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Grooming. Culture and Style for the Modern Gentleman

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    Last week we picked out some of our barbers' favourite songs to trim beards to. The short, sharp service  after all can require just one essential track to fuel the right level of masculine confidence.

    We focus our attention now towards the lengthier, more indulgent practise of a wet shave. A change in tone and ambience provides an alternative environment that helps both barbers and clients relax and enjoy the traditional grooming service.

    45 minutes in a barber's chair can account for an entire day's worth of enjoyment providing the right sounds are fuelling the airwaves. With your eyes closed and your barber at work, hearing any of these selected tracks will truly enhance your experience. Such is the reason our barbers love to play them.


    Unknown Mortal Orchestra - So Good At Being In Trouble


    Connan Mockasin - I Wana Roll With You


    Radiohead - Treefingers


    Amy Winehouse - Valerie


    Freud - Real Life Charm


    David Bowie - Shake It


    Brian Eno - Deep Blue Day


    The National - Graceless


    Albert Hammond Jr - In My Room


    Cocteau Twins - Lazy Calm


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    The Unit London have a new gallery space soon to be open just around the corner from our Monmouth Street branch in Seven Dials.

    In the run up to the debut exhibition which will explore each deadly sin, the first of seven teaser videos has been released with artist Kristian Von Hornsleth presenting 'Greed'.

     

     

    The gallery is opening on the 10th April and you can RSVP to the exhibition here.

    Keep your eyes peeled for the following teasers!


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    The talents of Murdock London staff don't just stop at providing luxury grooming services, expert advice and fantastic customer service. With an artistic mind and a creative hunger, Head Office MurdockMan Christopher Oliver's work is being featured at Lewisham Art House which opens next month.

    Running from 23rd-27th April, 'The Mysterious Function Of Belief' will showcase a culmination of Chris' work from over the last five years. With the aim to explore a human response to chaos in nature, our sacred geographical locations, arctic tundra and visual pleasure, attendees can most certainly expect an immersion in glorious aesthetics.

    A private view on Friday 25th April will feature a special Installation, ‘Silent Night’, in the adjoining room.

    To RSVP contact info@blbx.net


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    This month we're celebrating gentlemen who like a little adventure in their lives. Whether that adventure is hot air ballooning around the globe, climbing Everest or journeying down into the secret cellar bars of Soho for the first time. In our view, there's many different ways a MurdockMan can explore the world around him and push his body to the limit.

    As we take great inspiration from such brave and heroic men and their accomplishments, we have compiled our favourite exploratory Brits into a list of outstanding human greatness. We're focusing on those more traditional global adventurers, rather than the night time in the city explorer....

     

    Sir Ranulph Fiennes

    Recognised as 'The World's Greatest Living Explorer', Fiennes has led 22 major expeditions to remote parts of the world and is the only man alive to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface. He was the first explorer to completely cross the Antarctic continent unsupported, and in 2009, aged 65, climbed to the summit of Mount Everest becoming the oldest Briton ever to do so.

    A true icon in the field.

     

    David Livingstone

    A Scottish missionary, abolitionist and physician, Livingstone is best known for his explorations of Africa having crossed the continent during the mid-19th century.

    He crossed the continent from East to West and would ultimately come across many bodies of water previously uncharted by Europeans. He was a staunch abolitionist after witnessing the horrors of the African slave trade and returned to the region twice after his initial voyage.

    A stunning tache and all-round air of dapperness completes this vintage marvel.

     

    Ed Stafford

    The first man to walk the Amazon, Stafford was European Adventurer of the Year 2011. Sir Ranulph Fiennes himself described Stafford's expedition as being “truly extraordinary… in the top league of expeditions past and present.” Ed filmed and blogged his deadly journey and engaged followers all over the world for two and a half years.

     

    Colonel John Blashford-Snell

    Having organised and led over 100 expeditions, Blashford-Snell has built up a reputation as a practical field engineer and become one of the world's most renowned and highly respected explorers.

