The incredible new Welcome Skate Store video ‘Welcome 2: Hell’ premiered last night and is now online for your viewing pleasure (watch below). We thought it would be good timing to upload Issue 22’s ‘White Roses & Square Eyes’ article to the web! Read what Jono Coote and top filmer Josh Hallett had to say below then get stuck into this very dope full length video! Big, big ups to everyone involved with this one, it was a certified banger! This article features Will Sheerin, Dale Starkie, Zeta Rush, Blinky, Albie Edmonds, Victor Mputu, Fraser Doughty, Foz and Lost Art affiliate Jake Mitchell!
Words by Jono Coote & Josh Hallett
Photography by Reece Leung & Leo Sharp
A break in the weather allowed me and Josh Hallett to sit out in the pub beer garden whilst conducting this interview, but the precipitation which has bookmarked our pints seems to negate the possibility of what we were discussing; the plausibility that, for possibly the first time ever, there are four separate full length videos being filmed mostly within the confines of Leeds. Josh is in charge of filming and editing duties for Welcome Skate Store’s upcoming feature, but rather than a straightforward Q&A – and in honour of the parallel projects being filmed across the city – we decided to skip things like cameras used, injuries sustained and issues encountered, and instead focus on what Leeds-based and associated videos have influenced Josh over the years. Or, to put it in other words, we did what we normally do; drink pints and nerd out over skateboarding. Obviously talking about skating in the pub doesn’t always lend itself to focus and coherency, especially around the 3rd or 4th pint mark, but the linearity of time is only due to the narrow scope of our five senses anyway; so stop questioning my journalistic stringency and either go type Carlo Rovelli into your search engine or keep reading here then go watch some of this back catalogue of visual radness in anticipation for Josh’s latest addition to the Leeds video pantheon.
It’s hard to remember the first video I associated with Leeds, because I would just find out about Leeds skateboarding through Harry (Meadley)’s website Don’t Mess With Yorkshire. He had this really small webcam thing with a folded out little screen, I remember him filming Mike Wright at Tech Ten. I didn’t know them then, I’d just be out in Leeds and I’d be like “What’s Harry filming with?” Then I went and got the same camera to go home and try to create the same website for our local scene, which obviously didn’t work. 120p web clips or whatever, so grainy, but I’d go on that website loads. That crew at the time, Mike Wright, Tom Harrison, Rory Martinez, I loved watching those guys.
When it came out, Ryan Gray’s Things I Don’t Remember, that was the one I liked to watch. It was around when Will (Sheerin) was friends with C-Cash (Charlie Comrie), those two were the kids on Exit and Will ended up being in that video. We really looked up to people like James Gorman, Miller, Jason Brown, thinking how gnarly those dudes were. I remember going to The Works as a kid, people skating the park, I was intimidated and didn’t know what to skate. I went to the top, the balcony that used to be there, and Jase was up there doing switch frontside flips on flat. I stood in the corner by myself, idolising him (laughs).
Next up I guess is Yorkshire Puddings in 2007 – I was rinsing that Dave Walker part, where he skates to the Spinto Band, which was a big thing for me and my friends around that time. I did an edit of our friends skating to the same song, just because we loved that part so much. I loved that dude’s skating, just a powerful Hyde Park skater and I’d never seen street footage of him until then. I say street footage, but my favourite clip in it is at Stoke Plaza, when he ollies onto a ledge and does a backside flip off this massive bit… backside flipping at a skatepark, off a grom drop, full on Starkie style, it just looks so good.
Dayzed and Confused was the first one I remember going to, the first real premiere I went to. It was a good night and a really good video, Rory did well with that one. I miss Rory, I never see him anymore! He was such a good skater as well. Seeing him before I really knew him, doing nollie hardflip reverts over the hip at Hyde, was kind of intimidating. It took me a while to realise someone that good at skating was kind of in charge of the Leeds videos, like it’s mad that he was putting trust in people and just giving the camera over to the homies. Avid’s part, where he’s singing Simply Red (laughs) and the clip is superimposed in the sky over him bombing Royal Park Hill? I was just having a piss then and thinking about that part. Anyway, I remember it was at Nation of Shopkeepers, back when skateboarders went there. Now it’s just full of estate agents and people who are in recruitment. It was a great place, it’s weird how places change.
The premiere of Sore Skateboards’ Reprobates was great because of how early in the day it was and how early everyone was drunk. We were all at Hyde at 11am, everyone drinking, and the video was on at 2pm or something. We all went into town afterwards, smashed. Again, we ended up in Nation that night. So many skaters, just plastered around Hyde Park. Other than that, I go to so many premieres in Manchester… but then we’ve got four videos coming out in the next few months. We’re the new Manchester, you hear that Joe Gavin?!
I don’t remember which premiere it was, but I remember at one of them Blake Porter-Reynolds, one of the Ultraboiz, he was at Brud chatting to some girl. He had his board in his hand, I was with George Smith and a few others. George saw them and was like “Look, he’s talking to a girl over there,” then just walked up, took Blake’s board out of his hand, snapped it then walked away again. The girl just walked away from Blake confused, and he was just standing there with his snapped board on the floor.
