Thursday, 31 March 2016

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

The new Bermuda Record player from GPO Retro is now available from Atom Retro! This vintage sixties style record player is new for 2016 and comes in red or blue. Optionally free standing or remove the legs to place on a table top, or take away with you utilising the carry handle. With a full sized LP record turn table, the Bermuda will play 78, 45 or 33rpm records, and also features MP3 and USB, allowing you to record from vinyl straight to USB. Built in, dynamic, full range speakers will ensure this is the record player of choice for all you vinyl junkies.

Shop the GPO Retro Bermuda Record Player

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

A taster of Ellesse Womens has arrived at Atom Retro. With a select few items for the Spring/Summer season, they are sure to be a big hit!

Founded in 1959, Ellesse is a favourite amongst Mod Casuals subculture. Making their name within sporting icons, Ellesse's routes trace right back to skiing through to tennis. Their sporting heritage is portrayed through their clothes with a dash of 80s casuals influences for good measure!

This season collection features sporting heritage at it's best with a tennis skirt and polo dress.

Check out the collection below, in stock now!

Team together the Ellesse 'Floris' cropped hoodie with the 'Gardina' tennis skirt for a fantastic casual look.

Combining the 80s Casuals style hoodie with a classic 70s tennis skirt creates a fantastic outfit packed with sporting heritage. Using traditional styles with a fab Indie contemporary vibe.

The perfect look for a casual lazy day or playing sports on a Summers day. Either way you are sure to look fantastic!

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Part three of our series exploring The Beatles style from 1961 to 1970, compiled and written by our guest blogger, Harrison. In this instalment the Beatles embrace their suited look. You can also create your very own Beatles inspired look with this guide.

'63 - '64
The Toppermost Of the Poppermost

The Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. 1964.

"So we got suits and ties and stuff and we went on like that. We gained a whole new audience and lost all the people who wanted us in leather."
- Paul McCartney 

In 1963, The Beatles were headed to the toppermost of the poppermost. Although there is debate over which single was their first U.K. number one hit, From Me To You went to the top of the charts in May. The group's first number one hit in America was I Want To Hold Your Hand. It entered the charts in January of 1964, and in the first week of February, just before their arrival, the song jumped to number one. 

The Beatles look evolved with their growing success and popularity. They no longer wore their round neck collarless suits. Their stage suits were always a variation of the traditional English Chesterfield, however, in early 1964 the lads had a special suit designed for them by Douglas Millings. The winged velvet collar suit was made for their debut American television performance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9th, 1964. They joined the club of their musical idols, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, who'd previously performed on the programme. The former sent them a telegram prior to their performance to congratulate them.  

The black suits they wore on Ed Sullivan were mohair, four button jackets with three button cuffs. They had no outer pockets, but the fully lined inside had double breast pockets. The double vent back allowed them to move more freely when they performed and also made running from fans easier. They continued to wear narrow ankle drainpipe trousers. The slacks also had tab adjustments on the waistband to make the drainies smaller at the waist and eliminating the need for a belt.

Friday, 18 March 2016

This interview was originally printed in Up&Atom magazine, Issue 3 (Summer 2013). 

I can’t quite believe it’s been ten years since we first picked up Nic Armstrong’s debut album, The Greatest White Liar. In fact, you have to go back nearly eleven years to the beginning of the story. The date was Saturday 11th October 2003, the venue, The Cockpit in Leeds. Nic was on the bill with Crispian Mill’s The Jeevas that night and it was his live show that really blew us away.

Ever since that day we have tried our best to keep in tune with the latest Nic Armstrong news and releases. Nic Armstrong - sometimes also known as Nic Armstrong & The Thieves, and less occasionally as The IV Thieves, hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England. He counts Miles Kane, Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller amongst his fans (and has toured supporting the latter two at various times). Now based in Austin, Texas, Nic’s latest record, the excellent Pocketless Shirt EP is out now and he’s is currently working on a follow up EP and an album. He’s a busy man!

Up&Atom caught up with Nic, who kindly took time out of his hectic schedule to chat with us

Up&Atom - How old were you when you first picked up a guitar? What made you want to play?

Nic Armstrong - I was a young lad, picked up the guitar to beat agoraphobia or some massive form of anxiety in public.

U&A - The Greatest White Liar is a brilliant album. We’ve listened to it so many times that we could write a thesis on it, but that’s not the same as hearing the story from the man himself. Tell us about the album and recording it. Oh, and just who is that lying son of a gun you refer to in the title?

NA - Thank you. Still so grateful for the opportunity to make The Greatest White Liar. We really had a great time making it. We didn’t really do any pre-production.

