Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Words Andy S23

Photography and Footage Danny S

Definition: hyperbole

/hʌɪˈpəːbəli/

Learn to pronounce

noun

exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

… and that’s my opening statement, such was this momentous performance, much of what I’m about to regale you with will be undoubtedly prone to ‘hyperbole’ – however, I can say with absolute assurance, it’s all justifiably deserved !!!

Treat Your Self !!!

So, some background – late last year Memoriam announced the first of many shows for 2020 and I immediately booked tickets for I and my very, very good friend Danny.

I’ve know Danny for a good few years, working alongside each other on a daily basis, he’s the kind of guy you can trust to have your back, moreover, we enjoy a common love of films, comics and music all accompanied with our unique brand of humor and culture that many outside of our small circle will understand !!!

Man Day 101 !!!

The had stars aligned, we both had the day off, wives, kids, cats and dogs where all respectively packed off and taken care of – as such we inaugurated what hopefully will become an annual affair – Man Day !!!

Memoriam, take heed, feel free to play the first Saturday of every February – Ha !!!

It was our intention to have somewhat of a more ‘explosive day’ but Danny was nursing his head from his previous night out watching Megadeth, and I nursing a stinking cold, bad mood as well as marching into the sublime mediocrity of middle age didn’t present the most dynamic of duos …

Still, opening up with a cold beer, we perused a slew of comic book shops, including Orbital, Gosh! and Forbidden Planet. Danny picked up some missing numbers from Silver Surfer and The Punisher I opted for stuff from Adam Hughes, Jocks Green Arrow and an issue of Wolverine by Alan Davis !!!

As the sun set we marched onwards to Camden as showtime loomed over the horizon – alas Mega City Comics had already closed, we settled amongst the throng in The Worlds End for the first of many more beers !!!

On entry to The Underworld, suitably refreshed we bumped into Frank Healy, Memoriam’s bassist. Gregarious, unassumingly charming and genuinely pleased to see us – we briefly spoke about the drive down to London, plans for dinner, he was looking forward to a hearty kebab post show – and his thundering bass tone, which wryly quipped was due to his dwindling hearing – top man.

Naturally, first port of call, after grabbing some more ice cold beers, was the merch table – some great shirts, and regrettably I wish I’d picked up the show exclusive shirt, hopefully they’ll make their way on line over at their Big Cartel store …

But, I did pick up one of these, a coffee mug, resplendent with their demo’s artwork – this got put to good use as soon as I was through the front door …

Whilst at the table, drummer Andy Whale happily chatted to us, gave some incredible insight to the bands plans and future, I’ll keep quiet here, but seriously keep an eye out – Memoriam will be as busy as ever. Andy also spoke about one of his other bandsDarkened, and we energetically enthused over its style and tone. We also chatted about Memoriam’s unique DIY ethic, which allows them to tour on weekends, days off, and yet still remain committed to work, family and other endeavors – we both agreed it’s a model many bands should explore, keeping it fresh, exciting and vital.

We did also bumped into Karl, however, my inital greeting of ‘I love Saxon, and I’ve always wanted to meet Biff Byford’ was perhaps not the best opening gambit, but he heartily shook my hand nonetheless before disappearing into the depths of The Underworld …

MEMORIAM

As the opening bars of the instrumental ‘Memoriam’ faded the band quite literally exploded onto the stage, Memoriam ripped open with Undefeated – the sound, tone and pitch was perfect. Wether this style or genre either is or isn’t your thing – this was a masterclass in sonic assault and I’d urge other bands to seriously pay heed.

The stripped down, lean and taught approach really lent itself to the live setting, and whilst this track, on the album is a firm favorite, here it took a life of its own and sounded more venomous, vicious and vitriolic than ever. As aforementioned Franks bass, rumbled with a groove and warmth, and an assured confidence and prowess that clearly cemented why as one of the scenes elder statesman he’s a legend and consummate professional. He prowled and worked the stage relentlessly, putting many younger contemporaries to shame.