     

    Jason Lewis

    Lewis is recognised by Guinness World Records as the first person to circumnavigate the Earth without using motors or sails. Throughout his journey he walked, cycled and inline skated five continents. Further activities included kayaking, swimming, rowing and pedalling a boat across the rivers, seas, and oceans. The mission took thirteen years to complete and the 46,505-mile journey has been hailed as 'the last great first for circumnavigation'.

     

    Benedict Allen

    Best known for his arduous expeditions to remote corners of the globe, Allen's journeys are famously achieved after a period of training alone with a remote indigenous community. Allen's philosophy is to immerse himself in extreme or alien environments, going alone and learning from indigenous people.

     


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    Have we reached peak beard? Dapper is what matters.

    According to a study from the University of New South Wales this week, we have reached 'peak beard'. The beard trend has caused facial hair to be so prevalent in fashion conscious cities around the world that furry faced men are now the norm while clean shaven faces have become more distinctive and therefore, according to the study, more attractive.

    The study involved showing 1450 women and 250 men 36 men's faces, some bearded, some clean shaven, some with light stubble, and asked to rate them for attractiveness on a scale of -4 to 4. People who were shown more beards to begin with found the clean shaven faces more attractive. The term for this evolutionary phenomenon is Negative Frequency Dependence Selection and basically means rare traits are more attractive.

    So people started wearing beards because they look good and interesting, but then everyone starts wearing beards and they're not so interesting and, apparently not as attractive. Too many beards ruin the facial effect. People have asked us what we think about this potential death of the modern beard.

    We say, dapper is what matters. How a man unleashes his dapper potential is individual to what suits him best. That could be sculpting a beard, finding the right style for your hair or wet shaving properly for the smoothest skin.

    The media attention around this study seems to think that everyone has grown a beard purely for fashion reasons. Instantly this idea disregards anybody roughly over the age of 30 who has worn their beard with subtle and honest pride for the past decade without giving it a second thought. Trends come and go, but just like in designer fashion there's no point wearing something that's en vogue if it doesn't suit you. It's definitely true that some men look better with a beard. Some don't. What makes you your most attractive is making the most of what you've got with a bit of expert grooming.

    We don't just celebrate beards, we celebrate the best in gentleman's grooming and that's big beards, short beards, and smooth faces. Whatever makes a chap his most handsome. A confident man knows when he looks his best no matter what the current trend is.


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    So you tried to get Glastonbury tickets in October and failed. Then you tried to get them in the resale, frantically clicking refresh on any device with an internet connection in your vicinity but you never even made it to the holding page. You failed again and won't be going to the world's greatest festival this year. Never fear! This is our handy guide to getting over your Glasto fomo.

     

    Go to another festival

    Glastonbury may be the most famous and unlike any other but Britain and Europe are full of amazing festivals. For a similar vein to Glastonbury but with less queues and more fancy dress, try Bestival. If you fancy serene surroundings with fun party times head to Latitude or Secret Garden Party. Beacons festival in the Yorkshire Dales is half the price of the big festivals at only £100 and it features a good mix of stellar name DJs like Greg Wilson and Jackmaster, established alternative acts including Joy Orbison as well exciting new bands such as Darkside and local Yorkshire punksters Eagulls. Plus, it won't take you an hour to walk from one stage to the next. And time apart from the ones you love can be good sometimes you know? Maybe you're missing Glastonbury this year but next year you'll enjoy it all the more for having a break. Yep, just keep telling yourself that as you watch 50000 people on the telly chant along to Arcade Fire playing Wake Up.

     

    Watch the World Cup

    Get your Panini sticker book out! It's the World Cup! Unlike Glastonbury, it only happens every four years. And it's in Brazil, the spiritual home of football. It could well be the last good World Cup before it starts its corrupt tour of oil rich states. So surely you want to make the most of it and watch as much as you can. Plus, if England finish runners up in their group and you were at Glastonbury you'd miss their last 16 tie as the festival has already said that they won't screen it.  Imagine missing a performance of a tired, unimaginative England side unconvincingly scrape a one nil victory over Ivory Coast or Colombia. You'll be regretting it for years.

