Sunday, 24 April 2016

Part five exploring The Beatles style from 1961 to 1970, compiled and written by guest blogger, Harrison. In this instalment the Beatles embrace colour and patterns. You can also create your very own Beatles inspired look with this guide.

'65 - '66
Here Comes the Colour 

The Beatles, 1966
The Beatles Live at Budokan 

"The Beatles saved the world from boredom."
- George Harrison 

In the winter of 1965, The Beatles released Rubber Soul, their sixth studio album. The LP was met with both commercial and critical success. It also marked a departure for the lads from their poppy sound and clean cut image. The cover was shot by photographer, Robert Freeman in the backyard of John Lennon's home, Kenwood. 

Freeman was a favorite photographer of the Beatles and consecutively designed five album covers for the group from 1963 to 1966. 

The Beatles stretched image tilted at a 'dutch angle' was happenstance. Freeman was projecting photographs of the band onto an album sized piece of cardboard. It fell slightly and stretched the photograph. The group liked the distorted effect and requested Freeman duplicate that for their album cover. 

Freeman asked illustrator Charles Front to design the lettering. Front was inspired by the title and wanted to invoke an image of a thick substance being pulled downwards. This stylized font became synonymous with the 1960s and mirrored Freeman's elongated album cover image of the Beatles. 

Friday, 22 April 2016

Welcome to our new blog series showcasing some new bands, old bands and fantastic music!

The first band up is Idle Talk, a three piece Indie band from Brighton, UK. Above is one of their latest tracks, Inner Demons, which can be found on their latest EP, Reaction (released in February 2016).

Picture by Tom Little
Idle Talk are Louis May (vocals and guitar), Matt Geary (bass) and David Bishop (drums). They formed in early 2015 and immediately started making a name for themselves in and around the Brighton music scene. Influenced by elements of indie, mod and soul, the band have gone on to support bands like Secret Affair and From The Jam at sold out shows on their respective tours.

2016 has seen them release their first EP for Detour Records called Reaction. This was mixed by Andy Crofts (The Moons/Paul Weller Band) and has received great reviews. With various festival dates and support slots line up for the rest of the year, the band are going from strength to strength! Make sure to catch them at a gig near you soon.  (Find upcoming gig details below).

Would you like your band featured here? Email details to and you could be the next Something For The Weekend! (All types of music, bands and artists welcome! All genres, signed, unsigned, young and old!)

Catch Idle Talk live:

10th May - The Latest Music Bar, Brighton
19th June - The Old Queen's Head, London
29th July - Music Mania 2016, Worthing
19th August - The Con Club, Lewes
24th September - The Prince Albert, Brighton (supporting The Lost Boys)
16th December - Concorde 2, Brighton (supporting From The Jam)

Find Idle Talk online:

Thursday, 21 April 2016

The Overtures in their Madcap England threads

The UK's premier Sixties tribute band, The Overtures are busy touring Holland with their excellent Bootleg Sixties show currently, but you can now enjoy your Overtures show whenever you want with the new, long awaited, Bootleg Sixties show DVD,  Live From The Playhouse!

Featuring highlights from the show and 38 songs from The Overtures extensive repertoire, including songs from The Beatles, The Who, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and many more and DVD behind the scenes and interviews extras.

The DVD is £15.00 plus P&P and can be purchased from the Bootleg Sixties website here.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

"Built as strong and sturdy as the personalities that wore them..." 
- The Wayfarer, Ray-Ban Icons

"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses."
- The Blues Brothers, 1980

The Ray-Ban Wayfarer, possibly the most famous, iconic and instantly recognisable sunglasses style in history, and it's easy to see why. The typically black, solid frame and green G-15 lens affords the wearer the desired amount of anonymity, privacy and... well, it just instantly adds cool to any look or outfit, doesn't it?! 

The original patent , filed in 1952
Ray-Ban began selling the Wayfarer in 1956, the first of it's kind and a revolution in eyewear. It had been designed and patented in 1952 by American optical designer, Raymond Stegeman who procured lots of patents for Bausch & Lomb, Ray-Ban's parent company at the time.

