Posts Tagged ‘South Bank’

Do You Believe In The Healing Power Of Kyle Wilson’s Skating?

March 14, 2021

The world rent by heartache, disease and strife; millions in the grave, recriminations and poisons spat across borders and Zoom meetings, liberty in retreat. A schism in Britain’s royal family over yung breakaway royals sets teeth grinding and ferments mistrust across the empire that was. Not even Oprah can fix it, and in streetwear’s woodgrain-floored and white-walled halls, fears of a battle between the Old World and the New over cultural rights to the 20th-Century people’s princess. This year was promised to be better.

But hang on a minute. An unsettlingly temperate spell drains off snowy piles, and one needle at a time, a global pandemic at last begins to be pushed back. From up out of the HD digital video files of Austin Bristow last week came ‘Portions,’ a comprehensive but tantalizingly brief glance at the Palace Group’s recent London activities through non-vintage lenses, arriving on the cusp of a spring gesturing toward a better summer ahead. Everyone is here, Danny Brady doing Danny Brady things at Canary Wharf, Chewy Cannon resplendent in blue jeans and backward ballcap, Heitor Da Silva running it back in real time, Rory Milanes switch frontside blunting off a stone cliff face, Lucien Clarke putting up this young year’s toughest switch inward heelflip to date.

Tom Penny and Tom Knox and a lot of other dudes pop in, but even in a more intensive rendering than is typical for some of these skaters, much of the vid flows by in a kind of fog left after the smouldering bomb crater left by Kyle Wilson, who commands the start of the vid. It’s a collision of black denim, hugely floated tricks, switch backside tailslides and switch heelflips and certain other decades-tested streetstyle standbys. Early on he’s rodeoing a wallie up onto a waist-high block, later hucking a big backside 180 at South Bank, swerving his landings all over the place. The molten, fiery core of this video part is a ledge line at dusk, when Kyle Wilson is pushing switchstance between blocks, a massive camo parka billowing around him, its hood liner easily the fuzziest seen on British shores since Brian Wenning switch backside smith grinded at Milton Keynes, its value likely rivaling Rob Welsh’s multi-payment plan Giants bomber. It is over in a few seconds and feels like it will reverberate for years.

Is Kyle Wilson the best skateboarder alive, as Slam City rhetoricizes? Why not? It is the fundamental question that comes up watching his roundly unimpeachable footage. Why not switch frontside noseslide a stupid tall ledge and then roll off some big drop? Why not blast a frontside flip as high as you possibly can before setting up for the stair set ahead? Why not politely explain to the young and sophisticated bicyclist that you need to jump that wall so you can crush the landing and shortly afterward firecracker partway down the stairs? Why not see how high you can pop that shaped deck? Why not give Ishod Wair competition for the world’s most coveted rollaway? Why not believe in a better season ahead?

Can a few minutes of incredible skate footage inject confidence and optimism not only into the tricks and session ahead, but prospects for the planet at large? Did you also catch similar vibes seeing the reinvigorated Fred Gall do a fakie ollie to noseblunt slide pop-in on a skatepark quarterpipe? How many cheap and easy payments might be required to secure a Kyle Wilson-cozy camo parka and, perhaps, peace for the House of Windsor? If web logging web sites were paid by the question mark could even the most meandering, run-on sentence typers drape themselves in fine, MLB-endorsed distressed leathers?

Dawn Of The Dead: Anthony Van Engelen, The Zombie Spot, And The Unholy Consequences That Could Follow

October 18, 2020

In skateboarding nothing stays dead for long. Tricks, fits, careers and companies are unearthed, rehabilitated, and marked up for a searching and seldom satisfied tribe whose tastes run fickle and are always averse to any whiff of the stale. The professional class’ collective acceptance and eventual embrace of the softgood-consuming public’s okayness with something less than relentless trick progression helped usher in a nostalgic wave where one-downs are cool, ‘Tilt Mode’ stunts are a cottage industry, and vibe rules.

And yet some things remain beyond the control of mere mortals that direct industry hype, and consumers who rule upon it. Just as generations of advanced deck technologies continually are cast aside in favor of the good ol seven-ply maple stick, the hassle-free concrete pads and ample parking of the skatepark era has failed go temper street spots’ allure. And so when the bulldozer and the excavator loom, scuffed sneakers shuffle into city council meetings, petitions are launched and campaigns mounted; sometimes they work (Tompkins, South Bank, Stalin Plaza), sometimes they do not (Love Park), sometimes the answer remains murky and scary (Brooklyn Banks). But always, the outcome lies somewhere beyond the skaters’ control.

Now we find ourselves in a tingly season when spirits rise, and sometimes, the dead walk again. Jason Dill and Anthony Van Engelen, that Dr. Frankenstein and Igor of the early World vibe, this week affected a minor act of spot resurrection. Possibly using the Necronomicon but in a cool way, their FuckingAwesome imprint — itself a revived and broadened onetime ‘streetwear’ concern – plucked from the ‘Mosaic’ and ‘DC Video’ period the curved metal bench hit early on beside a building by Kenny Anderson before Dill and AVE and possible co-conspirators transported it to the downtown LA wasteland spot alongside a miniature pic-a-nic table, a makeshift jump ramp and other detritus of the time. After Eric Koston anointed it at the height of his powers in ‘Yeah Right’ it seemed to pass into shadow, until returning as the surprise guest for a host of tricks by Anthony Van Engelen and Guy Mariano in FuckingAwesome’s excellent three-banger ‘Dancing on Thin Ice.’

But like the cat brung back to this earthly realm by the haunted and poorly maintained ‘Pet Semetary,’ what lies ahead for the revived bench is unclear at best. Defying the laws of nature, and unspooling the mortal coil, can have unintended consequences that even the most learned computers are not able to accurately calculate. Hubba Hideout’s third and final act saw a truckload of glory-hound tricks that affected less and less as names and moves were hurriedly tacked on to the bottom of that storied list. Plan B’s revival seems to have been a commercial success, if carrying little of the company’s 1990s impact. Alien Workshop’s reboot has put on some worthwhile talents, but otherwise coasts on 25-year-old graphics and varied success in recapturing the singular audio-visual presentations of its past. After respawning from a Mike Carroll break, the pink board from ‘Yeah Right’ quit skating and instead seemed ready to take up surfing.

Is the curvy metal bench officially ‘back from the dead,’ or with AVE’s last trick in the vid is it now officially ‘killed’? Does it stagger around at night, seeking to feast on miniature schoolyard pic-a-nic tables? With some love, tenderness and bravery related to the roving police, could the Brooklyn Banks rail return? Could DNA be extracted from the tile in Josh Kalis’ garage to eventually re-grow a new Love Park, and could it be safely skated long enough to film a new ‘Sabotage’ entry before it runs amok and destroys the idyllic tropical island where it was placed?

4. Chewy Cannon – ‘Palasonic’

December 28, 2017


It takes balls to soundtrack your video part to a bouncy PM Dawn song, and more so when you’re not even the first to use it. Chewy Cannon ricochets into Palace’s inaugural full-length with caution to the wind, as is his custom, but beyond the expected staccato wallie 180s, nollie 360s and switch frontside boardslides, he went in after a few years of relatively rote output. Shit like the backside 50-50 hop-up to another backside 50-50 and the fakie backside 50-50 to switch manual could be yanked from many of-the-moment videos, though probably not with such panache — the switch backside nosegrind at South Bank should be hung in a museum — but Chewy Cannon digs deeper this time out, pulling out stunts like the switch backside noseblunt and repeated spaghetti-man spins on the frontside noseslide, dredging up some of the gully tech he plied in the Blueprint days.