     

    Go on holiday

    Once you've bought the £215 ticket, paid for transport, purchased all your gear, goodies and supermarket spirits, and bought all those organic falafel wraps and chilled Gaymers on site, you've ended up spending what you would for a holiday. Except you're not lounging in a private villa on a Greek Island, sipping cocktails on the Cote d'Azur or  partying in Barcelona. You're sitting on a damp bit of grass in a field in Somerset sipping on a warm can of Carlsberg. Spend that money on getting the hell away from the festival and have a proper holiday.

     

    Pretend to yourself that you don't like music. Or having loads of fun

    Just pretend. It's only for one weekend.

     

    Start a band, get big quick, be a last minute addition to the lineup

    Other ways of doing this are by starting a blog that takes the internet by storm and means guaranteed press accreditation or send an email to your local paper suggesting that it's in their interests to cover the festival. Offer your services as the person who would be willing to drop their plans to take that press pass on the paper's behalf. I have tried this before. Unfortunately,  The Chew Valley Gazette was not obliging.


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    We're a creative bunch here at Murdock London, none more so than Murdock HQ member Mr Chris Oliver who not only has a sideline in music production and DJing but is also a multi-disciplinary artist. His first solo show The Mysterious Function of Belief has just opened at Lewisham Arthouse and is a collection of five years of work. It runs from Wednesday 23rd until Sunday 27th April. We're very proud.

     

     

     

     


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    We're feeling a little adventurous this month and as such we need the perfect playlist to soundtrack all this exploring and galavanting we're doing. These are the tracks we'll be packing.

    Adventure by Be Your Own Pet

     

    Six Months In A Leaky Boat by Split Enz

     

    Message In A Bottle by The Police

     

    Born To Be Wild by Steppenwolf

     

    Young Hearts Run Free by Candi Staton

     

    Fast Car by Tracy Chapman

     

    The Great Escape by We Are Scientists

     

    Sunshine's Better (Talvin Singh Remix) by John Martyn

     

    Under The Milky Way by The Church

     

    No Cars Go by Arcade Fire

     


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    Spring is still providing glimpses of a healthy summer to come, so now is the perfect time to pay attention to your inner adventurous spark that's desperate to ignite and get your holiday plans in shape.

    Whether you get one a year or are fortunate enough to whisk yourself away on a regular basis, to miss out on your dream break away and have to settle for an uninspired last minute choice should be avoided at all costs.

    Unleashing your adventurous side has never been easier with a vast array of exotic locations now so easily accessible and we've sourced some of our - soon to hopefully be your - most desired coastal destinations this year.

     

     

    South America

     

    Brazil

    The Chili Beach Boutique Hotel & Resort. Jericoacoara

    Many an Englishman will be fixated on the World Cup from the moment the first match kicks off in June. Perhaps a little on the relaxing side, some minds will be too focused on the competition to want to do little else. What better compromise then to be able to soak in both the competition and a glorious part of the world with its highly regarded beaches by spending a week or two in the hosting country.

     

    British Virgin Islands

    Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina

    Heading away  from the South American mainland, this resort is located on its own island. The decision of just how adventurous you want to be is all yours with walkable beaches and the marina accessible for an array of water-based activities.

     

    Europe

    Spain

    Playa de Ses Illetes. Formentera, Balearic Islands

    There's plenty of opportunity to explore on this beautiful, unspoilt island lying just to the south of Ibiza. Referred to as the Mediterranean's 'best kept secret', Illetes beach stretches from La Savina, the port of Formentera, to Espalmador, a small island sitting on the end of the peninsular.

     

    Montenegro

    Hotel Astoria. Stari grad, Kotor

    Kotor (A UNESCO World Heritage site) is located on the coastal bay of Montenegro and is a city steeped in tradition and history. Whilst a relaxing weekend at the boutique hotel to take in the views could easily be on the cards, the old city filled with medieval architecture and historic monuments demands to be explored. Extending over four kilometres, the city walls lead up to the fortress of Saint Ivan. Be sure to pack your best walking shoes.

