Reece Leung Rich West Joel Peck Leo Sharp Robbie Chilton
Hannah Martin Mark Pritchard Mike O’Shea
Guy Jones Barry Beaker Dom Henry Alun Evans Korahn Gayle
R.I.P. Ignacio Echeverria “A True Hero” Front Cover Kyron Davis - Wallie Backside Grab - Photo: Leung Back Cover Russ ‘WeasHELL’ Longmire - Am I Just Too Vague? Cover Illustrations Mark Pritchard www.vaguemag.com firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @vagueskatemag
PREACHING TO THE
As the title depicts, this paragraph will undoubtedly be acknowledged by most if not all of the 5 people reading this. Skateboarding’s pretty good and those within it are pretty sound with more creativity in their ashtrays than most non-job ‘creatives’, getting paid arse loads to simply use ambiguous city terms that make it appear they have the faintest idea what they’re talking about (Watch Twenty Twelve for examples). Yes a lot of shite is online these days, and yes it’s a brilliant source of exposure but what about bathrooms nationwide that are no longer filled with soaked then dried skate mags? Did anyone stop to think about that? Print can be ignored but if you like it you can keep it and if you don’t you still have something physical to abuse. Wipe your arse with it, draw a knob on the cover, do whatever the fuck you like, and it’ll be a fuck load cheaper to do that than chuck a laptop, or Tipp-Ex an iPad. When was the last time you used Tipp-Ex anyway? Regardless of this ramble go and check the pages that follow for stories, nonsense, art and a bit of the old roller planking thrown in for good measure. This is Vague Mag - fuck the specifics!
Matlok Bennett-Jones Photo Gallery How Not To Be Darwin
Liisa Chisholm Art Gallery
Northern Monk Brew Co Serious Sam Barrett Beak Brewery
Legal Whys Celebrations It’s Not Where You’re From
Dale Starkie - Backside 50-50 Photo: Leung
With ego’s and a general defensive nature being so rife in the realm of wooden plank riding, characters like Mr Bennett-Jones are a 10x stronger lasting febreeze in the smoggyness of shit chat and arrogance. Shite metaphors aside, Matlok’s legitimacy shines through every aspect of his character. You can introduce him to your mum, or your mate who shouts obsenities off buses after 4 cans before lunch and they’ll love him, just like us. To you Schmatty!
Interview by Guy Jones Photos by Reece Leung Illustrations by Mark Pritchard Yes Matlok, so what do you want the world to know about you, what do you want out of this interview? I want people to think I’m the biggest dick ever, I want everyone to fucking hate me. Did Timmy Garbett pay you to say that? Yeah I thought I’d say what Timmy would say, he’s a huge role model for me. That’s something I’ve noticed, that since you came on the scene you always hung around people a good 7 years older than you, like Timmy and the Ratz Crew. Do you think growing up this way helped you mature quicker? It definitely did, Timmy always talks about this, I only skated street shit when I was younger like skating around car parks or whatever, then once I went to Dev Green, that’s where I first saw Timmy Garbett, Gordo, Darren Daggers, Fisher, Henry Stables. The full on Ratz crew! Henry was weirding me out from the off, he’d act proper paedo to me and shit, (laughs),
he’s done that to a lot of other kids as well actually. I tagged along and went street skating with them like “Oh fuck I’m skating with all the older guys.” Little did I know what they were actually like (laughs). We went to St James, 4 stair to 7 stair, a classic Sheffield spot, we went there and immediately saw all the weird shit they get up to! Shitting everywhere, being unashamedly themselves and I thought it was so cool! Back to the present day and nothing’s really changed. We hang out all the time. Recently we’ve been doing this thing where we go to Timmy’s house have a few beers then things naturally get strange, last time we ended up getting naked and doing karaoke in his living room. No inhibitions whatsoever in that scenario! What karaoke songs do you like? We’re listening to The Boss right now, Dancing in the Dark is always good. You can never go wrong with Bruce Springsteen for karaoke. Ahh, a good karaoke story was in New York with all the Pass-port guys. Oh aye, was that your first time meeting those lot out there? Yeah I went on my own, the whole basis of that trip was to meet all of them. I had
Switch Crooked Grind
spoken to them all through email and met Geoff Campbell once in Sheffield. Because I met Geoff I thought I had a grasp on what Australians were like because I’d never met any... Not the case (laughs). I was so nervous knowing what Callum (Paul) is like, “Fuck, he’s going to fuck with me so bad, I’ve been invited just to get fucked with.” I mean off the videos alone of Callum Paul, you’d be mad not to have some fear. I got the flight by myself from Manchester and realised half way through that I forgot my contact lenses, I was wearing my glasses to travel in. We all thought you were going for a more sophisticated image when the edit came out, reiterating your British USP in the team. (Laughs) Yeah repping this new image, of course I’m going to pull it off (laughs). I told Trent and all the Pass-Port boys that I’d be in glasses so they could recognise me when I turned up, they’d never met me before this. Co-incidentally Joe Paget was also in New
Switch Pole Jam
180 Fakie Nosegrind
York and I arranged to meet him at the same spot as the Pass-port dudes. He turned up a minute or two before me and because he was wearing glasses arriving at the time I said I’d meet them they thought he was me at first (laughs). It was rad meeting them all, they’re the best dudes ever. Get any good Aussie slang off of them? Yeah “Cop’a’scrape” is a good one, it basically means trying to get laid, trying to cop’a’scrape. That’s a nice one. “Sinking piss”, for drinking beer is another, they’re my favourite ones, I fucking loved hanging with them, the vocab was infectious. I came home with some mad accent just from hanging round with them for 2 weeks. Did any of your vernacular rub off on them? City of steel slang down under would be dope! I was saying reyt a lot, that weirded them out
a bit. If I didn’t hear what they said I’d say “You what?” which is a normal thing for me to say, but for someone who isn’t familiar it sounds really rude, so they started saying it taking the piss. It’ll have hit New Zealand by now. What was the karaoke story? We went to a karaoke bar when we were out there and it was so gnarly. Callum was just bubbling outside the karaoke bar in a phone booth (laughs), he does the bubbler on the regs (a bubbler is where you urinate into your own mouth), I was surprised. We went in and dominated the place so much, there were 6/7 of us in there and it wasn’t even that busy, but the people who where there were locals. Callum kept nicking the mic off of people, I forget which songs he did but he went so falsetto, loud and obnoxious and at one point he grabbed the mic off this woman who was hez-ing (hesitating) too much about singing and started doing the American National Anthem, shouting and getting it so wrong (laughs). Everyone was so bummed on it, everyone was like get the fuck off the mic. He kept shouting “Welcome to Brooklyn, fuck you!” even though we were in Manhattan, people were like “We’re not in Brooklyn”. He’d respond in a Limp Bizkit voice “Nah we’re in Brooklyn, fuck you!” (laughs). It was so good. We eventually left and he kept shouting it around Manhattan, almost got us getting beaten up, it was so sketchy (laughs). It was so sick, I’m going to try and get out to Australia soon and hang out with those boys, it was such a good 2 weeks. Growing up with the Ratz Crew must have also strengthened your ability to take/ not take shit, which is ideal training I imagine for those rowdy Aussies. Yeah for sure, one night I was talking about maybe shaving my head because my hair was
