The ongoing and very sad battle that Brighton’s skateboarders are involved in is reaching boiling point as the council there have stuck a cog in their plans of redevelopment by insisting they move into a different area within the park. This has received much opposition from locals as a green area that has been chosen for the new build will obviously be bulldozed and concreted over. The main problems are highlighted here in this recent article by local paper The Argus
View the recent information below and do your bit to secure the future of Brighton’s skate scene and make sure that the locals there get a skatepark at least the same size as the existing area. This city deserves a World class skatepark and nothing less.
This gig starts early, really early. We arrived just before 8pm, and opening (local) band Gnarwolves had already played. Yeah, that early! And then maybe 20 minutes later Trash Talk takes to the stage. My mate Tony confirms we last saw them in Brighton in 2008 (supporting Paint it Black) – jeez, time flies. One thing’s for sure, Trash Talk have been going hard at it in the meantime, with relentless touring and recording that has gained them a strong young fan base, which is evident tonight. From the opening brutish chords, band and front stage crowd go off. Ok, I’ll be honest; much of Trash Talk’s short, blunt, metallic hardcore doesn’t have that killer impact on me that it promises to, but they are still a captivating live act, amped on anger and loaded with surly attitude.
I managed to catch OFF! on their initial blaze thru the UK last summer, but the gig I went to in Portsmouth was in a huge room, far too big for the show, with a small crowd, stage barriers, lacking atmosphere – a situation not conducive to a good night you’d think. Wrong! OFF! were ace, and we drove home stoked on having witnessed a very great band. So, in the much tighter and more populated confines of The Haunt, they are gonna be really great, right? Right! If, like me, you’ve had the OFF! 7”s and recent album on steady rotation, then you pretty much know you are in for a salvo of fast, tight, belligerent hardcore heavily inspired by the music singer Keith Morris originally cut his chops on, way back in the midst of time, but is delivered in 2012 sounding fresh and totally revitalised. And that’s down to the 3 fellow band members he’s aligned with, all accomplished musicians in their own right, and totally on it in keeping up the intensity.
4 songs bursts are interjected by Keith’s thoughts and anecdotes, and it’s good to know he’s still questioning and refusing to accept what his Government tells him. In other words; Punk Rock. Memories of his long deceased buddy Jeffrey Lee Pierce still cast a shadow on Keith, who questioned whether The Gun Club ever played in Brighton. I can confirm they did, late ’82, or early ’83 at The New Regent in West Street, which is now just another shitty bar, but back then was a hot bed of activity. Ack… the stories I could tell. Meanwhile, back at The Haunt, and approx 50 minutes after they started, OFF! departs to rapturous applause from the crowd… and we gather outside in the fading light, and acknowledge we have just seen a very great band. Intense, in your face and on the road with a vengeance, go see them!
The South Coast of England is spawning some great skateboarders right now but with its rich skate history etched into the books it’s hardly a surprise. The scene down in Brighton has never been tighter, the urethane is getting worn faster than ever and this vibrant coastal town keeps throwing up more talent than ever before.
One of Brighton’s lurkers who has always graced our Crossfire events is Isaac Miller. He sneaked a perfect switch flip into the unsponsored comp at last year’s Xmas Jam and took the dough until we released he repped for Drawing Boards, one of the UK’s most creative skater owned companies out there. This month we decided to visit Brighton to catch up with him and find out what makes him tick. Isaac Miller is this month’s Fresh Blood.
Thanks to AD, Ranny, Smay, Rich West and Ginge for their help to put this together plus the Level Army crew who are still fighting for as decent skate park down there. We’ve got your backs 100% here.
How is life treating you Isaac?
Life is good, as always! I’m just at college studying carpentry right now. I have been skating loads and filming for the forthcoming Drawing Boards video (Draw the Line) and Ed Hubert’s ‘Like’ video.
Before we get into a few questions, we see you have been at the Velodrome for a few tricks. Want to shine light on this little Olympic edit?
Well, we were on tour around the South Coast and Ed took us to the Velodrome cycle track so we just walked in! 10 tricks went down!
So, with Brighton being your home town, would you say you are you addicted to skating at the Level?
The Level is like a magnet so it’s hard to stay any distance too far from it! I have leaped a few years at the Level. I like skating there because it’s easier to skate without hassle and abuse from the general public. I started skating there when I was 12 and have been there and round a-bouts ever since. On a bad week I get there 5 out of 7 days. Haha!
What are your thoughts on the new plans for the park?
They keep promising a skate park with plans, meetings etc and have been for the past decade or so but nothing has happened as of yet. I’d love to see the new Level finished by the end of the year though like everyone else.