     

    Asia

    Grand Mercure Phuket Patong. Phuket, Thailand

    Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options at this glorious coastline location. The inland options prove even more adventurous with forested hills, mountains and cliffs to be explored. Combined with a grand new resort to stay and relax in, this option may just be the modern adventurer's dream choice.

     


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    Lara Morrell's Christ Stopped at Novoli

    For the last eight years curator Justin Hammond has been choosing the forty brightest recent art graduates to feature in the Catlin Guide. Seven of these are then selected to enter the Catlin Prize with winners being voted for by a panel of industry judges that this year includes artist Mark Wallinger. The winner will receive £5000 to help them push forward with their burgeoning career but there's also a public prize where you can vote for your favourite work at the prize's exhibition or on the website, with the winner of that receiving £2000.

    This year's exhibition is taking place at the Londonnewcastle project space on Redchurch Street in Shoreditch from the 2nd -24th May. Above and below are some of our highlights from the show.

     

    Dennis J Reinmueller's Echo Chamber 

     

     Sarah Fortais' 123 (Unfinished)

     

    Mr and Mrs Philip Cath's Eve Progress 

    artcatlin.com


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    Hidden down a small side street off Berkeley Square lies the modern adventurer's dream cocktail bar.

    Modelled extravagantly on the very Mayfair house in which Phileas Fogg would have lived after travelling around the world in 80 Days, Mr Fogg's is the perfect spot for adventurous MurdockMen to enjoy inventive tipples.

    The eccentric explorer's period drawing room provides the lavish interior setting. It is laden with artifacts and trinkets with walls adorned with everything from stuffed Indian tigers and crocodiles to ornaments collected through his worldwide voyage. Annotated maps and pictures from Fogg's travels also feature prominently throughout the bar, as do clocks, given the importance Mr Fogg places on punctuality.

    Members of staff are at your service sporting specially designed, bespoke, old-fashioned Military style uniforms by Gieves & Hawkes to ensure that they appear every bit as authentic as the decorated interior.

     

     

    The menu is a unique interpretation of ‘Victorian Cocktailian Culture’. The result being an elegant global drinking adventure.

    Rare and unusual products and ingredients are sourced continually from each continent, seeking to open up guest's imaginations and palates to new and daring combinations.

    Classics from the era have been revived with a modern twist, with the Absinthe Aperitifs and Gin Fizzes in particular catching our eye.

    Futhermore an afternoon 'Tipsy Tea' option is available on Saturdays, offering an intriguing selection of Alcoholic Gin Teas.

     

     

    Mr Fogg’s, 15 Bruton Lane, London, W1J 6JD

    Opening Times:
    Monday - Wednesday: Precisely 5.01pm - 01.01am
    Thursday – Friday: Precisely 4.01pm - 01.01am
    Saturday: Precisely 3.01pm – 6.01pm (High Tea), 6.01pm – 01.01am

     


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    It's more than likely that the guarantee of fine weather this weekend has convinced you to arrange plenty of outdoor fun. Let's face it, chances are most of us will be guilty of burning out on Saturday from our escapades and desperate for a quieter Sunday.

    Taking the time to get comfortable and watch a great adventure movie could be just the ticket to satisfy your inner explorer. If a seasonal cold has also spitefully stricken just as your summer spirit has begun to blossom, then look no further to reconcile.

    We're talking about epic score music, grand sets and mysterious locations, memorable scenes and iconic actors. The perfect cinematic combinations that have inspired and amazed audiences for decades. No matter how dated, these films have cemented individual legacies and will forever hold an adventurous significance.

    Here's a selection of some of our favourites. If we've missed any of yours, let us know about it!

    N.B. We have tried to keep this as spoiler-free as possible.

     

    Stand By Me

    Based on a Stephen King short story, this film remains high in many a general list, let alone with the focus solely on adventure. Four friends set out in search of a missing local boy and in the process learn about themselves and the meaning of friendship. Truly, truly excellent.

