The first, last, & only political post you’ll read on this blog

There’s a phrase that often appears on banners and placards at patriotic marches and demonstrations in Poland: “Stop Totalitaryzmom“. That about sums up my political beliefs as they relate to a scene so often ruined by political beliefs.

In case the numerous references to ska and the 1960s haven’t make it clear, I have zero time of day for boneheads. I have English, Polish, and Jewish blood in my veins. All of my grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought the Nazis in the Second World War. One of my great-grandfathers died fighting them. If you think waving a swastika around is something of which to be proud, maybe one day my steel caps and your teeth can meet.

Having said all that, I have come to detest SHARP types as much as I detest neo-nazis. In my experience they are almost always communists or other radical leftists pushing a political ideology just as repressive and repulsive as that of the boneheads.

Bonehead v. Sharp. Two idiotic sides of the same idiotic ideological coin. Image Copyright: Oscar Hertin 2019.

That’s to say nothing of the insane social justice warrior mentality that seems to have infected parts of the Oi! scene today. I’ve seen these sorts of neo-bolshevik numbskulls claim that bands like Combat 84, Condemned 84, and 4Skins are legitimately racist or fully blown RAC bands. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Anyway, the point of all this is that if you want to talk politics then go be a political activist elsewhere. If you want to learn about some great clothes and great music, then you’ve come to the right place.

Song of the Week: Phoenix City – Roland Alphonso & the Soul Brothers

This track is easily one of my favourite ska songs of all time, and a crystal clear example of why Skatalites founding member Alphonso was called “The Chief Musician”. His solo on this track is exceptional. Having said that, he’s outshone on this one by┬áJohnny “Dizzy” Moore’s trumpet playing. Moore’s solo screams passion, and the listener can’t help but get swept away in the horn player’s emotion.

In Search of Sta-Prest Alternatives

Authentic sta-prests are something of a unicorn in the bootboy world, a white whale of which wishful skinheads dream.

Many a modern retailer that capitalizes on mod and skinhead culture offer versions of “sta-prest” trousers. The Merc, Relco, and Brutus versions are, by all accounts, underwhelming at best. Overly modern and overly slim cuts are apparently the order of the day, to say nothing of the tales of infamously cheap construction.

As the reader may have guessed, yours truly has not personally tried any of these modern pseudo-sta-prests. Buying a pair of sta-prest from the triumvirate of mass mod retailers has always seemed pointless given their low reputation and the high cost of having them shipped to the states. Nor have I tried the more promising sta-prests from Jump the Gun in Brighton (though a pair are in the mail currently!).

But I digress. The point of this post is not to review modern trousers sold as sta-prest (though such a post will be forthcoming), but to suggest some available alternatives. The following trousers may not be sta-prest, but nevertheless they keep razor sharp creases are are sure to look boss with a freshly shined pair of boots or brogues.

Charles Tyrwhitt Flat Front Non-Iron Chinos

The most expensive trouser on the list. At just under $100 these bad boys aren’t cheap, but they look great, despite the admittedly modern silhouette. “Tailored from stretch cotton fabric for ease of movement, this style is also non-iron for a crease-free look. 95% cotton, 5% elastane. $99.

Land’s End Men’s Tailored Fit No Iron Twill Dress Pants

The 100% cotton offerings from Lands’ End aren’t a bad buy at under $50, and the “light stone” color that comes ever-so-close to the neutral sta-prests of olde is an added bonus. The Land’s End no iron chino is also worth checking out. Though it has an exposed button it comes in a wider variety of colours than the dress pant. No iron dress pant: $48.96. No iron chino: $38.46.

Dickie’s 874 Work Pant

The mighty Dickie’s. Reputedly a mainstay amongst American skinheads since the early ’80s, these beauties are easy on the eyes and wallet. Though heavier than traditional sta-prest, the 65% polyester/35% cotton blend guarantees razor-sharp creases. Available in a wide variety of colours and for only $22.99 a pair, they’re hard to resist. There’s a slimmer version available which may give a slightly better profile against your boots but comes at the cost of having a rise below the waist.