‘Fred Perry Presents Subculture‘ is a series of six short 10 minute films about teenage subculture, directed by Don Letts, and showcased by Channel 4 in the Summer of 2012. These really are a treat to watch and they have been added to the page below for your enjoyment.
Robert Elms starts the first episode with the comment “British youth subculture starts in that rather grey period after the war“…
Now read on…
Born to be Wild – Teddy Boys:
The first episode in the series looks at the birth of British youth subculture with the arrival of Teddy Boys and Rockers. Features interviews with Phill Jupitus and Robert Elms. First shown Thursday 31 May 2012.
This is a Modern World – Mods:
The second film in the series explores the Mod subculture that exploded onto the London scene in the late 1950s and includes contributions from Jeff Dexter and Eddie Piller. First shown Thursday 07 June 2012.
Made in England – Skinheads:
The third instalment focuses on the Skinhead subculture that emerged in Britain during the 1960s and explores how it was influenced by Jamaican Rude Boys. Featuring contributions from Kevin Rowland and Lynval Golding. First shown Thursday 14 June 2012.
Soul Power – Soul Boys:
The fourth episode in the series explores the Soul Boy subculture that hit the scene in Britain during the 1970s. Features interviews with Norman Jay and Russ Winstanley. First shown Thursday 21 June 2012.
Black ‘n’ White Riot – Punk and 2 Tone:
The fifth documentary in the series focuses on the Punk and Two-Tone subcultures, which kicked off in the UK in the late 1970s. Includes contributions from Viv Albertine and Pauline Black. First shown Thursday 28 June 2012.
Beaten Generation – Subculture 80’s and 90’s:
The final film in the series discusses the casual, rave and Britpop scenes of the 1980s and 1990s, and asks what the future holds for British subculture. Features contributions from Steve Mason and Wayne Hemingway. First shown Thursday 28 June 2012.
This series wraps up neatly in a nutshell, an overview of the main teenage subcultures since young men and ladies evolved, or devolved, into teenagers. Teenagers who wanted to dress differently to their stuffy, staid, government fearing parents. Teenagers who wanted to listen and dance to music that their parents, and their parents peers, disapproved of .
Obviously every TV series has limitations on budget and scope but I believe that the New Romantic period, and the scene surrounding Heavy Metal music, should also have had an episode each.
The New Romantic scene introduced a short lived period of flamboyant cross-dressing, and the mass acceptance for a short while at least, of synthesizer based music.
Heavy Metal is one of the few scenes that has never faded away since it slowly filtered into the general consciousness back in the early 70’s. It’s predominantly male followers, with the basic uniform of long hair, leather and denim, is still in abundance till this day, maintaining a low profile under the watchful sneering eyes of the mass media.
This series focuses on the style, the music and the dancing. The length of each episode leaves little room for more than fleeting investigations into the social implications inherent in the social living and cultures of the day… and why should it.
This is how we remember the times, some may say through rosé coloured spectacles… and what’s wrong with that.