Late-70s Mancunians knew full-well what "Perry Boys" were; they were Soul Boys who were fond of their auburn-rinsed hair, David Bowie and lambswool jumpers. What they didn't know was that Perry Boys abroad were busy fleecing Europe of its luxurious designer novelties; near-figments of the English imagination, but all too real on the sunny streets of Nice and Munich. The post-Punk palette was devoid of colour and style. Perry Boys were about to change all that forever.
For a year or two the world of fashion had been stalled, lost in the aimless horse latitudes of New Wave nothingness. The Disco-riddled music charts were a pale shadow of their former Soul-full self. Bowie and Bryan Ferry were the dual lighthouses that served to guide kids' blinkered coolness into a new harbour. Then, they slowly emerged, from Northern Soul and football roots, to coalesce in a new look that seemed so right; Clarke's Polyveldt, Hush Puppies and Adidas Kick were the featureless tadpoles from which numerous forms sprang. Peter Werth polos, burgundy chunky sweaters and Fred Perries were the shirts. Levis and Lois were the jean. The hairstyle was the wedge. Meanwhile up the road in Liverpool, the local Scallies had developed the same theme but were slightly ahead, both in numbers and attitude. In fact, Scousers were the very first to take that style onto the terraces en masse. When the two tribes met the reaction was hatred and denial. The rest is history.