You Wear It Well


If you like my “Tribes of Britain” posts then you’ll really like the wonderful blog What We Wore which also chronicles British youth style but also has stories from the people in the photos so it’s far more interesting.

You may think this is just a funny song about some bloke buying a new suit but it’s actually one of the most subversive singles of the 1950s: a devastating critique of materialist desire, capitalism, and how the working classes try to achieve status through their clothing. Really.

Download: Shopping For Clothes — The Coasters (mp3)

The Tribes of Britain




Download: Girls Are Out To Get You – Fascinations (mp3)




Download: Aunties And Uncles (Impulsive Youths) – The Jam (mp3)




Download: Dressed In Black – The Shangri-Las (mp3)



Download: Jump Boys – The Undertones (mp3)

Commercial Break


Kickers were very hip shoes in the late 1970s, the footwear of rich rock stars and, judging by the ad above, were mostly only sold in swanky London fashion spots like South Moulton Street and Beauchamp Place.

Of course that made them very desirable to style-conscious kids too and I knew a few who had a pair back then. They’d show them off around the estate, cocky in the knowledge that a pair of red Kicker Hi boots had a status beyond the latest must-have trainers. I never had any because they were too expensive — we were poor, you know — but I didn’t like them much anyway.

They became more popular and widespread in the 1980s, their bright colours and chunky soles going well with the nursery-school outfit of Smiley t-shirts and baggy dungarees of the Madchester/Acid crowd (and were worn by a sheep on the cover of a Farm album), but I have no idea what their hip cachet is these days.

“You Wear It Well” was a bit too obvious a selection for this post so I went with this one instead.

Download: Country Comfort – Rod Stewart (mp3)

The Glam Olympics


Ladies and gentlemen, Alvin Stardust as Discobolus.

Download: Red Dress – Alvin Stardust (mp3)

Something for the Weekend



Hello, it’s me. Todd Rundgren from the planet Xenon.

Commercial Break


Billy Preston knows fashion too. But it looks like he keeps his car in the sort of dodgy lock-up garage you’d see in The Sweeney.

Download: Right Now – Billy Preston (mp3)

Something for the Weekend



I love this song, but his make-up and outfit does give the performance an unfortunate “sad clown” vibe. He should have a teardrop painted on his cheek.

The Tribes of Britain



Download: Boys and Girls – Reparata & the Delrons (mp3)



Download: To Be Someone (Demo) – The Jam (mp3)




Download: Teenage Lament ’74 – Alice Cooper (mp3)




Download: Hersham Boys – Sham 69 (mp3)

What’s it all about?

The sentimental musings of an ageing expat in words, music, and pictures. Mp3 files are up for a limited time so drink them while they're hot. Contact me: lee at londonlee dot com

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