Swimmers Club

30th May 2016


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Check which is the shallow end and note the point where you will be out of your depth.


Who: Sam Knee
Where: North London, UK
What: Style Curator, Writer

So, who are you?

Samuel Knee

Where are you from?

Originally from Leigh-on-Sea near Southend, and have resided in North London for 30 years.

What time is it where you are? 

Early afternoon.

What do you do?

I write music scene/ fashion history books most of the time, and sometimes teach all about them when the work comes along. Apart from that I just doss about.

Who or what are you influenced by?

Records, books, films, clothes, cycling around London catching glimpses of the fast fading past past. 

Are you one of those people who like really loves technology?

No, not in the least. But I guess it has some uses eBay, Discogs etc but I'd rather go into a record or book shop anyday and interact with people than sit at a computer in some social coma. 

Do you still listen to music? If so, what's been the best stuff you've heard all year?

Yes, I still pick up lots of old records, mainly 60’s Beat group stuff if it’s cheap enough, or 80’s indie jingle-jangle and anarcho-peace punk racket. I’m not that bothered by condition as long as they play through without skips. I’d rather have a totally knackered original than a pristine reissue. It makes me feel like I’m spiritually closer to the source somehow. I’ve been listening to the first Fugs LP quite a lot recently and Ptoof! by the Deviants, both 60’s art-school crud classics. 

Do you read? Tell us about good books you read this year?

I haven’t read any books this year so far. I’ve started reading Ametora - How Japan Saved American Style by David Marx, which is a fascinating historical read so far, fills in lots of mental blanks on the subject I’ve had over the years. 

What are you currently working on?

I’m making a documentary based around A Scene In Between with filmmaker Paul Kelly and Heavenly Films. We’re looking for any rare and cool 80’s footage to feature by the way all you home movie makers out there???! 

I’m also planning a couple of new books, more music scene, fashion carry on’s, surprise surprise..

Who's ever written a great work about the immense effort required in order not to create?

Possibly Quentin Crisp. He often wrote about the trials and demoralizing terrors of the working life from an almost semi-detached fictional perspective. I sort of think that may have inspired some of Morrissey’s early righteous doley lyrics, You’ve Got Everything NowStill Ill etc.

'Quit... quit... you should quit... you should quit... you should... you should...'. Should you quit?

It’s too late, I’m no longer at the wheel, the music scene history gods control my thoughts and movements.

Are you just in it for the money?

Money is not my currency. 


Sam Knee is the author of A Scene In Betweeen: Tripping Through the Fashions of UK Indie Music 1980-88whichis available here and The Bag I'm in: Underground Music and Fashion in Britain 1960-1990‚Äč (available here).

Sam was a guest Astronaut's wife and chose the music for the following 'Astronaut Wives Club Special'. See below to listen to that or if on mobile, click the following link: