Charlie Young is the latest Rat Signal from Slam City Skates. Catch up with his lunch hour sesh here with Paddy Jones and John Tanner.
Paddy Jones has a full Rat Signal section online today filmed by Mark Jackson for Slam City Skates. Grey Magazine have an interview online today with pics by Lex Kembery. Watch and read.
A film by Henry Edwards-Wood
What is there to be said that hasn’t been said already about this milestone of British – or more importantly London skate heritage? City of Rats is the first full length video from Slam City Skates in 25 years of business and the man hired to carry the camera bag and shoot the team of heavy hitters was none other than Henry Edwards-Wood a.k.a. Hold Tight Henry.
The featured skaters picked from the Big Smoke list include Nick Jensen, Snowy, Lucien Clarke, Steph Morgan, Joey Pressey, Jin Shimizu, Casper Brooker, Rory Milanes, Karim Bakhtoui, Olly Todd, Neil Smith, John Tanner, Darius Trabalza, Rob Mathieson, Scott Howes and Danny Brady. If that wasn’t enough, there are all the affiliates and shop staff to include in the mix. There is something good to say about everyone I just mentioned, but it would take the equivalent of the running time (60 minutes) to cover everything, so I’ll stick to the few things that have stuck out in my mind following the numerous viewings I made.
First and foremost: the spots. London is one of the world’s biggest metro poles and it looks like Henry and the boys have searched far and wide to unearth new terrain and unique features of the city. Next is the quality of the filming and editing. Henry has really set the standard pretty high for himself and future productions that look to portray street skating in the city. Blending HD tricks with elements of every day life in such a bustling place really helps solidify the origins and roots of the Slam City squad. The generation game might serve as a clever phrase to describe the next thing I enjoyed about City of Rats. Whether it’s the older generation like Chris Pullman or the young upstarts like Darius Trabala on screen, everyone gets their shine. The wide variety of age and experience also provides the viewer with a wide spectrum of spot selection and styles. A clear example of maturity is the shared Lucien Clarke and Steph Morgan section where these best friends forever paint a picture of their city like a couple of mature artists, or you can also pick up on the good times shared that come from Neil Smith and Jerome Campbell’s joint shop section (Lost Art/Slam) who have both brought some amazing skateboarding to the table as a result of friendship from having shop sponsors there to bring people together.
Finally, the music: Paramount to a film’s effect as it sets the pace and mood for every scene, Henry has weighed the scales correctly to merge old skool London rap music with relaxed folk beats. As a whole, the soundtrack helps pace the video – calming at times whilst hyped at others. An example is Henry choosing not to use stereotypical grime artists as the chorus to Karim’s street assault.
As a skateshop video, City of Rats goes above and beyond anything else in this category. As a standard skate video, City of Rats sits firmly among the best of them too. It took 25 years for Slam to finally commission a testimony of their dedication and support of London skateboarders and the team has done the shop and their city an honour. Commit No Nuisance.
Enjoy an exclusive treat from Henry today and witness Neil Smith and Jerome Campbell’s joint section yourself, aired for the very first time on the web below. Grab your copy of this fine DVD from Slam City today to keep some heritage and raise a glass to another 25 years of service.
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London skateboarders may not know of Graham John Baker by name but there’s a good chance that they would have seen him at every skateboard event that has ever been promoted in London. Graham also knows his skateparks and if it’s dry out there, you know he will be heading out to skate somewhere to jam with the locals and share knowledge of what wheels, trucks and decks people are riding.
Graham has had a long term problem with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction. This has never deterred Graham from getting on his deck and meeting other skaters every week so what a pleasure it was today to find that Will Robson-Scott has filmed him in London at his favourite skate shop Slam City, and traced back some of his first ever memories, skating at St.Albans over 25 years back and being in the crowd of Northampton’s most legendary historic events in the 1980’s.
Watch this video feature today and take in Graham’s life and wise words. If you see him out there on your travels, say hello, as you will not find a nicer skateboarder to chat to out there.
Information regarding redevelopment taking place at Kennington Skatepark in Lambeth this month has come to light this morning. This legendary London spot built back in 1978 is part of London’s prestigious skateboard history. It has seen sessions throughout the 80’s, 90’s and noughties that will never be forgotten. In fact if I think of Stockwell from the very first times I skated here, the likes of American Steve Wiltshire, Ged Wells, Ricky, Crispin, Aaron Bleasdale, Reuben Goodyear, Wurzel and many other names spring to mind as people who ripped this place apart and used every line in there. It also had a terrible reputation in the late 80s for skaters getting their teeth smashed out with baseball bats. We still went there every weekend though before skating up to Stockwell, undeterred.