so long at the time, just saying it, not decided at all, then one morning I woke up to Callum stood over me with a razor. I literally had to run to the other side of the room and stand there so he wouldn’t have shaved my head. If I hadn’t woken up in time I would have just had a bic’d head (laughs). Maybe he was jealous that he wasn’t going to be the fella with the longest hair on the team. Yeah maybe he got tenched out about that. It was fucking jokes. I think being around Timmy, Henry and that definitely made me immune to weird things people say or do. What are some of the things you’ve seen Timmy do? I’ve seen Timmy set off firecrackers in the smoking area of Corp.. Corp is this hanging club in Sheffield that does quad vodka irn bru’s and coloured pints. We watched somebody else get searched and blamed
for it whilst the whole time Timmy just had the firecrackers in his hand, continuing to set them off. We’ve been kicked out so many times. I bet! It seems fairly lax, making it a challenge to push their tolerance as far as possible. One night it was pretty fucked up, Timmy, me and Ellis (Jerome Campbell’s cousin) went to Corp on a Wednesday night, this evening is notorious for the school disco, so basically all the students in Sheffield go. You get in cheaper if you go in school uniform, white shirts, ties and that. We were just skating in the day so we went with our boards just fucking about and that. Ellis got to the stage of pouring his own pints from behind the bar, at first there was 2 bouncers trying to get him out, Ellis is a big dude, strong as fuck, so he was just ragging these bouncers about, knocking them into other people trying to dance, knocking people’s drinks off, causing
Ollie One Foot
the biggest ruckus, me and Timmy just watched with our drinks thinkin, “What the fuck”. I’m not exaggerating it took 5 bouncers that had to bear hug him and haul him out. The best thing was he was trying to fight them off just to stay and chill in Corp the rest of the night, he thought he could stay if he shook them off (laughs). Jesus, when Timmy is comparatively the mellow dude it must be wild (laughs). He is obviously no angel. Timmy’s got this trademark move at house parties where he shits in the toilet cistern, you’ve got the toilet then you lift the lid and there it goes (an upperdecker). He’s done it and sometimes the shit would just stay there for weeks. I’ve been to a party where he’s done that actually, then top Aussie Matt Beck shat himself. Definitely a relief not to host that one! He does that in quite a few houses, one
was in my friend Jack’s girlfriend’s student accommodation, and no-one really invited Timmy, I finally persuaded them to let Timmy come round, to which he came and shit in the toilet cistern. A few weeks later my mates who were there for it were at Corp and Timmy tried to fight my mates because they didn’t agree with it (laughs). “Ah that kinda sucked you did that, you should maybe apologise” “What, you want to fucking go?!” Straight away all guns blazing! But that’s why he’s the best he doesn’t care, he’s so funny. It desensitises what the others get up to in the group, whatever they do it won’t be as disgusting. It’s true, Henry and Dave, there’s not a lot of excrement involved with what they do, they’re just really odd. In fact they’ll love it if I mention this, Dave and Henry made a full film in the DIY in Millhouses (Sheffield) where the abandoned building was, they got a camera and filmed themselves playing 3
Beanplant Backside Bluntslide
Switch Pole Jam 50-50
different characters each in offices. Mimicking stereotypical people they will never be. “Hey Susan can you get me that report” and shit. They told me it was 20 minutes long and they had it on a memory stick but no-one could ever see it because it was so awful. They ended up destroying the memory stick so no-one could ever see this film that they made, I was so gutted (laughs). On the other side of the spectrum, Sheffield does have some more pleasant locations, particularly regarding the DIY music scene. Could you tell us a bit about that? Two main venues are The Lughole and The Audacious Art Experiment across the road from the Sheffield United ground. They have sick bands on, bring your own beers, pay a donation, there’s a good group of people who go to these shows, it’s so different to just going to the same bars week after week. You see bands you’ve never heard of before and they’re always rad and on the same page, it’s
Frontside 180 Heelflip
that kind of venue. Another solid community within these venues? Yeah that’s why it’s so sick, everyone who goes are like minded people, the whole thing is done by the bands as well, they use the donations to pay for the practice areas and putting shows on so it stays in the community. There’s a lot of good bands in Sheffield, reyt good music scene, the DIY scene is so good, there’s so much going on. It’s sick getting familiar with the people in this scene, a different environment from skating but so similar as well. You also work at Size, this type of retail generally attracts morons and those of a more bizarre nature, got any customer stories? This one’s pretty nice, one day on a busy Saturday I was on display list, you scan every shoe in the shop, then it adds up to see what isn’t out, it’s so boring there’s hundreds
Pop Up Then Ollie Frontside Wallride
of them. At the start of my shift, this guy wearing a JD Sports bag, this stinking 30 year old dude who just looked fucked walks in and says “You’re not old enough to work here” I said “What?” I turned around and didn’t really know who he was speaking to. He was by himself “You look about 12, there’s no way you’re meant to be working here” I was like, “Okay, are you alright?” and he just said “I’m only taking piss mate” then walked off. There was no-one else there to see it so it was just for his own satisfaction or my dissatisfaction. I was like “Ah fuck” (laughs) it got me super bummed for the rest of the shift. I bet he’d been planning that for months as well. Yeah, just building up the nerve to tell me. We used to get “Prove a pube” in Liverpool. I definitely have some pubes I swear, there’s not a lot they’re just really long (laughs). (Laughs) On the retail tip, you’ve definitely been rocking the ‘forever in blue jeans’ look as long as I’ve known you. Is this a scam to make it look like you’ve filmed an entire part in a day or a homage to the working class? It takes me a while to find jeans I like to skate in, so when I get a pair I’lI wear them until they’re completely fucked, like 2 years. I wore them more and more as I became conscious about Springsteen’s working class ethics (laughs). Really though he’s just the best dude ever, the more I got into it, “This is the shit” if I wear blue jeans it’s for the people. Double denim and an American bandanna, it’s inspiring for sure. When I was at Jamie Platt’s a couple of days ago, we were showing each other footage of ourselves when we were fetuses; age 11/12 and still in those clips I’m wearing blue jeans (laughs). The reason I can’t wear trousers is because I sweat profusely out of my shins, if I wear anything remotely lightly coloured I get two massive sweat patches down there.
