Laurel Aitken, aka The Godfather of Ska, at home, Leicester, 1980 © Janette Beckman
I have known Janette Beckman since the early 90s when I had the pleasure of being invited for a good rummage in her basement to unearth her colour trannies from the 1980s, which were then duped for resale at my agency. Over the years I've been amazed by the number of times I've said "JB shot that??" as I read the credits on an album cover or picked up an old copy of the Face.
For her second aCurator feature, Janette wanted us to focus on Style. She generously scanned a selection from her negative archives, some frames of which have never been published before.
"In 1979 I was living in South London, working for a weekly music magazine. Taking the bus to work through Brixton I would see the local youths, West Indian-style suits, narrow highwater trousers and trilby hats, hanging out by the underground station. At night I would shoot bands like The Specials, Dennis Brown and The Clash. Black culture had a big influence on the punk and skinhead scenes. British youth loved Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Reggae and Ska and combined the dress styles of the musicians with their Dr Marten boots, braces, Harrington jackets and loafers. For British working class youth trying to find an identity, clothes, fashion and music went hand in hand."