World’s Rarest Tribes Vanish Forever

Great Britain

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Explorers stumbled upon them in the jungle, strange creatures with painted faces and wild body coverings, speaking in languages no-one could understand – but now it seems they’re gone.

Yes, the tribes of London have finally left the urban jungle. Goths, Rude Boys, Skins, Punks, Mods, Rockers, Psychobillies, Hippies, E-Gen, all vanished. Me, I was a Blitz Kid, photographed at the Blitz nightclub in Mayfair, in suave togs and a Bros flattop, and I have some very dodgy pictures to prove it.

The Guardian reports that the only tribe they can now find is Haul-Girls, probably the most tragic tribal phenomenon I’ve ever heard of. Girls go shopping, then go through what they’ve bought item by item on camera for YouTube. As political statements go it’s a bit of a non-starter, unless the message is; My parents have money.

As Alex Petridis says in the Guardian; ‘It’s hard not to be struck by the sensation that, emos and metalheads aside, the 20th-century idea of a youth subculture is now outmoded. The internet doesn’t spawn mass movements, bonded together by a shared taste in music, fashion and ownership of subcultural capital.’ It just consists of everyone broadcasting little bits of lives which are remarkably similar to one another.

Read the full article here.

6 comments on “World’s Rarest Tribes Vanish Forever”

  1. Dan Terrell says:

    Although born toward the end of the Turbulent Thirties, I suppose my generation would be the James Dean Fifties as far as fashion and hair went. Not a bad clothing look (the hair was daily work, note carry comb in hip pocket), but with less sullen attitude. Still have a fine running Firebird/TransAm with low mileage, perhaps best thing going next to the wife, my music and library with its special B&M nook .
    Naming the various Generations and tribes seems a really complex thing, with not too much agreement, but a great opportunity for a ‘World Illustrated Encyclopedia of Generations and Tribes’.

  2. Ian Smith says:

    Well, there are plenty of Goths still around. The only problem is, they now have an average age of about 48. A bit like me, actually.

  3. Keith Page says:

    Teenage styles largely passed me by, but I did have some Patrick Macnee-inspired velvet collared suits at a later stage.Nice to be different, eh?

  4. Mim says:

    I’m a former goth, nowadays dabble more on the edges of the steampunk and vintage scenes, though I’m not firmly embedded in either subculture. There is interesting stuff going on – maybe it’s just not going on in London so much. (Or not in the bits where Guardian journalists hang out.) I think you need a similar minds plus a small amount of isolation for a subculture or style to develop – people sharing a passion for something, plus not too many external influences coming in. London is so big and varied (and expensive!), perhaps it’s not such a fertile ground for these things now.

  5. Alan Morgan says:

    I was discussing something similar the other day. Whilst being in the wildest of windswept nowhere myself this was with a lovely scouser so at least we covered the full range of sticks and sticky, rural and urban. It was that where are the youth movements now? The earnest young things of the early 70s in their Afgans with record sleeves tucked under arms, then the punks. Thence the new romantics, the goths. Into the greebos, the crusties and… what now? Or for the last ten years? They went with hitching I suppose. Back when young and students had no money, then people just had no money. Now it takes debt what’s a little more debt? Or expectations have risen and you never see the clapped out old horror-mobiles of years gone by.

    Youth as ever is wasted upon the young. We were great at being young. Our kids rebel and dress like our parents.

  6. nigeyb says:

    Like you, I was a Blitz Kid, and The Blitz was not in Mayfair but in Covent Garden/Holborn (Great Queen Street).

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