Karl too, exploded with a power, an unbridled fury that literally gripped and captivated the audiences attention from the off and throughout …

The passion and integrity, and thinly veiled vitriol and disdain of the current socio-political state was palpable and delivered with integrity, yet as any good showman and frontman does, this was ably delivered with aplomb and a wry smile, extolling that perhaps we all shouldn’t take our selves too seriously …

That aside, clad in black combat boot and cargo pants, and an intriguingly sleeveless ‘Singularity Sauce’ tee, his long mane of ice blond hair made for an iconically striking visual performance and decades of touring has not dulled his edge, I’d wager his vocals have never sound more ferocious, powerful or confident.

Andy was clearly at home and in a happy place on drums, working what appeared to be a stripped down ensemble, almost a jazz like set up, was an absolute pleasure to observe and clearly was having no end of fun holding it all together. Taught, tight, precision drumming, an absolute wall of pummeling beats alongside Franks bass gives this blend of ‘Old School Death Metal’ real groove, swing and a warmth and a texture many other bands live are simply devoid of. He’s clearly the heart of the beast, and imbues it with life, really making it a living, breathing monster !!!

Last but by no means least, Scott Fairfax the crypt keeper of riffs, the undisputed king of rhythm and lead, flawlessly switching between either with verve, style and panache – Ive long since seen such a player so confidently happy and at ease live – and as the all the band collectively did, his crunch and attack added more spite and vengeful sonic assault to these tracks !!!

Live, is clearly a very comfortable place for Memoriam and they don’t hide the fun with which they approach the stage – which, incidentally they owned !!!

Whilst a slightly shorter set than expected, they pulled out what I’d regard a fan favorite set of classics from their growing back catalogue.

Undefeated was hotly followed by Dronestrike, originally appearing in demo form on their 2nd 7” and subsequently on their sophomore effort as a bonus track in revised form. If I had to choose which version is my favorite, whilst both recorded versions are truly stellar, trust me, when I say live is the ultimate version !!!

No known Grave and As Bridges Burn powered along and the break and beat downs of both had the crowd not only captivated but now on the move …

Karl rallied the partisan crowd with a rallying cry for unity over the divisive referendum, and as such the attending crowd from all over the globe warmly cheered him on – the incisive Austerity Kills was a timely reminder of what the general public have endured and enshrined Memoriam’s relevance forevermore.

Showcasing material from the bands latest LP Requiem for Mankind led the final charge as they subsequently went on to power through Resistance, Shellshock and as I prefer to nickname it ‘Fix Bayonets’ – this was all brought to an apocalyptic conclusion with the devastatingly heavy Flatline

Opening with a faded heartbeat which transcends into a failing life support alarm – many of tonight’s songs were further embellished with small sound bites and soundscapes which really added to the songs color live, a really creatively cool touch which certainly wasn’t lost on me.

Sadly, no cover of Sacrileges The Captive and I was dismayed not to hear Surrounded by Death amongst the set, but it was truly taught, power driven, old school death Metal show at its finest and that in itself gave the whole ensemble a magical life of its own – a greatest hits if you will, and would make an arguably perfect playlist for any true fan …

I hope to see them play again very soon, easily one of my top ten gigs of all time – S23

You can catch Memoriam live next this March in Copenhagen !!!

FREE DOWNLOADABLE COMIC ‘Dredd De Los Muertos ! (The Death of Dredd)

FREE DOWNLOADABLE COMIC

‘Dredd De Los Muertos ! (The Death of Dredd)

Here it is – Free to Download, my Drokktober Megazine get it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/njr4v486zvt7x9m/Drokktober%20Megazine%20-%202019%201A.pdf?dl=0

(here is also a link to download a CBZ file to use in an App Reader such Comic Book reader, save the file then port it over into the app: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e194w7m977q5ud3/Drokktober%20CBR%20Pages.cbz?dl=0 )

It’s a little rough around the edges, grammatical errors, sizing issues and image resolution, but rather uploading a slew of images across your feed and replicating across several pages I’ve put together a ‘best of’ free for you to download.

