Perry Henzell’s 1972 film The Harder They Come and its accompanying soundtrack cast quite a shadow across popular culture.
Film-maker – and Bloke Of Britain – Nick Abrahams is the much-deserved subject of a retrospective at the ICA over the next two nights.
Tomorrow (January 24) there will be an evening of films and promos by Abrahams, who was recently nominated for the British Council best short for his magical Ekki múkk (which has already won best short film at the London Short Film Festival 2013). Made for Sigur Rós, this starred a snail (voiced by folk singer Shirley Collins), a fox and The Wire’s Aidan Gillen.
Here Kevin Rowland answers the Blokes Of Britain questionnaire.
NAME: Kevin Rowland
Kevin Rowland is a very dapper gent. This is a truth acknowledged by all right-thinking people.
And Kevin is his own man. How many of us can say that?
He is also something of an artist, one whose connection to his muse is unadulterated by commercial concern or critical pressure. I can’t wait for the new Dexys record, which will be out in 2012.
I covered the stylistic changes Kevin rang through earlier Dexys incarnations – from stevedore to Ivy League – in THE LOOK.
Today Kevin answers the Blokes Of Britain questionnaire, providing an opportunity to present some of his looks – including rare and previously unpublished images – past and present:
The evening of my first encounter with Yuki Yoshioka – who performs and records as Control Freak!! – in April 2006 in Tokyo’s Red Bar sparked a cherished friendship but turned out to be more momentous for a member of our party, Meri.
Introduced that night, these days Meri and Yuki are married and live in London with their gorgeous daughter, Marika.
I am proud to count Bruce Marcus, the man who is Count Indigo, as a firm friend. We have known each other for many years but familiarity has not blunted my admiration for his singular style one whit.
A keen sports participant and observer, one of the first pieces of information Bruce imparted to me was that he always wore a suit to watch football (I can’t remember his team, but sure he continues to strike an imposing figure on the terraces whatever their fortunes).
Bruce also confided that one of his peccadilloes is to shave en route when taking a journey by train (in homage to Cary Grant in North By Northwest). Naturally.
NAME: Christophe Loiron
RESIDES: Los Angeles
OCCUPATION: Mister Freedom
Christophe Loiron is the perfect person to kick off the Men Of The World section, the new counterpoint to Blokes Of Britain and a chance for outernationalists of every stripe to talk about their style.
Schooled in Zaire, the Frenchman has long been a resident of Los Angeles, where he opened his label and store Mister Freedom in the early 00s.
NAME: Chris Salewicz
Chris Salewicz is a neighbour and friend. My admiration for his work harks back more than three decades, when his words shone from the pages of the NME.
As detailed by In Their Own Write, this was no mean feat since Salewicz was part of the formidable team whose members included (deep breath): Max Bell, Angie Errigo, Pete Erskine, Mick Farren, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Kent, Nick Logan, Ian MacDonald, Kate Phillips, Charles Shaar Murray, Neil Spencer, Tony Tyler…
Now Salewicz deals in big subjects as an author, broadcaster and film-maker: his Strummer and Marley books capture the definitive portraits of these imposing figures, while involvement in such ventures as the documentary Beats Of Freedom denotes a mature reflection on his Polish roots.
In addition, Salewicz’s role as an aide-de-camp in Mick Jones’ ongoing Rock & Roll Public Library project betrays the highly attuned visual sensibilities conveyed in these, his answers to the Blokes Of Britain Questionnaire:
NAME: Jeff Dexter
RESIDES: North London
OCCUPATION: Man about town
Trace the progress of popular culture over the last six decades and you’ll find Jeff Dexter at some of its crucial stages of development: demonstrating the twist to modernists at The Lyceum Ballroom and advising the Beatles on which boots to wear in the early 60s; DJing for the noonday underground at Tiles a few years later and then moving into London’s counter-cultural underground as a mainman at Middle Earth and The Roundhouse, where his Implosion nights set the scene for the rise of such friends as Marc Bolan and David Bowie.
There’s Jeff hanging out at Hung On You, booking bands for the first Glastonbury and Isle Of Wight festivals, managing chart-topping America, announcing The Clash at one of their early gigs and DJing for Paul Weller at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire a couple of years back as part of the Island 50 celebrations.
And now he’s answered the Blokes Of Britain questionnaire:
Hi Jeff. What’s with your look these days?
Eclectic and vintage. I mix anything from the past, from another culture, with the standard look which has been ingrained in me since childhood. I looked at some photos today and realised I’ve been doing this since 1968!
NAME: Nicholas Abrahams
Nick Abrahams’ work includes promos for Stereolab, Add (N) To X and sigur rós. More recently he collaborated with Jeremy Deller on the fascinating exposition of fan’s desires, The Posters Came From The Walls.
Among Abrahams’ current projects is Jayne County biopic Man Enough To Be A Woman. Judging from the rushes shown last year, this will be a doozy.
Abrahams cuts quite a dash in any company; as I say below, I admire his ability to combine the edgy with the traditional without pretension.
Here he answers the Blokes Of Britain questionnaire, covering ground from Tiny Tim to gold teeth by way of Cordings, Trickers, Viv Stanshall and William Burroughs. Oh, and not to forget Edward Gorey’s fur coats, Joseph Beuys’ felt suits and Nick’s own creation: The Denton Welch safety bib.
How would you describe your sartorial style?
My girlfriend says I look like a straight bear (IE: a chubby gay man with beard).