You have been wearing trousers that are a little wavier as of late, is this through hanging out with Jamie Platt? His trow are next level! He wears elasticated denim that is fucking huge, it’s gnarly. Jamie’s found a brand called Bolt London, he’s got these massive black cords, I tried them on and the hem was past my shoe, like those cyber goths who look like they’re hovering, so swishy, but he can pull it off because he’s about 8 foot. I can’t do that shit otherwise I look like a cube (laughs). One of my favourite stories is when you convinced Rooney, then all of London AM that you were on acid unintentionally. Want to give us the lowdown on this story? It’s going to be annoying because he still thinks I took acid, maybe I should just let it loose. Basically we were at London AM, me, Mike Arnold, Ollie Lock and Jamie Platt all went that year. They don’t normally like comps, not that I particularly do, but it’s just funny. Obviously if you go in with the mindset of “Ohhh everyone’s looking at me, and judging me, shit” it’s not fun. But if you go in with “Fuck it I’ll go and fuck about, have the park to myself for a bit” it’s sick. We had a mellow one after the first day, didn’t get too pissed, which is rare for any skate event, then headed back to the hotel. Me and Mike Arnold wanted to be in a room together, but we were in rooms with different people. This will make me sound like a dick now (laughs) but we really wanted to be in the same room as each other. Just like swapping seats on a train to let a family sit together. Exactly. We hadn’t really planned it, so when we got to the hotel we saw Rooney and a couple of other people. Then Mike just goes “Matlok’s fucked he’s had loads of acid, he’s never had it before so he’s kind of tripping out a bit, I’m going to have to stay with him
tonight.” They were like “Yeah, yeah that’s fine”. Rooney was looking at me deep in the eyes saying, “You look fucked man” (laughs) I was like “Yeah I don’t know what’s going on dude” because Mike had given me no warning prior to this, I had to pretend that I was on acid even though I’d never had it before. “Fuck, right, time to put on the performance of a lifetime.” I had to go with Rooney to get my stuff out the hotel room, just me and him. There was a big mirror in the lift, my mind was racing to blag this “Fuck, what can I do to look like I’m on acid.” I turned around and stared at my own reflection quite intensely. It seemed to work as Rooney shouted “Ah! You’re fucked!” (laughs). We went in and I got my shit. Me and Mike were cracking up! The whole time people were coming up to us nagging us for acid “Can you get me some” Mike was saying “Nah, don’t think the guys going to come out at this time” putting on
so many lies. Everyone there was under the impression that I was tripping, the next day Rooney must have told everyone that I’d taken acid. I went to the park and was just fucking about not really skating. Ben Powell was filming the comp and Rooney had told him “Film Matlok man, he’s fucking tripping still” because I was just fucking about. Powell told us that he was zooming in on my face saying “You don’t look like you’re tripping”. Then it was good, I didn’t even think about it consciously, fuck it, there’s people who are here who are way too gnarly trying too hard, it was around the period when I was sessioning double heels a lot. I tried to do it on every single thing I could, I spent the whole run trying it on the hip until the end when I landed on one, then they just worked after that. So because Rooney had told everyone I was tripping on
acid and my run consisted of me trying to double heelflip a hip for a minute and a half, everyone was like yeah he’s fucked, definitely on acid. It wasn’t until later on, people were asking if I took it “Fuck no, I was just chilling”. It all worked out because me and Mike stayed in the same room for the next couple of days we were there and it was all fine (laughs). I guess he doesn’t know but Rooney, I’m sorry I didn’t take acid. I’ve got here that Shank made you slam on purpose for 8mm footage, is there any truth to that? Complete truth to that. It was when he made Blend and he used lots of super 8 footage. He didn’t have a mic but wanted to add sounds to a lot of the clips. Most of them I helped him out to do the sounds, both being in Sheffield. Doing a kickturn, ollie stationary just to take the noise. There was a bit he filmed of me super 8, 180-ing over this rail into a bank then slamming, dead stopping. He was really keen to get the sound of the
slam. We went to the spot and decided that to get the noise I would tail ollie off the rail onto the floor and stack it on purpose (laughs). The worst part is that we had 6 goes at it because Shank was not liking the sound, “Yeah do it again but try not to go too over the top” I was getting a bit theatrical so toned it down to a modest grunt, it’s so bad (laughs). Continuously pretending to slam whilst actually slamming. The sound is kind of believable with the super 8 watching it back now so I guess it was worth it (laughs). What better way to end this interview than on an inside joke only we will get, that’ll teach the public! Do you remember that hill? I remember that hill and in fact today when we were out skating towards the Wandsworth roundabout I didn’t know where I was and looked around “Fuck are we near the hill? Does anyone remember the hill?” Cheers Matlok, we love you very much!
THE ART OF COLLABORATION Northern Monk is working with local creatives to produce some of the UK’s most innovative beers. As the brewery settles into its new premises, director Russell Bisset explains what it’s all about…
Interview by Barry Beaker Photos by Reece Leung You’re becoming well known for your nonbrewery collaborations. How do you make a beer with somebody who isn’t actually a brewer? It all depends who we are collaborating with and how into beer they are. When we work with artists, which we’ve been doing quite a lot, we look closely at how their art might pair with a specific beer style. For example, when we collaborated with Leeds-based photographer, Tom Joy, we thought his work was really strong, powerful and iconic and so we decided to create something equally as commanding: a big coffee porter, which has since become one of the highest rated versions of this style in the country. And when we partneredup with Drew Millward – whose illustrations are very playful and bright – we created some really vibrant IPAs with fruit additions. Drew also happens to be a huge fan of juicy pale ales, so it was a reflection of his taste, too. I think you might be one of the first UK breweries to commission street art, too… We like to challenge people’s perceptions of what a brewery can be and one of the ways we’ve been doing this is by funding and supporting
community artwork. We recently commissioned a mural in Holbeck by The Nomad Clan that was a homage to the area’s industrial past. We’ve also worked with an artist called Tankpetrol who did a painting of John Marshall, who was one of the instigators of the industrial revolution in the north of England. It was really cool to bring a derelict building back to life. We’re hoping to release a short film about it soon, and there’ll be an exhibition at the refectory. More recently, we’ve been working on a new project with a Leedsbased creative studio called Lord Whitney, which specialises in immersive experiences. Sadly, I can’t share any more details about this right now. You’ve collaborated with Vague to celebrate the launch of issue one. What kind of beer did you opt for? My experience of skaters – I have a few friends that are into it - is that whilst they may occasionally go for high ABV hoppy beers they tend to like more refreshing beers that are more approachable and easier to session, especially when they’re actually out skating. But we wanted to do something a bit more interesting than a straightforward lager and so decided to brew a double dry-hopped lager made with Ekuanot hops. This is the first dry hopped lager we’ve ever made.
I think it’s the first beer I’ve ever seen that features skate photography on its packaging… Yeah, we are really excited about it. The plan is to release a series of four Vague beers in total, each one brewed with a different hop variety. Each batch will also feature a different black and white skate photo by Reece Leung. I’m really stoked with the photos - they look amazing. One of the main reasons we collaborate with artists is to help give them exposure. This specific collaboration will be sent out across our entire distribution network, which incorporates 19 countries, so it’s a really effective platform. Why are beer collaborations so prevalent these days? Britain’s craft breweries are at the forefront of innovation. And in West Yorkshire we’ve got more breweries per capita than anywhere on Earth, many of which are continuously pushing each other to innovate. There’s huge crosspollination of ideas and we’re all looking at how we can continue to progress. One of the best ways of doing this is by working with different people and combining expertise. Collaboration is also a great way for fledgling breweries to get a step on the ladder and learn the trade. When we started out we were really helped by some of the more established breweries and now we want to return the favour. Northern Monk has a strong local presence. Do you think breweries have a responsibility to their communities? Yes, most definitely. We take our inspiration from traditional monastic breweries, which traditionally brewed for their local communities - not just beer but all kinds of beverages done to provide safe, potable water for the people. And I think the projects we’ve been involved in reflect this attitude. You’ve recently outgrown your original premises. Can you tell me about the new site? The new warehouse is just down the road from
our current site and contains a 30-barrel kit built by Gravity, a company that has worked with both Beavertown and Burning Sky. And we’ll be keeping our original brewery at the Old Flax Store. The aim is to use our old site for beers with more interesting fermentations that require longer maturation times, which until now is something we haven’t been able to do owing to space constraints. ‘Craft Beer’ is a highly contested and controversial term. What does it mean to you? Although we are an extremely ambitious brewery that wants to continue to grow, I do believe it is possible to expand too much, particularly if that means losing sight of quality. This is especially true when a brewery gets to the point where it produces such unfathomably large quantities of beer that it becomes impossible to taste every batch - unless its head brewer is happy having serious health problems. So if I were to try and define ‘craft beer’ I would say it is beer that has a human touch and a real sense of craftsmanship. You have to love what you are creating.
