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Grooming. Culture and Style for the Modern Gentleman
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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

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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



    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.




    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.



    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.



    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

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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.



    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





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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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    We're festival lovers here at Murdock and the sad thing is that we are currently here at Murdock rather than enjoying the love of Glastonbury festival. So in attempt to make us feel better we had a think about our favourite festival performances. It's only made us feel worse.

    James at Murdock Head Office

    Beach House - Glastonbury 2010

    The perfect band to play a breezy 4pm festival slot. That limbo period when you're caught between daytime exhaustion and evening anticipation.  A truly mesmerising performance from this band affirmed that Glastonbury's Park Stage is my favourite place to see live music. As the sun began to drop for the day, the mellow vibes of Beach House encapsulated the entire audience into a glorious collective haze. I don't think anybody spoke throughout the entire set. Reading back on the performance apparently half of the PA system broke half way through as well. I didn't even notice.


    Haim - Great Escape 2012

    Just two years ago, I saw the much lesser-known Haim play a basement in Brighton to an audience of about 40 people at The Great Escape. This was my first taste of their music and from the very first song it was clear that this trio was going to explode very quickly with their fusion of sunny pop and ridiculously catchy melodies. A performance as passionate and captivating as their Glastonbury appearance will be this afternoon.


    Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Leeds Festival 2009

    As a band who soundtracked my teenhood, this main stage performance brought me full circle. A back catalogue of some of my favourite songs, giant eyeball balloons, Karen O screaming every word, a glorious sunset during Maps - every aspect of this performance was perfect. I didn't need to see anything else all weekend.


    Chris, Murdock Head Office

    Bonobo's band - Garden Party

    Seeing Bonobo's band show up in the end, after we thought they'd been cancelled due to his involvement in a car accident. The band played spectacularly with a perfect view of the sun setting on the Croatian peninsula!


    Will, Murdock Head Office

    Mystery Jets - Glastonbury 2008

    'I think this is the best place in the world' announced the then Mystery Jets bassist Kai from the Park stage. The cheery audience enjoying the splendour of the Park area in its first year clearly agreed. Sometimes everything just comes together at a festival. The sun is out but it's not too strong, everyone's level of tipsiness starts to outweigh their hangovers, and the band are beaming with happiness at their situation in that moment. This set was one of those. It was just after their second album had been released so full of good time tracks like Two Doors Down and Young Love. The latter of which the band were joined on stage by Laura Marling for. At one point Kai and guitarist Will sat playing on the edge of the stage with their legs hanging into the photographers pit. It was the feeling that everyone was just extremely happy and wanted to soak it all up. Quite simply, it was just really good fun.


    Prince - Hop Farm 2011

    Normally I don't like going to see once amazing and brilliant musicians in the latter stages of their career/lives as they rarely sound or look as good as they did back in their prime. There's always the  sound of collective wincing from the crowd as the ageing voice strains to hit the notes they used to decades previously. Obviously there are exceptions to this: Leonard Cohen's deep voice and dark love songs of longing and loss fit him even better in his old age, as his Glastonbury 2008 set proved. Some artists though just don't age, as Prince proved at Hop Farm. He looks the same as he has for the past twenty or thirty years, his voice is just as strong as ever, his guitar playing is incomparable, and his dancing, my oh my, can that little man move his tiny waist.  He is quite simply the best performer I have seen and that set was the best I've ever been fortunate enough to experience. The 'Ooooh oooh oooh oooohhhs' section in Purple Rain alone, which seemed to go on for 9 minutes, would've been worth being covered in all the mud in Kent for. The fact that it was warm and sunny made it all the more perfect.


    Blur - Glastonbury 2009

    There's nothing like a good crowd sing-a-long at a festival and on the Pyramid Stage it's extra special. The above video is the greatest sing-a-long I've ever been part of.

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    If the Tour de France beginning its historic first stage in Yorkshire last weekend had you grabbing your bike and pedalling for the Dales then that's marvellous news for you, the sport of cycling and for the county's tourist board. However, if you're more of an armchair cyclist and now in the mood for watching more two-wheeled journeys through beautiful British countryside then you could do worse than have a look at 1949 British film A Boy, A Girl and A Bike.

    Proving that Britain's love affair with cycling isn't as embryonic as many would believe it's based around the Wakefield Wheelers cycling club and features lots of lovely shots of high-spirited post-war Brits racing round the magnificent Yorkshire scenery on just as lovely looking bikes. It also features a pre-platinum Diana Dors and a pre-Pussy Galore Honor Blackman in early film roles.

    All in all, a rather delightful and light desert to the excitement of le Tour.

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    Rowing Blazers is a new book that explores the tradition of the signature blazers worn by the oarsmen and oarswomen of University and school rowing clubs across the world.

    The photographer F.E. Castleberry, a man who knows about prep - he runs the Unabashedly Prep blog and was a director of concept design at Ralph Lauren Rugby, has shot current and former rowers at their clubs or universities clad in their idiosyncratic blazers. His characterful photos perfectly capture subjects revelling in the intellectual and sporting tribal distinction that wearing their team's colours gives them.

    Written by Jack Carlson, a former US and Oxford rower, the beautifully put-together tome recounts the histories and anecdotes behind each blazer and Carlson's words act as a friendly hand leading you into the some of the elite institutions of an often esoteric sport.

    You don't have to know about rowing or even be a slightly bit interested in it to enjoy the fantastic style shots.That's certainly why it caught our eye.

    Rowing Blazers is out now. Published by Thames & Hudson.

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    Black Square 1929 © State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

    Tate Modern's new Kazimir Malevich exhibition takes an expansive view of one of the 20th century's most radical and influential modern artists.

    Tracing Malevich's career from his early paintings of Russian landscapes and religious scenes, the exhibition explores his sculpture and involvement with theatre as well as his ground-breaking Suprematism works of abstract geometric shapes and bold colours, including the radical Black Square. A painting which was one of the first to make people question 'what is art?' and caused a shocked and confounded reaction similar to Duchamp's 'readymade'.

    An artist thinking well ahead of his time in a similar vein to the star of the Tate's other current centrepiece show Henri Matisse. The two exhibitions work as a colourful, thought-provoking double bill.

    Suprematist Painting (with Black Trapezium and Red Square) 1915
    Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam


    Woman with Rake 1930-32
    State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia


    Supremus No. 55 1916
    Krasnodar Territorial Art Museum


    Malevich is at the Tate Modern from 16th July -  26th October 2014


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    Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

    Many say that this great American writer is too often characterised as simply a hunting and bull fighting boozer. Well this novel is full of bulls and booze. It's also a striking example of Hemingway's sparse writing style and the subtle way he tells this story of drunk and entangled British and American expatriates in Paris travelling to Pamplona for the running of the bulls.  The heat, hangovers and heartache experienced by the damaged, tragic characters are palpable.


    Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    The fourth and final novel from the author of The Great Gatsby pits the glamour of young, rich Americans enjoying a party lifestyle on the French Riviera against the pains of mental deterioration. A man caught between tending for his ill wife and his young movie starlet lover. If you're after some gentlemanly introspection whilst lying on the beach, then this will get you thinking about your life and loves.


    Down There On A Visit by Christopher Isherwood

    Berlin, the Greek Islands, London and California. 1928, 1932, 1938 and 1940. Four portraits, four settings, four narrators, all known as 'Christopher Isherwood'. Often regarded as the best of his novels, Down There on a Visit tells the vivid stories of Isherwood's life thattogether with The Berlin Novels, were to have comprised his great unfinished epic novel.


    The Talented Mr Ripley – Patricia Highsmith

    If you come across any young, well dressed young, rich Americans idly spinning their time chilling around the Mediterranean and think to yourself ‘I’d like to be in their position, If only I could take what they have,’ then this is the book for you.


    The Magus by John Fowles

    On a remote Greek Island, Nicholas Urfe finds himself embroiled in the deceptions of a master trickster. As reality and illusion intertwine, Urfe is caught up in the darkest of psychological games. John Fowles expertly unfolds a tale that is lush with over-powering imagery in a spellbinding exploration of human complexities. By turns disturbing, thrilling and seductive, The Magus is a feast for the mind and the senses.


    The Gringo Trail by Mark Mann

    On The Road is the classic modern travel novel but where Kerouac's coast to coast trip was running on Benzedrine, Mann's story is coked up to the eyeballs whilst arguing with hand-grenade holding Colombians.   This is no Fear and Loathing though, as the story is full of the culture and history of the places on this South American tour.


    Dr. No by Ian Fleming

    The sixth novel in Fleming's 007 series and, of course, the basis for the first film and many of the most memorable Bond moments.  All the adventure you need whilst lying on a beach, sipping a Martini and waiting for Ursula Andress to emerge from the water.


    The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa

    Another Mediterranean set story because that's our summer vibe. It's a lush, ruminative account of a worldly Sicilian Prince coming to terms with rapid change. He also spends a good deal of time maintaining his whiskers; which is always a good literary subject matter in our book!


    The Circle by Dave Eggers

    While you cut yourself loose from your computer, the latest novel from McSweeney's main man Dave Eggers about a Google/Facebook like globo-tech giant will have you thinking twice about your online presence when you return home. If hiked-up data charges weren't enough to the reduce your Instagram sunset snaps then this entertaining Orwellian inspired satire of the internet age surely will.

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    Cinema is the glitzy, aspirational art form and so no wonder we take much of our style inspiration from some of our favourite films. Particularly from the 50s and 60s when leading men really dressed like men behind whom everyone else followed. So here we've picked five of our favourite films for summer style.


    Alain Delon and Maurice Ronet in Plein Soleil (Purple Noon)

    Despite both it's French and English titles this is in fact the first film adaptation of Patricia Higsmith's novel The Talented Mr Ripley, pre-dating the US version by almost 40 years. It's tense and twisty but above all, very, very stylish. The most bizarre thing about the film is that everyone's speaking French even though they're meant to be American. Sill, just look at those shirts and you'll soon forget all about that.


    Matt Damon and Jude Law in The Talented Mr Ripley

    And three decades later, here is the American version. Just as beautiful and as stylish as the first but with a little more Ivy League prep than Côte D'Azur playboy going on in the costume department. And more pomade too.


    Cary Grant in To Catch A Thief

    The leading man of all leading men trying not to be followed by the police in this French Riviera set Hitchcok classic. What we would describe as the perfect cat burglar on holiday look.


    Sean Connery in Dr No

    This powder blue ensemble was the inspiration for the colour of Daniel Craig's breath intaking shorts (for the audience and probably for him judging by their genital squeezing tightness)  in Quantam of Solace but this is the outfit, even though it's all one colour, that would suit most men better. We wouldn't recommend the gun as an essential accessory.


    Jean-Paul Belmondo in Pierrot le Fou

    Godard and Belmondo, the pair that brought you Breathless, together again but this time they've got colour. They use it well with that striped shirt and cream chino outfit. And the parrot of course.

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    A visit to 69 Colebrooke Row, one of London's finest cocktail bars and speakeasies should be on the to-do list of every MurdockMan.

    After 5 years in business, the 'Bar With No Name' has recently released a cocktail anthology, written by owner and pioneering drinks creator Tony Conigliaro.

    The cocktail book, or rather bible reveals the inner workings of the bar whilst celebrating the location, its stunning cocktails and the clientèle.


    A perfect signature Soy Cubano


    For those yet to pay a visit, the bar is reminiscent of a 1950's Italian café, and influenced by film noir. It thrives on the ability to surprise, reinvent and experiment. For Tony and his team, great care has been taken in sourcing unusual ingredients to make each drink entirely unique. From re-workings of classic cocktails such as a Fig Tom Collins and Green Almond Army & Navy, as well as cocktails of his own making, the drinks combine bespoke flavour profiles and offer a delicious sensory experience.



    'The pleasure of drinking in a bar is a pleasure of many kinds. Each of my drinks will tell you a story, if you are willing to hear it.' says Tony, and the photographs and illustrations bring life to each iconic recipe.  Recording some of the most innovative serves created by the team at 69, our favourite pick from the selection is naturally the 'Barbershop Fizz' – inspired by the refreshing sensation of an open razor shave combining pine-infused gin, birch and vanilla syrup, patchouli-infused mint, lime juice and soda water.

    Be sure to make room on your coffee table for this one and let yourself indulge in Tony's cocktail mastery.

    69 Colebrooke Row is published by Ebury Press and available to buy online.

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    The second title for the MurdockMan Book Club In Association with Vintage has arrived!

    First published in 1958, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard is a great chronicle of the changes in Sicilian life and society during the Risorgimento.

    'In the spring of 1860, Fabrizio, the charismatic Prince of Salina, still rules over thousands of acres and hundreds of people, including his own numerous family, in mingled splendour and squalor. Then comes Garibaldi's landing in Sicily and the Prince must decide whether to resist the forces of change or come to terms with them.'

    The book has been hailed by E. M. Forster as 'One of the great lonely books…not a historical novel, but a novel which happens to take place in history’ and will be available to read in all Murdock branches as of next week.

    We will also have one copy to win for the MurdockMan who sends us the best review on Twitter with the hashtag: #murdockmanbookclub, so get reading!

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    Over the next couple of week's a few British cinemas are rounding off the summer with impeccable taste by showing Alfred Hitchcock's Riviera set classic To Catch A Thief.

    The 1955 film is one of the most stylish films ever made with two of the most glamorous Hollywood stars; the epitome of a Hollywood leading man, Mr Cary Grant and the Princess of Monaco herself Mrs Grace Kelly. It's a relaxed comedy thriller that revels in its Côte d’Azur settings and fashions. A perfect August bank holiday weekend film.