It includes a six page strip, a vague attempt at something humorous, but yeah, here it is …

But, I’ve also included most if not all the covers and sketches that I completed over the month of Drokktober …

Let me know what you think, feedback, criticism, constructive or negative all greatly appreciated …

Drokktober 2019

Well what an absolutely mad riot of fun Drokktobers’s been. I’d not officially for just short of 25 years picked up a pen to produce a reasonably finished piece, Drokktober initiated that return, and as such I’ve not completed a volume of work in one period of time such as this !!!

The opportunity to spend a month drawing 2000ad’s Judge Dredd, coupled with the fantastic choice of prompts was too much of an opportunity to pass up, so participation was a no brainer …

Pitfalls, spills, thrills, triumphs and frustrations – whilst like jumping back on a bicycle, you can clearly see the wobble, false starts and also moments of really starting to warm up and pick up momentum.

I’m strictly amateur, but it’s clearly whet the appetite to produce work again, and explore my style. That said, I can now appreciate the ingenuity and creativity of those creators who do this on a regular basis, fun yes, easy, no …

THANK YOU

Last but not least – Cheers ti the Drokktober boys and cast of ECBT 2000ad as well as Wullie Russell who all deserve a warm well done and a huge thank you for cheering on all who entered.

And, those entered – WOW !!!

Some serious talent, enthusiasm, ideas and creativity – I salute you all and was often left thinking ‘Why didn’t I think of that’ – you are all the best.

Last but not least, to the countless followers, who cheered on the charge and put up with us saturating your favorite pages with entries, show why, Dredd and 2000ad fans are the best !!!

So, here’s my final ‘cover’ and to round it off a short strip I’ve written and illustrated showcasing the Judge Dredd’s untimely demise …

See you next – errr, Drokktober Creeps !!!

Artwork for Sale Here:

https://s23familia.bigcartel.com/

Memoriam … Still Loyal

Gearmonkey75's Blog

Memoriam … Still Loyal

Its been a long while since I’ve figuratively taken up the pen and written anything noteworthy or of interest …

That said I have had a few ideas and subject matters slowly gestating and its only until now I’ve decided to put something out in ‘print’ !!!

Its a culmination of several emotions and ideas – since confidently marching into my mid 40’s and not only leaving one pastime behind, and albeit happily settling down on and focusing on my career and enjoying family life I’ve since rediscovered a former passion, or rather reignited the flame for one of my first loves – music !!!

Specifically, as I’m sure you’ve long by now since gathered, heavy music in particular, and have in recent years enjoyed a renewed vigour, a renaissance of late – the flame has been very much rekindled.

It must be pointed out in…

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Do The Sinister – Bargain Priced Nike Smoke Green Wind Breaker Spotlight

Gearmonkey75's Blog

** BECAUSE IT CAUGHT MY EYE – NIKE WIND BREAKER **

… not exactly review worthy, but as the title says – ‘always keep an eye out’ as you never know where and what you’ll find !!!

… quite literally trawling what I prefer to call a ‘flea market’ with my family, I’d only gone along on the promise of hot coffee and breakfast I found this !!!

Not something I’d either go look for, nor even consider off the shelf – but, in what I’d describe as a very dark ‘sage green’ I spotted this on one vendors table. A like new Nike Windbreaker.

Made from 100% Polyester, and exceptionally lightweight and easily stowable, with its two large front YKK Zippered pockets and sculpted hood – for a mere £1 ($1.26/€1.15) I quickly snapped it up without deliberation. Especially as it was in faultlessly exceptionally brand new condition…

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Trenches – Crye Precision LWF ™ ‘Light Weight Fleece’ Jacket in Multicam

Gearmonkey75's Blog

Trenches – Crye Precision LWF ™ ‘Light Weight Fleece’ Jacket in Multicam

Crye’s LWF (Light Weight Fleece) landed upon my desk late yesterday and as such I thought I’d take the time to run up a quick over view.

