Wednesday, 24 May 2006

reality dodgers


Leeds has always cultured its own brand of reality dodger. You know the type – those people who are not quite ready to submit to the norm and all its trappings, the ones with personalities that fail miserably at conformity, the ones that just feel ‘different’ but don’t know why.

As I transformed from child to adolescent I witnessed the transition from Punk to Goth in the shopping centre in town. Leeds became the ‘Goth Capital’ and was over run with gaunt, ghostly looking youths that I would stare at, wide eyed, as I walked by.

On the way to the bus stop after our shopping trips my Mum, my younger Brother and I would pass a mysterious doorway emblazoned with ‘Le Phonographiqe’ and my eyes would widen even further. At that age I was familiar with the word ‘pornographic’ (how – I do not know) and had confused the two. The doorway yielded to steps that led underground and as we walked over the top of the club buried beneath us the bass of the music and the sound of muffled laughter would permeate the walkway.

The mysteries of ‘Le Phonographique’ would later make themselves known to me. Goth transcended into ‘Crust’* and I opted in to that particular trend. ‘The Phono’ in its formative state served my under-age drinking years (50p entry on a Saturday afternoon) well. But then ‘Crust’ gave way to ‘Grunge’ and I abandoned my cause, the hormones of my impending adulthood taking hold.

Now there’s another club in town that attracts a certain kind of people.

‘Emo’ is the alternative choice amongst the new youth. But in this club there’s a whole set of people who opt out of this category and have devised an alternative to the alternative. There’s no name for this set. They’re too cool for that. The only rules are that it has to be ‘Retro’. It doesn’t seem to matter which era so long as it smacks of the past and has a little bit of 50’s or 60’s blended in. There’s a sound track to accompany their weekends, a musical pastiche of bygone days, courtesy of the friendly DJ.

The coolest of them all is leather jacketed with straight legged jeans at just the right length for a little bit of white sock to be on show. He has dainty feet tied up in good quality brogues, hair slicked back, and a chain from belt to pocket. He’s one of the T Birds, a Rocker, a Mod and ‘The Fonz’ all at the same time. He leans against the wall next to the DJ’s mixing desk with a live fast, die young, rock ‘n’ roll, rebel without a cause pretension.

If I were still an ultimate-fantasy-escape-seeking youth I may well have spent a whole day searching out an appropriate vintage frock to wear in an attempt to catch his eye.

* ‘Crust’ = ‘Crusties’,‘The Levellers’, para boots and other military attire, dreadlocks, Glastonbury, ragged, dusty appearing clothes (actually clean and quite expensive) – remember?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

hehe! yea we have emo here too and most of the emo girls are nto that hott except a few.. .the the select few are rather nice to look at but rather tasiturn in conversation.... as is the 'emo' way. :-P

dormerportal said...

it's a rare thing for a bloke to get away with white socks - perhaps it was actually an angel, not a human being at all

Northern Creative said...

maybe it actually WAS james dean (reincarnate)

dormerportal said...

OMG, yes - that'll be it