arthur Fenn, Mike Ritson, Dave Rimmer and Ady Croasdell to Scotland for the first time to experience the sweaty, full-on atmosphere for themselves. As a journalist Martin has always written about music. In 2004 he tracked down singer and organist, Bill Bush, whose soulful, jazzy rarity, I’m Waiting on Ronn, was hitting on the northern soul scene. After visiting Bill in the USA and interviewing him for Manifesto he brought the band over to perform in the UK, complete with Hammond B3, and has helped Bill profit for the first time from the 1968 b-side. Martin is married to Caroline, has two children, lives in the London suburbs. Still collecting after 30 years!

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November 16, 2014 By : Category : Film Front Page Interviews Tags:, , ,
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Northern Soul – Film Review

‘Northern Soul’ by Elaine Constantine

The ICA, London, SW1Y 5AH – October 2014

The anticipation had reached fever pitch here in the UK for the release of ‘Northern Soul’ by Elaine Constantine. Delays after funding troubles and soundtrack licence issues only added to the great sense of achievement when the cinema doors finally opened. I had heard glowing reports from scene stalwarts who had managed to see the film before its release so I was already won over. A social media campaign ensured that the film was shown in well over one hundred cinemas on the opening weekend. I managed to get along to the Institute of Contemporary Arts on the Mall to see it for myself on the big screen.

It’s a tale of two friends growing up in a small town in the north of England during the early seventies who discover the world of Northern Soul. The main character John played by Elliot James Langridge meets Matt (Josh Whitehouse) by chance at the local youth club and the adventure begins. The two lads dream of travelling to the US to find Northern Soul 45’s and becoming hotshot DJ’s, encouraged by discovering Wigan Casino DJ Ray Henderson (James Lance) cover up record by the Salvadores.

During their journey the two boys come across all sorts of characters in a roller coaster ride of emotions and amphetamine fuelled tragedies, triumphs and tribulations. Plenty of humorous moments including John’s fascination with the excellent Soul sister Angela (Antonia Thomas) which transcends you back to those awkward adolescent teenage years with a smile. In fact that is the beauty of this film it reawakens all those memories and the excitement you felt when you first discovered the scene and other people who shared your passion.

What Elaine also manages to capture with great effect is not only the landscape, clothes, cars, haircuts and language of the era but the excitement and energy in the dance floor scenes which are incredibly hard to film. All those practice and casting sessions clearly paid off as well as promoting talent from within the scene and consulting key people from the era to give ‘Northern Soul’ a rare authenticity.

Naturally the excellent soundtrack is the driving force and had plenty of people shuffling around in their seats whom under normal circumstances would be up dancing and clapping at the appropriate moments but were very encapsulated by the film.

The ICA was full of folks around my age group who really enjoyed the movie however I hope this film will reawaken the long lost tribes and inspire the youth of today to make it their own.

You can purchase the soundtrack as well as the film on DVD but do try and get along and experience the film on the big screen if you can. Check out a list of Cinemas showing the film HERE!

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I run The New Untouchables organization and events like the Brighton Mod Weekender, Le Beat Bespoké Festival (and compilation series of the same name) and I co-organize Euro Ye Ye with the Trouble & Tea crew. I have run many clubs over the last 20 years in London, where I live and current nights include Timebox, Zoo Zoo, Crossfire, 100 Club and Mousetrap allnighter which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2011. I have been lucky to DJ all over the globe including Japan, Canada, USA and Europe and met some great people on my journey. I run RnB Records to offset my vinyl addiction: for rare vintage vinyl.

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October 21, 2014 By : Category : Film Front Page Inspiration Media News Picks Reviews Tags:, , ,
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Sexy Sixties – The ‘Dolce Vita’ Effect

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Sexy Sixties

Sexy Sixties – Part 4, Chapter 1C – The ‘Dolce Vita’ Effect

Yes, that film. That actor cat. What’s his name? Marcello Mastroianni. Hmm. A bit ruthless, in the film. A bad-guy character, indeed. But – God – he’s smart as hell. Went to the movies three months ago and woke up the morning after with a strange feeling. A feeling that I had to dress, walk, behave and act like Mr. Mastroianni. Sure enough, he’s got that somewhat I was always looking for.

1960. “La Dolce Vita”, the new film of Federico Fellini, divides critics and public from day one, but is about to become both a classic and one of the most influential films ever. The film is formed by various episodes, all connected with the late 50s high-life in Rome.

Marcello Rubini is a journalist, writing gossip features but dreaming his immediate future as a proper writer. Life in the mid-late 50s Rome is made of chances and he’s always there to get them. He’s got to aim high, so he embarks in all those adventures that can shorten the distance between himself and his career. Hiring his photographer friend Paparazzo, to take pics of this blooming jet set, no place in and around Rome is too far for his ambitions.