     

    The Goonies

    This film follows a group of misfit kids as they search for buried treasure in a subterranean cavern. We're saying no more and we're just going to let you enjoy this classic. Just watch it this weekend. And every weekend after that.

     

    Raiders of the Lost Ark

    This classic trilogy with a more recently released fourth offering for good measure represents everything that adventurous cinema should. The legacy of Indiana Jones as far as masculine screen icons go still also stands as one of the finest.

     

    Ice Cold In Alex

    This vintage offering sees a group of army personnel and nurses attempt a dangerous and arduous trek across the deserts of North Africa during the Second World War. The leader dreaming of an ice cold beer at the end of the journey might just appear familiar to many of you.

     

    Romancing The Stone

    A romance writer receives a treasure map from her recently murdered brother-in-law and sets off to Colombia to use it in exchange to ransom her kidnapped sister. Funnily enough, she soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous adventure in the jungle, meeting soldier-of-fortune Jack Colton along the way to guide her back to civilisation.

     

    Up

    It's near impossible to put Pixar movies in an all-time list, but essentially Up is somewhere near the top. A brilliant and charming film which sees and elderly man use balloons to take flight in his home and accidently take a fearless young wilderness ranger on his adventure with him.

     

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

    Whether you love it or have no interest whatsoever, the cinematic impact of Peter Jackson's trilogy is undeniable. A ground breaking series which sees Frodo the hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring and the dark lord Sauron.

     

    On The Road

    Despite mixed receptions, the cinematic version of the legendary Beat novel was finally released in 2012. Even if you choose to watch it to simply compare how you envisioned everything in the book to look, seeing Walter Salles' take on Sal's journey across America is still a must.

     


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    The annual glamour of the Cannes Festival has been dominating the world of film this week. As the mid-way point has passed, we've put together some of our favourite well-groomed sights from the event so far.

    From gentlemen young and old to styles simple and complex, the variation has been fantastic this year. Honouring personal style is something that every gentleman should cherish and look to explore. It's great to see such high profile individuals appearing less restricted year upon year at Cannes.

     

     

    Tim Roth

    The great Tim Roth was our first stand out pick from the red carpet. With age comes grooming wisdom and flair, and this slick hair and beard combination from every angle looks superb.

     

    Michel Hazanavicius

    Turning the attention away from stylish cast members, the spectacled director continues to stand out with his well trimmed beard and loose hairstyle.

     

    David Cronenberg

    We have nothing but time for older gents who still play to their strengths and remain stylish. At 71 years old, Mr Cronenberg still has the hair growth and is still utilising it excellently.

     

    Ryan Gosling

    Simply perfection. (Well, near perfection, he did miss that strand at the back!) Ryan Gosling essentially need never change a thing. Slightly shorter than usual, this trademark cut remains as sharp as ever and stands out as ideal inspiration ahead of summer.

     

    Gaspard Ulliel

    Styling such long and straight hair back with heavy product can be a risky move but Gaspard has pulled it off excellently. Tied in with a dark shade of stubble, the long haired revolution continues to tease.

     

    Alfonso Cuarón

    The ratio of glasses wearers appears to have drastically increased this year and their potential impact on personal style even more so. Alfonso Cuarón looks like the kind of man who could impart wisdom for hours. Solid frames around the eyes, natural waves on top and a tidied beard make for an inspiring combination.

     

    Wim Wenders

    Certainly sporting the most unique hairstyle of the event, Wenders brings a great sense of maturity to such a free-thinking and artistically natured style.

     

    Pierre Niney

    A young star very much on the rise, Niney's hair continues to impress as messy texture smartly combines with wavy height.


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    We are delighted to announce our new partnership with Vintage Books.

    The first book in our reading selection will be Graham Greene's Brighton Rock, with more details to soon follow.

     

    'A superb storyteller with a gift for provoking controversy' - New York Times

     

     

     

    #murdockmanbookclub


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    World Cup fever is now heavily sinking in and with one eye on the calendar, it only seems appropriate before we reach June 12th to look back and immerse ourselves in the historic legacy of the competition.

