Rat Race Blog

By ratrace, Feb 6 2017 04:20PM

The new Indie/Britpop mod 3 piece band making ripples in the scene. The Gallerys.

After listening to The Gallerys I can say for sure that the future of music is certainly in good hands. With them being very sharply dressed and producing some top class music, you can’t really get much better.

The band is made up of three lads from Tunbridge Wells, James Wood on guitar and vocals, Craig Barden on bass and Dan Maggs on drums. The Gallerys have been featured on multiple radio stations such as BBC Radio Kent and Mod Radio, and received raving reviews when featured on BBC introducing.

The first song we had a chance to listen to was ‘You Don’t Really Love Her’ from their new EP ‘Paisley’ (class EP name by the way). The tracks starts with the band introducing the song with a playful guitar riff and strong harmonies, sounding almost like it had come from an early Beatles record. The drums join in and the song starts to roll. Brilliant lyrics such as "wear is the sunshine in her eyes" tell the tale of an ex girlfriend whom the singer warns of not being loved properly by her new acquaintance.

The whole song sounds like Morrissey in the 60s rather than the 80s and its brilliant.

Next up is the title track "Paisley" our personal favourite. It's one of those songs that's impossible not to sing along to. The song tells us of the love for a girl named Paisley, "when i hear you speak, i need your voice, its my remedy" with a lovely serenade throughout, it climaxes in a sing along chorus, crashing symbols and a strong Bass line. All in all a song to really get the crowd jumping and singing along.

The Gallerys mix mod, Britpop and Indie Rock so perfectly, think The Beatles, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys rolled into one, cant go wrong really. Have a listen for yourself on their soundcloud and also catch them for yourself when they play a live instore session at Rat Race on The 1st of April, 1.30pm.....Keep an eye on these lads, they are going places.

Written By Taylor Meek & Ryan Bond Of Rat Race Margate

By ratrace, Jan 23 2017 05:17PM

Our visit from Mancs very own DJ, Phil Beckett.

What a way to kick start our new years celebrations, with Mancs very own Phil Beckett DJ’ing in store for us. On the 30th December Phil Beckett came to Margate from Manchester to do a DJ set for us in Rat Race and a set in our local pub, the Northern Belle, and what a set it was indeed.

Phil was a top class bloke, from the minute he walked in to the shop to the minute he left, Phil was a proper lemon squeezer and we would be more than happy to have him back.

Being a typical Northerner, the first thing he asked for was a cup of rosie, or as he called it…”a brew”. Phil also had that 90s mod vibe going with a pair of dessert boots and suit strides. Smart geeza!

Unlike your typical club DJ that does all there tunes on a memory stick, playing rascal house music with a bunch of shaved back and sides, Armani wearing lads shuffling around, Phil brought down his laptop with some wicked tunes but does regularly use vinyl to DJ with. You cannot expect anything less from a DJ for The Stone Roses. When I went to see The Stone Roses in June of 2016, before all the support acts came on, Phil was doing his thing on the decks and he had everyone buzzing, some top class tunes were being played.

Phil’s DJ set in store was something else, nothing but class. He had a natural ability when it came to DJ’ing, giving off his manc attitude when a proper tune came on. Phil played some well known tunes, but further into his set he was playing a lot of unknown ‘90s underground’ music which really set a great

atmosphere in the shop, I am sure I speak for the customers on this one that it was a great time to be shopping.

Phil was also telling us some of the material he was playing, Sons Of Twist and Factotums were definitely a favourite of mine as I had never heard of them, but after Phil’s visit I cannot get enough.

We all at Rat Race thank Phil for coming down and giving it the large ones in the shop because we all seriously enjoyed it and the music was top class.

Thank you to all that have read my blog, if you enjoyed it, a comment wouldn’t go a miss, but if you didn’t like it then stroll on son.

Written by Taylor Meek of Rat Race Margate.

By ratrace, Dec 13 2016 04:37PM

The Dr Martens boot has become a staple in British fashion, from skinheads in '69 to Suedeheads on the terraces. From Punks in the pubs, to Indies on Carnaby street. Dr Martens have left a big impression on fashion and history of British Subcultures throughout the decades. Lets go back and find out the story behind Dr Martens.

It all started in 1945, when Klaus Märten a German doctor in world war two injured his ankle on a skiing trip, while on leave, in the alps. He found that wearing his standard issue military boots were too uncomfortable to wear on his injured foot. Therefore he added some improvements to them including a soft leather finish and air padded soles made from car tires. After The War he bought leather from a cobblers and began to make the boots we all know now and started to sell them, which became popular with housewives in the 50s.

