Another Interview with Addy Snowdon

Making a riding video takes patience. Making a riding video, sending it to the duplicators, then storing the resulting DVDs in a box under your bed for over a year without anyone else laying eyes on it takes a lot of patience.

Luckily, Addy Snowdon isn’t one to rush things—and whilst last-year’s lockdown malarkey could have easily sent him in search of his Youtube password to hastily upload the fruits of his labour to the information superhighway, he chose to wait things out until he could show it the old fashioned way—in a packed room, with good company and a selection of cold beverages bought from the local Tesco.

With Cast Iron Shore finally available for all to see, here’s an interview with Addy about the making of this fine video. Questions by Sam, photos by Clarky and Sam.

Continue reading

An Interview with Joey Piazza

This is an interview with Joey Piazza about riding in New York, teaching kids at school, complex grind configurations, having the last section in his own video, that guy who had that horrific crash riding down an escalator, flatland, Union Square, goofy-footed grinding, not being indoors, the Caribbean and the new AM:PM video. It originally appeared in Red Steps Issue 5, but seeing as his new DVD is finally done, now seemed like a good time to upload it into the binary world. Photos by Seth, Wozzy and Russ Bengston.

Continue reading

Monthly Web Scour #11

A certain Chesterfield table-topper was recently heard commenting that’s it’s been a while since we did one of these articles… so here it is. Decent stuff on the net has been very thin on the ground lately, but there has been a few slabs of gold hidden amongst the digital dust and debris.

For starters, these two videos from Jake Frost are more definitely worth a watch—featuring clips from the 90East contingent, as well as plenty of larking about, tomfoolery and shenanigans. I wouldn’t want to be an old TV in New England…

Talking about Instagram and its effect on riding is a tired subject by now, but the ability to serve up a full video straight in front of people’s eyes as they ride the bus back from work is a startling development.

Whilst we’re on the subject of everyone’s favourite time-sapping app, Bob Scerbo has been uploading loads of amazing old footage into the matrix—painstakingly piecing together disparate clips of people like Gonz (the bike one™) and elusive street pioneer Wilbur Barrick, as well as sections from FBM’s The Bar is Closed.

Colombia looks pretty good.

Here’s the Ralph Sinisi/Mike Tag part from an old Ride video.

Meanwhile in Japan, this guy is grinding some very large ledges.

This Hideout video from a few months back is worth a watch.

And finally, here’s a few minutes of prime Yorkshire cruising courtesy of Messrs Fathead and Jambul. Nice to see Jim C’s cruiser getting taken for a spin.

Much more on the way soon. Red Steps 5 is done. Addy’s new video might hopefully be seen this year. Still no word on Sandy’s video though…

Hit the North (Part 3)

The third part of Jim Newrick’s Hit the North saga is here. Just over 12 minutes of North East street riding from Cookie, Count, Clarky, Wozzy, Jim, Jambul and more, put together with a level of attention to detail seldom-seen in the often formulaic world of bike videos. The riding is fast, the music is hypnotic, and no ridable surface is left unscathed—from the world’s smallest pole jam to some colossal concrete sea-walls. Describing a riding video as ‘a masterpiece’ might sound a bit gratuitous, but the term is certainly warranted here. The Street Shark has returned.

Read an old interview with Jim here.

Vacilando

Bob Scerbo has uploaded his latest masterpiece onto the world wide web. Most people who lurk on this site will probably already have a copy of this sat on their shelf, but for those who don’t… drag yourself out of the Instagram worm-hole for a while, pour yourself a refreshing beverage and press the play button post haste.

Bogus awards like ‘Video of the Year’ are obviously pretty naff and mean next-to-nothing in the real world, but this mixed-media meander around the lesser-spotted corners of the United States was perhaps one of the most enjoyable videos to come out last year… and whilst it’s maybe too early to say, it’ll probably stand up to the test of time more than most.

Get a copy of the video here.

Read an interview with Bob about Vacilando here.

Videodrome: Phil Bossmeyer

At a time when complex algorithms feed us clip-after-clip of zappy kids in zany attire zipping around damp prefab skateparks, it’s important to remember that out there in the real world, people dressed in regular clothing are making full-length videos that you wouldn’t be embarrassed about being caught watching.

The City Wide Awake, a recent release from Louisville’s Phil Bossmeyer, is one such video. Documenting a few years of zig-zagging across the USA, it’s a most relaxing watch—and the perfect visual sorbet to cleanse the palate after a few minutes of shameful Instagram lurking.

Here’s some video parts that mean something to Phil. Wall carve photo by Chris Zidek.

Continue reading

Monthly Web Scour #10

By now it’s pretty obvious that these articles aren’t exactly ‘monthly’, but luckily everything here stands up to the test of time fairly well. Here’s a few decent bits which have cropped up over the last three months…

Cast Iron Shore is the new video from mild-mannered peg maniac Addy Snowdon. Think plans are afoot for some sort of premiere (hopefully within the next ten years), but until then, here’s a short trailer featuring a particularly potent icepick from Roper and a rare sighting of Daddy Cool himself, Matt Glover.