I remember it was a hot summer in London. We had two weeks to record. Liam [Watson, record producer who has also worked with The White Stripes and The Zutons] would come round in the morning and pick us up. We would start early, record, have great lunches, resume, then wrap up around eight. We would then go out and get absolutely ragged on drink around East London. There’s a memory of dining this 16ft cardboard tube in the street and mounting some mannequin’s head or clown mask on it. In the studio it was all business and a million cups of tea.

One Little Indian [Nic’s record label] asked how I wanted to record. I told them I’d play all the parts except for the drums. I’d spotted a fantastic drummer - Jonny Aitken - in Nottingham a couple of weeks earlier and he was onboard to play. The night before we were due in Toe Rag Studios, my best mate Sam picked us up in his car. We loaded up all this really shitty, wrecked equipment - knackered guitars, half a sitar, broken percussion, my sister’s plastic keyboard and headed to London. All these things were used in the studio - for example, the answering ‘na-na na-na’ on She Changes Like The Weather is that funny keyboard.

Ah, the lying son of a gun, eh? Never handled a gun in the UK, honest guv...! Texas is a different kettle of fish. We’ve shot AK47’s, rifles, pistols, uzis..!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Mod Casuals and Football Terrace inspired lads brand, Weekend Offender is now in stock at Atom Retro.

Founded in 2004 in a small town just outside of Cardiff, Weekend Offender was the brainchild of Sam Jones and Rhydian Powell, who wanted to create a brand celebrating weekends, partying and football. Encorporating homages to Mod Casuals, 60s Mod culture and the Britpop nineties phenomenon, Weekend Offender was born!

This season collection features Happy Mondays inspired Tees, a nod to 90s Acid Rave culture and classic Mod gingham shirts and polos.

Also featured is the ultimate lads Weekender Jacket - the Hemlock Terrace Jacket has a hidden inside pocket containing a toothbrush and toothpaste - just what you need for those Saturday Nights that become Sunday Mornings!

Check below for a preview of the collection, in stock now.

Hemlock Terrace Jacket with Toothbrush!

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Famous for it's Mod Trimfit Shirt, British brand Brutus celebrates it's 50th anniversary this year! And to do it in style, Brutus is launching it's first full lifestyle collection in 20 years.

Launching officially tomorrow (17th March), the new collection for Spring/Summer 2016 features trousers, t-shirts, polos, a Harrington jacket - and of course, all the classic Trimfit shirts Brutus is well known for.

The new collection is already available for order from Atom Retro - bag your favourites today and be the first to wear it!

Brutus was founded in 1966 by brothers, Keith and Alan Freedman, and is still run today by Keith's son, Jonathan. Brutus quickly became famous for their Trimfit shirt - a smartly cut shirt with a darted and box pleat back, the fitted style appealed to Mods and Brutus shirts in gingham, tartans, checks and plains became a wardrobe staple.

In the seventies, Brutus Jeans also shot to fame, with adverts by David Bailey and even a UK number 3 hit for the 'Jeans On' song on the Brutus Jeans TV advert (sung by David Dundas).

Brutus Trimfit is a firm favourite of Atom Retro. Check under the read more for a preview of the 'All I've Ever Known' collection or head over to Atom to order your Trimfit before they all sell out!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Here are a couple of new pics of Dante DiCarlo, the very talented guitarist with premier UK Who tribute band, Who's Next.

Dante is sponsored by Madcap England and here in these photos he's wearing Madcap England's Attack Racing Jumper.

Dante can often be spotted on stage in the Madcap Townshend Union Jack blazer too!

Who's Next are currently touring! Catch them at a gig near you. Check their website for info.

See under the 'read more' for more pics of Dante in action.

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Part two of our eight part series exploring The Beatle’s style from 1961 to 1970, by our guest blogger, Harrison. In this instalment we see the Beatles out of leather and into their first suits. You can also create your very own Beatles inspired look with this guide.
'62 - '63
Suited and Booted

The Beatles wearing their Beno Dorn Suits. Photo by Harry Whatmough, 1962

The Beatles first recorded performance with Ringo Starr on drums, 
wearing their suits without the blazers.

“I don’t think John particularly liked wearing a suit - nor did I - but we wanted more work, and we realised that’s what we had to do.” 
- George Harrison

In January of 1962, The Beatles signed a contract with Brian Epstein to manage them. Epstein was only a few years older than the lads and had no prior experience managing a band, although he had successfully run NEMS, his family’s record shop on Whitechapel, Liverpool. What he lacked in experience he made up for in his determination to ensure the groups music career flourished.

One of the first moves Epstein made was to encouraged the Beatles to clean up their image. He coaxed them into wearing jeans and jumpers with their leather jackets instead of their full leather suits. This was a compromise the lads were willing to make, however, when Epstein then suggested that they wear tailored suits on stage, he was met with resistance, especially from John Lennon and Pete Best. Both young men preferred to wear their leathers, thinking it was a more 'rock and roll' image, but they also acknowledged that if they wanted to advance their careers, they needed to change their appearance.