    We dedicate this post to stylish individuals of the past whose outstanding skills on the pitch met top individual grooming efforts, creating personas for generations to admire and look up to - even to this day.

    Our squad of the sharpest World Cup legends has been presented in a traditional 4-4-2 formation to realistically tighten the selection process and we've even included a manager to help spruce up the touchline.

     

    Manager - Enzo Bearzot (Italy)

     

    GK - Bert Trautmann (Germany)
    (Didn't actually get to play in a World Cup but was so good we couldn't ignore)

     

    CBs - Paolo Maldini (Italy) & Bobby Moore (England)

     

    RB - José Nasazzi (Uruguay), LB - Giacinto Facchetti (Italy)

     

    CMs - Socrates (Brazil) & Raymond Kopa (France)

     

    RM - David Beckham (England) , LM - Zoltán Czibor (Hungary)

     

    STs - Thierry Henry (France) & Fritz Walter (Germany)


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    A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Seventeen-year-old Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold. Greene's gripping thriller, exposes a world of loneliness and fear, of life lived on the 'dangerous edge of things'.

    That's the blurb to the first book of The MurdockMan Book Club In Association With Vintage. Sounds pretty darn exciting right? A lot of you will of course be more than familiar with Brighton Rock, whether it be from Graham Greene's novel or its two film adaptations. When we discussed with our new friends at Vintage about what book would kick off proceedings Brighton Rock was a clear first choice for both of us. It's masculine, it's British, it's something people know through the films but perhaps have never read and, most importantly of all, the Vintage edition has a cut-throat razor on the cover. Decision made.

    We'll have copies of the books in all our stores so you can browse while you wait for your appointment (we promise this isn't a diversionary tactic for long waiting times, just a little extra culture as a side to the style) and every month we'll have a write up of that month's book. We'll also have one copy to win of the next book for the MurdockMan who sends us the best review of the current month's book on Twitter with the #murdockmanbookclub.

    For this first month though you can win a copy of Brighton Rock by tweeting Gimme Brighton Rock to @murdocklondon with the #murdockmanbookclub.  One lucky and literate fan will picked at random and sent a copy on Tuesday 10th June at 16:00. So you have until then!


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    With Father's Day coming up, we asked a couple of the young padres who work for Murdock London, what being a modern and dapper dad means for them.

     

    Steven Barrow, Operations Manager. Dad to Mannie, 2 years old

     

    What differences are there between how your dad/parents raised you and how you bring up Mannie?
    I want Manoa to experience as much as he can independently from an early age and not shelter him from too much. I want him to appreciate and understand things for himself with the aim to him having an early awareness of the world he lives in and to learn to deal with what comes his way accordingly.

     

    What modern technologies help you out with being a parent?
    Every now and then he plays games and watches his favourite programmes 'Cars' and 'Dinopaws' on the Ipad. We also use Facetime to catch up with his family in the Netherlands which is always fun.

     

    How do you and your partner share the responsibilities?
    We manage to divide the Lions share - more than anything else to help each other out and this works well. Its hard work and lots of effort and sacrifice but all worth it when you see him happy and enjoying himself.

     

    Do you still try and cling on to being young and free? How do you balance it out with being a parent?
    I wish! Papa was a rolling stone so I had to put those days behind me quickly and smarten up my act. From the word go I was fully dedicated to my sons happiness above my own and like to think that's how it remains. The balance comes on solo trips away or just with my partner and/or friends - thats when I manage to cut loose and enjoy my freedom again.

     

    How do you like to spend time with Mannie?
    He is very active and loves water so trips down to the park on his scooter, splashing in the puddles is very exciting for him. Escapes to the coast and building sand castles on the beach are basically his idea of Heaven. He has recently just got a body board and loves to fly around on that. He also loves his food so we love to have him join us for dinner occasionally on a Friday night in Soho.

     

    What is the greatest lesson you would like to impart on Mannie?
    Follow your dreams and help others to achieve theirs too.

