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The Perry Boys - Ian Hough
By Peter Doherty
Right before I can be accused of bias I'll fess up & say that I'm an Evertonian of about the same age as the author so the long running Scouse-Manc hate view is nothing new to me or Mr Hough. To his credit he gives Liverpool alot of plaudits throughout the book for starting the thing that came to be the all consuming, so called, "Casual" movement. However the most disturbing aspect of the whole book is the need to put Manchester at the forefront of everything since. The early pages are dominated by Hough's youth in Prestwich & around Salford. The tale of how he & his friends, almost simultaneously with the lads down the M62 found trainers, straight jeans & influenced the world through football is a decent read, his Adidas Black Special story made me laugh. As did the Cockney's running the Gulf War from a satellite as they are always 1st was good, except that its in the same book that claims, very oddly, that even Greater Manchester Police must be the best due to the master Mancunian crimewave they had to deal with. That robbing from lone women drivers or nicking fire-doors from flats is some kind of plus point to show that Manchester has balls of steel & is number one reeked of a desperation to be number one at all things. I'd give Manchester credit for having more influence on a lot of stuff over the last 20 years, certainly more than the style oasis that Liverpool is now, but I doubt any scouse "lad" would be claiming granny-bashing as a plus point. Some of the claims of "we were the only ones dressing/doing this" are dubious to say the least but a city-wide urge to be number one pervades. As the book passes half way the emphasis on clothes & football disappears & Hough's life on the hoof takes over. Living like the Stern Gang in Israel sleeping in a staircase, getting loaded in Manchester, the birth of rave & more pilfery dominate before settling down seems to calm the storm. All in all a fair read. Anything that refers to the clothes & the lifestyle that has been more influential than any other in the modern age is useful, just a little less "we're the best at everything" would have helped. Coz be honest did we mean the whole thing to end in the grey hoods & shapeless tracky bottoms like Liverpool now take as the national dress.
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