Tuesday, 26 June 2012


A great new football magazine 1500 has just been launched by some mates of ours, very well put together, nice to look at and good sporting articles. The beauty of this one is it's FREE! you should find this circulated at football grounds next season and stations etc, you can also grab one online too. Cool adverts aswell, you can cut them out and put them on your bedroom wall. Available to purchase today 1500 magazine.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012


There's not too many kids' dramas that still have such a cult following thirty odd years after they were first aired, but Grange Hill does. Ask anyone our age and older who Terry Sue-Patt is and they'd more than likely be able to tell you. Ever the insomniac, I've been tuning into old Grange Hill episodes on dvd before bedtime -a shame they haven't released more really, they just stopped at Series 4, despite the fact it got bigger and better, now how's a guy supposed to kip?
These were re-ran in the early 1990's on a Sunday morning, I remember this because you couldn't get us up during the week for school, but we all got up early on a Sunday morning to watch other kids at school when we didn't have to! Up until the 1990's this was genuinely great, groundbreaking television, the one time kids would stop their playing out and come in to watch it before tea.
Forget the political correctness we are shackled with today, both a good thing and a bad thing I say, it was as it is, kids being kids, scrapping, shouting, playing up, playing footy, shoplifting, gobbing off to teachers and bunking off. Only foul language was a-miss.
Of course it had it's own pre-determined lessons in morality as was probably the whole point, but for every lesson learned in not talking to strangers and helping old ladies across the road and for every Justin Bennett, Andrew Stanton and Penny Lewis there was a Tucker Jenkins and a Benny Green, later a Zammo and a Ziggy Greaves and for that we're grateful.
The life lessons and after our school further education was subtle, it was done well, written well too. Every sore subject was tackled from drug use to bullying, shoplifting and smoking to sex pests loitering on the common on the way home.

Before it ended not too long ago, it was more likely to show kids actually doing their homework, and baking cakes for their favourite teacher (as fucking if...) but in the 1970's it was real authentic, gritty stuff with lots of familiar faces from the small screen starting out on Childrens BBC, one even ended up going to Hollywood. Many memorable characters are still talked of fondly today and with it many memorable episodes too, who can forget the likes of Gripper Stebson finally getting his comeuppance or when 'Bullet Baxter' the PE teacher put an abusive teacher on his arse, or the many face-offs with Brookdale, including sneaking into rival school Brookdale to get 'Benny's' blazer back, larking about in the school swimming pool on wooden benches.
Then there was the sponsored walk in the 80's - a real casual catwalk during the 80's sportswear boom. I can't find it on youtube, so take my word for it. Later it's biggest storylines as 'Zammo' fell by the wayside when introduced to skag! It even touched on football thuggery as 'Robbie' got in with some Gooners.
kids did that, we did it, we truanted off, we laughed at the fat kid who (still) had a hairless willy, during 'games', we got caught nicking a Twix from the local Circle K, that's what made it great.

The first ever face you saw in the first ever episode was that of Terry Sue-Patt, Benny Green to you, I and millions of seventies schoolkids, let's not forget we had just three TV channels in those days. The football mad kid who graduated from the school of hard knocks straight into an apprenticeship with the Inter City Crew in Alan Clarke's cult film The Firm as 'Yusef' the Under 5, keen as mustard for the match with his harrington and slacks and an ill advised choice of bobble hat. He was later taught a valuable lesson by the 'Zulu' leader Oboe outside the Bullring, but did it stop him? No.
As an actor Terry Sue-Patt pretty much grew up in front of the watching nation, starred in a Bob Marley and Pink Floyd video, featured on an album cover and not to mention that horrible public information film too. He then worked with such talent as one of our best thesps Gary Oldman and director Alan Clarke who brought us some of the best, and most quotable British films of all time.

We met Terry by chance, on the internet after we released our Bexy v Yeti t-shirt recently, just like all good modern day encounters. We thought we'd ask him a few questions...

1. You were famous to millions of kids back when kid's TV was genuinely great with Grange Hill, what was that like for you at such a young age?

I joined Grange Hill in 1978 and was lucky enough to do the very first scene. I'd been acting since the age of five, doing pop video's and films. I did a Bob Marley video called Punky Reggae Party, Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall too. I did a film for the Children's Film Foundation called Blindman's Bluff.
I basically played myself in Grange Hill and had a great time. Todd Carty was introduced to me on the first day and we hit it off straight away. Originally it was going to be called Grange Park.
There weren't many black actors about on TV at that time. I had a great time, getting time off school to play football. It was a bit of a dream come true really. I nearly turned the part down to do another project!

2. After Grange Hill it was perhaps a surprise to see you branch out into the world of hooliganism as Yusef Alan Clarke's The Firm, what was that like to do and how was it working with Gary Oldman?