     

     

    Gavin Sharp, Head Barber Murdock London at Liberty. Dad to Olive, 14 months old. 

     

    What differences are there between how your dad/parents raised you and how you bring up your daughter?
    Times have changed and I'm sure parenting has to. But I suppose most of the parenting skills I have come from my parents. I come from a very large family, 5 brothers and sisters. So I've got it easy compared to them! I guess the main difference would be that I'm a bit more relaxed, encouraging her inquisitive side.

     

    What modern technologies help you out with being a parent?
    Headphones..... Only kidding! She loves to play with the iPad. But we try to keep it to a minimum. Don't want to become a iPad parent! But for night time it beats a night light, we often leave it playing baby lullabies  with colourful images to send her off to sleep. When she was first born we had a sensor for the cot which checked she was breathing OK. Amazing piece of technology.

     

    How do you and your partner share the responsibilities?
    We share it pretty equal I guess. I took 5 months off when my partner went back to work. Feel very lucky to have that opportunity. Since I went back to work in January, olive is at nursery. So I do the morning run and my partner Holly picks her up. I like to think we have shared the nappy changing, but holly would probably say otherwise!

     

    Do you still try and cling on to being young and up for a party? How do you balance it out with being a parent?
    It is hard trying to balance it, but we try to get out for a date night when we can. You need a break every now and then for your sanity. But if I'm honest, I don't have the drinking ability I used to have!

     

    What is the greatest lesson you would like to impart on your daughter?
    I've always said I'd teach her some of my skills as a barber. I think everyone needs a skill or a trade. Knowing how to preform a cut throat shave is a great skill to have, and something I'd like to pass through the family. Who knows, she could be my little apprentice one day!


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    This Summer Somerset House are hosting a new interactive exhibition that celebrates the stylish individuality of the Rudeboys. The pork pie hat and sharp suit wearing sub-culture that started on the streets of Kingston, Jamaica in the 1950s, inspired by American Jazz, then later brought to the UK via the ska and Two-Tone scene of the 80s and now reignited for the 21st Century in the era of the urban dandy.

     

     

    Curators Dean Chalkley and Harris Elliott have spent a year photographing these new dapper Rudeboys and Rudegirls across the most stylish and artistic areas of London. Around these portraits Chalkley and Elliott have created an immersive experience of visuals and sounds. Each subject has provided their personal playlist of Rudeboy tunes and these have been collated to create a soundtrack to your exploration of the exhibition. There's also a working barbershop two days a week - that feature obviously caught our eye - which showcases the Rudeboys dedication to grooming, while artisan suitcases built especially for the exhibition to display some of the portraits show the movement's attention to detail.

    If like us you're a fan of sharply dressed individuals and stylish photogrpahic portraiture, then you won't want to miss this Summer exhibition.

     

     

     

     

     

    Return of the Rudeboy is on at Somerset House until 25th August. Admission is free.


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    The War On Drugs - Lost in the Dream

    Channelling the great American rock roots of Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen - fitting for a band from Philadelphia - Lost in the Dream is a big, confident step forward from what they've done before. Whenever you put it on, from the cross-America road-tripping soundtrack of opener Under The Pressure, you're warmed by the hazy sunshine that emanates from the speakers.

    Sunniest song: Red Eyes

     

    Weezer - The Blue Album

    The Pop-punk scene of the 90s is a purely summer based genre. All those bouncing bass lines and comedy lyrics don't sit well in mid-November, unsurprising for a movement born in California. This album, the first from Rivers Cuomo's band of merry nerds, is a more nuanced take on the genre and the melancholy pop hook pay-offs are hugely rewarding.

    Sunniest song: Surf Wax America

     

    Kings of Leon - Aha Shake Heartbreak

    Has there ever been a bigger musical fall from grace than Kings Of Leon? Sure, the Followill clan have swapped great songs with little global recognition for sell out stadium shows and bags o' money but their recent albums have been fairly dull and wet. You could say that would make them the perfect soundtrack to a British summer but we try to be a little bit more optimistic about the weather than that. Their first three records are sublime in any season but the songs from their sophomore offering are the ones that really hit the perfect note as dusk falls on a sun and cider blushed festival crowd.

