Oi Polloi

The Antiques Clothes Show: Burgundy Blood's Arcus Shoes

Published: Thu Apr 14 2016

For this Antiques Clothes Show, rapper/plasterer/actor/dream-weaver Matt Raikes AKA Burgundy Blood tells us the story of how he discovered the humble Arcus Indy. Take it away Matt…

Star date two zero zero two (approximately?), Lieutenant Commander Rod T Burgundy swaggers through the historic centre of his second hometown in the south of sunny France! Pants perched roughly 2.3 millimetres below the top of the crack of his arse, French minty boys smirk and giggle into their blouses as he passes. The lo’ worn pant had not quite yet become the ubiquitous industry standard silhouette it has now. I was just happy to be there though!

Living back and forth from sunny gay Montpellier to Gotham city Manchester as I was back then, I loved wandering around all the different nooks and crannies the beautiful medieval city had to offer. And what was I looking for? Well, anything to tickle my fancy really — from amazing Greek style kebab gaffs and fantastic North African cuisine to fabulously furnished adult entertainment establishments and fascinating comic book shops. But from a very early age travelling to Europe was mostly all about searching for one thing… garments unavailable back home.

Sportswear had been globalised ages ago so finding those funky little specialist sports shops that sold rare tennis gear was slightly over, but the realms of the fishing and hunting shop or the Alan Partridge jumpers and hat vendor could still bear fruit! A particularly ripe selection could usually be found in the dusty old pensioners shoe shop!

It was in one such senior citizen's retailers that I initially found the Noel pumps that did so well and then, more to the point of this waffling expanse of diction, I discovered the Arcus Indys. To be entirely fair my old mate Matt Wardle had found the Noel's before me, but to my knowledge I had never seen anyone wearing these joints! So I was quite chuffed as I thought they were pretty nice, somewhere between a moccasin and a walking/boat/driving shoe.

I loved the blue ones because they reminded me of the suede Bally shoes Slick Rick used to wear. I bought the brown ones and then went back and got them in blue as well. On returning to whacky old Madchester I popped into the old Tib Street branch of Boy Polloi.

Jonny took immediate interest in my new shoes, we turned around to see Nige had already started to levitate in the corner! He was consulting the great shoe spirit Running Bear (spiritual leader of the Timoteh Tribe) to get his blessing on these moccasins. His eyes rolled back into his head and with a puff of ivory white smoke the shoes magically appeared on the wall of the shop.

I've had mine for over 12 years now and I still wear them regularly. They work great for light outdoor activity but also give a rugged touch to that smasual ensemble. This shoe is sensible yet robust with its laid back, practical, passive-aggressive post-ironic Trans-Pennine expression of individuality. This shoe tells the world you're here.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! God bless the Queen and I'll see you in the charts guyz. 

Stick it up your Arcus.

Watch some of Matt's mental/mint videos here.