Loved being in The Firm playing Yusef, I was a big Gary Oldman fan and meet him in the BBC rehearsal corridors. He told me he was playing Bex, and was going to take us out for a drink later that day. Being one of the youngest I think he took me under his wing. He wouldn't sit next to me on the catering bus when I had the scar on my face!
I asked him what his plans were after the Firm and he said he was off to the US to do State of Grace with Sean Penn, then play Dracula for Coppola. I was very impressed. Best actor I've ever worked with.
The scene where we discuss going to Europe we improvised and was genuinely shocked when he turned to me and said "What are you looking at". Top bloke

3. You were a keen footballer in Grange Hill, despite old Frosty's best efforts, were you pretty decent in real life?

I love football. I played for my school team (left wing) and played for Islington and Camden Schoolboys. Played for London schoolboys and had trials for Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea. I turned down a trial at Arsenal. Lots of my mates went on to become professional footballers,and I played with John Barnes for Camden schoolboys.
Can I play football? Oh yes.It's how I got the job in Grange Hill. The director spotted me ball juggling in the park!

4. With the West Ham connection in the Firm and it later being covered in Grange hill (Zammo years) were you ever tempted by the dark side of football in real life or what were your thoughts on that scene?

I've been going to matches since the late 1970's, both home and away. I support Tottenham Hotspur, and it was the beginning's of the Casual movement.
To be honest I've never really got involved in football violence. I've had a few sticky moments but fighting people because they don't support your team is just a difference of opinion. I appreciate there is always going to be fights. If you get thousands of blokes, add alcohol and football, it's bound to go off. I prefer to walk the other way, have a quiet drink and discuss the match. I understand if you're away you might have to take a stand.The reason I did The Firm was to show how nonsensical football violence was.
Peer group pressure as Bex might put it.

5. Do you still do a spot of acting or have you given that up these days?

I am still acting, but having been in the business forty years, I don't work so much. I think it is understandable. I'm just about to do a little cameo in something called Hold the Cloth, starring John Hannah and Suranne Jones. Todd Carty is also in it, getting shot in a bank.
Nowadays you will find me painting. I do a few stencil pieces which I exhibit from time to time.

6. Who had the idea for you to sport the half & half ski hat in the Firm?

I think the idea to wear the West Ham/Celtic hat was writer Al Hunter Ashton's idea. I do know that some clubs have affiliations north of the border. Tottenham Hotspur have a long time affiliation with Aberdeen. Think they were the original casual firm up in Scotland.

7. Aside from West Ham and Celtic, who's your real team?

I support Tottenham Hotspur, which is why I turned down the Arsenal trial. Sad to see Harry Redknapp go. It hasn't been a bed of roses watching Tottenham over the years. We've had a few great players, Hoddle, Ardiles and Paul Gasgcoigne. Always get a well fought game at White Hart Lane.

8. What did you think of the recent Nick Love Firm remake?

I think the re-make of The Firm by Nick Love was a piece more about fashion. It's a fair attempt. I still think Gary Oldman's performance will never be bettered. I've seen The Football Factory and Green Street. It's very difficult to portray that scene as we all have individual experiences. Manchester United fans have a totally different experience to Leyton Orient fans. I prefer the original Firm, then again I was in it!

Big shout to Tom and all at The Casual Connoisseur,thanks for the tee-shirts. Lovely to do this little interview. Very humbled. Terry Sue-Patt
. Many thanks to Terry for taking the time out for us, a gent. CD

Monday, 18 June 2012


Pigeons have got a bad rep! 'rats of the air', vermin, feral nuisances? Nah.
Did you know that pigeons served in both great wars? Including several being buried with full military honours? Seriously. The Dickin Medal was instituted in 1943 to honour the work of animals in war recognised for their outstanding acts of bravery and devotion to duty. The Dickin medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, the medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949, to eighteen dogs, three horses, a cat and thirty two pigeons no less, to acknowledge their actions during WWII.

Introducing the new Connoisseur mascot... MARY.

Who's Mary? A nod and a tribute to the famous war hero Mary of Exeter. Mary of Exeter was a carrier pigeon who flew many military missions with the National Pigeon Service during World War II, transporting important messages across the English Channel back to her loft in Exeter, England. We're not even taking the piss. She was awarded the Dickin Medal in November 1945 for showing endurance on war service despite being injured on three occasions and emerging uninjured when her loft was bombed.
Mary of Exeter was owned by Charlie Brewer, a cobbler from Exeter. She served with the National Pigeon Service between 1940 and 1945 carrying top secret messages. Mary made four trips from France to England. She died in 1950 and is buried in Ilford Animal Cemetery.

