It’s a fact (in our house) that all the best, most witty/clued up writers come from the fanzine scene. Time-served and battle hardened, their wit and acerbic style is the one we take to the most. We can all read about ‘fall essentials’ and describe the shit out of a fucking zip, but the best blogs out there come from people like our mate Michael. His relatively recently launched Nordfield blog is fast becoming out favourite.
With this in mind we thought we’d get him to do us his Favourite Fives. Once you’ve read it, check out http://nordfield.wordpress.com
Item of Clothing
The obvious choice here would be Adidas Gazelle as I got my first pair at 14, have had at least 20 pairs since and 26 years later I’m considering getting another pair. The problem with the obvious choice is that trainers/shoes are not really clothes, they’re trainers/shoes and for this reason I can choose nothing else but a Baracuta G9 Harrington jacket (‘Natural’ being my most-favoured colour). I’ve had at least one Harrington in my wardrobe for the past 20 years, though it’s usually more than one and in a range of colours. I think it’s the law to call it a ‘wardrobe staple’ but a G9 is undoubtedly classic casual menswear. I don’t wear fashionable clothes, I wear clothes that I like and clothes that suit me. A Harrington is my ‘go-to’ jacket for March – September and has been for years. I buy plenty of other jackets but I always end-up back at Baracuta.
Since the internet got good I don’t read as many books as I did and I rarely re-read a book but I’ve read Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut a few times, the first when I was at school. It’s an anti-war book about a former soldier-turned-optometrist who travels through time, witnesses the bombing of Dresden and is abducted by aliens later in his life. It manages to be about Dresden, about the horror of World War II and about the Holocaust, yet with really only fleeting explicitness. As a novel it’s a meditation on the limits of fiction, the limits of America, and the limits of (in)humanism (Soz). It’s also a science-fiction, war, comic novel with drugs, sex and boobies in it.
I’m halfway through reading it again and I now read it like I watch Pulp Fiction. The ‘narrative’ is largely redundant and I’m just waiting for the cool bits to come along but that’s OK, I like Pulp Fiction. One of the ‘cool bits’ I just read was this;
“The flaw in the Christ stories, said the visitor from outer space, was that Christ, who didn’t look like much, was actually the son of the Most Powerful Being in the Universe. Readers understood that, so, when they came to the crucifixion, they naturally thought…
Oh, boy – they sure picked the wrong guy to lynch that time!
And that thought had a brother: There are right people to lynch. Who? People not well connected. So it goes.”
I’ve undoubtedly enjoyed books more but this one had a real impact on my thinking when I read it and continues to do so now and it makes me smile. It’d be either this or Funky Chickens by Benjamin Zephaniah anyway.
Music is a tough one because I listen to all-sorts but if you’re making me choose I’d go for some classic rocksteady reggae as it ticks most boxes most of the time. I regularly go to dances put-on by the Aba-Shanti sound system and their selections are always right-up my street and 54-46 (Was My Number) by Toots & The Maytals is always a winner and impossible not to dance to. I might swap it for ‘Feel the Rhythm’ by Clancy Eccles or something by U-Roy but any of them would do me.
If you asked me tomorrow I might’ve chosen be something by The Phantom Band or Aphex Twin but that’s the beauty of music innit (and you didn’t…you asked today). Selah!
I don’t really have a favourite piece of art. The Juventus shirt from 1982-84 and Jackson Pollock’s Number 33 from 1949 would both be in my top 30 but I couldn’t pick a number one. I used to really like the ‘B of The Bang’ sculpture in Manchester before bits fell off it and they took it down.
I like the Adolphe Valette paintings of early 20th century Manchester that are in the city’s gallery. I went to a Hindu temple recently and some of the paintings in there were amazing, like scenes from the film 300. For the last decade I’ve seen lots of exhibitions of both Liam Spencer (undoubtedly influenced by Valette) and Paul Housley and we’ve got a few of their prints on the walls.
I’ve just put a multi-pack of salt and vinegar Disco’s crisps in the cupboard and they’re definitely a work of art so it’s an impossible choice to pick one.
Disappointingly yet inevitably I’m going to have to say Football. I can’t remember life before I had football and I genuinely can’t imagine life without it and it can be a bastard. In reality I wouldn’t have it any other way of course but sometimes it would be much simpler if I didn’t give a fuck (and my team are hugely successful). If I’m not actually watching my team I’m a useless human for the 90 minutes that they’re playing. The rest of the time I’m talking about it, writing about it, playing it, planning for it, or just thinking about it. The easiest way I have to map-out events in my life isn’t in years but in seasons. Many of my friendships are based around playing or watching football. My boy Frankie’s only 8 but he’s a solid addict with a 2-year habit already. My relationship with football is unconditional and all-consuming. I have tried to ignore it, had periods of weakened interest and even tried to walk away from it but I really can’t. I love it. It’s pathetic really because it’s only a fucking game (Ha!).