Despite the producer De Laurentiis’ scepticism – he and Fellini argued about the choice of the main actor – La Dolce Vita earned a lot of money in the first two weeks of screening in Italian cinemas, and the sharp characters Marcello and Paparazzo (the latter eventually becoming a common name for any kind of gossip ruthless photographer) set the ethos and the aesthetics of a brand new young and modern man-about-town.

So, here we go. Marcello. Trying one of them well-tailored Italian suits. I have three of ‘em. Got the first one from a Soho spot, that man in his forties, how’s he called? Mario, I think. I popped there one day and told him “I’d like to look like Mastroianni. Can you make a good suit for me? I mean, the works”. And he went, with his very typical Southern Italy accent: “eh, I do wottya like, young man, but you gotta wait a week, so fulla bizinéss to do, diz days…”

And then, the following week I went there again for fittings. He took him sort of one month, which is not that quick, but – oh boy! What a result. I know my name ain’t Marcello, nor I am a fashionable Italian actor, but this is exactly the way I want to look like.

Can you imagine? Very few films have been so influential to early 60s Mod culture as La Dolce Vita. The very expression “Dolce Vita” became synonymous with “high life” and “jet set” , and eventually went to represent a new style for wool jumpers in Italy – dolcevita = turtleneck.

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Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

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November 22, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Europe Fashion Film Front Page Inspiration Media Scene Style Tags:, , , , , , , ,
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Sexy Sixties -Those hedonistic Modernists (1959-1961)

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Sexy Sixties

Sexy Sixties – Chapter 1 Part B 

Those hedonistic Modernists (1959-1961)

The suit is a blue pinstripe model, made by that Italian tailor cat somewhere just behind Charing Cross Road. It looks good. Well, it looks damn right. It has three front pockets, plus one for the hanky, two eight inch side vents and it’s cut like a piece of art. It’s just perfect. Jean Paul Belmondo and Marcello Mastroianni couldn’t have desired anything better than that.

The owner of that suit – and many others – is a seventeen years old boy from Stepney Green. He works, of course, and his job is all about metal sheets to be folded and shaped. Not that it can be called “the best job in the world”, but it’s enough money to make him afford some very good clothes and fuel for his Lambretta Li 150. And some pills, too. “’Cause life’s gotta be brilliant. You have to be brilliant, mate”, he usually answers when someone asks him questions.

Meanwhile, he also invests his wages into the latest jazz imports from the US, exploring all those many microscopic Soho music shops. He spends a lot of his spare time looking at his image in the mirror, and – hey!, he likes a lot what he sees. He meets somewhere in the West End with a few other cats very much into the same music and lifestyle, but he doesn’t consider himself as part of a group. In fact, he’s an individual. He’s a Modernist.

Music and cinema started it all, in the 50s or maybe earlier. American GIs living in UK wanted jazz musicians to play for them. A bunch of sixteen years old boys, bored to death with the too understated, post war-ish national imagery, found themselves tasting a bit of that ‘modern jazz’ thing being imported. And they liked it. In the same time, French and Italian films added new ingredients to the cinema as a form of art, making British films look plain and unexciting, to say the least.

If we add to these two fundamental things a third, no less important one, the mass motorization, with the introduction of brilliantly designed Italian scooters, you should have a complete frame about our boy with the pinstripe suit, or about his attitude and lifestyle. “Being brilliant” as the opposite of “being plain”, “being dull”, “being a post-war number dressed in a boxy, badly cut jacket”. Or, in one word, “being square”.

All of a sudden these hedonistic teenagers didn’t want to be the average English boys anymore, they wanted to be American, French or Italian. And for the first time ever, they had enough money in their pockets to look smart, to buy imported records and to drive a very good looking scooter – a wheeled piece of the most desirable Italian design.

And the boy with the pinstripe suit irons the crease of his trousers to a sharp, razor-like finishing. A light-blue, tab collar shirt is waiting on a hanger, as the ice-white mac, ready to be worn.

“Just stick a good John Coltrane or Wayne Shorter on the record player, before I go. That will give me a kick”. It’s nine o’clock pm, and the night is there, just behind your flat’s door.

The night is yours and it’s full of new sensations.The gathering of a new kind of knights – the Modernists – will take place at the club, all night long.

You only need to read a book, to learn what’s the story. And this book can only be Colin McInnes’ “Absolute Beginners”. It’s all there.