The first Dr Martens boots in Britain came out on 1 April 1960 known as style 1460 and still in production today, with an eight-eyelet oxblood coloured smooth leather design. Dr Martens boots were made in their Cobbs Lane factory in Wollaston, Northamptonshire which is still operating today. The boots were popular among workers such as postmen, police officers and factory workers.

During 69 and into the 70s the skinheads adopted DMs and incorporated it into their young working class, No surrender British look, and it looked good! The Skinhead look was all about embracing the Working Class look and life. It also focused on traditional British elements like Crombies and braces, topped off with a pair of Dr Marten boots and the style was hard, Sharp and New to the Streets of Britain.

Suedeheads would go on to carry Dr Martens into fashion throughout the 70s. Skip forward today and they have become a staple on many different subcultures fashion through the years and even today have a place on the streets.

So there you have it, now you know where Dr Martens really came from, tell your friends and family what you have learned so we can all respect and know exactly where the biggest brand in boots if not British subculture fashion really started. And here at Rat Race we are proud to stock and supply to all the skins, suedes and indies this iconic Brand.

- Written by Ryan Bond of Rat Race Margate

By ratrace, Nov 3 2016 03:15PM

It is always great when you recognize someone on the telly as a mod. With some of the clobber getting about nowadays it is uplifting and reassuring that ‘mod’ is still around and as sharp as ever, their may be a smaller following these days, but mod is certainly not a lost cause.

You all know who ‘Bradley Wiggins’ is, and I am sure a few of you have distinguished that Wiggo is a mod, I mean the man has his own Fred Perry range and owns a Lambretta X200 Special. It does not get much better than that as a mod, go on Wiggo son.

I am sure by now most of you reading this are thinking “who is this little gob shite talking about mods?”. my name is Taylor and I am an apprentice for Rat Race Margate. 17 years of age. I have dabbled about with a few of the subcultures from the past because what else am I meant to do? Wear skintight jeans and shuffle to house music? Stroll on.

It all started with the football casual and soon found myself looking for something smarter and iconic, then the skinhead scene hit me when I was around 15, I thoroughly enjoyed the skinhead look but it just weren’t me. Then mod hit me, and shit did it hit me hard, before I knew it I was walking around in dessert boots, Levi jeans, a Fred Perry polo and a parka with a paisley scarf and the “Lennon” glasses, proper Liam Gallagher wannabe but I cant be blamed, he is the coolest man to walk the planet!

Another one that strikes me as a 60s inspired male is Gavin out of Gavin and Stacey, when the 2007 hit show was first aired, Gavin sparked some controversy on whether he was a mod or not. I personally come to conclusion he certainly is, although the actor who played Gavin (Matthew Horne) has admitted the he is nothing like the character he plays, in the show he still looks cool as ice in his signature sky blue Harrington, knitted polo shirts and desert boots. Gavin can also be seen throughout the show wearing top brands such as Fred Perry, Merc and Art Gallery if I am not mistaken.

Jack O’Connell is another one that can be perceived as a very indie, 90s inspired mod. I am focusing mainly on the part he plays in the 2007 hit show ‘Skins’ as ‘James Cook’. Cook is featured in the first episode of season 3 wearing a V-Neck jumper, branded ‘Lyle and Scott’ and a pair of Farah strides. Further on in the series ‘Cook’ definitely progresses in to the mod scene by wearing clothing such as the well know and ever popular Harrington jacket, along with brands such as Farah, Gabicci, Lyle and Scott with a pair of ox blood Dr Marten loafers, whilst always wearing a smart pair of strides with a few turn ups.

Even out of the show ‘Skins’ Jack O’Connell could easily stand as a mod, sheep skin coats, Harringtons, Fred Perry and a pair of Adidas Gazelle.

So in conclusion, you all have to agree no matter what subculture you are part of, that recognizing someone on TV as a mod, regardless of being fictional or not is pukka! The reassurance and pride is something that hits because you know that mod certainly is around and it will never be stopped, whether it’s the 60s mod, the revival mod, or the indie 90s mod. All for one as The Stone Roses said.

Thank you to all that read my first blog, I really appreciate it. To those that liked it, you’re class, top one. To those that didn’t, wind ya neck in and sod off.

Written by Taylor Meek of Rat Race Margate.

By ratrace, Feb 3 2016 05:23PM

60’s Suit Company Interview.

