Foo Fighters live at the House of Vans London

The Holy Shits aka Foo Fighters
Live at the House Of Vans, London
September 11th

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I love Dave Grohl. Mission Impossible. Scream. DC Hardcore. Dain Bramage. Nirvana. Probot. Sound City. I USED to love the Foo Fighters. When that first album came out, we were so desperate for at least some kind of continuation after the brutal, shocking end of Nirvana and Grohl made us smile again, with Pat Smear grinning beside him like a Cheshire cat and a batch of superb, high-energy melodic rock songs to win us over. That first Reading Festival set in 1995, the chaos in the tent, those great early singles…then Grohl steadily slipped into a far safer mainstream stadium/radio rock path and the excitement waned. You can’t blame him, he’s an incredibly talented melodic rock song writer but for those of us raised on 80s punk and discordant 90s noise, it was a path that just didn’t excite.

So I stopped paying attention. At least, I thought I did. If I did then how the hell do I know pretty much every song of the entire two-hour plus set they play tonight? The Foo Fighters are in town, ahead of a forthcoming release of their new album, to fire up their cylinders and get back into live touring mode with a batch of ‘intimate’ shows (playing under the name The Holy Shits!) and tonight, under the tunnels of Waterloo, they power through a set packed full of hits and you realise that yes, you know every song because they’re great.

You’d have to be a pretty joyless fucker not to enjoy this. Sure, I have no real desire to watch the Foo Fighters play in a stadium, but the chance to see them live in a venue this size couldn’t be passed up. And they don’t disappoint. For a start, the sound is incredible, an amazing achievement considering the booming acoustics of the brick tunnels, and the songs come so thick and fast, high-energy, Pat Smear still cool as fuck (he was in in THE GERMS FOR FUCKS SAKE!), Taylor Hawkins blazing on the drums (how anyone can have the nerve to play drums behind Dave Grohl, I have no idea but this guy pulls it off) and they play ‘This Is The Call’ and ‘For All The Cows’ from that first album and I fall in love with it all over again. They play all of the hits. You know them, I don’t need to list them. This is a crowd pleasing set. Nice guy Dave wants to please.

I leave smiling and sweaty. I think I just fell in love with the Foo Fighters all over again, just for the night. A one night stand.

Word: James Sherry
Ph: Nathan Gallagher

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House of Vans London launch night

Ph: Churchill takes a first bite at his newly designed bowl by Gorm

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It’s taken over a year of hard work to get the new House of Vans venue to become a reality in London’s Waterloo district and it opened with a bang! With various legendary Vans riders in attendence from Wainwright, Alva, Hosoi, Cardiel, Rowley, Caples, AVE and a killer music bill in place, the two bars packed with people served up cocktails and beers fueling an excellent party for 850 invited guests.

Savages, Toddla T and Roots Manuva warmed up one of the loudest Dinosaur Jr shows ever witnessed that was followed by a party packed set from Public Enemy who got the place absolutely rocking! Deafened ears are still being discussed as we write this.

The huge 30,000sqft space consisting of five tunnels that host a gallery area, cafe, bars, office space for upcoming designers and artists, music venue, concrete bowl, mini ramp and street area is a stunning layout and now finally open for everyone to get creative in.

This month there’s also a DIY culture exhibition in the gallery titled ‘Scissors & Glue’, curated by our good friend Gorm who shared these photos below from the night. He is joined by Ben Drury, Trevor Jackson and Louise Grey covering a brief history of the good ol’ Zine and the launch of the very first Vans ‘Zine guest edited by Jeremy Leslie. Go scout it out and make one yourself as that’s how this place started. You can also enjoy French and Gorm’s zine on HOV here.

Well done to all involved to make this happen. Central London has not had an indoor skatepark since the days of Ewer Street in London Bridge back in the early 90s. The fact that this has been put together by a brand with the longest support in skateboarding history just makes it even better.

Believe the hype and most importantly, go online to book your free skate sessions now.

Photos by Gorm

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Blast Skates shred Stockwell and Bl’ast

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The South London reprobates also known as the Blast Skateboards crew literally had a blast with Bl’ast before Bl’ast blasted through a set of raging hardcore at the Underworld last week.

With busted noses from the pit melee aside, a Stockwell session proceeded the punk and here’s evidence. Not a yeti in sight.

Haroshi: Pain exhibition, StolenSpace, London

Photos: © Zac Crossfire. Contact us for permission to use them elsewhere.