Before you jump the gun and think that the park is being knocked down and rebuilt though, it doesn’t seem to be the case. A shoe brand looks to be behind fixing the cracks and adding some welcome features this summer, so watch this space to see if and when this gets done. This image below says it will re-open in May but the weather over the last few weeks may be stopping the work. Who knows. This post has been written solely on the basis of viewing this image, so we do not know for sure if this has even come to fruition or how much work will go into it. Time will tell though but if this is happening, well done to all involved.
Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments below and if you have stories of skating this park over the years, share them with us and send them in.
Also, take in this hand drawn Smell of Death flyer (found on MAS) that was made for a jam at Kennington’s banks. These events were arranged by the pipe-smoking US punk, Steve Wilshire back in the 80’s when skateboarding was owned by skateboarders. These events single-handedly inspired Crossfire to launch and roll out events for the London skate scene. Take in the DIY aspect and weep.
Last Sunday’s gathering to watch the City of Rats premiere from Slam City Skates was a huge success. We filmed some reactions on the way out of the Prince Charles cinema to see what people thought of the film, press play for a few reactions from Sidewalk Mag’s editor Ben Powell, Chris Pulman and more.
Click here to see our round up of gallery photos from the night too.
Last night, the Prince Charles Cinema played host to Slam City Skates’ first ever skate video, City Of Rats, celebrating 25 years of service in London’s skate scene. The grins of the 6.30pm sitting were ever present as they left the screening making way for the final showing for Slam staff, various pro’s from all over the country and London skaters keen to see what has been in the making now for a few years.
The 56 minute video put together from the hard work of Henry Edwards-Wood was kicked off by Nick Jensen following a well received dedication to Bingo (RIP), whose huge pop reached many London window sills, ledges and benches to a mellow, 60s tune. Joey Pressey’s part and a cameo by Benny Fairfax dropped before Snowy and Joe Gavin (who has big news coming soon) got into the mix and raised spirits in advance of a mates section, where Jason Caines‘ massive road gap ollie received a huge applause, and tricks from Ben Jobe, The Gonz and many more skaters, old and new, provided the entertainment.
Southbank legend Femi Bukumola raised the roof with some vocal skills introducing Palace Am, Karim Bakhtaoui, whose 5 stair magic ender once again brought more howls before Jin Shimizu rolled the City streets. Robbleyard, Tanner, Howes, Todd and Danny Brady shared footage to Radiohead’s Black Swan tune followed by the Vagrants section that has some great skating from Madars Apse and the euro contingent before two of Blueprint’s finest, Neil Smith and Jerome Campbell both stepped up with a fantastic joint part that brought cheers from a stoked crowd.
The Slam shop crew have a section in this alongside a huge pick of friends and family who all have tricks filmed in various spots around London, Bromley and beyond. This makes the shop video feel as real as it can get as it includes extended family which rightly part of the successful blueprint of 25 years of Slam being in business who rightly boast at the intro of this film are the oldest skateshop in Europe. So, it’s not just a collection of bangers from the likes of Chewy Cannon, Lucien Clarke and Steph Morgan who have a section dedicated to them towards the end, the film has tricks from everyone which again, proves popular tonight from the full house that are witnessing Henry’s hard graft.
Casper Brooker‘s section is packed with goodness. Really impressive stuff. Rory Milanes then closes the show with a fantastic section that deserved its placing within this huge montage of (mostly) UK skateboarders and gives you an insight into what’s to come from Palace in the future and where Hold Tight Henry leaves us hanging before his next chapter wherever that will be. He was nothing but relieved on the night after a gruelling fight to get this one finished and hats off to him for the dedication.
As far as shop videos go, City of Rats will take some beating, but as we all know, your local skater owned shops are the ones who supply the goodness for everyone and they will have their turn to try and match this once the dedication is recorded onto a hard drive. This week though, the honours have gone to Slam and now it’s up to the rest of the UK’s independent scene to step up to this mark. Roll on Great Britain.
Here’s a few shots from the night (thanks to Mark Brewster), pre order your copy of the DVD here.
The City of Rats London premiere this Sunday at the Prince Charles Cinema is almost with us. Watch Slam’s latest teaser featuring a couple of lines that didn’t make the final cut from Steph Morgan and Lucien Clarke that was relased last night. We will announce the winner of our ticket comp on Thursday so if you have not entered yet, now is the time.
Palace rider Karim Bakhtaoui gets the teaser treatment today from Slam’s incoming City of Rats film. Both London premiere’s at the Prince Charles Cinema have now sold out. If you missed out on tickets then enter this comp to win a pair, plus a limited edition collab deck and wheels.
There are just a few £4 tickets left for the 6pm premiere in store, but we have one pair here for a lucky winner who will also take home a limited edition collab Slam/Real deck and set of Slam/Spitfire Wheels celebrating 25 Years of the skate shop.
Answer the question below and like the Crossfire Facebook page to enter this comp as we will contact the winner from your page there if your email addresses match up. You can also find Slam City Skates on Facebook and at www.slamcity.com. Go say hello and we will see you there.