Monday, January 28, 2013

Northern Monkeys - Dressing and messing at the match and more



I was lucky enough to read an advance copy of Northern Monkeys a few weeks or months (can't remember) before it eventually came out. My mate Michael Taylor, whose job it was to get Bill Routledge's book tidied up, published and on the shelves, gave me a near finished draft and asked for my opinion. I gave it too, although I'm not sure how much of my input made a difference to the final published version.

What I do know is that I read it in three days - and I'm usually a very slow reader - so I definitely enjoyed it.

A few people have stifled a yawn when I've mentioned the book to them, convinced as they are that terrace tales have had their day and that everything  that could be said about the links between football, music and fashion has been said already.

I understand that cynicism, but Northern Monkeys is worth another look, even for those who think they've heard it all before. The long list of contributors is reason enough alone.

Although the likes of Cass Pennant have contributed chapters, the book doesn't go too heavy on the hoolie stuff. Instead, the tales that are told are of being young, feeling part of a scene and wanting to look the business.

Robert Wade-Smith, Gary Aspden from adidas and Barry Bown from JD Sports have a chapter each. They talk about clothes and their respective roles in kitting out this movement of young people. It's fascinating stuff.

Another guy I'm friendly with, Jez Bramwell, contributed a chapter that describes what it was like to be a young teenager witnessing a mob, not quite involved and not even wanting to be, but still in awe of the right labels and buzzing off the edginess of the whole affair. Almost everyone I know has been there. He describes it all brilliantly.

Anyway, I'm made up for Michael and his pal Bill that the book seems to be selling well. The first edition copies are all gone and I believe a second edition is on its way.

You can find out more about it at the Northern Monkeys website and on the various social media channels that link to it. My own favourite bit of content is a Spotify playlist that has been created by 'someone' and which includes every tune that is mentioned in the book. Nice touch.


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