The Beatles moved into the next phase of their careers, transitioning from rough-around-the-edges rock 'n' rollers to polished pop stars. They performed in the leather suits for the final time at the Cavern Club in the Spring of 1962.

In 2012, George Harrison’s leather jacket went up for sale at Bonham’s. Harrison bought the jacket in 1960 for £10 ($14) and it fetched £110,450 ($177,400) at auction. His Chelsea 'Beatle' boots, which were also part of the memorabilia sale went for £61,250 ($98,000). A pair of leather trousers that allegedly belonged to Paul McCartney also surfaced in 2013.

Mike Hoggard often performed at the same venues as The Beatles in the early 60s and he claims to be in possession of McCartney’s leather trousers. He states that Brian Epstein gifted the clothing item to him after a gig at the Cavern Club. Hoggard’s claim hasn’t been substantiated and the trousers with the name ‘Paul’ written inside remain in his possession.

To further smartened up the band’s look, Epstein took the lads to a local tailor, Beno Dorn where they were fitted for their first mohair stage suits. The blazers were three-button, single breasted with slim lapels, broad shouldered and narrow at the waist. The matching suit trousers were similar to the drainpipe trousers the Beatles wore and at their insistence, were cut to fit snugly through the legs and were tapered quite narrow at the ankle. The lads returned the trousers twice to the tailors to have them narrowed further! Essentially, this was a slim lapelled, 3 button Mod Suit with a slight 1950s hangover in the short, more boxy fit of the jacket.

However, even away from the band, not everyone was pleased with the Beatles new look. For some of the fans it signalled the bands start to move away from Liverpool, and Cavern Club DJ, Bob Wooler remarked that the mohair suits were impractical. "They went on stage and really sweated and all their suits began to rot, they began to come apart at the seams... But that was the start of the new image. They learned how to adjust."

The dress shirts worn with the suits had rounded penny collars and were pin spread (bar collars) finished with inch wide skinny ties. The Portofino french cuffs of the dress shirt peeked out from their blazer sleeves and were accented with cuff-links.

The Beatles wearing their Douglas Millings collarless suits. Photo by Dezo Hoffman, 1963
The Beatles performing in 1963.

Arguably, the Beatles most iconic look from the early 1960s is their collarless suits. When the lads met London tailor, Douglas Millings in the Autumn of 1962 they requested “something different”. The design of this suit bares a striking resemblance to the collarless suits first designed by Pierre Cardin in 1960, however, the Beatles wearing the suits is what made the collarless jacket look quite popular in the early 1960s.

Pierre Cardin Suits, 1960
Millings became “the Beatles tailor” and the lads affectionately referred to him as “Dad”. He appeared alongside the group in the film, A Hard Day’s Night as a frustrated tailor trying to measure the Beatles. Douglas, along with his son Gordon were responsible for making hundreds of garments for the group over the years until the later half of the 60s.

The Beatles collarless suit edges were outlined in piping. The three-button suit jacket had slit pockets that were angled at the hips. The sleeves were shortened and buttonholes added to them. The back of the jackets had two small vertical vents that made it easier for the Beatles to perform in these suits. The look was quite mod and considered very fashion forward for a pop act.

John Lennon's Collarless Jacket
Another important component to the Beatles look was the famous mop top hair. Stuart Sutcliffe was the first Beatle to wear his hair stylishly combed forward. His girlfriend, Astrid Kirchherr had cut his hair into this unisex style. It was a popular look with many of the young men at the college she attended.

The Beatles poked fun at Sutcliffe’s newly styled hair and continued to wear theirs in 50s style greasy quiffs. A little later, George asked Astrid to cut his hair like Stuart’s, but after debuting his new look at a Hamburg club and being met with funny looks, Harrison quickly changed his hair back to the Teddy Boy look.

It wasn’t until the Autumn of 1961 when John and Paul ran into Jurgen Vollmer in Paris. He was an old friend from Hamburg and the “Exis” with the mod hair cut. They asked for what became known as the “Beatle cut”. 

The label inside John's Jacket
Returning from Paris with their new hairstyles, Epstein took them to a barber to have their mop-tops properly cut and styled. The sideboards were shortened and the fringe combed over the forehead, and they were clean shaven, perfecting what became perhaps the Beatles most iconic and well known image.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Nic Armstrong & The Thieves play the SXSW festival, in Austin, Texas next week!

Here's the agenda folks:

TUES 15th March @ 8:00 PM - Private Event

FRI 18th March @ 1:00 PM - SouthBites - 604 Driskill St (Culture Collide and Avocados For Mexico Present Guacamole Showdown)

FRI 18th March @ 6:30 PM - Indian Roller - 10006 Manchaca

SAT 19 March @ 6:00 PM - Botticellis (back garden stage) - 1321 South Congress (next door to Continental Club)

SAT 19 March @ 9:00 PM - Whislers - 1816 E 6th St (6th & Chicon)

If you're going to SXSW, make sure you catch a Nic Armstrong & The Thieves show, or two, or all of them!