Why a pigeon? "You'll find me in the city, you'll find me in the countryside. I'm a high flyer yet I'm also grounded. Not everyone likes me, fine - but I am beautiful. I get about, you can't avoid me. I'm a typical Northern stereotype but I'm actually found all over the world. It's not a race for me, I prefer taking my time. Yes, I'm quite common and there are lots of us, but I like to stay away from the numbers. At times I tend to lead where others follow. I can be a nuisance, I can be a pest but I'm also very friendly and loyal. I do what I like...and I like what I do..."

From the off we always wanted an animal mascot, it had to be something simple and easy, something which reflected our brand and resonated within. We'd longed to introduce something like this into our clobber, many had already chosen our feathered or furry friends before us. The Lacoste style crocodile is exactly the style we wanted to emulate and send Connoisseur vibes out on our future garms : from hats, t-shirts and knitwear to polo shirts and pin badges. We aren't French, we aren't exotic, the humble pigeon is seen around here every single day, it's perfect for us. Meet our new best friend, you'll soon be seeing quite a bit of her... Mary makes her bow as a limited edition pin badge, available very soon. YHN

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Our pal Trickett recently released this nifty garment; the Round sweatshirt, a fresh take on the classic crewneck sweat. Inspired by the great quarterbacks of the NFL who wore these to keep their hands warm whilst running plays during training, made in England.
We just had to get ourselves one. Liking the contrast 'V' inset and hand warmer pockets - handy for hiding the old darby and a cool reverse screenprint. Look out for a special Connoisseur collaboration or two in the coming months, watch this space. CD

Monday, 11 June 2012


The Cream of Manchester – Real Ale Pubs for Real People
Manchester is a well-known epicenter of top-notch drinking venues – no matter what your quaffing preference may be; from swanky, neon-lit cocktail bars to back-alley, nicotine-stained bawdy boozers there’s an atmosphere and drinks menu to suit everyone.
However, although Manchester has seen the rise of the more contemporary wine-bar style establishment over the past decade, it still holds the true, original real ale pub close to its heart. These old fashioned pubs are prized and cherished amongst the old school locals, the ineradicable scent of cigarette smoke-past and nicotine stains tan the interiors a rather warming shade of ochre. The velveteen, mahogany bar stools and couches retain the wrinkled and worn impressions of decades of the beloved regulars' derrières. Each of these traditional public houses is home to a collection of vintage brewery paraphernalia; from kitsch mirrored plaques to bakelite (now defunct) ashtrays, lay dormant aside huge wooden countertops, speckled with a history of cigarette burns and beer-stains.

Eccentric Inhabitants of Real Ale Boozers.
These pubs are beautiful. They are untouched by pretension. They unwittingly accommodate a class of people whom feel so at home, they couldn’t imagine taking their custom to any other type of drinking establishment. It’s only in these pubs you will find the true cream of Manchester (so to speak) – the eccentric drunken Priest, the failed University English professor, the good-time girl gone old. The retired and widowed barfly for whom the bar staff are his surrogate family (they share birthday and Christmas gifts and cards, he brings them photos of his estranged grandchildren, shares his wise-cracking anecdotes over an 11am pint and bacon butty).
Wine and cocktail bars seem to be the reserve of the young and hip – imported European beers and fancy concoctions of spirits are served in everything from a hollowed-out pineapple to bone china teacups, adorned with feathers and cherries. The cost of one not-so-simple cocktail will set you back about £7-8 upwards, and will leave you having to
compare credit cards uk to pay for an average night out.
The décor of these cocktail bars range from stylish Gothic brothel to the clean-line modernism of neon lights and glossy white bar furnishings.
Beautiful, cool men and women slink their way through heaving crowds of similarly mannequin-esque patrons towards the bar, slam-down a fresh £20 and fiercely demand their overly-sweet, over-priced alcoholic elixirs over bowel-shaking bass-centric music, being pumped out over the speakers.

A Discerning Drinking Establishment.

Understandably, for a more discerning generation of old-time booze lovers and perhaps those whom enjoy a chat over their pints, these uber-hip bars simply intimidate and ward-off those looking for a “quiet pint”. They indeed have their place, and serve their purpose, but every aspect of the bar-scene makes it clear that without money, youth and cool, you’ll have trouble being welcomed in with open arms.
Young and old alike feel such affinity with the traditional Mancunian pub, you will struggle to find a collection of more vibrant, interesting and diverse people in any other enclosed space in the world.
Below is a small collection of some of Manchester’s most traditional and well-loved old-fashioned pubs. Some have been commandeered over the years by a younger crowd, due to financial problems, the smoking-ban or a change in ownership – however, even these pubs still retain the glory and charm (not to mention décor) of previous decades, and offer a much-needed diversion from the over-priced contemporary drinking establishments of the city.