First impressions, I’d certainly argue this is one of Crye’s better made, more solid and robust entries to their growing catalogue – and, assertively gives the likes of its Arc’teryx and Beyond Clothing equivalents a real run for their money.

It’s a generously sized garment, and whilst a fitted cut, it would comfortably accommodate a base layer or tee, however I’d encourage dropping up a size if you plan to wear this over either a combat or field shirt.

To put that in perspective, at 6ft and proportionately sized – this, in large fits perfectly, when worn with a tee. More than long enough in the arms, Crye have taken every…

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Troops of Doom – Inside an S23 ‘Day Sack’

Troops of Doom – Inside an S23 ‘Day Sack’

It’s the weekend, so I thought I’d do a quick bag (day sack) dump before getting geared up for another whole new week …

I’ve been using my surprisingly vacuous LondonBridge Trading 8000ain MultiCam ‘Tropic’ …

This carries:

• 1 x Jetboil Flash

• 1 x Patagonia Lvl 5 Soft Shell

• 1 x Patagonia Lvl 4 Wind Shirt

• 1 x SureFire, LLC 6P Classic Blk

• 1 x MRE Spoon

• 1 x Oakley ‘Gas Can’ Glasses

• 1 x Gerber Gear ‘Suspension’ Multi Tool

• 1 x Noble & Blue M05 Field Note Wallet w/Sharpie and IR Cymalume

Patrol Incident Gear FDT gloves

• 2 x Nalgene 1 ltr Bottles

• 1 x AeroPress (fitted with Percolo Stainless Steel Filter)

• 1x Gsi Outdoors ‘Java Mill’

• Assorted Storacell holders

• 1 x Neck Gaiter

… what’s in yours, have an awesome Bank Holiday weekend – S23

**BANK HOLIDAY SALE 25% OFF – GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE**

‘Bank Holiday Sale – 25% Off’ – back by popular demand and now with

an all new additional variant sticker – get em’ here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-stickers

**NOW WITH MORE NEW DESIGNS**

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ your stocks, kit and even gear or coffee mugs with hard wearing S23Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant A*

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant B*

(*whilst stocks last)

Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Funnily enough, today marks the 3rd year anniversary of my very own ‘Pie Slicer’ from Jim over at No1. Jimmy Pie Knives

Needless to say, after three years of work, use and abuse – with a little care and maintenance it’s going as strong as ever …

Albeit it’s picked up what I think is some rather fetching patina …

Now, I’ve been meaning to get Jim on the blog for quite sometime, however, if not quite found the angle I was after – and he is a very busy man. In between cups of coffee he’s found toiling away crafting exquisitely functional knives, related accessories and ephemera in his incredible workshop hidden, somewhere in the depths of leafy suburbia …

I know this much, Jim is exceptionally well thought of, not just by me, or his customers and legions of fans but his contemporaries within the industry.

He’s forged, or should that be ‘carved’ a reputation through his intimate dialogue of photos of knives, axes and hatchets, often modified and detailed to bespoke customer requirements – and, have been seen subsequently across the globe in the hands of outdoorsmen, every day carry enthusiasts, hiking community as well as Law Enforcement and Military too …

I’ve got my own, and plan a second (I blame you Jim for sending that phot) – but what has attracted many, is through his visual diary you often get a unique insight into how they are made, processes he’s developed and learnt. It’s a very affirming process, and even from a customers point of view, gives you a real personable account of your knifes creation …

Anyhow, on with this posts topic – Jim, like many of us, comes from a background of gear collecting, and as such, having more than a passing interest knows what works and what doesn’t – I’d noticed he’d been shifting a few pieces of Cordura and suspected it was for a higher purpose …

Enter The Kifaru Urban Zippy

Jim recently picked up a brand new Kifaru Urban Zippy, this model in Ranger Green.

In his original post he had this to say:

Little Bag, big capacity, I honestly don’t think I’ve owned a ruck in this size range that packs this much in with room to spare.

