Yesterday (Thursday the 9th of April) me and the missed ventured into, what I think, is the greatest city in the UK, Brighton. I’ve been to Brighton more times than I can count and went through a phase of going there everyday in the summer when I was 15/16. I’ve always thought of Brighton as a individual town where the people, like the shops, are different to anywhere in the world. Until recently anyway.
Now first I must say when I was younger I did my fair share of conforming like we all did. I did things and wore clothing to be “cool”. I took part in the skater phase people went through and I wore baggy jeans and skate shoes, which in all honesty I still do. So you get the picture, I was young once and tried my best to fit in with my friends and tried to be “cool” just like them. However, when I was about 14 I found my own way. My friends were all into their metal and rock but around this age I discovered or rather got more interested in punk rock and ska. I had of course heard The Specials and Madness in my day and I had heard the usual suspects likes Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Goldfinger and The Suicide Machines thanks to Tony Hawks legendary skating game, but it was this age I found a genre of music and a life style which I loved and still do. Of course I was not the only kid into that scene at my school. The more popular kids had already branded themselves as “ska kids” and looked down on me for being a bit too eager to get more involved. But still I didn’t look for their approval because I had my own friends and my own thing going on so impressing them wasn’t really on my agenda. Anyway, you get the point I was a teenager who conformed then found his way into something else and started changing the way I dressed, the way I acted and the way I viewed the world.
It was about this time of all these changes I started venturing into Brighton. Back then it seemed a weird and wonderful place, sort of an Alice in Wonderland kinda thing, everyone was different. There were hardly any “chavs” (remember this was about 2003/2004) and there was a lot more colour and everything seemed bigger and better. Back then it seemed everyone looked and dressed differently. People were different, the fashion was different (as I guess you can say ska was the “in” thing back then), and the music was different. So key thing here.
Old Brighton = Different and exciting
Present day Brighton = EVERYONE IS A CLONE!!!
As I’ve said I’ve done my share of conforming and going with the crowd but MY GOD has it gotten worse! All the kids look the same! Every one of them is a walking Top Shop advert! It’s ridiculous! For instance on the train going to Brighton three kids (all in the same group), no older than 12, were all wearing the same damn thing! All had skinny blue jeans, plimsoll type shoes, a cardigan and a stupid fringe to match the typical “I’m so fucking indie” But it’s not just the clothes it’s the whole damn attitude. This whole “We’re so individual and special and no one dresses like we do” thing that they have going on annoys the hell out of me. All the guys clothes are either from Top Man or H&M and the girls are exactly the same, just Top Shop fashion victims, where is the individualism in that? I wouldn’t mind so much if there was some variation but there just isn’t! This is truly the age of the teenage clone.
Peace, love and respect.
-- Tom RDD