The Castle Hotel, Oldham Street, Manchester City Centre.
The Castle Hotel first opened its doors in 1776, under the name of The Crown and Sceptre. It’s titled interior dates back to a 1930s refurbishment (and name change), and is traditionally decked-out in warm dark wood and a muted colour scheme. The pub was at one time run by lynchpin of the Mancunian drinking scene; landlady Kath Smethurst, who was so well loved, she was epitomized as a mosaic art-piece after her death in 2008, and it was at this point the pub closed its doors, awaiting a new owner. Renovation work commenced in 2010, and since the pub’s re-launch, it has become one of the busiest pub-cum-small-music-venues in the city centre.
The Turnpike, Wilmslow Road, Withington.

The Turnpike has one of the most undoubtedly unwelcoming facades ever seen. Its stone-clad, flat-frontage and darkened, mottled windows give the impression that there’s nobody home, or if they are, they certainly aren’t taking visitors right now. However, if you dare take one step inside, you will realise that this Sam Smith’s pub is a thriving vestibule of local colour and hosts an interior of untouched vintage charm, so much so that CAMRA recently awarded the pub with historic status.
The Angel Pub, Angel Street, Manchester City Centre.
The Angel Pub is situated close to one of Manchester’s most historic sites – Angel Meadow; a pretty inner-city park that was once a slum and burial ground for the poorest, most diseased inhabitants of 19th Century Manchester. Previously dubbed “Hell upon Earth”, the area has obviously changed immensely since those times, and The Angel Pub is no exception. The pub hosts a huge range of locally brewed specialty ales, from small independent breweries, and along with it’s warm interior and friendly staff, the pub managed to bag the title of CAMRA's North Manchester Real Ale Pub of the Year for 2010. The Angel Pub is a fantastic and lively place to meet friends, no matter what age, you can dine, and perhaps even indulge in a sing-along around the pub’s piano
. Submitted by Imogen.

Thursday, 7 June 2012


"We're recruiting for a national firm, are you in or what? "
Well we aren't really, but the Euros are round the corner. Modern football lark aint got a patch on the old days has it? Let's be honest.
With that in mind we stuck to those more fond memories for the International football themed tees of previous releases. World Cup Willie takes the jovial mascot from Englands' glorious campaign of '66 and rough's him up a bit. Clearly a few decades have taken their toll and Our Willie has been to a few away tournaments now. Then we've got a selection of heroes past and present with England Heroes. Both have had a limited restock on new colourways.
Finishing off nicely though is our amazing Bexy V The Yeti tee, we commissioned artist Matt Craven to come up with something rather different for this one; because normally you just don't get illustrators of this calibre doing a sketch for a lesser known gem of yesteryear. That's why we love doing this sort of stuff! He din't let us down, The cult favourite from Alan Clarke featuring a towering performance from Gary Oldman up against his nemesis The Yeti played by Phil Davis. It's a cracker!
Available today from 7pm onwards.YHN

Monday, 4 June 2012

Our Culture "Contre le football"

Our Scandinavian brethren at Our Culture have recently be collating some great articles about the state of the modern game - a modern game that, right now is both failing and prospering in different parts of Europe. They produced a very limited edition sweat via Swedish bicycle brand Prima, which in smaller runs sold out amongst themselves. But thankfully they now bring forth the design on a new tee release in time for this summer.
Also watch out for another Our Culture and Connoisseur collabo tee later this year. YHN

Friday, 1 June 2012


Okay, today sees the release of not one, nor two but three new releases. It's a jubilee bonanza!
These tees are all diamond too! Fit for royalty etc. Anyway... enough of all that.
We've got the next two of our music themed tees in Our Connoisseur Fiend Club, a nod and a wink to the Misfits and 3-Tone, The Connoisseur Beat - a play on the 2-Tone record label.
And then finally we have a special one in Sound and Vision where we've gone rather creative with some sublime results. One design; three totally different methods. We've got lovely Shiny silver foil effect ink on the black tee, an amazing white raised 3D effect on Navy and then an industrial style black matt on Yellow. The original conception of this tee caused a bit of a stir and we were forced to check things out and decided a rethink was the order of the day and so this was born and the end product is a belter!
Available today from 6pm, also new orders will be available at RAN and Distant Echo including a different Grey colourway of Sound And Vision.
Please note : with it being 'eld Lizzies special celebration we've kind of had an enforced extra long bank holiday upon us! Which is all good, unless of course you're waiting for post! As a result of this - delays should be expected with regards to delivery. Don't blame us, it's out of our hands, tell the monarchy! YHN