    Sunniest song: The Bucket

     

    The Beach Boys - Today!

    Brian Wilson and bros. have so many fantastic beach and surf based fun time tunes spread across tens of albums that perhaps we would have been better off picking a compilation. But we didn't. Mainly for music snobbery reasons and thinking about that Alan Partridge episode where he claims to be a Beatles fan and when asked what his favourite album is he replies 'I would have to say The Best of The Beatles.' Not to say this is our favourite Beach Boys record but it's a really, really good one that features the foot-stomping, hip-swinging, body-shaking brilliance of Do You Wanna Dance?

    Sunniest song: Do You Wanna Dance?

     

    Studio One Ska

    You know that stuff we said about not wanting to pick a compilation album? Well, something we also say is never say never. We couldn't resist with this. It's the very best of ska from the great Jamaican label. The perfect soundtrack to a summer bbq.

    Sunniest song: I'm Going To Take Over Now by The Ethiopians

     

    M83 - Hurry Up We're Dreaming

    This French electronic duo have always made sensory musical journeys to soundtrack epic summers, just take their song Lower Your Eyelids to Die With the Sun, but thanks to lead single and ever-present TV tune Midnight City, this 2011 album was the one that brought them their biggest success. Just try not to let thoughts of Made In Chelsea ruin your listening experience.

    Sunniest song: Midnight City

     

    Bonobo - The North Borders

    Producer Simon Green has steadily been growing an avid following for his laid back and expansive work as Bonobo. Following on from his well received 2010 Black Sands album, The North Borders is music for a chilled sunny afternoon or early morning sunrise. Just depends on your personal penchant for summer partying.

    Sunniest song: Cirrus

     

    Best Coast - Crazy For You

    One of the bands that started with a set of other acts around 2010 that were inspired by 60s surf rock, such as The Drums and Surfer Blood, Best Coast are the ones who are yet to wipe out and continue to get better. Their first album though is perhaps their most sun drenched.

    Sunniest song: Crazy For You

     

    Future Islands - Singles

    The Baltimore trio have been making great records for a while now but they've just made arguably their best and thanks to a certain chat show performance they've finally got the audience they deserve. The future is very bright indeed.

    Sunniest song: Sun In The Morning

     

    Haim - Days Are Gone

    The artwork features the three sunglasses sporting Haim sisters sitting on the grass and staring up at the sun.  An album you can definitely judge by its cover.

    Sunniest song: Forever


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    Our new Renshaw Cologne follows Napier 1903 as the second release from our collection of fragrances inspired by the grand heritage of British sports.

    With its light, clean and green scent based around British watercress, we've looked to encapsulate the style and elegance of British lawn tennis and croquet.

    With such vibrant ingredients and an esteemed British sporting theme behind the new cologne, we thought it fitting to name it in honour of Mr William and Mr Ernest Renshaw, twin brother tennis players of the late 19th century. William, a former World No. 1 is the most successful Gentlemen's singles player of the Wimbledon Championships' amateur era. The right-hander was known for his power and technical ability which put him ahead of all those who challenged him at the All England Club.

     

     

    William still holds the all-time record of Wimbledon wins with a total of twelve titles. This feat is shared only with modern day legends Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Seven of the titles were won in singles competition, whilst the remaining five came through doubles competition when playing alongside Ernest, who himself won the singles championship in 1888.

    In singles play, the two brothers met each other three times in the Wimbledon final, with William triumphing on all three occasions. In those days though, it was a challenger tournament where the previous year's winner gained straight entry into the final. Some would say that this diminishes William's record but we like to think that it demonstrates the relaxed tradition of a gentleman's sport and of a man's annual anticipation of one moment with which to show the crowds how handsomely he could play. And playing handsomely is exactly what we picture gents doing when wearing the Renshaw cologne.

     

    Our new Renshaw fragrance is fresh and green, with a scent based on British watercress, leather, and grass.


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