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Sam Nowell

Fashion Designer — Manchester

Name, where are you from? 
My name is Sam Nowell and I’m from a village outside of Manchester called Lymm.

What do you do? 
I make clothes and avoid drawing buildings.

Describe your style in three words? 
Paul Weller Tribute.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Shame in 2019 in Liverpool and it was a proper job. Their stage artwork was Tommy Robinson with milkshake over him and the crowd were going nuts at every song. It was the summer before I graduated from Liverpool and I had a lot of built-up, mixed feelings about the city and the idea that I had outgrown it. They played 'Tasteless' and it was just menacing, it brought those feelings right out of me.

If you could put any three bands in history on a lineup?
The Style Council, to see a mid-'80s Paul Weller being the absolute definition of cool across the board, Thin White Duke era Bowie and I’d end the evening with The Stone Roses but at a time before they really knew how good they were, a little unsure of themselves - maybe 1989 time right after their first album.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Growing up I’d argue with my father about which Paul Weller era was best. He’d be the Jam & I was Style Council - we still debate it to this day and so the mod and northern soul subculture had its place in shaping my youth and how I dressed/acted. Growing up as an impressionable teenager on the outskirts of Manchester, The casual culture that Liam and Noel conveyed combined with whatever Factory Records had done had a profound effect on me. It was as I got into clothes and specifically Vivienne Westwood that the punk subculture appealed to me and this idea of subverting what was happening at the time in the most ignorant, self-concerned way.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Tony Wilson. An absolute Manchester gem and somebody who was prepared to reject everything else but the music and art surrounding it. I’d need longer than an hour though.

Where is your favourite independent venue?
Brixton Windmill maybe, it's fantastically intimate and sweaty.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Martin Hannett. A genius who had a really distinctive production style where he pioneered unorthodox sound recording techniques to create brilliant albums.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Thieves Like Us' by New Order. They’re my dad’s favourite band and I remember being in the car and looking at all the CD’s album covers and reading through the booklets that came with them. I’d take the CDs from the car and play them in my room. I remember this being track 8 on their ‘Best Of’ album and just being in awe of the first minute or so.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Something by Kanye for sure, maybe 'Devil In A New Dress'. Satan, Satan, Satan.

One record you would keep forever?
'Songs From The Big Chair' by Tears for Fears. 'Head Over Heels' will be with me in Paradise.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
When Morrissey sings the words “I was bored before I even began” on 'Shoplifters Of The World Unite'. It was the last song that The Smiths ever performed live together.

A song you wished you had written?
'I Couldn’t Love You More' by Sade. Maybe the sexiest song ever written.

Best song to turn up loud?
'LUSH' by Dean Blunt. It's the opener from 'Black Metal' and has these really intense and esoteric lyrics over this drum and string instrumental, it's really provoking. Makes you want to sprint around Finsbury Park after watching Grease.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Lucky Star' by Madonna. I f*cking love that song. But then I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. Watch the music video whilst talking to your friends about the person you yearn after to complete the experience, just as Madonna would want.

A song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'A Night To Remember' by Shalamar. I remember watching a video of Jeffrey Daniel dancing to it on TOTP - Corbin and I have been trying to replicate it ever since. It was the first time the moonwalk had been done on TV and people didn’t even bat an eyelid at it. Wild.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
Beastie Boys’ drunk cover of 'Benny And The Jets'. They’re slurring their words and shouting down the microphone but it's a perfect one to sing along to at the end of it all. Believe me when I say the piano hits differently when you can’t look at your phone without closing one eye.

Any new bands you’re into at the moment?
'Sunglasses' by Black Country, New Road and 'I Want Another Affair' by Jockstrap remind me of last year, and my friend who introduced me to them.

Name, where are you from? 
My name is Sam Nowell and I’m from a village outside of Manchester called Lymm.

What do you do? 
I make clothes and avoid drawing buildings.

Describe your style in three words? 
Paul Weller Tribute.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
I saw Shame in 2019 in Liverpool and it was a proper job. Their stage artwork was Tommy Robinson with milkshake over him and the crowd were going nuts at every song. It was the summer before I graduated from Liverpool and I had a lot of built-up, mixed feelings about the city and the idea that I had outgrown it. They played 'Tasteless' and it was just menacing, it brought those feelings right out of me.

If you could put any three bands in history on a lineup?
The Style Council, to see a mid-'80s Paul Weller being the absolute definition of cool across the board, Thin White Duke era Bowie and I’d end the evening with The Stone Roses but at a time before they really knew how good they were, a little unsure of themselves - maybe 1989 time right after their first album.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Growing up I’d argue with my father about which Paul Weller era was best. He’d be the Jam & I was Style Council - we still debate it to this day and so the mod and northern soul subculture had its place in shaping my youth and how I dressed/acted. Growing up as an impressionable teenager on the outskirts of Manchester, The casual culture that Liam and Noel conveyed combined with whatever Factory Records had done had a profound effect on me. It was as I got into clothes and specifically Vivienne Westwood that the punk subculture appealed to me and this idea of subverting what was happening at the time in the most ignorant, self-concerned way.

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
Tony Wilson. An absolute Manchester gem and somebody who was prepared to reject everything else but the music and art surrounding it. I’d need longer than an hour though.

Where is your favourite independent venue?
Brixton Windmill maybe, it's fantastically intimate and sweaty.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
Martin Hannett. A genius who had a really distinctive production style where he pioneered unorthodox sound recording techniques to create brilliant albums.

The first track you played on repeat?
'Thieves Like Us' by New Order. They’re my dad’s favourite band and I remember being in the car and looking at all the CD’s album covers and reading through the booklets that came with them. I’d take the CDs from the car and play them in my room. I remember this being track 8 on their ‘Best Of’ album and just being in awe of the first minute or so.

A song that defines the teenage you?
Something by Kanye for sure, maybe 'Devil In A New Dress'. Satan, Satan, Satan.

One record you would keep forever?
'Songs From The Big Chair' by Tears for Fears. 'Head Over Heels' will be with me in Paradise.

A song lyric that has inspired you?
When Morrissey sings the words “I was bored before I even began” on 'Shoplifters Of The World Unite'. It was the last song that The Smiths ever performed live together.

A song you wished you had written?
'I Couldn’t Love You More' by Sade. Maybe the sexiest song ever written.

Best song to turn up loud?
'LUSH' by Dean Blunt. It's the opener from 'Black Metal' and has these really intense and esoteric lyrics over this drum and string instrumental, it's really provoking. Makes you want to sprint around Finsbury Park after watching Grease.

A song people wouldn’t expect you to like?
'Lucky Star' by Madonna. I f*cking love that song. But then I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. Watch the music video whilst talking to your friends about the person you yearn after to complete the experience, just as Madonna would want.

A song to get you straight on the dance floor?
'A Night To Remember' by Shalamar. I remember watching a video of Jeffrey Daniel dancing to it on TOTP - Corbin and I have been trying to replicate it ever since. It was the first time the moonwalk had been done on TV and people didn’t even bat an eyelid at it. Wild.

Best song to end an all-nighter?
Beastie Boys’ drunk cover of 'Benny And The Jets'. They’re slurring their words and shouting down the microphone but it's a perfect one to sing along to at the end of it all. Believe me when I say the piano hits differently when you can’t look at your phone without closing one eye.

Any new bands you’re into at the moment?
'Sunglasses' by Black Country, New Road and 'I Want Another Affair' by Jockstrap remind me of last year, and my friend who introduced me to them.