Serious Sam Barrett is the complete and utter man inside and out. Skateboarding and folk music are the factors in bold here, but everything in between further adds to our appreciation of him. Even getting him a pint in exchange for a story results in you metaphorically short changing him. Serotonin inducer on the highest of levels, with an extensive back catalogue of wit and hype to boot. Any live performance is dripping with legitimacy especially if backed by Squeezebox Bob or any of the Pine Hill Haints. Thanks Sam for all the real life hammers. Interview by Guy Jones Photos by Reece Leung You’ve recently just got back from touring in the USA with Squeezebox Bob. Where did you hit? I saw you got to shred Kona, that must have been insane! We started in Louisiana this time then we played in Alabama, all the way through Florida, then up to Missouri, Indiana and finally Kentucky. Yeah we got to Kona and managed to go down the snake run a handful of times just before it rained. It’s the oldest surviving skatepark in America. It’s an insane place. Did you stay with the Pine Hill Haints out there? How did you originally meet with them and are they back these ways
anytime soon? Yeah we stay at their houses when we’re nearby and other than that it’s whatever floor or couch we can find to sleep on that night. I’m doing a big UK and Europe tour with The Haints in June/July and we’re playing Brudenell on that tour too! This tour essentially was to promote your latest album which is certainly not your first? Would you say there’s a particular theme with this offering? It’s actually my 7th album if you count the live one I did and the first LP I did with Jamie. Yeah the new record is a raw, folky LP with a lot of traditional numbers on it. I recorded it with James the Fang from the Pine Hill Haints on an old 4 track tape machine in a little house on Dauphin Island, Alabama.
I’ve always admired how close knit the production of your stuff is, from local artist Sami Graystone doing the artwork for you, to the vinyl covers being printed in your basement by Lee Rozee. How important do you feel the community aspect of combining these creative outputs is? Yeah I think it adds to the quality of a product if you get your immediate circle to come together on the artwork and printing. It’s like tangible evidence that you can see and feel of friends working together. That’s pretty cool I think.
thinking anyone would be stupid enough to use it. I obviously was stupid enough and attempted to wash myself with cheddar a good few times before Ian broke it to me. We used to shoot each other a lot with BB guns on a night, one night I remember a taxidermy squirrel with a power drill up it’s arse. Rozee oillied out of the back door into a home made flatbank, Ian chucked a telly out of the bathroom window. It was the global epicentre of hijinx and stupidity for a long time. Joe Howard’s gaff with the pet squirrel (Busta Climbs) was pretty nuts too though.
On the subject of the previous house, what are some of your fondest memories and has the Carl Weathers gym been relocated? Vegan curry and weights night used to go off! Well without being too Jackass bamagram about the whole thing there was always some silly shit jumping off at that house. Bottles of Stars & Stripes bourbon and lots of skaters rolling through. Probably the best was when Ian Blackburn shaped a piece of cheese like a bar of soap with a file. He then placed an imperial leather sticker on top and left it by the bath not really
You grew up in Addingham, a leafy area of natural beauty located in the West Yorkshire hills. How would you sell Yorkshire to someone who has never been? Love having sly digs at London while returning home to Yorkshire in a hurry? Honestly I’ve met some miserable people in my time but I’ve never met anyone who’s been to Yorkshire and hasn’t loved it. It’s a lot about the people. People are funny here man especially the older ones. It’s also the countryside which is beautiful but rugged. The big cities and the
Illustration Sami Graystone
history of industry and manufacturing is a big part of the culture up here. And of course you’ve got the beautiful east coast. It’s just rad and it’s home. The homage to skateboarding, RWTB and DIY spots is pertinent in many of your songs, what importance do these places hold to you and the combining of scenes? I think the culture of building DIY parks says a hell of a lot about skateboarding and why I was always drawn to it over football or anything else. I probably romanticise it too much in the songs but it is something really special that people who don’t skate would probably find weird. You get no money out of it, you put in loads of work, risking arrest in some cases and you know the whole time it could be destroyed. But you do it anyway. It’s soulful and it’s creative and you need to work really hard to achieve it. I love it man. It’s rad how the DIY parks have been a focus of the scenes in Liverpool and Yorkshire for a while. It makes sense they are cities with a long history of manual work and grafting. Could you list some venues you’ve played that you’re particularly fond of and why?
I love playing a town called Lake Arthur in Western Louisiana. We used to play an old tin shack bar there called Delia’s Mad House and now we play in a rad barn that an awesome family built just to have Mardi Gras parties in. I love playing at the Brudenell and the Grove in Leeds, The Swan in Addingham, Peter Kavanahs in Liverpool, The Continental in Preston and the Polish Club in Barnsley. Could you list some other musicians you enjoy playing alongside? I love playing with The Haints obviously. We share a lot of history with skating, rock music, punk and stuff so it feels right. Playing with David Broad is great and Martyn Roper of course. I play a lot of gigs with Lewis Pugh as well from a band called The Backyard Burners. Of course playing with Frosty is the best. He’s one of my best friends. An amazing road buddy and a good man. Support one of the true gems and buy Serious Sam’s stuff from: www.serioussambarrett. bandcamp.com and pester him to play your local, it’s like nothing else!
PHOTO GALLERY Dom Henry - Switch Heelflip Photo: Leung
Faro Phiri - Nollie Frontside 180 Heelflip Photo: Leung Brendan Watson - Nosepick Photo: Leung
Charlie Birch - Ollie First Set, Ollie Frontside Wallride Photo: Leung
Keanu Robson - Switch Frontside Crooked Grind Photo: Peck
Vaughan Jones - 180 Nosegrind Reverse Photo: Leung
Zach Riley - Slappy Backside 50-50 To Tailslide Photo: Leung
Phil Parker - Frontside Wallie Photo: Leung
James Bush - Ollie Photo: Sharp
A connoisseur of the dungaree and the ability to break any pessisimism nearby (even Rich West), Liisa Chisolm is the truth! Burning the candle at both ends without so much of a frown, as this would still be wasting potential time she could be illustrating, skating or generally being one of the best people to socialise with. A true gem and another fine edition to this community we adore.
Interview by Guy Jones Photos by Rich West (unless stated) Tell us about where you grew up in Canada, it was fully Rockies wasn’t it? Yeah I grew up in Calgary but I spent all my free time in the mountains. I’ve been skiing since I was 2. Fuuuck! Was this the start of the transition into skateboarding? I didn’t skate at all until I moved to London. I was just ski racing before that. I was racing biathlon which is cross country skiing and shooting - skiing with a rifle on your back. It’s so satisfying, you have to ski as hard as you can and then come into the range and slow your heart rate down. There’s a Canadian coin called the Teenee which is the same size as the target, just under 5cm for prone shooting (lying down) and just under 12cm from standing. That’s so much gnarlier than what we would consider a biathlon here. (laughs) I broke my foot and had a bone taken out of it then moved here for uni about 5 years ago. When you first moved here, how long until you started skating? It was just after I finished my foundation year, so about a year. I was super timid when I first
moved here I was scared of everyone. I think I was always interested before but I couldn’t risk hurting myself with training (biathlon), which was twice a day, six times a week kind of thing. When you did move here to study you certainly took advantage of the facilities, experimenting with multiple mediums, where did this motivation come from? I think I get a bit too distracted and excited as well. In uni it was really hard to get into the screenprinting room but ceramics you could just walk in, show up and make whatever you wanted, so I definitely dived into that one when I had the chance to. I think I was just being a bit indecisive more than anything! I guess it’s like the language thing where once you’ve been exposed to one medium, you understand the restrictions and could maybe pursue a different idea through a different medium? Yeah exactly it all feeds into each other. I did a textiles degree but it was really open, so I think the degree at Chelsea is a lot more material exploration - you could get away with doing anything kind of. There was an open access kiln at uni, I wish I owned one. It was open access so you can go and work whenever you felt like it.
