Bill Routledge is a Preston lad who has penned a number of great articles not only for this site for for Casual Connoisseurs, Our Culture and his own PNE empire, Waiting For Glory.
Over the past few years Bill’s been interviewing various northern style setters, streetwear fanatics and sub-culture obsessives for his book, ‘Northern Monkeys.’ The book has been a labour of love for Bill and will soon be on the shelves or available from mail order. Unlike many of these so-alled ‘sub-culture’ tomes, NM lets the subjects tell their own tales, free from any pretentious mediation from the show off academics or self-glorifying hacks (yes, Paolo I mean you). Bill is just a normal fellar with a passion for great clothes, great music and not very great football. Monkeys looks at sub-cultures both well known and documented and relatively obscure that have shaped the way we dress, dance and live ‘up north.’
We heartily recommend this book for anyone with the slightest interest in pop culture over the past 40 years or so.
Here’s the blurb….
Contributed fables that are in Northern Monkeys range from blokes touching seventy years of age, right through the spectrum down to teenagers on how they perceive the subcultures/non-cults of today. There are authors like Dave Hewitson – “The Liverpool Boys are in Town” – telling of Cunard Yanks bringing back goods to British shores from around the world and Scouse fixation for being first in, best dressed. A War Baby, on growing up in a backwater Northern town in the Fifties and Sixties. Mods, Boot Boys and Hippies. Skinheads, Scooter Boys and Soulies. The Twisted Wheel nightclub is covered by lads who walked the walk, and danced the dance along with Blackpool Mecca, The Golden Torch and Wigan Casino. Cass Pennant on travelling ‘op noff’ in the Seventies for football and visiting Northern Soul venues plus his thoughts on Northern Soul when the south had gone all funky. Punk and Oi! 2-Tone by Ian Hough – “Perry Boys & Perry Boys Abroad” – as only he can write in his flamboyant ramblings. Ste Cowens – “B.B.C. 1 & 2” – on New Romantic in Sheffield. The rise of the Casual/Dresser movement with a comparison on the North-south divide in dress. Dressing down/the Scruff Look by Phil Thornton – “Casuals” – and others chip in too. Entrepreneurs who have made a decent crust connected to sportswear; Wade Smith, Gary Aspden and the MD at JD. Raving & misbehaving and Madchester. Wayfarers tales of travel and mischief. And, much much more from lads who have experienced happenings in bygone eras.