Check Nic's website for more info.

If you're in the Netherlands this March and April, make sure you catch the UK's premier 60s Tribute band, The Overtures on tour!

The Overtures are kicking off 2016 with a 5 week tour of Holland at the end of March and throughout April, and we dare say they might be sporting some of their Madcap England clobber on stage too! The band were recently photographed wearing Madcap England shirts, jackets, suits and shoes for their new promo pics!

Check here for the full list of tour dates

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

The first delivery of the new Marmalade collection for Spring 2016 is due to arrive very soon at Atom Retro!

One of Atom Retro's best selling and longest stocked women's brands, Marmalade is a collection of premium women's 60s and Mod Dresses and jackets. Gorgeous 60s Mini Dresses taking influences and inspiration from some of the most iconic designers of the 1960s.

Here's a sneak preview of what's in store from Marmalade for this season. As always, the dresses can be quite limited stock, so don't let your favourite sell out before you've had chance to grab one!

STOP PRESS! The collection is now in stock! (More styles coming soon!) Shop here.

Check under the 'read more' for Marmalade's beautiful new dresses and jackets.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Our new blog series by guest blogger, Harrison! This eight part series will explore The Beatles iconic looks from 1961 to 1970. You can also create your very own Beatles inspired look with this guide.

61’ - 62’
The Four Gene Vincents

The Beatles in 1961. Photo by Albert Marrion
The earliest known footage of the Beatles performing in 1961. 
In this soundless 8MM clip, they are wearing their leather suits.

“...We went back to Germany and we had a bit more money the second time, so we bought leather pants and looked like four Gene Vincents, only a bit younger."

- John Lennon, ‘The Mersey Sound’

The Beatles emulated the style of Teddy Boys, a subculture of rebellious young men that had sprung up in the 1950s. They were product of American rock n’ roll music, and their style was a take on the dandies during the Edwardian period.

Teds wore knee length drape jackets, high necked collared shirts, skinny ties, drainpipe trousers and brogues or crepe soled creepers. They styled their hair with pomade and piled it high into a quiff.  

By the early 1960s the look had evolved. Young men were now wearing leather jackets - perhaps a call back to Marlon Brando in ‘The Wild One’ - and long pointed toe Winklepicker Shoes were in fashion. A pair of snugly fit drainpipe trousers were still popular.  

In the spring of 1961 The Beatles returned to Hamburg for a second time. They were contracted for a four month residency at the Top Ten Club and were reunited with their old friend, Astrid Kirchherr, a photographer they’d met during their first trip to Germany. The young woman was also the girlfriend of Stuart Sutcliffe, the group’s bass player at the time.

When he wasn’t performing with the band, Stuart would spend his time with Astrid. He was greatly influenced by her unusual sense of style. She was part of the existentialist movement, shortened to 'Exis' by John Lennon. They dressed in all-black, unisex clothing and wore unisex hairstyles. Stuart would borrow her clothes and mirror her look. In particular, he was taken with her tight black leather suit, and Astrid had one tailor-made for Stuart to wear when he performed with the group.  

His bandmates were knocked out by the leather suit wanted their own to match, but they couldn’t afford the expensive prices the leather shop downtown charged. They went to a affordable tailor in the St. Pauli district of Hamburg and ordered black leather drainpipe pants and matching velvet shirts. They accessorised their hard edged look with cowboy boots and occasionally wore pink caps that sat on the back of their quiffs.  

The Beatles return to Liverpool caused a stir of excitement. Their new look and sound set them apart from other groups and gave them the edge on the Merseyside music scene. Pretty soon others on the Merseybeat scene were also emulating the Beatles 'Hamburg' style.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Here's some brand new promo pics of the UK's top Sixties Tribute band, The Overtures for 2016, straight off the presses!

Here's the band as a four piece, Den Pugsley, Steve Phypers, Jamie Cook and Chris Skornia, wearing Madcap England Blue Pinstripe Suits.

The Overtures boast over 400 songs in their repertoire, covering every aspect of 60s music from Merseybeat classics from The Beatles and The Searchers, to Surf rock sounds of The Beach Boys, folk rock from The Mamas and The Papas and Donovan, through to R&B blues from The Rolling Stones, Mod rock from The Who and carrying on to the psychedelic power of Jimi Hendrix. They guarantee there will be something for everyone in their comprehensive Bootleg Sixties theatre show!

Look out for new tour dates from The Overtures soon!

Check under the cut for more fab pics of The Overtures in Madcap England.