He went on to further explain and evidence with some great explanatory photos too:

I can still fit in my hammock or a set of base layers, the rear pouch is still empty too …

Better yet, Jim gave a run down on what he was packing too, giving not only example of the packs capabilities – but many of the things you should consider carrying on a leisure hike and or short stay out camping …

He explained:

… it lets you get to it all easily too, great design by Kifaru.

External Lid Pocket

Small Fixed Blade, Ruck Cover, External Lid Pocket – Spare Large Kifaru Pouch

Internal Lid Pocket

First Aid Kit

Main Pocket

• 1Ltr Nalgene Bottle

• Jet Boil PCS

• MRE

• GoreTex Bivvy

• Triple Aught Design Scarf

• Kifaru x 4 Pockets (Wash Kit, Brew Kit, Fire Kit, Snacks)

Left Side Zipper

• Shelter Kit

• Folding Saw

• Cordage

• Bungees

Right Side Zipper

• Tarpaulin

Outside Pockets

• 1 Ltr Nalgene

• Large Fixed Blade

Rear Pouch

• Empty (as you can see the pack is vacuous with room for much more despite its diminutive size)

Encouragingly, Jim is always keen and enthusiastic to engage questions solicited from followers and made the following poignant remarks. When asked about not having a proprietary ‘waist belt’ he explained:

It does have a simple waist strap, nothing padded, and you’d be correct, I wouldn’t want to do a full days hike with it as it is – but a light bimble (walk) and an overnight wild camp, it’d be fine …

The proof however, will be in the pudding as they say, when I get out and test it properly.

Further praise was evidenced by Jim:

… this feels perfect, in the 25ltr range, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Kifaru in my life, maybe three years, very happy to get one back …

With regards to the unique and innovative design, the side pockets:

It’s a damn neat idea!

Quick access to the bottom of the bag or the internal mesh pouch, genius and cool as f**k !!!

As he’d sent over additional phot’s for this very article he parted out with this great line:

The real game changer I think with a load like this is the internal frame …

You can keep up with Jim here over at No.1 Jimmy Pie Instagran and check our more from Kifaru here: http://www.kifaru.net/

He also sent over this stunning exclusive photo – showcasing his incredible craftsmanship alongside his Kifaru Pack – S23

**RESTOCKING STICKERS – GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE**

Restocking stickers, back by popular demand and now with

an all new additional variant sticker – get em’ here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-stickers

**NOW WITH MORE NEW DESIGNS**

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ stocks, kit and gear or even coffee mugs with hard wearing S23 Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant A*

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant B*

* (*whilst stocks last)

Power Metal – Doomtrodon New Demo Track

Power Metal – Doomtrodon New Demo Track

We take a quick detour from our usual fare of ‘Plastic Deth’ to introduce something, we at the S23 HQ have been quietly waiting for a for a while now – the first track from Doomtrodon’s upcoming ’68 Demo’ …

If your not up to date on the current ‘Metal Zeitgeist’ then let’s bring you screaming up to speed …

Doomtrodon is a new band based out of west England and are on guitar ‘Geezer’ drummer ‘Gav’ newly acquired vocalist ‘Matt’ and on bass, the inimitable ‘Biz’ !!!

Sound familiar – well, as I posted elsewhere this evening …

… check out Doomtrodon’s demo track Vampyre Ratt from there ‘68 Demo’ – that driving bass line, alongside those tortured vocals, pummeling drums and gravel rough buzz saw guitars is by none other than artist extraordinaire Simon Bisley …

Simon ‘Biz’ Bisley is famed for his incredible illustrative body of work, including Dredd vs Batman one shot ‘Judgement on Gotham’ – cover art for Doom Patrol, his groundbreaking Slaine, ABC Warriors for 2000ad and much much more …

Whilst not his first foray into music, his art has also graced Danzig’s EP ‘Thrall Demon Sweat Live’ as well as working with the Misfits vocalist extensively on his own comic line.

You Can hear the new track by hitting the link below

New Demo Track ‘Vampyre Ratt’ from Doomtrodon’s ’68 Demo’

This is a powerful and promising start, Geezers solid guitar work with riff heavy hooks oozes confidence.