    Check To Catch A Thief's IMDb page for screenings near you


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    As the height of summer has started its decline, it is imperative to soak in and enjoy the remaining golden rays of evening sun as best possible.

    Where better to do this than on Boundary's luxurious rooftop bar on Redchurch Street. Offering superb views of the city, the atmosphere and aesthetic provide a peaceful environment in which to properly relax amongst the business of Shoreditch.



    With the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned beer or tasteful cocktail after work, there is also a cigar selection on the menu if you're looking to sit back and absorb the sights and sounds of the city in true Mad Men style. With a group of friends you're likely to simply get lost in the environment and feel like you've been whisked away to the Riviera.

    Meditteranean inspired, the food menu further reflects such romanticised and ideal summer evenings. The traditional selection of hors d'oeuvres is certainly a must to try, paired ideally with a Blueberry & Ginger Caipirinha or shared pitcher of Aperol Spritz.



    As the evenings begin to turn, members of staff are at hand to offer blankets in order to keep summer holiday spirits as alive and well as possible.

    The bar is open until 11pm daily and the good news is that even when summer is truly over, the rooftop will remain open thanks to the weatherproof pergola.

    With queues to be expected you can now also book a table in advance online.


    Boundary Hotel, 2-4 Boundary Street Shoreditch, E2 7DD


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    The Great British Bake Off has not always been a show which has seemed required watching to The MurdockMan (or at least to this MurdockMan - others in Murdock HQ have been avid viewers for the last few series). Perhaps it was Paul Hollywood's goatee and school boy wet look fringe that was putting us off.

    Well in this new series the level of good beardedness has risen like a strong white loaf in a Hovis ad. Belfast born and London residing Mr Iain Watters has entertained us with his agonised facial expressions and impressed us with the good growth and tri-colour of his rusty beard. It's started us thinking about the correct preparations for kneading the dough with facial fur.


    1. Moisturise

    It gets hot in the kitchen and even hotter if you're sporting a half-mask of hair on your face. And that means your beard and skin will get dry and itchy. You don't want to start scratching and find loose whiskers in your Victoria Sponge or sprinkle your ginger bread with flakes of dry skin. So prepare with Beard Moisturiser to ensure your facial hair is smooth, soft and healthy and your skin is moisturised.


    2. Think About Pirates

    Black Beard, Red Beard, Silver Beard. These are all great names for pirates. Cake Mix Beard and Flour Beard are not. We're not saying being a pirate is something that you should morally or professionally aspire to, just that the classic Jolly Roger and eye-patch types had a knack for strong facial hair based monikers. Something to think about when you next fancy a quick taste of the coffee and walnut mix. So don't be tempted to lick the bowl or start itching or handling your facial hair. Beard Moisturiser can help with the latter, it's up to your will power on the former.


    3. Get A Man's Apron

    Our Shoreditch friends over at Labour & Wait sell some great work aprons and this will be your beard's perfect partner in your masculine baking endeavours. However, a heavy work apron will add to the heat which makes Tip 1 all the more imperative.

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    We've caught the Bake Off bug at last. We can't deny it. We've even been thinking about how best to prepare our beard before we bake bread. (Which you can read about  here.)

    However, now we've decided that hours in the kitchen encasing cheese in dough plaits and building biscuit sculptures is how we want to spend our Autumnal weekends, we need to make sure we do it in style. So we asked our Shoreditch homeware friends Labour And Wait for their picks for the gentleman baker. All of which you can find in their unequivocally fantastic Redchurch Street store or on their website.


    Bib Apron

    A LABOUR AND WAIT classic, our bib apron is made in England from hardwearing 100% Cotton Duck fabric. This apron has a large practical gussetted pocket on the front with a smaller top pocket.


    Oven Gloves 

    Simple, no fuss, practical oven gloves.


    Pestle and Mortar

    A real classic that no kitchen should be without. Essential for seeds, nuts etc.


    Cook’s Dry Measure

    This clever item is calibrated for all dry ingredients from cornflour to cocoa, breadcrumbs to barley – it even gives American cup equivalents. Hand made in England.


    Spice Jar

    These traditional Laboratory jars make an ideal spice jar.


    Marbled Loaf Tin

    This distinctive enamel loaf tin will make baking a pleasure.


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    Mr Ryan MacGregor, Murdock London's marvellously moustachioed barber in our Liberty London branch shares with us his love of disco and how he started his own night From Disco to Disco his hometown...

    "I started From Disco to Disco about 5 years ago. Back then there was nowhere that great in Reading to go out to listen to the music that my friends and I where into. My birthday was coming up, so I organised a little party with all my mates DJing in a back room of a bar in Reading. It was lots fun, its had a nice house party vibe, but with club level tunes. From Disco to Disco was born! It then became a monthly party, playing all the best Disco/Nu Disco, and generally got a bit heavier as the night progressed into the night with some house and techno. It grew over the years from paying friends in beer to DJ to booking amazing acts like, Justin Robertson, Ejeca, Filthy Dukes, Magnier (House of Disco), Debonair and lots more. It was amazing to see acts like this in a 80 capacity venue and 90% of the time if was free entry!"

    "Since moving to London, the FDTD nights have sadly stopped. I would love to bring the FDTD nights to the capital but for now I am currently working on some Disco Edits and getting myself some more DJ sets in and around the city. I love my disco, so my sets are generally full of classics, edits and Nu Disco numbers."

    To hear Mr MacGregor's most marvellous mixes check out the From Disco To Disco Soundcloud here.


      Ryan MacGregor's all-time favourite Disco classics

    The Whispers - Keep On Lovin' Me

    Luther Vandross - Never Too Much

    Chic - Everybody Dance

    George Benson - Give Me The Night

    Evelyn Champagne King - Love Come Down

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    If you missed Tate Modern's summer blockbuster show of Henri Matisse's Cut-Outs then Taschen's new tome of the great man's 'drawing with scissors' makes a rather lovely consolation. If did you make it to the exhibition and experienced the marvel of colour and shape that Monsieur Matisse created in his later period then we think you'll fancy bringing that work onto your coffee table. That's certainly how we feel.

    The new book is full of prints of Matisse's signature gouache cut-outs that represented a revolution in modern art when he created them in the 40s and 50s in his Seventies. A book to brighten up your living room full of art that will art brighten up your life.

    Creole Dancer, 1950

    © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse

    The Sheaf, 1953

    ©2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse


    Two Dancers, 1937–38
    Study for the curtain of the ballet “L’Étrange Farandole”

    ©2014 Succession H. Matisse/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, for the works of Henri Matisse


    Caption: Henri Matisse working on the monumental cut-outs, Nice, 1952

    ©laif/Photo: Hélène Adant


    Henri Matisse. Cut-Outs. Drawing With Scissors is out now.