Who’s your favorite Level local of all time?
There are a lot of Levelers! Over the time I’ve spent down there everyone one and everything I have seen has been a real inspiration. So many tricks have been conquered at the Level is hard to underline any skater in particular.
Tell us 3 good things about Brighton.
La Vida (sandwich bar close to the Level), Skateboarding and that there’s loads of stuff to do, day and night.
Tell us 3 bad things about Brighton.
Level, Level and Level. Haha!
You were hooked up pretty young by Pasty and Pig City, is that correct?
Pig City was one of the first Brighton companies set up by Justin Ashby and a dude called Simon. It was really good going places with Pasty and getting to know as well as being inspired by the likes of Andy Scott, Josh Parr and Pete Dossett.
Who are your influences you in skating?
I like to taste the rainbow. Level Army! Sunshine, Transworld, Enjoi and Drawing Boards of course.
Do you watch skate videos?
Yeah, I’m into Transworld videos, Flip ‘Sorry’, Enjoi vids, Tilt Mode Army, 411 and stuff like that.
Switch gap ollie on a beach where Mods and Rockers once clashed. Photo: Rich West
What’s the best trick you’ve seen to date?
I saw Ben Raemers pull a boneless to noseblunt in the massive bowl at Penzance skate park in Cornwall once. That was pretty mental. Liam Teague eating concrete and Matt (Potter) Hill’s stepping up a ten flight first go. Haha! Ummm, Sam Beckett flying high on a vert ramp as well. Oh, and Black Thong (Jak Tonge) skating in odd shoes with a late night muffin!
What are your thoughts on Benihanas?
Don’t like ’em.
Then why do them?!
Cause they feel good at the time!
Aha, I’m sure Potter can relate to that feeling. So, you’ve been on a fair few trips with Drawing Boards including Barca, what was your favourite spot on that trip and spots in general?
The park in Clot, Besos, but no faves, just too many good spots. I like going on missions in Brighton to the schools and local spots on nice sunny days. Also the Beach front (West Pier) kickers and blocks.
A trip to the infamous Bloblands produces a large ollie fakie. Photo by Ranny
How’s your part coming along for the Drawing Boards DVD?
I’ve been filming for way over a year now, so should be about soon. There will be some surprises in there for sure so keep your clogs intact for this one! AD has been a real help. It’s so good not having to worry about the next board.
And the ‘Like’ video part?
The fact that it’s another Ed Hubert production means it will be rad. Ed’s a joker, Bill’s a piper, James is a juggler. It should be sick.
Who do you skate with down there?
Bare brehs, The Level Army, Drawing Boards and Brighton heads.
What do you do outside of skating?
Get paralytic, chill, run, walk, cycle, fish with my dad and go from A to B socialising. Mainly socialism and pushin’ woodism.
What direction do you see skateboarding going in?
Mate I don’t really know – left, right, anywhere and beyond.
Shouts out to Mum, Dad and bro for all the support and all my mates from the Level. Fin is on (cloudnine), George, Connor, Dyllan, Cob, Amir, Pasty, Stevie, The Level Army. AD and all the Drawing Boards team. Black Thong you know who you are. No equal.
Enjoy this backside flip. Photo: Ranny
AD will leave you with his personal lowdown on Isaac:
“Isaac consumes more cheese and fish than any man I have ever met. Perhaps this is the secret to his boundless energy. Isaac is pretty much on fire right now. Filming 2 video parts as well as steadily destroying parks and street all over the shop. Although he is still young, in the big scheme of things he’s put some serious time into his skating. So when you see him floating round the Level and ask yourself “how the hell did he do that?!” The answer is simple, he put his mind to it. However mad he is off a skateboard, the second he steps on it he becomes fully focused (even at midnight after a trip to the boozer). Stoked to have Isaac repping Drawing Boards. So much more to come…”
Watch Isaac’s Royal Warm Up at Meanwhile 2 filmed by Ginge.
Following the awful news of Adam Yauch aka MCA from the Beastie Boys passing this month, MSK / Heavy Artillery Crew‘s Aroe from Brighton has recreated the 1986 “Licensed to Ill” album cover as a fitting Rest In Peace tribute. The piece is 12ft high, 64ft long and ‘kin amazing. Take it in.
Speaking to people who knew him well this week within the music industry, Yauch was known as the Beastie Boy who would always ask if you were OK, would always enquire if you needed anything and would always include you in his plans. We almost convinced the band to play a secret show at Bay 66 Skatepark around the launch of the “To The 5 Boroughs” album but they chose to play the ICA instead. With all the wishes in the world behind our proposals it didn’t happen but it was a pleasure to have just appreciated what this band have delivered us over the years and that’s enough for me.