You can also give another track, ’68’ from Doomtrodon a listen here !!!

Gav’s precision drumming pins it all down, and with extra greasy groove domination from the Biz’s incredible bass line, quite possibly motivated by his underlying skill at the drums, it’s great to see him switch instruments here.

All ably led by the tortured growls and screams of newly added Matt, that’s not to say there’s no lack of melody to what he’s delivered here, but it has its own nightmarishly tortured charm.

Doomtrodon to me personally sound like a really much needed and refreshing take on British Grind and Doomcore with a healthy nod to influences such as Sabbath and Motörhead – without sounding plaid or routine, I’ve quietly observed rumblings and movements over the past few months on their FB page and it’s been impressive to see what has slowly unfurled and evolved, it clearly is genuinely passionate and genuinely professional going concern, more importantly a labor of love which has finally come to fruition.

Whilst no genuine music hack, more over, just a die hard enthusiast- as I’m sure many of you are aware I’ve long been a fan of the many heavy genres of music, including Metal, Hardcore and Punk – of late much has left to be desired of new music in general, and after several plays Doomtrodon’s new track has left me exceptionally excited for what’s to come …

I’ll certainly not dare to pigeon hole them into a genre or cast too many similarities to their own brand of swaggering heavy groove laden doom – but any fans of Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Bolt Thrower or even the Obsessed would happily see this band stand proudly alongside them as contemporaries – high praise, maybe but they’ve surely got the punch and heart to put British Heavy Music back on track …

If your local they are due to take the stage this Saturday, May 12th at Oxfords O2 – someone pick me up a shirt !!!

Supporting Death Remains – you can pick up tickets here !!!

Again the underground has delivered, and it’s this original and fresh take on the genre that’s certainly reinvigorated my faith in new music – anyhow, enough from me – tune down, turn up and sab out – S23

Keep up to date with more from Doomtrodon here on there FB page: https://m.facebookn.com/doomtrodon/

NEW DESIGN – S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Tee

In NSW ‘Navy Blue’ with the classic ‘Beer Mat’ on the front and custom ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Art sporting the now infamous ‘Ranger’ diamond on the rear, by S23 himself – you can now sport you OG S23Familia Pride on or off the field – S23

Available in Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XXL-Large and XXX- Large here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-plastic-deth-skull-tee

Immigrant Song – NOBLE & BLUE – Triple Aught Design Review

Immigrant Song – NOBLE & BLUE – Triple Aught Design Review

… possibly one of the more authoritative gear reviews I’ve recently read. Objective, personable and intuitively brave in discussing its merits and flaws – N&B have delivered another ‘must read’ …

Anything posting once is worth posting twice right ?

This truly deserves a wider audience and if your not already following Noble and Blue, here’s a great jumping on point.

**NOBLE & BLUE – Triple Aught Design**

New review up from the good guys over at Noble& Blue – this time out they give a comprehensive review of Triple Aught Design’s ‘Shagmaster’ hoodie which is even seen sporting the ubiquitous ‘beer mat’ you can read it all here: https://nobleandblue.wordpress.com/portfolio/triple-aught-design-shagmaster-hoodie/

You can read our original interview with Noble and Blue right here: https://s23gearmonkey75.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/5678/

NEW DESIGN – S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Tee

In NSW ‘Navy Blue’ with the classic ‘Beer Mat’ on the front and custom ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Art sporting the now infamous ‘Ranger’ diamond on the rear, by S23 himself – you can now sport you OG S23Familia Pride on or off the field – S23

Available in Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XXL-Large and XXX- Large here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-plastic-deth-skull-tee

Urban Discipline – USMC Urban Camouflage ‘T Pattern’

Urban Discipline – USMC Urban Camouflage ‘T Pattern’

Whilst trawling a few gear pages on Facebook this came up in my feed, only time I’ve seen these in the wild was during a History Channel Urban/CQB documentary, where the Marines used these train in MOUT.