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As skateboarders we all know that we have to pay to play. From an early age of pushing down the street, hopping off curbs and learning how to ollie, Pain is something that we universally understand as an end result of wrong doing. Japanese artist Haroshi has shipped his own pain to London this week, showcasing his personal affliction and questioning what pain is within a stunning selection of new exhibition pieces featured exclusively at the StolenSpace gallery in East London.

Haroshi’s trademark art recycles skateboard decks in intricate form. Each sculpture is made from tiny mosaic pieces of deck ply that are cut with a Japanese carving knife, glued together and heavily polished to form exquisite end products. Some take a few weeks to complete, others take up to 4 months depending on the various concaves needed to perfect each structure, but once they are prepped, the artist inserts a piece of metal inside each object to give them a distinct sense of life acting as a soul, only visible via x-rays.

His self-taught ways of cutting old decks into incredible art pieces have handed him worldwide recognition over the last decade. His incredible workmanship has attracted collectors worldwide who exchange thousands of dollars to own his work and by the time we had arrived to this show on Saturday, only one remaining sculpture awaited a lucky new owner.

From the smaller broken finger pieces to the monstrous A Vulture Waits For The Dead montage at the head of the gallery, seeing ‘Pain’ in the flesh is simply mind blowing and highly recommended. This gallery feature is for the many skaters around the UK that are unable to travel to London to see this exhibition for themselves. If you are nearby, witness it for yourself before the show ends on the 3rd November at StolenSpace gallery on 17 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD.

Get down there and take this in, you will not regret it.

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Flip Skateboards UK Demo, London

The last time Flip came to town back in 2008, some may remember that online cynics stated that their team of ‘little kids’ were never going to compete with the big boys. Here we are five years later and guess who is dominating every contest worldwide and has taken X-Games, Tampa Am and even the cherished prize of all that is Skater of the Year amongst others? Never, ever underestimate Flip Skateboards. They are Britain’s flagship skate co – the original, the most forward thinking, and the very best.

flipdemolondon2013_crossfireThis demo was announced only 2 weeks before they landed at Heathrow. David Gonzalez and Curren Caples could not be present due to family unforeseen commitments and they are both in our thoughts today as family alays comes first. As Flip take this family aspect of life so seriously, they pulled out every stop to make this demo as good as it could be for you without two of their finest team riders. With Ben Nordberg dislocating his elbow in the week proceeding the demo too (get well soon mate), demo monster Greyson Fletcher flew into London with very little notice as cover. He had just spent time in Europe smashing everything he skated to pieces, including taking the prestigious first place spot at the Prado Bowl in Marseille last week, and had flown back to California. All options were looked into to make ammends for these changes in the week leading up to this demo, so hats off to all involved for making a mammoth effort to appease the visitors who attended this one. I cannot express how much effort went into this.

As Alec Majerus was clearing customs at 4.30pm, a crowd was forming at BaySixty6. It’s the hottest day of the year by far with the temperature hitting 29/30′. BBQ smoke filled the skies all over the city, skate sessions turned into lazy drinking sessions and those who turned up to welcome this crew should be highly commended.

The legendary Arto Saari was in the mix and skating on British soil for the first time in years, alongside the masterful Louie Lopez whose trick ratio is filling the bag these days. His Minnesotan friend Majerus showed why he took Tampa with ease last year, and Fletcher, well, you have to see this bloke to believe. He flies like an eagle with absolutely no fear of anything in front of him. Shouts to upcoming UK ripper Charlie Birch too who was invited to join this crew today and once again impressed all.

Overall it was a roaster and these beautiful photos from Maksim Kalanep tell the story of Flip’s visit alongside Ryan Gray’s swift footage from Sidewalk. Many thanks to Ian and all at Flip, all of the Bay66 staff, Ben Powell for mic action, and all who spread the word for us in short notice on this exclusive London event.

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Flip Skateboards UK Demo 2013

We are proud to announce that Crossfire will host an exclusive UK demo for the Flip Skateboards team at Bay Sixty 6 skate park in London on the evening of Saturday 6th July in association with Mob Grip, Sidewalk Magazine and Pixels.

The demo will start at 5.30pm and run until 9pm with Arto Saari, Louie Lopez, Curren Caples, Ben Nordberg and Alec Majerus in attendance. Join the Facebook event page here.