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    Having introduced our Book Club with Graham Greene's Brighton Rock and followed with Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's The Leopard, we are excited to announce that the third title for the MurdockMan Book Club In Association with Vintage will be Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray.

    First published in 1890 to much controversy (even more so than the terrible 2009 film adaptation) this is 'both a cautionary tale of a life of depravity and sham, and a tender portrait of the aesthetic urge unbridled and spinning out of control.' - Irvine Welsh.

    'Dorian is a good-natured young man until he discovers the power of his own exceptional beauty. As he gradually sinks deep into a frivolous, glamorous world of selfish luxury, he apparently remains physically unchanged by the stresses of his corrupt lifestyle and untouched by age. But up in his attic, hidden behind a curtain, his portrait tells a different story...'

    According to The Guardian, 'Wilde set the gold standard for chroniclers of decadence’ with this novel and you can enjoy every page across all Murdock branches as of next week.

    Keep your eyes on our Twitter page as we will soon be running another #murdockmanbookclub competition with copies to give away to lucky winners.

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    War: The Exile and the Rock Limpet, 1842


    Late Turner – Painting Set Free is Tate Britain's newest exhibition, showcasing J.M.W. Turner's work created between 1835 and his death in 1851. Being one of Britain's most celebrated artists, we are most excited about getting a closer look at some of his magnificent paintings of London.

    The exhibition begins in the year that Turner reached 60, and closes with his last exhibits at the Royal Academy. With 180 works sourced from the UK and overseas, the aim is to redefine ideas of one of Britain’s greatest and best-loved painters, challenging the myths, assumptions and interpretations that have grown around his later work.



    Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus (pictured above) has been lauded as one of the exhibition's highlights due to its visual magnificence. The painting has also been reunited with Modern Rome – Campo Vaccino (pictured below), having been first exhibited together in 1839.



    Throughout the exhibition, Turner is revealed as a painter as distinguished by the broad scope of his knowledge and imagination as he was by his radical and exploratory techniques, processes and use of materials.

    The show brings together major series' of works including a group of unusual square pictures, casting a light on his innovative techniques.


    Regulus, 1837


    Late Turner is running until 25 January 2015, with a host of special events, talks and lectures taking place within its duration.


    Tate Britain
    W1P 4RG

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    "It's just not as good as the book.."

    This sentence has been uttered enough to make you wonder how so many authors have gladly let their printed masterpieces fall into lacklustre cinematic hands. This was most certainly the case for the 2009 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray. The fantastic novel is the latest addition to the MurdockMan Book Club reading list and will soon be available to read in all of our branches. We cannot recommend enough approaching this version instead.

    With the reputation of such a highly acclaimed novel put into question by its cinema counterpart, we got to thinking this week about the film adaptations that have broken the boundaries and actually done justice to their printed origins. There have been several exceptions over the years when a select few directors and screenwriters have been able to take a perfectly good novel and use their creative talents to develop it excellently into a visual format.

    Be it the ability to directly address and emphasise style, atmosphere or location rather than be restricted to finding the best descriptive words, this list of films proved to meet their printed makers and indeed surpass their influence.

    N.B. Each of these books are still highly worthwhile picking up.



    Nicolas Winding Refn subtly blew audiences away with Drive. The minimal dialogue, beautiful cinematography and an immense selection of electro-infused tracks combined to produce a contemporary screen icon and anti-hero In Ryan Gosling's Driver. Superb supporting performances brought further attention to character relationships that extended beyond James Sallis' novel.


    Jurassic Park

    One of the biggest films of the 90s, Steven Spielberg's take on Michael Crichton's book brought CGI capabilities to a new level. Crichton being directly involved with the screenplay probably went a long way in its authenticity too. With so many memorable scenes that brought great levels of suspense and picturesque beauty, the excellent cast including the late Richard Attenborough further helped to bring such an outrageous concept to life.  A vast amount of credit has to also go to John Williams for curating the iconic score.


    The Talented Mr Ripley

    Taking Patricia Highsmith's novel, Anthony Minghella created a film version that evoked immense levels of character development and visual style - to the point where come summer, fashion brands still continue to use it for reference. With a previous cinematic version in the form of Rene Clement's 'Purple Noon' to compete with, Minghella excelled in providing us with alluring characters with assurance and depth. The stunning coastal Italian setting simply adds to the visual delights too. Rather than imagining what the setting must look like, you're just dying to be there instead.


    The Godfather

    Critically recognised as one of the greatest films of all time, it's safe to say that Francis Ford Coppola managed to surpass the greatness of Mario Puzo's novel. As with Crichton for Jurassic Park, Puzo himself directly contributed to the screenplay which will have gone a long way in visually portraying exactly what the author originally envisioned. Acclaimed acting performances and still topping all-time lists, this is probably the most successful book and film combination to have been produced. At least regarding Part One...


    Let The Right One In

    Before you begin to panic, we are of course referring to the original Swedish version directed by Tomas Alfredson. John Ajvide Lindqvist (again involved in the screenplay) had his book turned in to a contemporary cult horror classic in 2008. The steady-paced nature and stylishly bleak atmosphere truly brought the intelligent dark fantasy to life.


    The Wolf Of Wall Street

    The most recent film adaptation in our list, Martin Scorsese's work on the story of Jordan Belfort was a joy to behold as he rinsed every drop of entertainment value that the story had to offer cinematically. The true story of a wealthy stock-broker's rise and fall and his experiences throughout was always going to tease cinematic opportunity. Thankfully with the screenplay written by Terence Winter and excellent choices in casting, the transition from page to screen proved hugely succesful and much more entertaining to consume.

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    It's nearly the time of year where we manage to consume even more cocktails than we usually would in a week and have the perfect excuse to do so, it's London Cocktail Week!

    From 6th -12th October  there'll be festivities across London celebrating the city's unrivalled cocktail culture. As ever, the hub of activity is around Seven Dials and on Wednesday 8th we'll be sharing our Monmouth Street shop with progressive distillers The Botanist in an event all about foraging for gin.

    The Botanist are distillers like no other, producing a small-batch, artisanal gin from the Hebridean island of Islay. Having a core of the nine classic gin botanicals, The Botanist gin is then uniquely augmented by 22 hand-foraged island botanicals.

    Describing their drink as 'a progressive exploration of the botanical heritage of our Isle' they'll be explaining about their passion of responsible foraging of local herbs and flowers, bringing a sense of the magnificent hills, shores and bogs of their Scottish islands to central London and delighting us with tastes of their explosive Hebridean flavours.

    Tickets are free but limited and all attendees will receive two free exclusive The Botanist for Murdock London cocktails. The talk and tasting will start at 7pm and after at 8pm we'll be opening our doors to London Cocktail Week wristband wearers as we turn the store into The Botanist bar. And yes, that would be a free bar.

    If you'd like to attend the Foraging for Gin talk then RSVP to Places are very limited so book quickly!