The design was new and different from anything that had gone before in two respects - it was to utilise new plastic molding technology, marking a transition from wire and metal frame eyewear into plastic frame eyewear - something not available previously, and also it's intrinsic 1950s style, which reflected Atomic and Space age design and according to design critic Stephen Bayley, "Eames chairs and Cadillac tail fins."

James Dean wearing Wayfarer Sunglasses

The Wayfarer was instantly popular. James Dean wore Wayfarers in Rebel Without A Cause and the sunglasses became forever associated with rock and roll with everyone from Roy Orbison to John Lennon to Bob Dylan donning a pair throughout the fifties and sixties.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Premier UK Who Tribute band, Who's Next played at the legendary Cavern Club, Liverpool recently for a sold out show in the Cavern's Live Lounge.

The show was a special set from Who's Next. The first half was made up of early Who songs and R'n'B tracks the Who covered when they were first starting out, including some quite rare, and even more rarely played live songs. The second half of the show was the Who's huge hits and rock anthems.

The band wore a lot of Madcap England styles for the Cavern Club show, including guitarist Dante DiCarlo in a Madcap England Racing Jumper and Madcap England 'Casbah' Beatle Boots (because what else would you wear on your feet down at The Cavern?!) and also singer, Gary Charman in a Madcap England Pinstripe Marriott Polo.

Dante, writing on the Who's Next blog said about the show, "The gig was an absolute blast and afterwards we were informed we had sold the place out and it had been packed to capacity! We were all beyond chuffed and can’t wait to play there again!"

Check below for some fab pics from the gig.

And then check Who's Next's website for a gig near you - the band is playing all over the UK this year!

All images © Ian Hanson Photography. (Thanks guys!)

Friday, 8 April 2016

The new Baracuta G4/D4 collaboration with Dainese, world leader in high-tech motorcycle sportswear, (hence the name D4) is now in stock at Atom Retro.

Protective gear for bike riders brand and leaders in dynamic sports technologies, Dainese have lent their expertise in protection to the classic Baracuta G4 Harrington, resulting a unique jacket featuring detachable shoulder and elbow pads hidden inside.

The D4 features inside pockets that allows the insertion of the Pro-Shape, a new generation protections printed on a Fraser tartan, made exclusively for Baracuta by Dainese. The result of all the super tech detailing is one heck of a Mod Scooter Harrington Jacket - The Baracuta G4 - D4 Dainese - Barapel Harrington. Bet Steve McQueen would have loved one of these for jaunts on his many motorcycles!

Limited stock, so don't hang around! Find it here.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

"If 1937 was the invention of cool, then 1986 was the year it matured..."
- The Clubmaster, Ray-Ban icons

The Ray-Ban Clubmaster is one of the most enduring pieces of the Ray-Ban Icons range. A style which is steeped in fashion history, it might be surprising to learn that the modern Clubmaster was actually developed by Ray-Ban in 1986. Drawing on over 50 years off fashion heritage and history, this iconic browline style is a timeless classic which returns time and time again.

The Browline style was first manufactured in America in 1947 by a company called Shuron Ltd, under the brand, Ronsir. The early Ronsir Browline glasses featured interchangeable eyewires, bridges and brow pieces, giving the wearer the ability to completely customise and change the look and colour of the glasses as they desired.

Malcolm X in 1965 wearing browline glasses. Image Michael Ochs.
The Browline features a thick upper part to the frame, giving the impression of eyebrows and lending the style it's name, and usually a thin, metal or plastic lower eye frame. The Browline was quickly picked up on and emulated by other eyewear manufacturers, who developed the design further into mens, womens and unisex designs and incorporating features such as unique plaques and materials, including plastic brows made to look like woodgrain which were popular for a time in the fifties.

James Dean in browline glasses
The browline became one of the most popular styles in the fifties and sixties, where the style accounted for half of all glasses sold in America in the 1950s. The style got it's footnote in history when it was worn by figures such as black liberationist, Malcolm X who was frequently photographed wearing browline glasses and also president Lyndon B. Johnson, who was famously pictured wearing browline glasses when he signed his national statement regarding the signing of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

More famous browline glasses wearers include American actor, James Dean and London gangster, Ronnie Kray, showing how wide the appeal of the style was to people in all walks of life and culture.