How did your parents react to BMT/Blast Skates when they came to your end of year show at Chelsea? They loved them! They understand that those guys are my family over here. My mum was drinking prosecco out of the bottle with them and my dad was repping his Crocs so hard! What did you have on display there, your textiles? Yeah it was a bunch of garments, which I think was the first proper textiles I printed throughout my entire degree. I basically tried to teach myself pattern cutting from Christmas onwards up to the degree and ended up not really sleeping much for 6 months (laughs). I was happy with it in the end. You can see a lot of childish innocence with a more sophisticated finish in your designs. I don’t know if I actually know how to draw (laughs), so it’s just keeping things playful
and just being really instinctual I guess. I find whenever I try and develop any drawings extensively they go in directions I hadn’t intended. A lot of the time, the first or second drafts have been the ones I’m happiest with and I think it’s kind of become the way that I work more than anything. What medium are you currently pursuing for this style of illustration and where does it end up? I’ve been working at a print design studio in Seven Sisters since the start of 2017, which has been really nice because it gives me full creative freedom to just draw whatever I want. They then take the prints and sell them to different brands all over the place; China and around Europe. The companies take the designs and manufacture them themselves. The studio I’m working for sells designs to absolutely everyone, from high street to luxury fashion.
You returned from Japan recently, how long were you there for and did you host any exhibitions out there ? I went for 3 and a half weeks. I had an exhibition in Tokyo (Play). I’ve had another Play exhibition at Hoxton Cabin which I was stoked on. I’ve got one coming up with Aysha Tengiz and Caitlin McCarthy at Daily Goods in Camberwell, my caffeination spot in London. I’m panicking because I’m 2 drawings in and don’t have very long to go (laughs) but I think I work better under pressure. I think I’m pretty panicked when I’m working, I just need to have something to hammer it out for and make it work. People defo need the deadlines to get stuff done. Have you had an exhibition in Japan before?
Yeah I had one last time I was out there too actually. I wanted to paint a shop shutter and contacted someone that I found on Instagram. Their friend actually ended up having a gallery there and it all just fell into place. It was so good because I met so many people; I was wandering around the neighborhood in Tokyo where I knew absolutely no-one, then someone started frantically waving at me and it was some guy that I met who I guess lived around there (laughs). But it was such a bizarre thing bumping into somebody I knew in Tokyo. There’s so many people that have connections to Stockwell who I met out there. Pretty much the whole time I was out there we were sleeping on floors with friends who had been to Stockwell for a day or two kind of thing.
The Stockwell community is super strong and very multi-cultural, when did you first go to the Brixton Beach? I started skating Stockwell with Daisuke (Kagoshima). I met Dai the week he moved to London and we started going to Stockwell together all the time, so that exposed me to the Stockwell lot I guess. They’re all so sound. There’s too many good things about that place. How was it at first? I was shit scared the first time I went. I hid in the corner trembling (laughs). But I got used to it eventually. And were you straight to Stockwell local? Erm I wanted to start skating, I was basically googling “Where can I learn to skate when I have no friends” (laughs). I came across ‘She Shredders’ in Brighton and dragged my old flat mate out there with me, she just sat on the side and heckled me the whole time. But Lucy Adams taught me to drop in there, and after 3 weeks of that I started skating London because I couldn’t be bothered with
the train ride. I think just having Lucy there to not make fun of me when I needed to be fully kitted up and feel safe, that was solid to have that. That’s what comes when you have friends to skate with, the support. Exactly. I didn’t want to just show up and ask some guy to stick his arm out for me to figure out how to drop in because I was too embarrassed. I haven’t been involved that much in the girls skate stuff otherwise, but Stockwell (especially now) has such a rad group of girls, Daphne was there long before me, but then Aurora and so many others. I can’t name people because I’m totally going to forget someone and then I’ll get axed but its a really good group. I love that story about Jake Phelps smashing a bottle at the park and somebody made him clean it up. That was Vickie! She screamed at him until he cleaned it up and she’s an air hostess, so she met him again in the States. He was like
“Fucking hell it’s you?” and she was like “Yes it is!”. What a legend! Again Brixton Beach has the variety pack of legends. It’s solid too because my friendship group ranges from a 5 year old to a 65 year old at Stockwell and that’s really nice. I think the girls events are really good to a point because it gets people feeling comfortable and it’s nice meeting other people that do what you do. But also it’s like you don’t have to be best friends with someone else just because they skate. I think that pressure comes into it a lot of the time, where people think just because 2 people are girl skaters they have to be best friends when not all the guys are best friends. I just want to skate with likeminded people. Was it like this with Biathlon? Well it was co-ed teams when I did it. Our biathlon team was called ‘Biathlon Bears’, but then the boys team got changed to ‘Biathlon
Bears’ and the girls team to ‘Girls with Guns”. They just temporarily segregate it for the juniors now. I was coaching the boys for a season, my job was mainly trying to stop people stabbing each other in the eye with ski poles rather than actually teaching them how to ski because what do you do with a bunch of 6 year old boys? It’s just herding a bunch of kids around, the girls group was tame. When I was young I think the thing that made it most fun was that we were running mad together. I was really glad I was part of the co-ed group and I think they should push it back to co-ed because by the time you’re like 13/14 it’s back to that anyways. It was good, a bit of healthy competition, on the range especially. Do you still go skiing with rifles when you do go back to Canada? Yeah my coach lets me come back and shoot which is always really good, it’s nice to be able to keep that bit and skiing is a lot easier to just go and do. It definitely helps to go back shooting, it’s just the calmest thing ever (laughs). The smell of gunpowder is my
Layback Frontside Bluntslide
Top photo: Alec McLeish Bottom photo: Blue Laybourne
favourite smell (laughs) which is probably not good to say in an interview, it makes me sound absolutely insane. It’s sick, most of my team is still racing, I was at a sports school so everyone was doing crazy sports. My best friends were in luge, where you’d hit 85mph on a sled, figure skating, a gymnast who got a hip replacement at 18. So many absolutely amazing athletes. Most of them have been like me and been injured and forced into retirement sort of thing, but it’s such a stoked bunch of kids so it’s nice to have all of them. At least they had fun, I know when I’m going to be a pensioner I’ll be fucked but at least I thought I was a rockstar whilst fucking myself up. Is that weird going from being super careful about everything I do to chucking myself at pavement? (laughs) Yeah definitely. Everyone who’s ever skated with me knows I don’t stay on my board very much (laughs). You started skating here, is this something you do when you go back to Canada, or do you focus on different things? I don’t skate that much when I’m back because everyone that I skate with is here kind of thing. There’s a park not too far away from my parent’s house, it’s got a bowl and a bit of a street course so I go there a bit. I usually go hiking everyday and cycle the rest, making the most of the mountains. I moved to Canmore when I was still racing, it’s an hour from Calgary, otherwise you’re doing the back and forth driving for training. Everyone in my family is involved in biathlon. My brother is a wax technician for the Canadian team now so he’s still in the circuit even though he’s retired and my mum helps organise Canmore World Cups and my dad helps out with wax stuff as well, so it’s a full family thing.