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    We like to think of ourselves as having a little artistic nature here at The MurdockMan and as such like to express that in a few creative endeavours. On occasions we have been known to take in a local life drawing class in order to hone our draughtsmanship but a Murdock friend who spends every day of their week doing such things at a celebrated art school has also gained some extra little lessons in the behaviour of the human body. Whether these are of any value is highly debatable.


    Lesson 1: Erections arise at the most inopportune moments 

    Sometimes they happen when you wish they wouldn't, sometimes they don't happen when you wish they would. When you are the male model in a life drawing class you'll probably be wishing it won't. You're being paid to hold the same pose after all. However, we have been told of such a moment. A young gentleman had the strength to control most of his body to stay in the same position for up to an hour but didn't quite have the same command over that notoriously single minded body part. Although he did try his darndest not to affect the artists sketches, he was offering them more of a lesson in capturing movement than still-life; up and down, up and down. As his face turned the same shade of red as his penis had grown he rushed from the room to rectify the situation so as the issue would not arise again. He came back into the class and held his pose. This time it didn't waver.


    Lesson 2: Bodily functions happen, regularly

    And sometimes more mature gentleman make loud sounds (and other strong sensory stimuli) continuously. Just keep on sketching.


    Lesson 3: Some people really don't care about being naked in any situation

    Normally when you're a nude model for the day in between classes you wrap up in a robe to have lunch and a cup of tea. However, we do know of one chap who would only ever wear a very small piece of cloth which he would wrap around his waist and not quite cover himself. This practically nakedness did not cause him to readjust his thinking in terms of personal space. For when the whimsical art school students, all good, clothed, friends, decided during a break to launch on top of each other in a jovial pile-up, they weren't expecting the model and his precariously wound loin-cloth to jump on too.


    Lesson 4: Always be a gentleman

    With all this natural human behaviour on show, the well-dressed artistic gentleman should not be embarrassed nor snigger but take it all in his stride and think of himself as lucky. He came thinking he would receive a lesson in drawing the human shape but has also received a little lesson in human behaviour. As well as far more conversational matter than he could have hoped for.

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    Sloane Square is one of the city's most highly regarded areas to visit.

    With the King's Road strip and even more prestigious labels in the surrounding area, it could certainly be classed as a retail paradise. With plenty of culture to soak in around the vicinity too however, we have laid out how to really make the most of an afternoon in the area...



    What better way to start the day than with a luxury wet shave from one of our talented barbers? Located at the top floor of Hackett's glorious store, after being expertly groomed, take the opportunity to have a bespoke suit measured whilst picking up some menswear essentials from their current collection.







    As you approach The King's Road just around the corner, you will be met by one of London's sleekest book shops. Taschen publish an incredibly varied amount of titles, so be it a new novel that you're looking for or indeed a new addition to the inspired coffee table collection, you can be sure to pick it up here. The Matisse Cut-outs book would be a great place to start.





    The Saatchi Gallery

    Stood within its picturesque grounds, the Saatchi Gallery is a must-visit and will probably take up most of any art-buffs' afternoons. Featuring globally recognised artists in the grand, minimalist interior, the gallery showcases a great array of installations throughout the year (see Xavier Mascaro's current 'Departure' below).







    A supermarket worthy of making a dedicated trip to? That's absolutely right. As one of the few family run food shops in Central London, Partridges excels with their wide array of traditional, quality goods and also rarer overseas offerings. Boasting an incredible deli counter, café and wine bar you can't really go wrong as a food and drink lover. Be sure to save room on Saturdays too for their equally-as-impressive outdoor market. Located just opposite the Saatchi Gallery, you can't miss it!






    The Royal Court Theatre

    Once you're full to the brim on natural, organic food and the shopping bags are starting to wear your arms down, take in some culture at the Royal Court Theatre. Or even just pop-in for a pit stop in their bar. The theatre itself is dedicated to new work by innovative writers from the UK and around the world and was once described by the New York Times as ‘the most important theatre in Europe’. If your afternoon in Sloane Square happens to be a Monday then be sure to take advantage of the discounted ticket rate.



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    Library is a new private members’ club for the eclectic literary and design communities, opened in the heart of Seven Dials, just moments away from our Covent Garden branch.

    Behind the inconspicuous entrance on St Martin’s Lane is a library door that leads towards the contemporary space.

    With the opportunity to socialise and swap ideas, Library has been uniquely created by Ronald Ndoro to provide an environment like no other.



    The venue features a spectacular main room with a double mezzanine, fireplace, stage and floor-to-ceiling bar, serving up a selection of innovative drinks.

    Marc Peridis and his team at 19 Greek Street oversaw the interior design of the venue. Hailed as London’s hub for international contemporary design, 19 Greek Street has produced projects for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and sketch. With such high standards to follow, Library doesn't fail to impress.

    The interior has been built using sustainable solutions and through 19 Greek Street’s in-house waste lab, they have created tiles and surface materials using old waste alcohol bottles from around Soho.



    On the upcoming event line up is a series of innovative exhibitions and installations, along with an eclectic events program covering various aspects of the creative industries.

    Opening in winter will also be the Kitchen, providing a classic club menu. Most appealing to ourselves is the whisky and wine room, with an indoor smoking terrace and several lounge areas to relax in and absorb the literary-fuelled atmosphere.

    The new year will also see the introduction of a gym space and there are already rooms available in which to spend the night and enjoy a home away from home.




    With its modern, minimalistic design in a rustic setting, the club lives up to its name in resembling a library, inviting guests to escape amongst a treasure trove of stories and create their own narrative.  It's certainly soon to become a local favourite.

    LIBRARY, 112 St Martin’s Lane, London, WC2N 4BD


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    Dave White is a contemporary artist whose new collection, 'Albion' is soon to be hosted at Iris Studios. Presenting an eclectic mix of endangered and native British species, White’s aim is to challenge the viewer to re-connect with our natural world.

    Albion will explore the heritage and iconography of native species to Britain in White’s dynamic signature expressive style. The show will feature a large scale installation of oil paintings, works on paper, a collectors’ box set, and limited edition silkscreen prints.

    We had a quick chat with the talented artist ahead of the exhibition's unveiling to grasp the importance of the work and how we can expect it to challenge us...


    Why do you think it is important for us to pay significant attention to our native species’ at this point in time?

    We are really on the cusp of disaster, with a great number of species under threat from years of pesticide use, loss of their natural habitats and disasters such as flooding have been catastrophic on the whole eco system. I was totally blown away to hear that in less than 30 years a good number of the UK’s species will become extinct. We always think of faraway places and very specific animals that are endangered, not wildlife on our home soil.


    Have you always been an admirer of nature? Did this in any way influence a themed focus?

    I have always been fascinated with wildlife and the whole series developed organically over the past 5 years. My last exhibition was formed solely of great white sharks and although beautiful and fragile, they are extremely powerful and menacing. Each series has a very different set of challenges unique to each to explore and get right. I think there is a definitive theme in my recent works and have really enjoyed depicting them.