Whilst not footage from that documentary, some archival news reels are online and can be viewed here:

Not much proliferates the web regarding this pattern, however it’s clear as far back as 1999 the USMilitary in anticipation of growing threats from Terrorism, and domestic civil unrest – would see a shift towards more Asymmetrical Warfare, most likely within Urban City Centres.

Urban Warrior 1999

Operation Urban Warrior was a United States Marine Corps program created as an exercise meant to plan and test Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) and urban warfare in general.

It was developed in the mid 1990s by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory partly in response to growing problem on inner-city fighting, and especially made urgent following the Battle of Mogadishu in 1993.

Press materials from the Warfighting Lab in 1997 stated, “..the world is becoming increasingly urbanized and increasingly dangerous” and described a new fight zone called the “urban littoral,” or coastal zone where most of the world’s population will reside. “Parts of the urban littoral will contain all the classic ingredients for conflict. There will be social, cultural, religious and tribal strife between differentgroups.

Many areas will have scarce resources, including the most basic ones like food and shelter as populations grow and resources shrink even further. The chances for conflict will naturally grow with it”

It’s no surprise that Law Enforcement and Police Forces have adopted ‘Grey’ as color way best suited for today’s AO’s …

Camopedia’s entry had this to say:

The US Army began testing a variety of camouflage patterns in 2001-2002 to replace the m81 woodland and tricolor desert patterns.

In 1998, another MOUT pattern was tested, this time with a very dominant grey colorway. BDU shirt and trousers, as well as PASGT helmet and vest covers were produced in the pattern, termed “urban camouflage” on the nomenclature. As with its predecessor, the urban MOUT pattern (sometimes nicknamed “Urban-T” or “T-MOUT”) was never adopted.

The range of designs included patterns with names such as “all-over brush,” “shadow line,” and “tracks,” with variations of each for use in woodland, desert, urban and combination desert/urban environments. At the same time, Natick begandeveloping a new era ofcombat uniform, based on improvements suggested by soldiers with field experience. This concept uniform would eventually be given the name Close Combat Uniform or CCU, and would eventually lead to the design implemented as the Army Combat Uniform. Of the new camouflage designs tested by the Army, only the “Urban Tracks” version would be fully implemented to the CCU production stage. Several hundred uniform examples were produced for testing by the Stryker Brigades in 2003-2004, although the pattern itself would be dropped in favor of the Universal Camouflage Pattern of the ACU.

Experimental USMC Urban T-Pattern BDU’s used in Urban Warrior in 1999 just for one FTX. Approximately only ever 800 sets of BDU pants, shirts, helmet and armor covers were made.

The Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) are camouflaged fatigues that were used by the United States Armed Forces as their standard combat uniform from the early 1980s to the mid-2000s. Since then, it has been replaced or supplanted in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.

So, onto the pants – these have as expected become much sought after, and highly prized amongst collectors. I’m aware of a Far East Reproduction – however, whilst the pattern was correct in scale and color, the sizing was off and they horrendously faded when laundered.

These pants, as expected where produced in the obligatory BDU cut, and comprised of a shirt, pants – made from 50/50 NYCO and Helmet and Armor cover for the PASGT (Personal Armor System Ground Troops) PPE.

With a button fly, side bloused pockets and rear button pockets these are as utilitarian as expected – however, there’s a lot to be said for the venerable BDU.

It’s loose cut, and solid stitched construction make the BDU a firm favorite in my gear locker to this day.

I’d certainly hazard a guess and state these undoubtedly influenced NATTICK’s UCP pattern- which, whilst subject to much controversy and derision, particularly as it was heavily used in Arid environments such as Afghanistan is still an effective pattern in low light urban environments.

Whilst Camouflage is perhaps never intended to be appealing or attractive its three color pattern in rectangular and t-shaped print is striking none the less, and is interesting to see what development had extrapolated as potential solution to Camouflage in Urban Operations.

I’d love to add these to the collection, if only for posterity and historical interest – however, scarcity and availability make for an unlikely opportunity – S23

Photography courtesy of and special thanks to Bartek S

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