In the 1970s there was a decline in popularity for the browline during a backlash against culture and fashion of the 1950s and 60s, which had begun with the late sixties hippie counter culture. The style was viewed standing for some of the more undesirable conformist aspects of the past and were thought too conservative. Despite this, Shuron, the original manufacturer of the browline, passed 16 million pair sold in 1971 and the style did remain popular among older people. In 1978 the browline style had a resurgence, when an anti-disco backlash effected the popularity of the Aviator and Teashade sunglasses (round, John Lennon style sunglasses) which had been at the forefront of eyewear fashion since the decline of the browline's popularity.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Part four exploring The Beatles style from 1961 to 1970, compiled and written by guest blogger, Harrison. In this installment the Beatles move into military style and also into more casual attire. You can also create your very own Beatles inspired look with this guide.

'64 - '65
The In-betweeners 

The Beatles performing at Shea Stadium, New York.

"It's all sort of important in good ways and it's unimportant really in other ways."
- Ringo Starr

In 1964 through 1965, The Beatles were riding high on a wave of commercial and critical success. The lads performed at Shea Stadium in New York City on August 15th, 1965. In attendance were over 55,000 concertgoers, which made this the Beatles largest concert up to that date. 

A replica of the Beatles "Shea" jacket,
signed by Paul McCartney.
The Beatles continued to wear matching stage suits when they performed. The Shea Stadium suits are arguably their most iconic look from the mid 1960s. The military style single breasted tan coloured jacket with five brown buttons down the front, one smaller button on each chest pocket and also one button on each shoulder. The 'Wells Fargo' sheriff badge is optional. Underneath the jackets, instead of wearing dress shirts, they wore black t-shirts, which matched their black drainpipe trousers and "Beatle boots".  

However, their personal style had evolved and they became more easily identified through their interviews, photoshoots and personal appearances as individuals instead of one entity. Perhaps the best example of their individual style is contained in the second movie they starred in, which was also the first one in colour, Help! A comedy adventure that revolves around Ringo Starr's ring and the mysterious cult that will do anything to obtain it!

Friday, 1 April 2016

A Ska and Mod favourite, the Saddle Shoe is the must-have women's footwear style for Summer 2016! These three above styles are new in from GH Bass, the heritage American brand famous for the Bass Weejun loafer.

The Saddle Shoe is a classic American casual style, taking its name from the saddle-like shape of the piece of leather sewn across the waist of the shoe, usually in a contrasting 2-tone colour. Typically, a low heeled oxford shoe, this retro style has been worn by both men and women since it's inception in the early 20th century.

High School Cheerleaders wearing Saddle Shoes in 1948
The style was originally designed by sportswear manufacturer, Albert Spaulding in 1906, basing the style on a gym shoe and creating it in white leather. Spaulding added the saddle to the saddle shoe to reinforce it and add support and stability to the shoe. Spaulding envisioned the shoe as indoor athletes footwear, but it proved unpopular with serious athletes.

Nonetheless, the shoe was a hit with younger people who wore it as casual footwear and it became the shoe of choice for dancing the Jitterbug in the 1940s, but it was in the 1950s that the saddle shoe really took off.

Saddle shoes worn by men & women, c. 1950s

It's soar in popularity might have had something to do with it being worn by the king of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, who wore the style in the movie, Jailhouse Rock as well as other places. Suddenly the saddle shoe was the must-have style for both men and women. The women's saddle shoe became inextricably linked with poodle skirts, the very flared, circle skirts of the 1950s worn with crinoline petticoats underneath. Paired with a poodle skirt and a cute pair of bobby socks, this is still an enduring image of 1950s American preppy and ivy league fashion.

It was also in the late fifties that the saddle shoe caught the eye of fans and musicians on the
burgeoning Ska music scene. Typically in white and black, the saddle shoe's 2-tone colouring appealed and fit in with the Ska and Mod look.

For summer 2016, American footwear brand, GH Bass have brought out three tantalising new colours in women's saddle shoes. In Navy/White leather, Tan/Cream leather and an eye-catching red/earth suede, these comfy casual shoes are an essential for this season. Grab your favourite pair, pair with bobby socks and a gorgeous flared circle skirt and you're ready to go!

Shop Bass Saddle Shoes here.