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Posts written during 'July 2014'

Check out all of the posts written during 'July 2014' below. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try searching using the form within the right side navigation of this page.

Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems

Image courtesy of One Love Books

Following their success with Clarks in Jamaica, One Love Books release their latest book, Sound System Culture, which celebrates the rich musical history of the small market town, Huddersfield. Nestled within the Pennine Hills of West Yorkshire, Huddersfield seems the most unlikely location for Reggae culture, however has been a stronghold of the British Jamaican scene since its arrival in the 1960s. For the first time in print and featuring a wealth of previously unseen archive material, this book documents the subculture’s history from the initial immigration of Jamaicans to the UK after World War II, to the pioneers and early adopters that solidified the sound’s presence in Europe.

Image courtesy of One Love Books

Sound system culture first became popular in the 1950s, in the ghettos of Kingston, Jamaica. It began simply as a way of playing amplified music to outside gatherings. The first sound systems initially consisted of a small gramophone and speakers on a street corner or private land to entertain friends or attract business to commercial establishments.

Image courtesy of One Love Books

The mass immigration of Jamaicans in the 1960s and ‘70s brought the culture of the sound system to the UK. At the time reggae was increasingly popular with the UK's black working-class youth, its message of Rastafari and overcoming injustice struck a chord with those on the receiving end of racism, prejudice and poverty. It was also very popular with white working class youth, as the two groups often lived, went to school or worked together.

Image courtesy of One Love Books

Speaking about the project, developer and historian Mandy Samra says: “If you came to Huddersfield now you would never think it was once home to a thriving sound system scene. I felt it was important to document the stories of the people involved and to capture some of the magic of the past before it was lost forever. Watching elders look through the book now, I see that magic coming back to them and feel happy that those stories have finally been recorded, and that Huddersfield is back on the sound system map.”

Sound System Culture is available from www.onelovebooks.com

Find out more on Facebook: facebook.com/Sound-System-Culture

Twitter: @OneLoveBooks

Return of the Rudeboy: Exhibition by Dean Chalkley

An exhibition not to be missed across the summer is - Return of The Rudeboy at Somerset House in London. Curated by fashion photographer Dean Chalkley and creative director Harris Elliot, the exhibition comprises a series of portraits and installations that “depict a collective of sharply dressed individuals, who exemplify an important yet undocumented subculture”.

Over the course of the past year, the duo have photographed more than 60 individuals across the UK, documenting the life, style and attitude of the re-born and growing urban group.

Jamaica’s first youth subculture, Rudeboys were depicted as the troubled youth, whose culture revolved around Ska and Rocksteady music. The name ‘Rudeboy’ began as a colloquial term for juvenile delinquents of the 1950s by the islands establishment. Like all youth subcultures (Punk probably the most famous), youth then adopted the terms as a new group identity.

Young men dressed in sharp suits with thin ties and pork pie hats, inspired by American style and Soul artists exemplified the emerging Rudeboy culture. The style crossed the Atlantic via Jamaican migrants bound for a better life in Britain. Picked up by British working class youth and absorbed into Mod style in West London.

The Rudeboy has recurred throughout the history of popular music both in Jamaica and Britain. Their sartorial influence – was evident in both the early Mod and Skinhead movements of the early and late 60s, with labels such as Blue Beat bringing music from Jamaica to ignite the dance floors of London and beyond.

It was also a key influence for the Two-Tone Ska movement that emerged out of the Midlands and London in the wake of Punk in the late 1970s, when bands such as The Specials, The Selecter and Madness reinvigorated Jamaican ska.

The exhibition promises an immersive experience with each of the subjects featured in the portraits providing their signature playlist acting as a sonic backdrop to the visual works.

The curators have worked closely with a variety of influential collaborators to contribute exciting, engaging and enrich the content of the exhibition. These include Rashad Smith, a British-born, New York-based producer who has worked with the likes of Busta Rhymes and Nas, tailors Sam Lambert and Shaka Maidoh, and Grammy award-winning filmmaker and pivotal Punk/Reggae scene DJ Don Letts.

Return of the Rudeboy will be at Somerset House, London until 25 August.

(Images: Top: Sam Lambert, Middle: Bevan Agyemang, Bottom: Martell Campbell & Donya Campbell)

80th Anniversary of Fred Perry’s first Wimbledon title

Britain dominated the world of lawn tennis in the mid 1930s. For three years, Fred Perry was the undisputed world number one, winning a string of major titles and a hat-trick of Wimbledon titles through 1934-1936. 

Today, Fred Perry holds an iconic status. With his victories embedded in history along with his incredibly successful sportswear brand, his legacy is immensely influential to this day.

Born Frederick John Perry on 18 May, 1909, in Stockport. His father Sam was a cotton spinner who worked for the local Co-operative Party, and was summoned to London to work full-time at the party HQ. Fred attended Ealing County School, London and it was there that he was introduced to the world of table tennis.

Fred practiced the game every night and in 1928, he had won the world championship. At which point, he retired from the sport to concentrate on his new obsession – lawn tennis.

He had discovered the game whilst on a family holiday in Eastbourne four years earlier. Stumbling upon a local tournament, he was curious to who the cars parked near the courts belonged to; the spectators or the players? When his father replied ‘the players’, Fred declared that he would become one himself. At the time, tennis belonged to the upper classes, and this was an audacious statement from a working class boy from Stockport.

Fred began training under one Pop Summers, who insisted that he master the art of returning the ball early. It was the only stroke Fred practiced for months. Finally, it integrated into his natural game play and began to devastate his opponents.

Fred Perry’s domination of British tennis began in 1933. He helped lead the Great Britain team to victory over France in the Davis Cup, the first victory in 21 years. The following year he won the Australian Open.

It was 1934 when Perry got his first Wimbledon title. Triumphing over Australian Jack Crawford in the men’s singles, he still faced many who saw him as “not one of us”. Journalists watching him defeat Crawford commented on the “strange lack of excitement” among spectators. Fred’s elation at taking the title turned to anger when he overheard a Wimbledon committee member talking to Crawford after the match, exclaiming, “This is one day when the best man didn’t win”.

Despite the social prejudice, Fred Perry went on to have his name inscribed on three consecutive Wimbledon titles, as well as major singles trophies in France, United States and Australia. Suffocated by the stifling class system and prejudice, within the English lawn tennis association, Fred left Britain to help form the professional tennis circuit in America. Leaving British tennis with a void it struggled to fill for many decades.

The 80 Year Signature Collection, was released on the 6th July, 80 years to the day that Fred Perry first triumphed at Wimbledon. See it online here.