As this is the only UK demo from the Flip team, plan well in advance and arrange your travel and accommodation now if necessary. The address is 66-67 Acklam Rd, London, W10 5YU

We will update you on additional information on this page in the build up to the event. Spread the good word by liking this page and get hyped on Flip coming home!

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Fist City / Cousins – Shacklewell Arms

Fist City / Cousins
Shacklewell Arms
16.05.2013

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Canadian bands have always delivered great underground punk music, from the recent slamming sounds of Fucked Up through to the old guard of SNFU and DOA, they just seem have a knack of digging out some classic stuff and bringing something beautiful to the scene.

Last night, Alberta rippers Fist City rolled into town for their debut London show over East and delivered an absolute treat to the lucky few who witnessed their balls-out, garage fueled surf attack. From the opening track ‘Endless Bummer‘ to their epic version of Devo’s ‘Uncontrollable Urge’, (video below) the quartet packed massive amounts energetic punk into their 30 minute set and blew the roof off.

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Fronted by Keir Griffiths on guitar and vocals, Fist City’s overall sound is trashy, powerful and underlined with a surf twang that invites a feel good factor on par with the best of them. We are talking the cheekiness of the Black Lips and Fidlar, riffs that would rival Rites of Spring, all delivered with a confident presence that brings their live work directly into your face.

This is not a band that plays a show and doesn’t get involved. These guys shake and move to the banging sound of Ryan Grieve’s pounding drums. Griffiths threw his guitar onto the stage and then threw himself into the audience, pulsating and gyrating like a woman on fire in a sandpit. His mic was hurled into the open jaws of the lucky few watching, whilst bassist Lindsay Munro and guitarist Evan Van Reekum kept the rolling pace flowing from the stage. Born a girl and now a man following gender reassignment, Keir stomped the shit out of every inch of space between those surrounding walls and left the onlookers in awe.

This band are special and they don’t come around that often, so look out for them on your travels and pick up their album ‘It’s 1983, Grow Up‘ whilst there’s still vinyl available.

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Headliners Cousins followed this carnage well and put on a good show. They hail from Halifax made up of guitarist/singer Aaron Mangle and drummer Leigh Dotey. The duo play rock and roll at each other with thunderous riffage. Their stripped down presence hails a sound as loud and as finely perfected to any four piece. Dotey’s rolling drum assault does a grand job of keeping Mangle’s deep garage swagger fulfilled and made this evening one of the most enjoyable this year.

Both bands are playing at the Great Escape Festival in Brighton this weekend alongside a bunch of other fine Canadian acts down there. If you find yourself on the beach, do yourself a favour and seek these two out.

Zac

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Bobby Conn announces UK tour dates

Those of you familiar with the beautiful world of Bobby Conn will be stoked to know that he will be touring three dates in the UK in June.

The Chicago legend famous for his quirky musical skills and legendary album Rise Up! is heading our way to play tracks from his latest album Macaroni that was released last year and out now on Fire Records. As usual he will be on the road with his wife and musical partner Monica Boubou regular band The Burglars and playing Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach, Liverpool’s Krunk Fiesta and London’s Lexington venue. Have a free download below.

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Xerox and Destroy

When introduced to the concept of the Photocopy Club you cannot really dismiss it due to its simple but effective nature.

What is it then? Essentially it’s all about bringing people together to contribute their photos, whatever the subject, and sharing the tales. Once these submissions are photocopied and stuck to the gallery walls, the doors open, free beer is delivered to fuel the chit chat and the photos are set for sale to help cover the costs of the gallery hire for one evening only. The walls are then stripped by drunk people wanting to wake up with a memory of their favourite shot of the night. It’s a perfect idea.

The beautiful part of all of this is that Xerox and Destroy was open to everybody, so you get to see many different photos that you would never have seen before. These are showcased alongside various stills from skate photographers whose work you may well be familiar with, such as David Hopkins, Ben Larthe, Richie Hopson, Rich West, Jonnie Craig, Sam Hiscox, Jenna Selby and many more, all mixed up together, and all telling their own story. It’s an historic journey from start to finish, so long as you are quick enough to see them all before they are snapped up.

Last night’s gathering at the Doomed Gallery in Dalston was a huge success. Photographs filled the walls, Atticus provided the beer, the gallery was packed with people all night and the rest is now history.

Thanks to Matt Martin and Marc Vallée for making the effort to put this together.

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