Montag, 23. September 2013

"Tour de Mod" Teil I: Simon "Soggy" Songhurst, Oslo / Leicester

Es ist soweit - Teil 1 der "Tour de Mod" kann gestartet werden!

Wir starten mit Simon Songhurst - einem Engländer, der in Oslo lebt. Da alle Welt davon ausgeht, dass Engländer so etwas wie "Super-Mods" seien, dachte ich mir, die Kombination aus englischem "Super-Mod" und skandinavischem Sinn für Design kann nur interessant sein...

Doch nun genug der einleitenden Worte - ab zum Interview!

 How and when did you get interested in the "Mod"-Lifestyle? How has your style evolved since then?

That was way back in the summer of 1979, there was an article about the film Quadrophenia in a national newspaper with a picture of Sting sitting on a Vespa. It was that image that just clicked with me; the suit, the slim tie and shoes, the Mac and the scooter. Everything was so cool. I'd never heard of Mods or any other subculture at that time, being only 13. I do remember the punk thing but that never really appealed to me. After reading the paper the whole thing seemed cool and exciting but quite mysterious. When I went back to school I found a book in the library called A Glasgow Gang Observed by James Patrick, that was really my first insight into the mod sense of dress. I must have read that book 100 times,  Sta-press, red socks and Hush Puppie Brouges, Monkey jackets, button down collared shirts... I couldn't get enough.       
When I was 14 I got my first Mohair suit, brown with an Orange check my dad brought me for my birthday. I lived in that suit, after I'd got the flared trousers taken in and the two button front turned into a three. I remember it cost £89 on sale and it was by Eugene Boss, which ran along side Hugo Boss back in the day. The music side of it was power pop, you know, The Jam, Chords that sort of thing. I never liked the Two Tone stuff. That all went out the window after I got a Motown Chartbusters album. Collecting soul and R&B records is something I've been cursed with ever since!
  I think my clothes have changed over the years, as a Modernist I've looked at clothes much more subjectively as I've gotten older. Its not good thinking a parka is cool when your 30. I've learnt that good clothes don't come cheap. A made to measure suit isn't always better than a RTW suit by a company like Sartoria Partenopea or La Vera. Its all a learning curve getting a wardrobe together.  I've traveled to Italy and England to have suits made, I even went to Italy once just to buy fabrics! My friends that aren't into clothes think I'm crackers.
    I'm really into the washed fabrics and garment dyed clothes of brands like Boglioli and  Lardini at the moment, relaxed but very easy to dress up. Italian style with natural shoulders, Ivy staples have always been in my wardrobe and Anglo Bespoke, but really the Italians are leading the way for me these days. I'm rarely out of PT.01 trousers these days.


Where do you get your inspiration from? Movies, Magazines, the internet?

  People mainly, I really dig the clothes of David Reeves of New York, his house style is very Mod, ultra sharp. Luca Rubinacci I admire, he knows how to match colour and texture. Other Modernists that dress well, Claudio Rossi who runs DNA Groove, I think we have the same taste in our attire. I should really mention Absolute Beginners which is a must for anyone looking to suss out the Modernist vibe. I just finished reading Barons Court, All Change by Terry Taylor, again a great read for understanding that early Modernist vibe. Before it went tits up and became all about fighting rockers and being force fed by the new teen fashion industry of the 60s.

What is the core of being a "Mod"? Is it just clobber or a whole lifestyle for you?

  It is a lifestyle choice I think, my home is adorned on the walls by modern art and I only have Modernist furniture, or Post-Modernist as its called now. The only mid century Modernist designed thing I have is a George Nelson Sunburst clock. I think design in everything is important, not just clothes. Modernist design is still very much on offer. I tend to avoid buy anything with the word "Mod" in the title, it always turns out to be a let down, I think the term is used to often to preach or sell to the converted. If you need to be told it is Mod its most likely not.

Do you think it is different to be a Mod in Oslo to other countries? Is there a vibrant scene where you live or is it just a bunch of very few hardcore stylists? Does your origin has an impact on your style?

Modernist design is every where throughout Scandinavian countries in building, furniture and art design. Its not seen as a design style of a by gone era like it is in other countries, at least not like the UK. There is not really a scene in the sense of a group of people collective. There is a number of people who embrace design and are very clued up on the lifestyle but don't call them sleeves "Mods". I think a lot of people from other countries tend to think that "British Mods do it best", so to speak, and I think that the British often think that too. I've found that where you come from doesn't really make a difference.

How important is Music for you and who is your All-Time-Favourite?

Music is a life long love for me, I'm a resident DJ at 4 monthly club nights in city venues playing R&B, Soul, Boogaloo and bits of Jazz and Ska. There may not be many Mods in Oslo but the music is very popular. We don't have dress codes for the door, even if there were enough Mods to fill a nightclub I wouldn't want it any other way. I don't know about you but I go clubbing to hear great music, not to turn my nose up at people because they choose to wear jeans and sneakers. All time favorite? Wow, what a question! mmmm... Bobby Bland or maybe Otis, then again theres Jimmy Smith, Jr. Walker, John Lee Hooker, Etta... no, sorry, can't pick one, too many great artists to choose from.

Simon bei sich zu Hause,
bevor es in den Club zum DJing geht...

Do you have some favorites amongst celebrities who claim to be "Mods"?

Nah, their all wankers, apart from Martin Freeman who takes it in his stride. As for that Steve Cradock...don't start me off!

And now, last but not least: Paul Weller or Steve Marriott?

They've both done great records, hard to call, they're very different to each other. I think if you put a gun to my head and said pick one I'd have to spin a coin, but to be honest I'd rather listen to some James Brown.

Man sieht, dass Simon kein
1960er-Jahre "Retro-Mod" ist!

Simon Songhurst ist ein Anhänger des Modernismus, der ursprünglich aus Leicester (England) stammt. Er lebt allerdings seit langer Zeit in Oslo (Norwegen). Simon war so nett, als Erster eine Reihe von Fragen zu beantworten - der Internationalität der Teilnehmer ist es geschuldet, dass diese Fragen in Englisch gestellt wurden. Ich habe alle geführten Interviews bewusst nicht übersetzt, um nicht unnötig die Antworten zu verfälschen.

Simon ist nicht nur einer der ab sofort hier vorgestellten "Modern Day Mods", sondern auch der Urheber des Blogs "College  No.9". Abgesehen davon liebt er es, in seiner Freizeit in Clubs als DJ für gute Laune zu sorgen... und er liebt natürlich Männergarderobe ;)

Hiermit schließe ich diesen Beitrag, und sage:

Bis zum nächsten Mal!

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