Here’s a few minutes of prime lock-down cruising from the main-man Gary Hunt. Probably a bit biased, but it’s funny how this solo video pieced together on a mobile phone has more editing ingenuity than most lavish full-length productions.

On the subject of phone videos… this ‘Calles Pesadas’ video from reptile-expert Zac Costa is a real treat, and features everything from dodgy looking snakes to high-speed bike collisions. Those concrete parks in South America look unreal.

Here’s a quick interview with Jared Souney about his new book.

And here’s some late night Japanese street riding courtesy of Masa Yanaka. Just be prepared to hit the mute button unless you’re a fan of home counties rap-attacks.

Must have missed the first one, but Words of Encouragement Vol. 2 is 15 minutes of Midlands street riding from people like Sam Marsden, Gaz Docker and Mitch Atkin.

If anyone wants a raw slice of 1990s Manchester on four wheels, this Promotional 97 is most definitely worth a watch. Plenty of long town hall lines in the golden age of trousers. If you enjoy this and partake in the Instagram world, you might want to follow Manchestalgia for more old gems.

Sad way to end this, but thoughts go out to friends and family of French street pioneer Thomas Caillard. This video from 1999 is one of the all-time greats. There’s a pretty good interview with Thomas in this issue of The Albion too. RIP.

Videodrome: Dan Cox

Although the freecoaster has firmly fakied it’s way into the mainstream (or the closest thing to a ‘mainstream’ that exists in a niche activity like riding), few modern riders make the act of rolling backwards with an expensive hub look quite as smooth as Durham’s Dan Cox did back in the late 2000s.

Combining liquid fakie prowess with the occasional curve-ball move (like the seldom-seen 360 bomb-drop), it might be said that Dan created some of the most memorable video parts of the so-called ‘New Era era’.

But what video parts inspired him? Wonder no more…

“Lockdown has definitely brought up some nostalgic video viewing. We actually had a recent online viewing/shit talking session based around RF4 a couple of weeks ago, so this is by no means a top five, more of a wander down memory lane. Anyway, hopefully a couple of under-appreciated gems in here, and some that were always amazing and everyone knew it.”

Photo by Joe Cox.

RF8 – 4 Seasons Skatepark Session – 42.25 minutes in (couldn’t embed this one for some reason so click here if you want to see it.)

Maybe a bit of a random one to start with, but this feels like an archetypal Props BMX section here and I love it. Props rock soundtrack, laughing at Koji Kraft doing a tailwhip to fully extended bowl-legged x-up, a genuine crowd of rider reactions to people hucking tricks, Dave Friemuth signature roll outs, it’s got it all. 

I think this also represents a time where we would fully over-analyse videos, and have lengthy discussion about tiny details. Why did Jay Miron land that 360 superman seat grab underhanded? Why did Joe Tiseo think he couldn’t do a feeble hardway? Just re-watching it again there I think the icing on the cake has got to be the perfectly time-matched description George D gives as Brian Vowell busts out the ‘tailwhip air, to tailtap, to nosepick, to toothpick, to fakie’—he’s genuinely so happy that Brian Vowell did it! 

John Mini – Imprudence (18:08 minutes in)

Imprudence was a Paris based all street video from 2001, I have no idea how it came into the house but it was on very heavy rotation for a long time. The whole video is amazing but I’ve chosen John Mini’s section for special praise here.

The riding is amazing: simple, fast, solid, and again we would fetishise every tiny detail of bike set up (look how far forward he runs his seat on the rails etc.) but picking it for this it’s the insane editing that sticks out. I’m not quite enough of an aficionado to know whether this type of text overlays and split screen stuff has a president in skate videos or whatever, but watching it now it really makes this an almost singular video part. “He must do it.”

Ian Schwartz – Gone Fishing 

I’ve always loved Ian Schwartz’s riding, he came fully formed, to my eyes at least, straight out of his Props bio, but I’ve chosen his Sunday bikes Gone Fishing web edit from 2009. I just think he’d eased even more into his signature simple style in this—monster trucking over park benches, crank arm to over, only throwing the bars in the choicest of locations.

He was one of the originators to me of that basically skateboarding on a bike style, and I definitely bit his riding hard for years and years. I maybe could do without a couple of the deep, deep v-neck t-shirt era clips, but nobodies perfect.

Ratboy – Shine 3

50 tricks, 24 hours, 6 spots. It’s, it’s, inhuman. To define him kids make up words like ‘illsick’.

Ratkid – Animal House

Could have chosen literally any section he’s put out, as he’s not changing his style or his tricks or even his bike set-up, just insanely perfect spot usage 100% of the time. Seeing him drop off a curb so solidly can be enough to make me want to go out riding. Hearing some shady stories from people with first hand experience of him as well always helps, but I genuinely think he’s my favourite rider of the past 10 years.