Tag Archives: Barbour

Recent Reads #2 – HALCYON Issue 01

I know I had a moan about the crappyness of 2011 in the last blog, however if there was one decent thing to take from last year it was the rise and my discovery of more independently written zines popping up here and there. One of my most recent, and favourite, reads last year was the very first issue of newly formed Liverpool (is right la) mag HALCYON. I first stumbled across Halcyon back in August when mooching about on twitter, at the time Halcyon was just a new webzine that was just starting off full of cracking little articles revolving around Football, Fashion, Film and Music one of which was published in August 2011’s issue of When Skies Are Grey (Everton fanzine). Not long after discovering the site and talking to a couple of the lads behind it via twitter I bumped into Dan (Sandison -Editor) and Rob (Gavin – Contributor/Co-Editor) at Weavers Door 1st Anniversary Birthday bash who made me aware that they were currently working on a potential paper version which got me rather excited and intrigued. So after a few months of keeping it on the sly the first issue of HALCYON Magazine was released just before Christmas, and I do have to honestly say it’s rather good.

The first thing you’ll notice about the zine is how well presented it is. Most “first issues” tend to be rather DIY and cut and paste and rough, not this one however. The magazine is presented in a rather excellent matted A4 complete with a good blend of greyscale and coloured imagery. Makes me wonder had I put that much effort into my zine (WithinXreach) when I was involved in the hardcore and straight edge scene years ago maybe I would have actually well, you know, released it. The articles are fantastically well written including a great interview with (now) Former WBC Super Middleweight champion Carl Froch prior to his bout with with Andre Ward last month in which he was stripped of his title after his 13 month reign. Other great articles in the mag include a a deck out with Liverpool indie outfit The Loud courtesy of the brilliant Weavers Door, an Average Footballer hall of fame featuring a Coventry City “Legend”, brand profiling of independently owned clothing brand “80’s Casuals” and a brilliant interview/article “Style Guide” with DJ Phat Phil Cooper a piece I found very intriguing myself as a bigger chap with an eye for smart clobber.

All in all the magazine, considering it’s a first issue, is excellent. I don’t think the lads behind it would be too upset with me if I said, being that it is a Liverpool based mag, there is definitely a “The End” influence in the magazine and although the execution is rather different (more concentrated and serious and a little less piss-takey, if that’s even a word) the general concept of the mag is on the same frame of mind i.e “Music, beer and football” (amongst other things) but in the end that’s NEVER a bad thing in my eyes, after all a great man once said that these subject matters were “The very stuff of life itself.” and let’s be honest, I think John Peel knew what he was talking about despite working for the BBC.

You can still pick up one of the last remaining copies of the mag from Weavers Door, Ran and Probe in Liverpool and in Ran and Oi Polloi in Manchester as well as a few other shops, check their FACEBOOK page or TWITTER for more details of where you can pick up a physical copy from. However, if by the time you read this and cannot get a copy of the zine you can view it on their website HERE. Oh did I mention it’s completely FREE as well, seriously, don’t sleep on this one.

 

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Recent Reads #1 – PROPER Magazine Issue.11

Yes, I've used this picture before...so sue me!

Back in the 80’s a group of scouse lads set out to write a little cut and paste fanzine talking about the footy, having a bevvy, trainers, life in Liverpool, music and genuilly just taking the piss out of everything. This little fanzine spawned into one of the best loved independent fanzines for the average lad on the terrace with an eye for smart gear, an ear for good music and a taste for a good bevvy. THE END magazine set the bar for independent fanzines and was loved by all who read it including legendary DJ the late John Peel who described the magazines contents of being “the very stuff of life itself.” Unfortunately for me I wasn’t born till 1986 so I never got the opportunity to experience THE END in all it’s witty glory, however many new publications have popped up over the recent years that have had that “The End” sort of inspiration and feel behind it that touch up on an even broader field of subjects for both the new generation of lads with the eyes, ears and taste for fashion, music and ale and the lads of yesteryear who can remember the days of The End and all the various other fanzines of their time.

For me, personally, none do it better than that of PROPER Mag. Proper started out as a website by two mates who then turned it into a small fanzine over 5 years ago with the intention of writing about smart gear, ale and footy. As the zine has aged it’s certainly graced and become a bit of a full on magazine, the most recent issue being a perfectly bound glossy 112 pages long. Although each issue come out every 6 months or so it’s become one of my favourite to read ever since I accidentally stumbled across issue 9 a couple of years ago. It’s a perfect combination of well written articles, interviews and reviews of smart clothes and the people behind the creation as well as well-humoured piss taking and witty banter of the best kind.

I recently picked up Issue 11 from Weavers Door in Liverpool and was certainly far from disappointed. The new issue covers a brilliant broad range of articles including an interview with Tokhito Yoshida, the man behind Barbour’s recent To Ki To range, and his wife whilst on a fly fishing trip and articles on London’s hidden gems, Norweigan scran, A guide to drinking real ale and rare albums you need in your life but don’t have. There’s also some great plugs and reviews of some very smart brands like Velour, 6876, Our Legacy and Vera as well as brilliant “Wish List” guide for an idea of perfect items to pick up once that winning lottery ticket pays up or that bank heist you’ve been planning all your life works out.

For me though it was a certain interview in this issue that really caught my eye. It was the interview with Yorkshire born Robert Wade-Smith the man behind the one and only Wade Smiths in Liverpool. Though I was born in the latter half of the 80’s and never got to experience the great “Trainer Boom” that happened in the city I certainly do have my memories as a kid of my ma buying my trainers for school every year from there and me always wanting to get the coolest (and usually most expensive) pair going and then eventually buying my Kickers and Pod’s that I wore for high school.  It’s a cracking little article for anyone with good memories of the once great Wade Smiths even if they, like me, weren’t around for the trainer boom.

Certainly a publication I would recommend anyone to pick up whilst they still can. It’s stocked in a handful of men’s clothes shops and record stores scattered about the country like Weavers in Liverpool or Oi Polloi! in Manchester but can also be bought from the Proper Mag’s direct WEBSITE which also acts as a bit of a webzine for articles and reviews that don’t make it to the zine. The Proper lads are also on the usual mediums of Twitter and Facebook so get adding and friending them now but most of all GO BUY THE MAG!!! Go on, stop being a meff and go get it, before it sells out and you feel foolish for not actually taking my advice for once.

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