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Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

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August 8, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Europe Fashion Film Front Page Inspiration Media Scene Style Tags:, , ,
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Ready! Steady! Sew! – A NUTsFilm/BoyChild

Back in 2004 the New Untouchables commissioned especially for the MODSTOCK event ‘Ready! Steady! Sew!’ a documentary by Boyschild Production’s Sean Wilson, Angie Smith (a living vintage fashion scene legend) and Pip! Pip!. The programme focuses on Modernist fashion through the decades including interviews with important mover and shakers from the origianl 60’s scene. Our very own 21st century fashion gurus Caspar, Peter Jackson and Angie Smith take you on this journey spanning four decades and explain how this magical period in fashion changed the shape of society and still influences the high street today. The film was shown only once in public, live to a standing only audience projected from the top of the Pip! Pip! lightshow Scaffold Tower as part of the Fashion Catwalk section of Modstock. 2 vintage scooters were placed at the front of the stage on the catwalk and Soulof65 owner Sean, Mickey from Velvet Illusion, Angie Smith and an assortment of scene based models helped create a really special fashion happening especially for the event. Probably the first Fashion/Pop Art explosion of it’s type since the 1960’s and warmly received by a slightly bemused audience. Quite how Pip! Pip! talked Rob Bailey and the gang into this fun yet stressful happening is still a mystery to this day! All exisiting copies of the film were ‘lost’ so this only adds to the myth. Pip! Pip! recently uncovered seemingly the last copy at the bottom of a box in the attic on VHS video (ask your fathers kids) and a rush to slavage it was then the order of the day once the dust was blown off! Thanks to KEV on the IOW (the ex BBC guy) for helping us clean it up ready for this re-visit for a new generation to enjoy! Three Parts all worth watching and it should really have been on BBC3! Get your popcorn ready!

The YOUTUBE Description Text and Credits below:

Short 3-Part Documentary called READY! STEADY! SEW! that was created and shown ‘live’ to a standing room only audience of Hipsters & Scenesters as part of the MODSTOCK UK EVENT prior to a live catwalk event, via the newuntouchables in London 2004, which saw a Celebration of 40 Years of Modculture in all of its forms and glory! Big Thanks To Angie Smith, Caspar De La Mare, Pip! Pip! Rob Bailey and all those that gave us content and info and agreed to be interviewed! Filmed in and around London on April/May 2004!

DIRECTOR: Sean Wilson (BoyChild)
EDITORS: Sean Wilson & Alex Rupprecht
CAMERA: Alex Rupprecht
PRODUCERS & WRITERS: Angie Smith & Sean Wilson
CO PRODUCERS: Barry & Denise @ Pip! Pip!
SOUNDTRACK: The Gene Drayton Unit
REPORTER: Caspar (A Dandy in Aspic)

Based on an Original Concept by Bazden Pip! Pip! as part of Modstock 2004






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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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May 22, 2012 By : Category : Articles Film Front Page Media Picks 0 Comment

The Age of Charm & Restlessness (Sexy Sixties: 1959-1961)

This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Sexy Sixties

Sexy Sixties – Chapter 1 Part A

The Age of Charm and Restlessness (1959-1961) Girls of the ‘Nouvelle Vague’

The young man leaves the cinema with an expression of deep satisfaction printed on his face. The film he watched had very little to do with anything he had ever watched before. It was a French movie and it had that continental charm that wasn’t very common in British films. And that girl, the actress Jean Seberg… the girl with the very short hair. What a girl! And how cool she was!

He is aware that there’s gonna be something new in the very way he’ll perceive these new films. Because they ‘are’ new, aren’t they?

These French films talk about the present, about real problems, tormented and contemporary love stories. They’re not just ‘movies’. They are the changing.

Walking under the thick rain of a greyish London, the young man knows that things will never be the same again. He thinks he’s falling in love with Jean Seberg. Or maybe with some other actress he’d watched in some other French film? Was she Jeanne Moreau? Brigitte Bardot? Bernadette Lafont? Anna Karina? God! They all look so modern, so different… Their world is made of groundbreaking frames, striking whites and deep, very deep blacks.

They don’t just ‘play’ the part. They are the part, they mean, resume, represent, symbolise the part. They produce real emotions and create from nothing a brand new way of being sexy. Hands up who wouldn’t date Jean Seberg, the young man thinks, his post-War shoes completely soaked with water, sinking in a landscape made of brown puddles.

And who are these new directors? Truffaut, Malle, Godard, Chabrol… Their names sound rather exotic. Where are they from? Are they all French? And – above all – why are their films all so incredibly sharp?

The young man is going home. Probably he’d find his mum screaming at his dad: “where ‘ave ya been? You’ve ‘ad a couple, you did. Didn’t ya?” and probably his dad would answer “Well, leave me alone now, I’m dead tired!”.