Skating is obviously a great lark but do you ever miss the competing of Biathlon? Biathlon still holds a pretty big place in my heart. I wasn’t planning on retiring until I was older, obviously depending on how results went. I had a super good season when I was 16 and then had a season of massively high heart rates leading to a bad season after that. I was starting feeling pretty good again and ready to get back into things and then broke my foot. Was that just before you moved to England then? It was a year before. I broke it in the gym, then they had me training for 9 months afterwards. There was 2 x-rays, a bone scan, an MRI and then they finally figured out that there was a bone chip moving up and down my foot everytime I took a step. (Collective empathetic grimace) On the subject of physically pursuing things, I’ve noticed the majority of your art output is more hands on, painting signs, textiles and a whole medley of other real life productions as opposed to a computer screen? I think the reason I love doing anything creative is because it is with my hands and I’m not staring at a computer screen. The last job I had, there was lots of hand drawing but then having to scan everything in and prep it to send off to the factories on the computer, which was alright, but I’d love if I could just hand draw everything and keep it analogue because it’s just a lot more satisfying that way. Do you ever get worried about hurting hands whilst skating? (Instant regret kicks in after asking this question) I try not to think about it (laughs). Everyone touches wood. Yeah touch wood (laughs). I did so many bert slides at the beginning and my wrists got pretty twisted up so I’ve tried to avoid them but I don’t know, yeah (laughs).
Do you have any input into the manufacturing? I’ve noticed with your own designs things are more ethically sourced. Exactly, I think anything I’m doing under my own name, I try and keep as local as possible just because it’s rad to support anything local really, other design makers, factories and stuff in the UK or Europe if UK isn’t an option. But then in contrast to that I spent my first 6 months working in luxury fashion, after graduating which is still really weird to think about.
Another collaboration I discovered you did was a campaign bus for the Lib Dems? (Laughs) Yeah, I illustrated the Lib Dem campaign bus, the year they completely shit the bed (laughs). I worked at a bakery during foundation and the friend I was working with ended up being the graphic designer for the Lib Dems that year. It was one of those weird things when the opportunity arose. “Yeah why not?” It was an experience for sure, it was cool seeing stuff in print that size because I don’t know when I’ll ever do a bus again.
Tell us about some of your collaborations, the Doc Marten one was so dope. That one happened after linking up with one of their Menswear designers on instagram, she helped sort out my Grad collection sponsorship and their illustrator feature came afterwards. That was pretty sick because it was just “Do what you like on a pair of boots” type thing. Alec took some sick photos and we just hung out and painted and ate a lot of snacks so it was pretty solid (laughs).
I noticed that when you captioned it on your page you left it quite ambiguous as to your actual opinion. Exactly, at least it wasn’t UKIP (laughs). Would you like to do more artwork within the skateboard industry? Board and tee graphics etc.? Yeah I’d be stoked to do that, just anything, I’m pretty open for everything because I think each project brings a new angle making you think about things in a different way. It’s
always cool just working with people that you haven’t before. I’ll just be sending loads of emails out I guess trying to find someone to help me pay my rent (laughs). How do you feel hanging out with other artists, is it competitive, or more of a community? I think it’s been something that has pushed me so much, because I wanted to switch to an illustration course for so long...I’m really glad I stuck with textiles in the end - because I was doing more illustration it helped me stand out from a class of 90. I think most of the guys that I skate with are all doing something creative and it’s just really fun seeing what projects everyone is doing. Bromley’s always smashing it with Blast Skates and then pretty much everyone at Stockwell is doing something creative so it’s always sound. Do you think that pushes your productivity? Yeah I think so. It’s really cool because you go out and skate then sit down and just talk the art side of things as well, it’s just nice
being able to combine two things that I love so much with so many people who are really stoked to do both of them. Their vernacular isn’t classic art ponce either, it’s more “Faakin ‘ell, that’s faackin’ sick!” (Laughs) It’s funny because there’s so many super mellow guys at Stockwell as well, they’re just the loud ones that you hear all the time I guess? (Laughs) It’s such a good group of locals, I think the biggest thing for me is that you can show up anytime of day and there’ll be someone that you know standing around, having breakfast, or just chilling, like 4 in the morning you find someone passed out in the sugar bowl. Embodiment of a solid community to say the least, when are you next checking in a the Brixton Beach? Right now. Purchase and appreciate Liisa’s marvelous work by going to - www.liisachisholm.com Follow Liisa - @liisachisholm Say “Hi” in real life also.
HOW NOT TO BE DARWIN Sup Y’all, Kaygeezeee in the house! I hope you are all enjoying the first dose of Vague so far! Its an absolute honour to be invited to take part in the mayhem so, thank you Guy and Reece! Right, enough of that soppy crap... So, what the hell am I doing here? Good question. I’m not entirely sure! Bad answer I know, but let’s just go with the flow! (oh that rhymed) *Dab* One thing that I do know for sure is that us wheelieplankers love what we do and we ain’t gonna stop until our legs fall off! So I guess my goal is to give some basic rehab tips that have worked for me in the past, so that you too can upload 39 tricks on your 39th birthday to the Gram, just like the boss, Andrew Reynolds just did! See you next year Rey-Rey! So where shall we start? Well I don’t want to bore you straight away so lets start with something that we can all relate to... No, not Ganjwax!!! Yes, it’s the best lube on the planet, but I was talking about the dreaded ROLLED ANKLE! (and lack of dorsiflexion that comes with it*) Quick scenario - Young Darwin is down the skatepark with his yung homies. Darwin, like myself, is a self-confessed media whore. The sesh is going well and Darwin learns a new trick. “Yo Nylon, can you film my new trick for Insta?” (its a...say, Nollie 720 Heel? Just so I don’t put anyone off trying a normal
trick...What? Oh, Sorry Decunha...). Anyway, Nylon agrees “Yeah but make sure you give me filming creds this time”. A few tries later with only 2% battery left on Nylon’s Sumsang, Darwin knows it’s now or well... tomorrow. He doesn’t flip his board right but commits anyway as it’s his last claim to fame for the day. It all goes wrong and his foot rolls over the side of the board! Ouch, you know the rest of the story. He spends the next two weeks swiping right on Tinder, posting TBTs on a Wednesday and playing ‘hide the sausage in your hand’. Eventually, a month or so later, Darwin can skate again, but at a price. He has lost his Dorsiflexion Range of Motion (ROM) because he barely moved his ankle for two weeks after he twisted it! Now he can’t bend down as far on the injured leg, so his body compensates by turning the knee inwards to gain more “ROM” (causing him knee pain because of the bad mechanics at the knee joint). He also compensates by putting all his weight on his “good” leg, causing him more imbalances in the body which will create more problems further down the line! Not to mention his new Kebab Flips! Poor Darwin. *Dorsiflexion - backward flexion of the hand or foot.
