Guest spot with the NOTORIOUS Paul Hewitt at AONO. Brighton! This was a fantastic achievement for me as its one person in the U.K. I truly admire in the barbering industry. 'Always outnumbered. Never outgunned'!!!! Check out there Instagram and clothing apparel range true tattooed dons! #barberlife #realdeal!
Such an awesome piece by @samueljamesduke. Thanks for that bro completely surprised me ✌🔥#rate #artist #link #inspire #design #create #theoutlawbarber #barbersinctv #newworldbarbers #wahl #andis #aono @wahlpro @aonoxxx @schorembarbier @kieronthebarber @cutthroatamsterdam @kbarbersemporium @savillsbarbers @newworldbarbers @modernbarbermag @uppercutdeluxe @official_guest_barbers_union @britishmasterbarbers
SEEING IN THE NEW YEAR IN A CAVE IN TENERIFE - LIFE BACK TO BASICS
Recorded during my time in Malta, Hannu Ramo, starred in, filmed and produced this brilliant video
GUESTING AT - ANTONIOS BARBERSHOP, BIRKIRKARA, MALTA
2 months living in Sliema and working in Birkirkara Barbershop Antonios, one of the most respected barbers on the island
In the first of my blogs I talked about the people I had met in Tenerife and how some of these people would be likely to pop up again further down the lines, it was in fact one of those people, a brilliant guy by the name of Andrea Moro from Ancona, Italy who featured heavily in the next part of my travels.
When in Tenerife, Andrea tried on numerous occasions to teach me some Italian, usually ending up in hysteria at my shocking attempt to talk which generally came out as 'bibidi badidibubi' so when a gap in the schedule came up, Andreas invitation to meet me in Florence and then go back to his home city of Ancona seemed like the perfect opportunity to be thrown into the deep end and work out how to get by when in a location that doesn't speak much of your own native tongue. With the support of Andrea and his close group of friends I was about to begin the most challenging 3 weeks of my trip so far.
The first location was more of a sightseeing expedition and a couple of fun days in Florence, we drank lots of good wine, walked at least 30 miles a day around the whole city, enjoyed amazing food, met amazing people and found so much inspiration from the architecture, 'Lo amora Firenze'. The Michelangelo hang out was one of the most deepest feelings I've ever come across, I became truly inspired by the artistry in the place, at night there was a flute player playing real amazing music, take it all the architecture in the area gave me an even bigger drive to blast my creativity into music and in to my haircuts. I met this Korean guy in the hostel I stayed in, we got talking and he was very interesting! He had tried so many things with his hair but being Asian hair it's very dominant and straight, of course I had to help him, he looked great after and was feeling down on that night, well it was safe to say he was one of my happiest customers yet as he referred to me as the God of the barbers, I found this comical and at the same time a deep feel of appreciation. His confidence was so high the next day he was telling me how he plucked up the courage to finally go and try and find a girl. And was successful on the first day! Another tick in the satisfaction box! That's why I do my job. Who wouldn't want to do a job where you get too meet so many different people you never expect to meet and get to connect with them at the same time as aiming to please them and make them feel good about themselves!
The city is just like the backdrop in the game 'Assassins Creed' absolutely stunning place to visit if you get the opportunity.
We travelled to Ancona via train and into the unknown, I had no idea what to expect having only seen Ancona as a fishing port I really didn't know what to expect. I booked into the Hostel and prepared for a busy day meeting with various possible work options including a trial with Amoa, one of the top salons in Ancona. The evenings conversation with Andreas friends soon led to the realisation that incredibly there didn't appear to be much in the way of a true gents barber that they used. The language barrier is really tough here, alot of hand signals and muddling my way through it. The next day I went to visit www.amoa.it (a traditional hair salon rather than a barbers) and had a short trial they loved my work in quote 'perfecto' and arranged to meet back with them in a week to discuss a barbering position (which meant one week to learn the language).
