From 2 Tone to grime, youth cults showcase a vibrant history of Britain
May 28, 2015 4:48 AM   Subscribe

Something about this country – the divisions, the class system, the general sense of distrust and dissatisfaction – seems to breed youth subcultures like no other place on Earth. The strange, stylish clans that this island incubates have been exported across the world, influencing everything from high street fashion to high art. From teddy boys to 2 Tone rudeboys, soulboys to Slipknot fans, grunge bands to grime crews, mods to mod revivalists, the history of these groups shows us a version of modern Britain that goes way beyond Diana and Blair.
posted by ellieBOA (8 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
My 100th post! 👏🏻🎉💥🎈🍸
posted by ellieBOA at 4:50 AM on May 28, 2015 [12 favorites]

Why start in 1980 though - what about the Teddy Boys in the 50s? All the other post-war movements? Where's Northern Soul?
posted by GallonOfAlan at 5:06 AM on May 28, 2015

¿No goths? Awwwwww.
posted by sukeban at 5:38 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Northern Soul did appear very briefly in the first programme I think. The TV series has some interesting participants and archive material but it's rather superficial and has a commentary that too readily espouses the established media consensus on things rather than what actually happened. Could have done with more resources on original research and less on post production.
posted by kerplunk at 5:48 AM on May 28, 2015

Kinda telling about gendered attitudes to a lot of this stuff (particularly with regards to 'authenticity') that all of these subcultures are being described (as indeed they regularly are) with [x]-boy monikers. Not trying to knock the OP here, but it is striking how much it is the case. 'Rudeboy' as a concept strikes me in particular (living just down the road from Cov, home of 2tone) seems completely inseparable from that particular ska subculture, despite the fact that women were very much active in the scene as well.
posted by Dysk at 6:04 AM on May 28, 2015 [2 favorites]

Isn't Yung Lean a Swedish émigré to New York? How do the Sad Boys fit in here other than the "-boy" suffix?
posted by atoxyl at 12:23 PM on May 28, 2015

I'm so happy that grime is about to breakthrough in America because I get to show everybody that pornographic Skepta video.
posted by gucci mane at 12:57 PM on May 28, 2015

I am amazed at how complete these styles were and are, in the way that each is almost more a uniform than a style. The only places I've seen anything like it was in Japan.

But that Explaining Rave Culture to America article from Vice kills me. A young *straight white boy from England is not in position to question whether American kids, or whether anyone, "really get it." It's nice that he admits that the people who invented the genre get it; I'm not sure that he does (by my count, four of his seven do's and don'ts are flat out idiotic and would have gotten him laughed out of the club in late 80's Detroit).

/rant. Happy 100th, Ellie BOA

* a gay man would never reference Skillrex, nor call Madonna "perennially-late-on-the-bandwagon."
posted by kanewai at 3:48 PM on May 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

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