The first couple of days after a rolled ankle will probably involve a lot of rest, Ice and ‘hide the sausage’. But the goal is to get your ankle moving as much as possible (without too much pain) ASAP ROCKY, to avoid adaptive muscle shortening of your achilles tendon. I find that stretching and myofascial release (using a foam roller or tennis ball - In this case) are two very effective ways to gain mobility in the ankle. Here are a couple of stretches that I used to regain my Dorsiflexion ROM after an ankle roll. Get involved! KORAHN GAYLE Knee To Wall Stretch:
“Fuck this restriction. Stretching’s my new addiction”
Standing Calf Stretch: This stretch will release your soleus and gastrocnemius muscles in the calf. With your foot raised against the wall (as the picture shows), lean forwards into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds - 2 minutes or until you feel a release or gain some new ROM. This stretch can be done against a wall or with your foot on the tail of your skateboard and lifting the nose towards you. To perform this stretch correctly, ensure that your foot is pointing straight to the wall and your knee is in line with your second and third toes.
This stretch will release your soleus muscle, in the calf. Push your knee towards the wall with your heel on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds - 2 minutes or until you feel a release or gain some new ROM. To perform this stretch correctly, be sure to keep your heel on the floor, your foot is pointing to the wall and your knee in line with your second and third toes. This stretch can be done kneeling or bending down (as the picture shows) and is a great way to compare Dorsiflexion ROM between ankles.
“Shit son, this is genius. Its stretching my gastrocnemius”
Illustrations Mike O’Shea
BEAK BREWERY Interview by Guy Jones Photo by Robbie Chilton What sparked your interest in beer? I’ve been interested in beer for as long as I can remember. One of my earliest memories is of my grandad drinking a pint of best bitter shandy in the sun. I was only a toddler but I already loved everything about it: the smell, the colour, the sight. As a teen, I got really into local real ales. I read the local CAMRA magazine, The Tyke Taverner, and would rate different beers out of ten with my friend Jo. If that wasn’t nerdy enough, ten years ago I took my now wife on our first date to the Theakstones Brewery in Masham – we were driven there by my grandad. When and how did you get into brewing? I started home brewing about six years ago, whilst working as a full-time food and drink writer, which is something I still do. I was doing a lot of travelling at the time, interviewing artisan producers around the UK, Europe and US. One day I distinctly remember thinking to myself: ‘I’d much rather be making food than writing about it.’ And there and then I decided to buy a home brew kit. I had no idea what I was doing. I just taught myself by reading online forums. I was amazed when my first brew – a single hopped Cascade pale ale – actually turned out okay. I’ve been obsessed with it ever since.
What is it about home brewing that appealed to you? I love the smell, the alchemy, the waiting, the satisfaction of putting something homemade on the table and the pleasure of knowing I’m participating in one of the oldest activities known to man. There was a time when almost every household in Britain made its own ale. The woman of the house – the Brewster - would do the brewing and the man would do the serving. Those households that were particularly good at it opened up as Public Houses, or ‘pubs’. I believe that if interest in home brewing ever diminishes then we risk losing an important part of our culinary heritage. Sounds a bit over the top doesn’t it? But look what happened in America. Home brewing in The States was banned until 1978. As a result, the beer industry was starved of talent, innovation and creativity, spawning an industry dominated by four multinational brewers specialising in beer that placed profit over flavour. In effect, American forgot what good beer tasted like. And this could easily have happened here – in fact it sort of did for a while. How did you transform your hobby into The Beak? I started by selling my homebrew to friends and family. I would brake even and use the money to buy more ingredients. Then a few years ago I bought a tiny 100-litre pilot system and began
making a few hundred bottles at a time. The first place to take a chance with my beer was The Reliance in Leeds – one of my favourite restaurants in the world. I had a little tasting session with Steve and he agreed to stock my Rye IPA. I couldn’t believe my luck. Word spread and I spent the next couple of years ferrying beer around Leeds using a combination of stolen supermarket trolleys and a VW Polo. A part of me is really proud that I pretty much lost money on every beer I sold for a long time. What is the brewery’s concept? The Beak specialises in unfiltered, unpasteurised beers that pair well with food. It’s nomadic, too. So instead of making my beer in one place I travel around the country creating one-off beers in collaboration with interesting people and organisations, ranging from microbreweries and farmers markets to restaurants and English vineyards. Pretty much all my beers start the same way: with me sitting at my desk researching and thinking about different ingredients. I think I’ve read The Oxford Companion to Beer by Garrett Oliver and The Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit
about 16 times each. When I’m done reading and researching I design each recipe on my laptop using brewing software and then test it a few times on a pilot-system scale. I’m still selfdistributing so I spend a lot of time on the road between Leeds, London and Manchester listening to The Magnolia Electric Co and Adam Buxton podcasts. Have you brewed anything else aside from beer? I once made a batch of Indian tonic water with some friends as a little experiment. We bought cinchona bark from Peru and then brewed with lemon, orange and honey. It turned out way too bitter so I decided to stick to what I do best. How similar do you feel the skateboarding and brewing communities are? At one time these two communities kept themselves to themselves. You’d rarely meet a skateboarder that was obsessed with good beer and you certainly wouldn’t meet many CAMRA enthusiasts that knew who Mike York was. But the beer scene these days is younger, more inclusive
and creative than it once was, which I think appeals to skateboarders. There’s also a strong DIY aesthetic to craft brewing that appeals. In terms of what sets the two scenes apart; the beer world tends to be a little nerdier and more macho – two things I cannot really relate to. Jay Cover designed The Beak’s logo; has he always held the reigns for this side of things or do you collaborate with other artists as well? I was introduced to Jay by my friend Ollie Shaw from Catalogue, who designed my website and label. We gave him a super loose remit: to create a logo that embodied The Beak ethos and that didn’t take its inspiration from the beer world or other beer labels. I was blown away by what he produced and fell in love with the logo instantly. It was playful, unique and timeless. And it kind of reminded me of the sort of thing you’d see on a French wine label from the 1980s – which was just what I wanted. Jay is one of my favourite artists so I hope we’ll be working together for a long time.
What ales are you working on right now? The beer style causing the most excitement at the moment is undoubtedly the Vermont Pale Ale. For the non-beer nerds amongst us, this is a beer characterised by low bitterness, massive fruitsalad-like aromas, murky appearance, silky smooth mouth feel and relatively low alcohol content. Make no mistake about it: this beer can be awful. But done right it can be an amazing expression of new world hops. I’ve been working on my own interpretation of this style for a while, tinkering around with water chemistry, different flaked malts and dry hopping schedules, and I’ve finally created a recipe I’m really pleased with. I’ll be brewing this from June onwards. Support Danny Tapper and enjoy Beak beer through - www.beakbrewery.com Follow Beak - @thebeakbrewery
What have been some of the hardest things to brew and what are some of the liquids you’re most proud of? The hardest part of running a brewery isn’t the actual brewing; it’s everything else that comes with the territory, including branding, costing, logistics, selling, cash flow and bureaucracy. But if I had to pick my hardest brew to date then I’d probably say my Bolney Estate Porter. I decided to age this batch in a red wine barrel sourced from the Bolney Estate vineyard in Sussex. During the trip back up to Leeds the barrel broke free of its rope and almost escaped through the back door of the van on the motorway. After that, I almost broke my wrist whilst transferring the porter from cask to barrel. Ten months later I hand bottled and labelled the entire batch. It took me two full days to do 700 bottles during which time I accidently drank some peracetic acid. I’m still stoked I did the beer though.