The next few days was spent visiting the big group of friends in the fishing industry around there, learning Italian, eating amazing food and getting through a load of cuts ready for the big night out on Saturday. A full on test of the Italian I have learned in the short time I have been here and well, the night didn't disappoint.
After a brilliant start to my time in Italy, things started to go downhill. Although I had worked really hard on the language barrier, no matter how hard I tried to move things along I couldn't get any commitment from Amoa, weather was poor, the hostel I was staying in were generally rude and insistent on a 3 hours cleaning session every day despite me being one of the only paying guests there they insisted on me getting out of the hostel every day. I still had extreme difficulty in holding long and meaningful conversations due to the language barrier. 2 weeks had passed with me just cutting the group of friends I had and earning barely enough to live on. The Italians have a very different way of life to us in which haste or speed does not seem to play a part. Being on a limited budget I don't always have the time to wait around for someone to come back to me. I was getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of action. When you are travelling in this way there are long periods of loneliness which create self doubt. There were even times during this stay that I began to question why I was doing this at all.
My saviour incredibly was an Argentinean friend called Mauricio Ferrera, he travelled over 1000kms to meet up with me and get his hair cut, he is possibly the best guitarist I have ever jammed with. For the first time in over a year since the split of my band in the UK, I composed a new song and became reconnected with myself. I needed to get some final answers on the work front so contacted a few local establishments without luck including still no commitment from Amoa, I had spent nearly 3 weeks in Italy and not progressed. Time for a change, the best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. I decided that I either needed to move on to somewhere else in Italy or try another country.
I booked a flight to Malta, thanked Andrea for the opportunity, did a mad rush of haircuts for the gang, said goodbye and then took the train to Bologna to begin the next phase of my journey. Would you believe, whilst on the train to Bologna I received a call from Amoa, a full time job offer to start on the Monday. However my mind was already made up. I needed to change my location and my luck.
My experience in Italy was a good one but made very difficult by the Language barrier and my own impatience. I needed a change, well that certainly happened in Malta !
Next time ... Malta
Very pleased to announce that as of today I am an accredited member of the British Master Barbers Alliance. I shall be working a lot with these guys and I will have my own editorial blog on their website at http://www.britishmasterbarbers.com/
I arrived in Firenze on 10th January 2015 to take in the architecture and feel the heart of Italia before moving on with my journey.
Guested at one of the worlds premier barbershops : www.cutthroatbarber.nl
Whilst I was in Amsterdam in November for Innovation in the Dam I explored and fell in love with the city, the vibrant lifestyle, the architecture and canal ways. The city is full of new experiences that were surprising me every day. Whilst I was on what was the only holiday I had been able to have in a long time (most barbers will associate with this), I was lucky enough to get the chance to pop in and trial for Cut Throat Barber & Coffeeshop.
As we talked about in the previous blog I spent two weeks in Tenerife at the backpackers hostel, I was lucky enough to carry out a few cuts and styles but not enough to satisfy my desire to cut. Anyone who truly knows barbering will know that it is not just a career choice but a life calling. even though I knew I was there to learn how to travel, the hunger for barbering and desire to keep climbing and never stopping, was becoming too great to be ignore or under used.
During my stay in Tenerife a unique opportunity came up in early December to get my fix in the form of a message from Cut Throat, due to extreme demand in the lead up to Christmas they had opened an additional temporary salon in the local DC store and needed someone to assist in both shops. This was an ideal opportunity to live as a resident and truly understand the vibe I was amongst some of the most inspiring barbers in the world. So I booked my flight and arrived in Holland two days later to join the team. One of the main cutting styles I pride myself on are skin fades, and I really thought I was good at them until I met Nay pinsta.me/nayqueenoffades, @barber_djirlauw @jimmythetulip and @lebeastbarbier. A couple of sessions with them and my skinfades had gone from good to great, its all the little details that make a massive difference. I knew from that point on this was going to be an enlightening trip.