Yeah, probably.

But one thing is for sure: he’s not going to have something like that planned for his life. He doesn’t want that. He wants Jean Seberg.

The young man is continuing to walk, his home now behind his shoulders. He can’t see what his mum and dad are saying. Are they arguing or something? His girlfriend’s house is a few yards away, a two-storey Victorian semi-detached. He thinks he’s going there.

Knock knock.

His girlfriend opens the door. She’s nothing special really. And she does look a bit too old fashioned, with those curly things coming down off her head. “Too bloody Shirley Templish!”, the young man thinks.

“Hi”, he says.

“Hi” she says.

“Know what?”, he says, “Get a new haircut, girl, time for a change!”.

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Max Galli

Max Galli was born in Rome in 1969, the son of a photographer and a housewife. Illustrator, graphic designer and writer, he embraced the culture and the aesthetics of the Sixties more than two decades ago. Max published three novels, an anthology of short stories and four comic books, and contributed to several magazines ( "Storie", "Vintage", "Blue", "Misty Lane" and “EyePlug”). During the years he realized loads of illustrations, pin ups, record and cd covers and posters for Italian and European clubs and bands. He lived in London from 1998 to 2003, joining in the London Mod scene, from which he took inspiration for his work. His comic books “The Beatnix” and “The Adventures of Molly Jones” reached international success, especially in United Kingdom and USA.

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May 22, 2012 By : Category : Articles Essays Europe Fashion Film Front Page Inspiration Scene Style Tags:, , ,
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Le Beat Bespoké Video!

Le Beat Bespoké is an annual indoor festival @ 229 The Venue in London, promoted by the — spotlighting 21st Century Modernist & Sixties inspired underground music culture. There is also a series of sought after Compilation LPs with selections from DJ Dr Robert, picked from the dance ‘floorshakers’ of various NUTs events that compliment this wonderful, inclusive Event! Go to:

Shake Yourself Down Remix by Pip! Pip!

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Pip! Pip! Are the Creative Business Engine behind various music based organisations of the cool underground variety. Providing angst, confusion, bewilderment and annoyance in equal amounts. We design/host/manage great sites like this one! Why not hire us one day soon?

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February 27, 2012 By : Category : Events Film Front Page Music Scene UK Tags:,
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The Best Films of the Rock & Roll Era (1955-1975)

Author Recommendations –

The Best Films of the Rock & Roll Era (1955-1975) by Year

1955 – Rebel Without a Cause by Nicholas Ray
1956 – Giant by George Stevens
1957 – Twelve Angry Men by Sidney Lumet
1958 – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Richard Brooks
1959 – Sleeping Beauty by Walt Disney
1960 – The Fugitive Kind by Sidney Lumet
1961 – The Hustler by Robert Rossen
1962 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Robert Mulligan
1963 – The Great Escape by John Sturges
1964 – My Fair Lady by George Cukor
1965 – The Cincinnati Kid by Norman Jewison
1966 – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly by Sergio Leone
1967 – Cool Hand Luke  by Stuart Rosenberg
1968 – 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick
1969 – Easy Rider by Dennis Hopper
1970 – Little Big Man by Arthur Penn
1971 – A Clockwork Orange  by Stanley Kubrick
1972 – The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean by John Huston
1973 – Papillon by Franklin J. Schaffner
1974 – The Godfather Part II by Francis Ford Coppola
1975 – Monty Python & the Holy Grail by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones

Disagree? Leave a reply with your own favourites… NUTs Author? Make your own recommendations!


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Eron Falbo - EDITOR

Brazilian polymath Eron Falbo came to London in 2009 after leaving his band ‘The Julians’ to pursue a solo career and become a cosmopolitician. Falbo began writing at the age of 11 for the school newspaper. By the age of 16 he had got his first job as a journalist. His experience in other magazines stretches from film critic to travel writer, passing through much but never leaving the culture spectrum. Apart from writing, Falbo is also an emerging singer. He was invited to record an album in one of the best studios in Nashville, Tennessee by none other than legendary producer Bob Johnston, who recorded the best material by the likes of Bob Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash (all acclaimed writers). As of yet he’s only released one single, ‘Beat the Drums’ which was featured on Dermot O’Leary’s “Go Buy Monday” (single of the week) for BBC Radio 2, among other media. Currently, Falbo fronts the band ‘the Kyniks’ in venues in London and around the UK and can be occasionally spotted prowling the scene of the New Untouchables taking notes.

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January 25, 2012 By : Category : Articles Film Front Page Media Picks Tags:, , , ,
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