By James Cheetham
I suppose it’s only natural that kids are learning the digital ropes of film making nowadays with 1 in every three skaters having a handy-cam at their disposition. That said, Scene videos rarely reach center stage due to their simple editing, mediocre skating (Bar the local hero) and a soundtrack reminiscent of all the previous year’s greatest hits. James Cheetham’s Cheese on Tape is the exception to the rule.
Hailing from Brighton, home to the notorious Level Army (this video has footage from every generation) and knife wielding teenage mums, the quality of the skating on this DVD is way up there, and that really surprises me because Brighton is one the last places you want to go for street skating. So, what’s this visual mind melt got that others haven’t? There are lots of skaters featured, but here’s a run down of the strongest parts:
The video kicks off introducing the riders featured, but also takes the unorthodox route of interspersed edited montages featuring everyone. Surprisingly, this works and gets you hyped on what’s about to come with each skater’s individual part.
The first skater up to bat is Duncan Christy – a fine young chap who has been turning heads since many moons ago in the local scene. Duncan likes to get tech, and his recent growth spurt has added -dare I say- a Jensen-esque air to his effortless style. Just watch his opening line, and then watch him pick apart various obstacles in his path. Duncan Christy is a definite name to remember.
Hometown hero, Amir ‘Chubbs’ Williams has come a long way since comping and bugging everyone down at the Level. He is now pro for Karma Skateboards, and rightfully owns the place. Don’t bother trying to snake this kid because it’s a losing battle. Amir skates everything and fast. I especially liked the small snippets of wreckless downhill barging because Brighton is full of hairy descents to test your nerves, but Amir doesn’t break a sweat.
Tom Felix is a storm in a teacup. You know this right away when Tom throws himself a few feet higher than everyone else when he ollies. Whether it’s a huge backside bigspin or a tweaked stalefish grab, this kid has got it down- bolts. Don’t let this quiet teenager fool you because his skating can pack a mean punch.
Top heavy on the style tip, James Kilpatrick cruises around and mixes his flips with his gaps. James’ skating has character, mixed with mischief, so don’t be surprised if the kid with golden locks shuts down your local spot and simply smiles back at you.
Tom Banham is the younger half of two Brothers, the older being Sam, that know the Level like the back of their hand. Every time Tom steps on his board, you know you’re in for a treat. The ridiculous style and catch must run in the family blood.
Finally, the last part goes to Louie Cooper who is definitely going to become a familiar name in the near future. Louie is smooth and nonchalant, but as you watch in amazement, you forget just how hard some of the stuff is that little Louie does. A particular nollie heelflip salad grind at Milton Keynes has already set the ground for fame.
Alright, sorry this review has run so long, but Cheese on Tape is well worth your hard earned cash. Some might look at it as a little skatepark heavy on the footage, but like I mentioned earlier Brighton is shit for street skating. Luckily James Cheetham and Co. have really worked hard to find legitimate street stuff to make this video well rounded spot-wise. The editing is neat and tidy and the different sections are put together smartly and smoothly. Also, don’t forget the bonus footage that shows how some of the lads featured are a threat to anyone’s parks or spots. Very good stuff!