MCA will be sorely missed by us all here at Crossfire. Our love goes out to all family and friends. RIP.
Listen to this tribute mixtape by Eclectic Method.
The Brighton & Hove Skatepark Association made up from the riders and supporters of the Brighton & Hove skatepark community have published a new skatepark design for The Level to discuss this week.
This skatepark is one of the most legendary in the country and has played host to the development of some of the UK’s most influential skateboarders and industry tastemakers. Tell us what you think of these plans in the comments below.
As yet little-known Brighton-based Rock outfit Eager Teeth are no doubt going to be the band name on the tip of everyone’s tongue in a matter of months. Playing to a sparse crowd at the Purple Turtle in support of Mojo Fury, the band don’t let this dampen their spirits, reeling off raw big guitar hooks against intricate picked-out patterns.
With a solid propulsion of drums and bass, what really stands out is the ridiculously tight vocal harmonies between frontman Will Blood and guitarist/vocalist Gary Yay. Blood has heaps of potential as a frontman though he needs to forge more of a connection with his audience (this will undoubtedly be easier when there is more of an audience to connect with). For now, he’s pinning himself to a stationary mic-stand. But hey, that’s ok as the band’s rip-roaring punk rock tinged with post-hardcore and something a bit more complex shines through.
Eager Teeth do tend to sound a bit Glassjaw-esque tonight. It’s that intense melody-driven vocal which also packs a somewhat violent punch that is reminiscent of Palumbo’s vocal stylings. There are also shades of Rival Schools in what ET do, as well as a bit more of a punk rock backbone which adds something more interesting to proceedings. These guys haven’t been playing together all that long but you can tell they’re ones to watch already. With some honing of their craft through relentless touring, ET will become a force to contend with and you can be sure that those who are lucky enough to catch them live in these early days are going to take note and remember their name.
Just watch this and see if you don’t get at least a teensy bit excited about this new British talent. We’re a lot excited.
12th-14th May 2011
Words and Photo: Alex Penge
Billed as ‘Europe’s leading festival for new music’ The Great Escape aims to recapture the intimacy factor of the Great British festival. This year’s headline coups include indie heavyweight Sufjan Stevens, instrumental hip hop innovator DJ Shadow and tropical punksters Friendly Fires.
The variety of artists on offer is certainly the USP of the Brighton-based event as legendary punk poet John Cooper Clarke opens proceedings. Failing to disappoint, the Factory Records associate delivers his wit filled recollections, including crowd favourite ‘Evidently Chickentown’.
Maintaining the festival’s tagline for new music, Echo Lake provide an onslaught of guitar combined with lead singer Linda’s impulsive harmonies. ‘One to watch’ billing for spoken word artist Ghostpoet is just deserves. ‘Us Against Whatever Ever’ and ‘Cash Carry Me Home’ preach through a vulnerable and sozzled British urban persona that is refreshing and poignant.
Next up are Warpaint and their tribal homage to The Slits is welcomed by the strong Corn Exchange crowd. The crowd is also treated with new single ‘Jupilee Real’ in what looks like a busy year for the band since the release of their acclaimed debut album The Fool last year.
The Radio Dept. supply the shoegazed chimes of the weekend with sheer Chapterhouse-like concentration of their pedal set up throughout. A misty-eyed set from The Antlers is without doubt the best performance of the weekend. Peter Silberman and co’s dream pop is able to spark spiritual imagery. Surely the three-piece are destined for big things in 2011, just like the year their Brooklyn compatriots The National had in 2010.
Nostalgia comes from the globally represented Yuck. Fresh from a tour around the U.S. the youthful band recapture late 80s indie rock of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth combined with the distorted blares of My Bloody Valentine. The roaring chorus of ‘Get Away’ and the resounding ‘Hoiling Out’ are the highlights of a set filled with slacker pop melody.
Rough Trade’s Frankie & the Heartstrings close the weekend. The Sunderland group bring their own brand of anthemic C86 pop that Josef K would be proud of. Energetically climbing on the Hector House speaker system, lead singer Frankie Francis introduces the next song of the evening ‘Ungrateful’ to the intimate crowd. Blissful and delicate, the Orange Juice roots can be seen through ‘That Postcard’. A new song ‘Berlin Calls’ concludes the set and is almost 2011’s answer to ‘Kennedy’ by 80s indie pop legends The Wedding Present.
The Great Escape is a great alternative to the British festival circuit and certainly one that can no doubt claim to be the cleanest. With over 300+ bands at your disposal playing across 30 venues, the festival is sure to cater for music enthusiasts interested in seeing up-and-coming indie artists. Just be warned, expect to trek!