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Albion

March 20th, 2014 by Zac

albion_uk_skate_dvd_reviewTwo weeks ago, I found myself packed into a room full of skateboarders like a sweaty sardine, clutching a can of lager and shouting props at a screen I could only just get a glimpse of due to the barrage heads of various rippers filling the room. The reason for ending up there was the premiere of a new video from the collective lenses of Ry Gray, Kevin Parrott and Morph. The full production took a while to reach fruition but was well worth the wait.

Clocking in at just under 40 minutes and with cameos from a massive cast of UK heads, Albion is a scene video on steroids and a must see if you have any interest in what is happening with regards to shredding in this damp corner of the world.

With no time for such pleasantries as an opening section, some brief super 8 footage highlighting the restless urge to explore which drives skateboarding gives way to some murkage from the ever-rampaging Daryl Dominguez. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you should know what to expect here. Steezed-out street savagery let loose on benches, over road gaps and down hefty stair sets. Only then are we given a brief list of those skaters with a fair amount of footage in the video before we are launched straight back into the shredding with a full section from Denis Lynn. The Belfast skate nomad comes through with a unique trick bag matched with an eye for spots that not many would touch ranging the length of the country, including some OG Bradford and Leeds spots and an always-welcome Needleside cameo. Alley ‘oop FS grind over the Tottenham meat taco is no joke, the heavy business here sets the tone for the rest of the video.

Albion features more than one banging montage. The first of which is kicked off by some flowing street lines from Harry Lintell and includes some Ben Grove hammers, a hefty road gap no comply from Martyn Hill and Chris Oliver at the best bank spot in East London. That spot is now blocked by a bike rack that I never knew I could hate so much. This section is closed by some gnarly business from Gav Coughlan; I suppose straight nollie’s over road gaps work at a purely scientific level but seeing them done still feels like glimpsing a unicorn – mythical shit!

Sometimes skating on the streets will lead to run ins with passers-by, but Albion is the first video I’ve seen to feature a fat man in a pink shirt with a sword – this is about as heavy as it gets when it comes to interaction with the lurkers who cohabit the spaces we put four wheels to. Rugged street shit indeed which leads us nicely into serious street business from Kris Vile, handling anything the great concrete outdoors can throw at him, whether that be a lengthy bench line or a double set. Charlie Birch brings the Lost Art hype next, killing the streets with style alongside some Liverpool/Wirral cameos thrown in for good measure. If you’re handling a variety of handrail tricks at that age, things are looking bright for the future.

Only a few weeks after Nick Remon’s ‘Excursions’ section was released and dropped more than a few jaws, his section in Albion will undoubtedly cause a few more fly-catching facial expressions. With a seemingly endless selection of tricks to choose from it’s no wonder he can bang out a full section during a particularly sogged-out UK winter, with no obstacle seemingly too crusty for throwing down something insane on. Highlights are the kickflip with a BS body varial chucked in, a FS flipped double set as an ender, and a hefty FS 360 over the Sheffield kicker to road gap.

Hey kid, ever seen a nollie hardflip popped over a stair to flatbar set up? After a cameo from a pink balaclava clad witch, Karim Bakhtaoui comes out swinging with some heftily popped techness. With clips from a host of heavy hitters, this section has a ‘crew’ feel to it that won’t fail to make you want to head out the door immediately and drag your homies out for a skate. The theme of the next section is ‘Legends’, with a Gonz miniramp sighting paving the way for the most Tom Penny footage anyone has managed to collect in some time. Mad heads are gonna be hyped on this!

Rune Glifberg’s BS shrubbery ollie in Romford’s halfpipe is probably the high point, as the Essex treasure pit is not known for its forgiving nature. Tom Knox starts the next montage, living up to his US namesake with a fast and raw style of street skating which can’t fail to bring the hype. Archway bank gets a seeing-too throughout this video which is started by Denis and continued here by Sylvain Tognelli and Paul Shier. We will leave you to find out what went down by watching the video, but if you’ve been there you’ll know it’s a nightmare to do anything on.

I’ll try and cover the rest of the montage as briefly as possible because otherwise it could too easily become a trick-by-trick account: Quick footed steez from Nick Jensen, a tech-assault from Mike Arnold and the meat taco at Tottenham getting further attacked by Fernando Bramsmark, Josh Young and Jake Collins are all high points. This section is rounded off nicely by Div and Colin Adam sailing the concrete seas. Actually, ‘nicely’ is a crap way to put it, as in classic Scottish ripper fashion they both look like they’re picking a fight with a bowl and winning. Div chooses Victoria Park as his victim and Colin destroys Saffron Walden. Then, just when you were reeling from the bouts previously witnessed, Manny Lopez takes out the tech ten with a knockout. BS noseblunt the handrail and yer seeing stars pal.

Horsey gets some switch DIY for Rob Shaw’s lens.

albion_ review_dvd_ horsey_photo_by_rob_shaw-skate

Ben Raemers and Horsey have gone from up and coming rippers to living the US dream in recent years, here they return to these shores to show you how and the answer is simple; pure fucking shredding. Horsey’s FS halfcab flip into the rancid cobbled bank in Kennington is savage enough, Raemers adds to the Archway bank games with a wall bash on the fence which I’m pretty sure is impossible, and his last trick is worth getting the video for alone. In between, ATV bombs are getting dropped left, right and centre, and all to a John Cooper Clarke soundtrack too – if that wasn’t enough to get you interested.

After this bout of insanity the last section was always going to take some doing, but Jak Pietryga stepped up to the challenge ably with high speed skating and quick feet taken to every kind of architectural anomaly that ends up becoming a ‘spot’, plus some that clearly haven’t before.

Two songs worth of raw street finishes things off a treat, while a standard credits section is replaced by a far superior idea – the video’s creators taking to the streets and getting some.

Albion is exactly what this kind of video should be, giving me the same hype as I got when I first started skating and saw footage of skaters hitting my local spots. That same urge to go out and explore my surroundings for new things to skate…and you can’t really say better than that.

Out now on DVD in your local skate shop or order it online for about £8. Or, enjoy the full film online right here.

Jono Coote

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