Subculture by Don Letts / Channel 4 Part 6

The final instalment and seemingly the end of the road for music and style based subcultures. The media had been eating them up and spitting them out with increasing regularity but the movement that would eventually be named Casual didn’t emerge from familiar areas, nor was it spotted or picked up on until the whole thing had been up and running for a few years. Here was a scene that emerged slowly, steadily via rival football crews travelling to games across the country. Small groups of these crowds began dressing for the occaision – to out do the opposition before a punch or kick had been thrown. Initially it was all about the style statement, a fresh look but this soon became dominated by a penchant for expensive, branded sportswear. Once again clothes were king. Casuals closest cousin is Mod. Clothes obsessives desperate to outdo each other on the style front, to create an individual look, have it spotted and to move on. Like Mods, once the scene had come to the attention of the media it was relayed around the country minus the real point. Journalists from TV and the newspapers presented a simplified, narrow take on the cult and, missing the subtle nuances, the detailing and the point behind it simply sold it on as a uniform.

The series ends with acid house – an update on the soul scenes from both the North and South – fuelled, like the Northern scene on a specific drug and soundtracked, as the southern soul scene had been earlier, by the very latest, newest sounds emerging from black America.

See the final episode on Channel 4OD here