Illustration - Jay Cover
Jack Taylor Kyle Platts
Dave Tyson Daniel Clarke
Hiroki Muraoka Seb Braun
LEGAL WHYS? The rise in popularity of Legal Highs in Manchester along with the corresponding rise in negative social impacts which they cause has been astronomical within the past 4 years. Working in the northern quarter of Manchester, where many of the known retailers of these drugs are located - and in particular, working within a small independent business whose glass front looks out directly onto a stairwell and alcove which has recently attracted growing numbers of legal high consumers to lurk and consume these deadly elixers - I have witnessed this devastating epidemic first hand. What started with small groups standing for short periods in our entrance alcove whilst preparing joints filled with this stuff, smoking it and then leaving, began growing over weeks and months into a situation where groups of miscreants spanning an alarming range of ages (from about 10 years old to 40+ years of age) were coming together to consume this stuff. This was resulting in a situation whereby members of our staff would routinely have to step outside the shop to ask glazed-eyed zombies if they could at least refrain from sitting on BOTH sides of the divided stairwell, effectively blocking all customers access to the shops and bars in the raised arcade in which we are located. The effects of these drugs were so powerful that sometimes such a question would only elicit a confused, unintelligable grunt furthered by no movement - at such times another less faded member of the group has taken it upon themselves to physically move the comatose participant to one side. The Police orginally pleaded powerless to move them on as they were supposedly committing no crime, but in recent weeks after months of horrendous congregations growing to levels which they could no longer ignore, and repeated incidents of children as young as ten being hospitalised from the effects of joining in with the legal high gangs, police officers do occasionally pass through and break up the vagrant groups. From what I can gather from watching the same familiar faces coming back for more, it would seem that some of the long-term effects are to make the user stupider and more shaky, less able to communicate, it appears to corrode the skin, and in some cases, it genuinely seems to have made previously (comparitively) well presented and domesticated teenagers homeless. I have had this confirmed by a conversation with one of the kids addicted to this stuff, and he told of others of his friends who have also been kicked out by their parents along with himself. One girl who used to lurk in these groups I now see sitting with her blanket on Portland
Street daily begging for change. We even caught on to a group of shameless middle-aged, Fagan-esque men who were buying legal highs only to sell them on to school kids in the alcove who were unable to buy them first-hand due to the arbitrary age limit of 18 imposed by the retailers. Arriving at work in the morning we would routinely find the stairwell littered with discarded packaging from these legal highs, and when one bothers to study any of these in detail, the designs, artwork and names adorning the product are almost as alarming as the outcomes of consumption. It’s pretty alarming that the disclaimer that they all offer is that of a ‘Research Chemical - Not To Be Ingested’ or state that they are for ‘Research Use Only’. One of the most disturbing brands I can recall finding is ‘Happy Joker’, which has an ‘acid face’ design wearing a jester’s hat. I’ve never seen much evidence that the stuff makes the user happy - in my experience it seems that after people have ingested any of this stuff (which produces the most lung-burning, eye-wateringly unnatural stench if you are unlucky to walk past during its consumption), their experience is one of shaky silence rather than joyous elation. My personal favourite for sheer bizarreness, however, has got to be ‘Psyclone’ - a brand who’s packet featured an intensely evil skeleton looking out at the customer with a beckoning finger. I still can’t fathom how a product fronted by a menacing skeleton, and which threatens the user with a metaphorical CYCLONE in their mind, could appeal to anyone. It’s a crazy world.
Illustration Mike O’Shea
Joe Gavin - Switch Frontside 180 Photo: Leung
George Smith - Ollie Photo: Leung
Ben Broyd - Sadplant Photo: West
Korahn Gayle - Kickflip Photo: Peck
Alex Appleby - Gap Over Backside Lipslide Photo: Leung
Casper Brooker - Impossible Photo: Leung
Shaun Currie - Alley Oop Frontside 360 Kickflip Photo: Leung
Joe Paget - Frontside Bluntslide Backside Bigspin Photo: Leung
Paul ‘Wappo’ Watson - Frontside Nosebluntslide Rag In Photo: Leung
CELEBRATIONS Linda Darkness. God, it’s sweltering in here. I hope I can bust out soon. The sweat’s dripping, itching, from my armpits and curved down along the underside of my tits. But I’m so squashed I can’t do anything about it, I can barely breathe. Just have to wait.... Seems like I’ve been in the darkness hours now, though I know really it’s only about four hours or so, waiting for the Birthday Boy to show up; to make an appearance so I can push upwards and out through the fake plastic top, and yell: “SURPRISE!” AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS, while everyone else watches – all those strangers - with casual smirks, with raised ironic eyebrows, never giving anything solid away: a mixture of pity and lust that I’ve grown used to. This is what it must feel like to be buried alive. God, I’m so morbid. Need to think about something else, something normal – like Mike. I wonder if he’ll be home when I get back later tonight? I know he’s a big fan of chicken so that might be the best idea... curry... a homemade sauce… still got to impress him. Haven’t got him hooked quite yet. Still plenty of time to go wandering... God, I can hardly breathe. The heat’s ripping the oxygen from my lungs. I’ll need some water soon as I get out. What can I hear now? Murmured conversation and a little gentle laughter but not much else. Same as always: everyone waiting for me, the star of the show. The penultimate star anyways. But that’s better than no star at all, right? My sweat’s beginning to soak the silver glitter I’ve sprinkled all over. But it’s not washing me, cleaning me up or cooling me down. No, it’s just making me itchier than ever. And I still can’t scratch. It’s getting itchier by the second and I can’t move... But wait, what’s this, finally: abrupt hushes, chairs scraping into a semi-circle, muted laughter. At last, and not before time I can tell you. I can hear them counting: One. Two. Three! And this is when I EXPLODE! My forehead breaks the surface and I hold out my bare glittery arms and, finally, I breathe in the too-loud applause and the mocking laughter that is mine to own, I inhale these stranger’s racketing emotions and I gulp them down deep, nauseous, to remember and to try and forget until I’m finally finished with all this.
IT’S NOT WHERE YOU’RE FROM
Pronunciation: Wul Explanation: Someone from over the water/not Liverpool or a behaviourial description
Pronunciation: B-you-t Explanation: An offensive name for someone you’re not keen on
Example: “Where is he from? Birkenhead? What a wool!” Or “Wool behaviour that!”
Example: “Eee, he’s pissed on the seat, what a beaut!”
Pronunciation: Webbs Explanation: A term for footwear, in particular trainers.
Pronunciation: Freeze rod Explanation: A frozen treat, mr freeze, ice lolly
Example: “Got some new webbs there have you kid?”
Example: “You going the shop Luke? Get the freeze rod’s in, i’m sweating here.”
Pronunciation: J-aaaaaar-g Explanation: Bad or fake.
Pronunciation: L-a-a-a-a-a (holding for longer depended on how excited you are) Explanation: A friendly greeting, attention capturing descriptor, short for lad
Example: “Mate your trackie is deffo jarg! Is it from Tuebrook market?”
Example: “Laaaaaa you wont believe who I’ve just seen.” ‘SWERVE’ Pronunciation: Sweerve Explanation: Stear clear, bail it off or stop doing that
Example: “Ey swerve being a bellend!”
‘BLEND’ Pronunciation: Blend Explanation: Subtley right a wrong or apply discretion.
Example: “Watch out with that joint there’s bizzies down there, blend it la.”
Pronunciation: A-b-aaaaaaaa (hold the ‘A’ and screw face) Explanation: About, estimate
Example: “I’ll be abar 20 minutes just hang on!”
Pronunciation: Bol-tic Explanation: When the temperature is below an acceptable level
Example: “Need a coat out there today its fucking baltic” OLI BIRCH LAA Photo - Leung