    Having incorporated a mixture of artistic formats into the exhibition, do you feel that it should be in an artist’s nature to generally look to explore such different methods?

    I think it is up to the artist to select and choose the format that is right for them and their intentions. The Albion show is composed of oil on linen paintings and watercolour works on paper, alongside limited edition prints and a very special Series 1 E-type Jaguar, which I painted on especially for the show. It has a very symbolic presence, it is something beautiful from the past being presented again after being fully restored, which fits in perfectly with the whole ethos of the Albion show, to see the beauty and rarity and life of things we take for granted and hopefully not too late.


    One of the key aims of this exhibition is to challenge the viewer to re-connect with our natural world – how do you feel you have achieved this with your work?

    That is obviously for the viewer to decide, if I have achieved my intent. I wanted to take wildlife that we totally take for granted and depict them much larger than life. To capture their unique character through the application of the media I use, the rich surfaces that oil paint offers, or the fluid abstraction that watercolour realises. The beauty of camouflage, plumage and the various patterns and textures are totally unique to each species, which I find fascinating to explore. Representing these things triggers an instant recognition from the spectator and from afar, the works offer a realism which turns almost to abstraction upon closer inspection. I just want people to re-engage and once again become fascinated with the beauty that surrounds us and not take it for granted.



    The work on show is ‘interpreting emotive issues’, how much did the subject of wildlife play an emotive influence in planning before you picked up your brush?

    It is very clear to me that the steady decline of species is ever more apparent, I really wanted to depict not only the rare endangered wildlife but things that you totally take for granted and celebrate them. In our ever increasingly busy lives it is so easy to forget that we share the same environment with these beautiful creatures. Two years ago I relocated to Dorset which has had a massive influence on this series. I would often see wildlife featured in the show and would totally stop whatever I was doing, transfixed on them. I wanted that to come through, whether it is the rhythm of a running hare or nervous presence of a small bird, it all sparked something and I had to make these works.


    Would you agree that your style of art enables each animal to appear as raw as possible as opposed to portraying softer, more innocent creatures?

    I would say that my style is expressive and spontaneous which offers an almost animated quality and life to the works. However, there is a subtlety and beauty which has to be captured, if the works become too expressive they lose the fragility or too tight they become too twee and realistic, it is like walking a tightrope and always has been for me, an almost Abstract Realism if that makes sense. Depicting creatures that are tiny and bringing them to life in a larger scale has been a really interesting challenge and each has a unique quality in their presence, which I really focussed on.


    Does the ‘blank canvas’ that is the Loughran Gallery enable you to solely focus on the content on each page, or did you bare the gallery space in mind whilst curating the work?

    Loughran Gallery have a really fresh and interesting approach to exhibiting, rather than a static space that rotates shows, they scout locations that perfectly fit the exhibitors works and intent. From the show's inception both myself and Juliette Loughran, the owner, would meet and visit spaces. When we saw Iris Studios we knew exactly that it was perfect. Setting these almost timeless creatures in a very modern geometric space offered a really interesting juxtaposition which I hope the viewers enjoy!



    Albion, hosted by Loughran Gallery will run from October 9th and will continue through until October 25th.

    Iris Studios, London, SW10 9AE.


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    Timothy Long is the elegant Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum Of London. His work involves looking after the museum’s library of garments that goes from 5000 year old shoes to Zara trench coats via Beau Brummel era jackets. As well as the odd hundred cod pieces.

    With a style that pays close attention to detail (such as the George V pin he was wearing on his lapel when we met) and a careful manner typified by his soft, lilting Illinois accent, if anyone was ever born to be a fashion archivist, it was clearly Timothy.

    Now with the great rise of public interest in menswear (it has been forecast that if sales continue as they are, more men’s items will be sold than women’s by 2016) which London, is very much at the heart of with LC:M, it’s numerous trade shows and boutiques as well as designers, Timothy sees a unique opportunity to create something innovative and energising with the museum’s collection and establish London as the menswear capital of the world.

    “We need to better understand what London’s role is in the formation of modern menswear. There are a lot of opportunities for us to use our archive in a way to connect with people. London has already contributed significantly to what we wear today.”

    Revealing what also brought him here, Timothy acknowledges the city’s clear embrace of fashion: “London’s streets are a theatre compared to how other cities embrace fashion. With women it is clearer, but it’s a pleasant surprise with menswear to see that it’s not only something that men care about but also take great pride in.”

    Not only is fashion alive in terms of what England and London contribute but so too are the traditions that we know of menswear. “The way your lapel is made is the same way it has been made for the last 500 years. It’s a true tradition that we hold on to. It’s also not something you would just get however, so all of that I want to put into a really robust project that is something appropriate for the audience that is the fashion industry.”

    By presenting ideas in a fresh and exciting way, Timothy aims to create something that the general public will see, respond to and be surprised by.



    Ahead of the large scale project, soon to open at the museum is the Sherlock Holmes exhibition, which will shed a new light on just how iconic and internationally recognised the character is.

    “In terms of menswear he is an icon in regards to what this city has produced. A lot of people don’t take him very seriously but there are few other things that have been produced from menswear that are as recognisable as Sherlock’s style,” he passionately explains.

    The exhibition looks at all aspects of Sherlock Holmes. From the genesis of his story with Arthur Conan Doyle to the mid to late 19th century. The exhibition will feature some original manuscripts that highlight the development of Sherlock’s character, alongside Timothy’s own dissection of his character. “I looked at the idea of the modern English gentleman and realising exactly what he is. From the late 19th century to today, what are the things that would have been appropriate for Sherlock to wear? By learning the collection much better and doing some really sexy photography, this has been a great experiment to see what we can apply to future projects related to menswear at the museum.”

    The museum’s vast clothing collection has been sourced predominately through public donations. With about 22,000 items in its archive, the museum of London was formerly two different institutions - the Guild Hall and the London Museum which was in Kensington Palace. This is where the Royal Collection comes from whereas a lot of the material that connects to the city comes from the Guild Hall. Numerous items have since then have been donated to the museum, as Timothy explains; “People call up almost daily and will say ‘I found my grandfather’s suit in the attic’, or ‘I was at this event in the 40s’ and propose things to us. We do buy some things, obviously there’s some financial challenges connected to that and we also buy things at auction.”




    Eye Serum Tan Wash Bag Matt Mudd Shirt Stays Beard Moisturiser


    As a bearded man, it wouldn’t be very Murdock of us if we didn’t enquire about Timothy’s own views on grooming – especially as a History of Fashion expert. He was able to provide us with his thoughts on why beards have become so popular over the last 3-5 years;

    “It’s cyclical. We haven’t had them for a while and it was just time.” He states. “Thankfully men no longer need to wear a three piece suit to be taken seriously, so that’s given us the opportunity to play a little bit with styles we wouldn’t have considered appropriate during the working week before. I think the loosening of those rules has allowed for more men to feel it acceptable.”