On 30th January 2016, we managed to pull Sean of the 60’s Suit Company away from one of his ever popular appearances at Rat Race. We discussed classic styles and Sean’s close and collaborating work with Rat Race. We also had a brief insight into Sean’s passion for his chosen profession.




I’ve been doing the 60’s Suit Co. for five years but I used to run a company in the mid to late nineties called ’Soul Of 65’. The whole point of me getting into it was that I wanted to do something different and it’s something that I’ve been into since I was 16. The resurgence started in 94-95', helped along in part by the Brit-Pop scene. Bands like Blur in particular were famous for wearing Dr. Marten’s boots and high break jackets in the Mod/Skinhead style and in a way they were more authentic than some of the other British bands of the time. That helped to kick off the whole Mod scene in Camden along with a brewing Skinhead revival.

It’s evolving all the time and I want to do something that’s a bit different to what everyone else is doing. I’m a great believer in transcending styles and quite stringent in what I do as far as that the style has to be authentic. It has to look like it has come out of that period. There’s a lot of people out there producing off-the-peg Mod suits but I don’t usually consider them to be an authentic Mod or Skinhead suit fitting of the era. It’s the attention to details that make it.




I learnt the pattern cutting and design from a tailor/pattern cutter in Berners Street, London, I am a pattern cutter so i’m very much on the design side of the business. I’m very hands on and I know all about garment construction and most importantly, what the right look is for each individual customer. You could be the best pattern cutter in the world, but if you choose the wrong cut for the customer it’s going to end in disaster, so you’ve got to work on an individual basis.




In the late 80’s there were a lot of smart Skinheads about. There was a particular pub in north London, The Penny Black, where a lot of the harder styled Mods and the smarter Skinheads came together and started club nights together. So, the different subcultures are bleeding into each other, but I think that keeps it fresh. They’re taking on details from original 60’s suits but also doing things that make it their own.




You’ve got to keep it as near to the original as possible and add your own style and detailing on there. For example the styles in previous decades would literally change from week to week purely because people didn’t want to look the same as everybody else. So, because the evolution was so rapid there’s a lot you can do with it and still make it look authentic. Putting a lot of the detailing in is the difference between what I’m doing, and what other people are doing. The art of measuring properly is the most important part of the process and putting in any figurations in the pattern.




I was DJ’ing at a local Margate club and someone introduced me to Rat Race owner Laurence and I loved the shop and how he’d put a lot of heart and soul into the place, and it’s authentic. I’ve been asked to do suits for other stores that I wouldn’t consider, but when the chance came to work with Rat Race who are like minded, it was an opportunity to work with people who are on the same page.




The best way would be to go directly through Rat Race. Eventually we would like to offer an off-the-peg range which I design exclusively for Rat Race. Rat Race would be involved in part of the design process to create and release a range of suits, tailor made for the Margate Mods & Skins. We are also going to be doing four different types of trousers, all in different fabrics, and something to appeal to the Mods, Skinheads & Suedeheads. All of the scenes now intermingle, you have whole weekenders that take on all the different music styles and genres. Our garments will be contemporary but also of an authentic Mod styling. Being from Kent myself, it’s great to work with people with a passion for Margate subculture history and street style.

What’s great about the style of the Mod & Skinhead suits is that if it’s cut right and they’ve chosen the right fabric, you make someone of 55 look just as good as someone of 25. We do an individual pattern for each person. You can make someone look fantastic and you’re never too old or young to look smart.




We’re a small business and we’re growing year to year but I want it to grow organically. My whole business is that I want it to be a company that people are proud to be associated with.

Of course money matters in any business but it’s certainly not profit over quality, and it’s not profit over style. It’s something that I, as well as Rat Race, love doing. I enjoy what I do, I love interacting with customers and it’s great when you’re doing something bespoke for a customer and they put their own stamp on their style. People might say ‘That’s not Skinhead’ or ‘That’s not Mod’, but if they’ve got an authentic suit on and they’ve done something unique to their own style, it is completely Skinhead or Mod. The whole point of the scenes were that people infused their own individuality with classic styles.

Working together with Rat Race has been mutually beneficial, we’re both businesses who love what we do and that will come across in what we’re doing and people know that when they meet us. The shared respect for fashion and culture will come through in the product.




The Three Button, High Break in Tonic are most popular. We are currently working closely with Rat Race on designing some classic off-the-peg suits and trousers which will be hitting the rails in the near future.

- Written by Pete Noble Jnr of Rat Race Margate.