One of Cut Throats strap line's is 'Cut Throat was never about a look or a trend- it was about creating a place where we would want to hang out ourselves' within seconds of entering the main shop in De Wallen, just off Dam Square you feel that ethos straight away. A top quality coffee shop at the front with a brilliant barista. A combined seating area for customers leading through to the barbering area, an old school space-invader type machine and plenty of seating for barbers, customers and locals to mingle. The shop was always buzzing with people coming and going. you felt a definite pride in not only the barbers work but also in the customer for being in there and part of the Cut Throat experience. That experience never finished at closing time either, the #cutthroatmob were given almost celebrity status in the city and were integral to the scene. Doing events with Sol Beer, Movember, Urban Outfitters, Boom Chicago, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Club Couture & Assem Rotterdam to name a few. I was fortunate enough to be there whilst Club Couture W/ DJ Oneman was on, Cut Throat barbers were on stage cutting during the event with the DJs in full flow. Although a it was only short stay, my time in Amsterdam certainly proved to be fruitful in terms of skills learnt. I honestly believe I came back 200% up on my previous game.
Never underestimate the power of the cutthroat razor, In 1900, most men were either shaved by the local barber (your trusted confidante, wielding a cut throat razor), or periodically at home when required, rather than regularly. The barber's better-off customers would have personal sets of seven cut throat razors, labelled 'Sunday' to 'Saturday'. Nowadays the cut throat is used for thinning, chopping and detailing the hair as well as many other applications.
Next Time ... Coping with the language barriers in Italy.
'Travel, Inspire, Design, Create' - The Outlaw Barber
www.theoutlawbarber.com firstname.lastname@example.org @the_outlaw_barber
Toured throughout Tenerife:
'Travel, Inspire, Design, Create' - THE OUTLAW BARBER
I have felt a burning need to develop every skill set that is required to create the most complete barber I can be. Whilst I realise this is a massive undertaking I realised it was not something I could achieve in the UK alone. To gain the necessary experiences I would need to travel the world to learn from the local history and techniques the barbers used. I find it fascinating when I learn new information, information that otherwise may have passed me by. I am often amazed by the fact that most new styles are actually traditional styles in other parts of the world. The design and implication of each and every style and the effect it had on people during their generation. It would be great one day to know that my experiences may inspire others to search out the same, for now, I have a lot to learn.
I realise I am at the beginning of what I know will be a long process and want to draw from the experiences of barbers all over the world. From the cultural cities of Italy to the vibrancy of Amsterdam and the traditional methods of Turkey to the modernistic methods throughout North America.
Also of great interest to me is the use of barbering in language, for example when barbering was introduce to Rome all men that were free citizens were required to be clean shaven whilst all slaves were forced to wear beards hence the term 'Barbarians'.
For over 5000 years barbering has evolved, Its going to be quite some journey to catch up with as much of that as I possibly can. Follow me as I travel through each town, city & country. If you have your own barbershop with your own style and techniques and wish to mutually exchange knowledge please do not hesitate to contact me for a guest session, in the meantime follow me on my travels.
My first stop was a personal target to understand the backpackers way of life. Tenerife, Spain was the destination and the backpackers hostel www.losamigoshosteltenerife.com I spent 2 weeks travelling the island and getting an understanding of how to live on a budget and networking with people from other cultures and languages. During my time there I got the unique opportunity to climb to the top of red mountain and cut a natural 00 tapered cut with short on top, blended mostly with scissors and a straight razor. It was an incredibly inspiring environment to work within. Lifelong friendships were formed and links with Italy, Lithuania, Finland, Germany, Morocco, Portugal, Argentina & America created.
Some of the friends I made in Tenerife will definately re-appear later in my travels already I am starting to get a feel for how small the world actually is.
Next Time ... Guesting in Cut Throat Barbers - Warmoesstraat 155, Amsterdam http://www.cutthroatbarber.nl/