    It would seem that from looking at the Museum’s vast collection and then considering our technology-led culture that cycles with clothing are moving at a drastically faster rate than they used to.

    “It has sped up,” agrees Timothy. “It is very post-modern in the fact that we can wear anything, anytime, anywhere. With that said, I do feel a bit remorseful that we don’t have such theatrical fashions as we’ve had in the past. Today I could wear trousers that look a bit 60s, a jacket that looks a bit 80s and tomorrow I could wear a Teddy Boy outfit. This is wonderful and I embrace and love that, but when I look back what I find so incredible is the sort of zeitgeist of an overall trend that we don’t have anymore. It doesn’t exist.



    Quizzing Timothy on what we would tell our children the trends were today, he told us that this is actually an assignment he gives his students, to write a chapter on fashion today to be published in 15 years. “You have to describe it, its influences. One of the hardest challenges students have is trying to think ‘why am I wearing this?’ Everything we wear is of course based on something, no matter where you are in the world it’s based on reason, trying to find that reason is the huge challenge.” Considering his own answer, he explains “I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to such theatrical styles as we had in say the 60s with the hippy movement and space age. That’s the kind of excess that you rejoice in Fashion History, but that notion has now gone. They say the pendulum swings but it swings so quickly now that we really don’t have an overarching style.”

    Ending our time on a final thought in regards to the future of menswear, Timothy ponders: “When I think about being a designer one day, I have to ask what I could do that would spark the next trend. A new style, a new cut? I think although we live in London the greater populous probably wouldn’t adhere to any of those major changes. Who knows what the future of fashion will be but I definitely do feel a bit jealous of certain decades of the past.

    So what is his favourite style decade of the past then? “I would say 1830 – 18840. Men wore absolutely spectacular clothing. It was the height of tailoring in my opinion. It’s when the rules related to tailoring really were pushed and the actual craft of tailoring I think was at is zenith. It gives real rejoice of technique to make the garments fit the way they did. It was definitely ground zero for London craftsmanship then.”

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    The Hoxton Hotel has recently opened its second location, situated in the heart of Holborn just a short walk away from Covent Garden.

    Having popped up with a barbershop in the Old Street hotel last year not far from our Shoreditch branch, we're excited to have this new development a convenient distance for our Central London clients to reach.



    The hotel's ground floor is occupied by Holborn Grind, run by Grind & Co offering coffees for both residents and visitors to enjoy. The impressively designed lobby bar also offers a great drinks menu.

    Just like its Shoreditch sister, the meeting and events space is set up in collaboration with Soho House. 'The Apartment' is a collection of individually designed meeting rooms set around an open plan kitchen.



    The public spaces are also being run in partnership with The Soho House group. For food, visitors can gorge in the Brooklyn-style grill named Hubbard & Bell in the conservatory space, whilst in the basement the ever-popular Chicken Shop dishes out its rotisserie speciality.



    With 174 rooms of varying categories, all guests can take advantage of the complimentary healthy breakfast bags filled overnight with a granola yoghurt, banana and orange juice included.

    The admirable “No Rip-Off” policy also means that free WiFi can be accessed throughout the building. Guests are also offered 1 hour of free phone calls to landlines (and US mobiles) in the UK, USA, Australia and most of Europe. There's even a supermarket-priced lobby shop to pick up everything from sweets to champagne and fresh milk and mineral water which is totally free.


    The Hoxton Holborn

    199 – 206 High Holborn, WC1V 7BD

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    As a client or visitor of Murdock London, you're never too far away from a great record shop.

    Soho's iconic Sister Ray, sandwiched conveniently between our Covent Garden and Liberty branches have recently expanded, opening a vinyl-only space within the Ace Hotel (literally 5 minutes from Redchurch Street) whilst also moving just over the road in Soho.

    With a vast, eclectic selection of records and extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff, we saw fit to confide in them regarding this year's Mercury Prize nominations. With due respect to the official committee, we also wondered if they thought any new or niche talent had been overlooked.

    "Bookies have rightly put FKA Twigs as favourite." Claims Soho's Phil Barton. "The only thing stopping her winning is the hangover from the last kooky girl who won, Speech Debelle, whose career ended 30 minutes after she got the prize."


    FKA TWIGS [two weeks] from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.


    In regards to Sister Ray's own pick from those nominated, Phil confirms: "We like the Jungle album. It's very 'now darling' with the falsetto vocals and the 4 H's in style (Hoxton, Hackney, Haggerston and Homerton). You can imagine all of the members with beards, brogues and microbrews." Steve on the other hand thinks that the East India Youth album should get the vote, as its "a damn fine" album.

    When considering any records that should have been up for nomination, the chaps firmly praised Soundcarriers - 'Entropicalia'. "It's not our job to second guess the mighty Mercury committee, however this is a great album full of great sounds. Sounds that have been thrown into a large '60's cooking pot and stirred up with a dash of soul, psychedelia and knowing nods to kitsch. It sounds like the kind of album Andy Votel would discover lurking in an Oxfam shop in Cleethorpes but its 2014 and it was made by a bunch of cats from Nottingham."



    Other overlooked albums mentioned were Hookworms' 'Pearl Mystic' and Daniel Avery's brilliant 'Drone Logic' - both certainly worthy shouts for the attention that the coveted and potentially controversial prize can bring.

    For plenty more music advice and to indulge in rows upon rows of fantastic vinyl, be sure to pop in to Sister Ray on either Berwick Street or indeed the new Ace location and allow yourself to indulge.

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    Chris Oliver, Murdock HQ's multi-disciplinary artist has a body of work currently on show at The Peckham Pelican.

    This collection takes a focussed approach by exploring the abstract lurking nature of our subconscious realms. Through a variety of mediums Chris lifts the veil and reveals the shadows that sometimes mire our sleep.

    The show is coming to and end next week, so be sure to pay a visit to the cultured venue whilst it is still running.



    Visit Holy Materials for more info on Chris' work and to keep updated on future projects.


    92 Peckham Road
    SE15 5PY

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    The New York Times have delved into their '36 Hours' archive and compiled an expansive selection of European getaway guides for their new book '125 weekends'.

    With hundreds of possible adventures published, this mammoth of a country and city guide targets places of genuine interest. Gone are the days of unconvincing pamphlets and lacklustre tourist recommendations, this is a thorough compendium of exploration.



    Culture, history, natural beauty, fine cuisine, artistic masterpieces, acclaimed architecture and style occupy the book's pages. Ticking off just about everything that a MurdockMan seeks to experience on his travels. With the right guidance, you can go far in a single weekend and the stylishly written and carefully researched content offers 125 crafted itineraries for quick but memorable European trips.

    Not ignoring the expected, recognisable inclusions such as the Renaissance in Florence, surfing in Biarritz and flamenco in Seville fulfil the more traditional options. Veering on the unexpected however, you'll find Sicilian mummies dressed in their Sunday best, a dry-land toboggan ride on Madeira and a hotel in Tallinn with a KGB spies’ nest on the penthouse floor.



    World capitals, ancient nations that once ruled wide domains, tiny countries with big personalities - it’s all Europe, and all fun to read about (whether you actually intend to go or not) in this handsomely designed and illustrated book.

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    It's autumn and the nights are firmly drawing in, so grab whatever you need to get comfy and let the hours pass by reading one of these new novels from Vintage.



    Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon

    It is 2001 in New York City, in the lull between the collapse of the dotcom boom and the terrible events of September 11th. Silicon Alley is a ghost town, Web 1.0 is having adolescent angst, Google has yet to IPO, Microsoft is still considered the Evil Empire...

    With Paul Thomas Anderson's cinematic adaption of Inherent Vice on the horizon, now couldn't be a more appropriate time to indulge in Pynchon's elusive writing talent.



    A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

    Knausgaard may need a visit to the barbers, but there's nothing wrong with his writing style. This, his first book in a series of seven chronicling his life has been setting the literary world alight with excitement.



    The Enchanted Wanderer and Other Stories by Nikolai Leskov

    The award-winning translators of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky now bring us a Russian writer ripe for rediscovery whose earthy and singular stories, have never before been properly translated into English. This is a collection of weird and fantastical tales from the Russian master.

    'If you like Russian, and you like funny, you will love Leskov' - Gary Shteyngart

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    The latest iPhone software update caused hysteria recently with such features as the new smart keyboard and a revised Photos app sharing most of the marketable limelight.

    One of our favourite new adjustments however came in the audio department. No, we're not talking about the mandatory sight of the new U2 record, but rather the now mandatory Podcasts app.

    Podcasts are fundamentally great. They make commuting to work a pleasurable experience and the limitless catalogue means that information and entertainment can be accessed across every subject. Let's face it, those five albums that you were able to squeeze on your iPhone are growing pretty tired.

    Here's our list of 5 essential genre-spanning podcasts to get your collection going.


    The Economist

    The Economist podcast offers a refreshing weekly take on the news, with a focus on economic, political and social trends. Solid reporting, insightful commentary and a shrewd editorial sensibility combine perfectly.


    Sunday Supplement

    For non-football fans, the idea of watching four journalists sat around a breakfast table discussing the week's topics on a Sunday morning likely comes across as a form of torture. Fans of the show can rejoice in this podcast however, as rather than losing Sunday's lie in and essentially watching people talk, you can hear the programme's audio when you want. The levels of insight and opinion from the weekly contributors beats any other source of football news by a long shot. If you consider yourself a fan of football in general, this is the podcast for you.



    This documentary podcast is the first spin-off from the 'This American Life' radio show. Hosted by Sarah Koenig, we are guided through a high school murder case from 1999. 'The tragedy is undisputed. The conviction is not', and each episode delves deeper into understanding what actually happened through sheer curiosity and investigation. Bemusing, tense and insightful, this podcast takes the concept of thrilling drama and entertainment to the next level.


    Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo's Film Reviews

    Taken from Radio 5's Friday broadcast, Mark Kermode discusses the latest film releases with Simon Mayo. Impressive guest stars and directors join the chaps every week to make the show an essential for film fans.


    Desert Island Discs

    Another BBC selection, this time from Radio 4. Desert Island discs is a simple, brilliant concept in which a celebrity guest is asked the question, 'if you were to be cast away alone on a desert island, which eight tracks would you choose to have with you?'. They discuss what each selection means to them, providing a relatable sense of emotion regarding our own choices. Guests in the past have included Steve McQueen, Russell Brand, Morissey and David Cameron.

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    To launch our new Beard Shampoo & Conditioner and Beard Oil, we met four Clean Bearded MurdockMen who all naturally understand that if you want to make something the best it can be, its success depends on its preparation. 

    They say style is all in the details and that certainly rings true for Mr Timothy Long. As Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum of London he presides over an archive of thousands of historical pieces of clothing where each shirt button or stitch pattern tells a bigger social story.  We met him at our Murdock London at Hackett King Street shop in the heart of Covent Garden.


    How would you describe your work?

    My work aims at documenting, preserving, researching and exhibiting London’s history through what people wore.


    How important is attention to detail in your work?

    Both the attention to the bigger picture and detail is paramount to my work as a historian and curator. A significant component of my work is research and with both viewpoints in mind I can plan, execute and publish my work.



    How do you prepare yourself for an important day at work?

    I start the night prior and make sure my clothes are selected and ready. I make sure the wheels on my bicycle have air and that my beard is not unruly. I plan out my route to arrive on time and make sure I get a good night’s sleep, probably the most important step of all! A checklist of all I need to do at work also helps…


    Have you ever experienced beard envy?

    Daily. London is filled with inspirational beards.


    Have your opinions of beards changed in the last couple of years?

    I’ve always loved beards. As a historian and curator of menswear, who has worked in the field for nearly 20 years, my opinion on beards matures with each new year. I often find inspiration for my own beard from my work, as I come across antique photographs of hirsute men who often catch my eye.



    What is your beard grooming regime?

    A minor trim at home almost every other day. I also regularly condition my beard as I like it when it shines.


    Why do you think it's so important to pay attention to detail in your appearance? 

    Because while the whole picture is more than just a sum of small details, each one detail makes a unique contribution.

    Photography by Mr Toby Lewis Thomas


    See all our Clean Bearded gents here>


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    The Museum of London is currently showcasing a Sherlock Holmes exhibition in honour of the public fascination and attraction that still widely exists towards the legendary fictional character. The show aims to go beyond film and fiction, setting the scene in authentic Victorian London through the mediums of early film, photography, paintings and original artefacts.

    Timothy Long, one of our four Clean Bearded MurdockMen talked to us previously about his role as Curator of Fashion and Decorative Arts at the Museum. In addition, the well-groomed menswear aficionado put the work behind the exhibition and its overall aim into his own words:


    The fashion of Sherlock and Watson


    “In terms of menswear, Sherlock Holmes is an icon in regards to what this city has produced. Some people may not take him very seriously, but there are few other things that have been produced from menswear that are as recognisable as Sherlock’s style,” he explains.

    The exhibition looks at all aspects of Sherlock Holmes. From the genesis of his story with Arthur Conan Doyle to the mid to late 19th century. The original manuscripts being displayed highlight the development of Sherlock’s character, alongside Timothy’s own dissection of his character. “I looked at the idea of the modern English gentleman and realising exactly what he is. From the late 19th century to today, what are the things that would have been appropriate for Sherlock to wear? By learning the collection much better and doing some really sexy photography, this has been a great experiment.”

    Sherlock Holmes: The Man Who Never Lived and Will Never Die is running from now until 12 April 2015.