Snyde Park and the Curse of Brudenell Road is my favourite video to watch if I’m sat at home having a few beers, either by myself or with a crew. The vibe it’s got is amazing, it captures the feeling of Leeds skateboarding at the time. I don’t know what it is about it, but I never watch bits of it, I always watch it as a whole. It’s Alex, so there’s a really dirty lens at certain points, but that doesn’t make a difference. The music’s on point, the hip hop track Lau skates to just fits so well. That bit at the end, where Blinky’s board goes in the canal and he has to get it? We were there filming with Jake Mitchell recently and the same happened to him, Albie went in to get it and we got the full five minute homage clip. Alex Appleby, he films loads then hands the camera to the homies and comes away with a full part. He’s kind of Rory McKenzie part two, he’s that good on a board.
There are certain sections in Reprobates which I love, like Brenna’s part, Ali Watson’s part. That ollie outside Leeds Uni, in a line! He didn’t session that one trick, he did it in a line! I love that part, he’s got a bit of Wales footage in there which is good. I didn’t really know that before him Leeds and Wales had a link, with Christian Hart linking up South Wales and Leeds. Speaking of Christian, that part in Now That’s What I Call Skateboarding! where they’re all skating in boiler suits is so sick.
The Sore video I love the most is Naga, not even just the skating but the random bits of shit going on while they were on sessions. Sore was before its time, if he had started it five years later it would still be going I think. I was always a little intimidated of Vince when he was doing Sore, but now I’ve got to know him I fucking love him, he’s such a top guy.
Filming at Hyde Park
We’re a slow city, maybe it’s the lack of spots. Does Hyde footage count? I’ve been called out for using it before.
Jono: There’s untapped potential, no-one has stepped to the Stu Graham gap (quarter to bank) since his attempt.
I wonder who else could do that? Dean maybe? No one else is savage enough. I think if it’s transition based it’s okay, but if you film a hardflip over the hip and put it in your video, people are going to ask what you’re doing. That edit Will made of Foz, all of that could go in a video part.
Mike Wright to me was, and probably still is, the most talented skater I’ve ever witnessed in person. He was this enigma when we were growing up, an insanely good skater who would always be around Leeds. Adam said when he first started skating, he was at Millennium Square and Mike turned up and was switch frontside flipping the gap, first try, messing around; ridiculously next level.
Dudes of Sport has one of the gnarliest tricks done in Leeds of all time in it, with Vaughan Jones’ nollie 360 into the Man Bank. It’s all kind of mellow skating, everyone messing around, then Vaughan does that (laughs). He’s definitely one of those skaters, footage doesn’t capture how good he is.
I feel like Albie might be a ‘Leeds Skater of the Year’ type situation, the amount of skating and filming he’s doing with everyone. He kind of came out of nowhere and just said “Yeah, I’ll film parts with everyone”, and just pieced it all together.
Tom Brown in Pulling Teeth, imagine pushing mongo in your part and skating to The Police and still getting away with it? That’s how legit he is!
I’ll say it over and over again, Foz is the most talented skater in Leeds right now. He’s just one of those dudes who’ll never lose it, he makes shit look easy.
We haven’t even mentioned Joe Lynskey once but fuck me, what a fucking amazing skateboarder. We’d come to Hyde, he’d be doing nollie big spins over the hip but clearing the whole thing. So much power, even now people don’t do tricks the way he did over that thing. I think Will skates the way he does because of him, we used to watch him and just go “That’s the way you’re meant to skate.”
Albie’s talked about doing the front smith melon out, the Ben Kadow, we’ve just been trying to find a spot for it. We thought L Ledge might work, but I went with Dale the other week to try and film and it was full of Otley Runners, just horrible.
Eh up and away
Lockdown’s helped, but we’ve purposefully made it as Yorkshire as possible. There’s only two clips so far from London in the whole video. They’re good clips and we’ll use them, but I feel like, if it’s a UK video, it’s got to be filmed in the UK I guess. When we were younger we’d go to Barcelona, film loads and put it in with other footage from around here, but looking back it doesn’t fit in aesthetically at all with the type of video you’re trying to make.
Filmer you would most like to see make a Leeds scene video
One of my favourite filmers is Geoff Campbell. When I was in hospital having surgery years ago Ry brought me Cunnies Box and I watched it over and over again, it’s one of my favourite videos and I still rinse it to this day. All of Geoff Campbell’s stuff is amazing, I love his stuff more than anyone’s. The way he mixes Super 8 and VX, I know it’s not an original thing but just the way he does it.
There’s been loads of smaller videos in the last ten years, Joe Allen’s videos – he came out of nowhere it felt like, and started making skate videos, his new video is going to be so good. Him and Will Smith, I’m so excited for those videos. Will’s video is going to be so banging; a new Lau part, I think that’s what everyone in Leeds has been waiting for. Albie’s been going mental for both videos, I’m really looking forward to both of them. Joe came onto the scene four or five years ago maybe, I didn’t really know him but he just put out this video and I didn’t even know anyone was filming those kids. It’s good to see how productive they all are, because they’re way more productive than me or my crew. I guess they’re at that age where they’ve got a skate house, if you live with all your mates that skate you’re going to be out skating loads.
While Will, I didn’t know he even filmed until recently – you know how good he is on a snowboard. He says to me he’s scared of some skate tricks, and I watch his snowboarding and think, “How the fuck are you scared of skateboarding?” He’s put a couple of things out in the past which have been sick, and I’m really looking forward to this new one. Lau, Foz, Albie, Little Harry AKA Larry the Squid, a good mix of people. I’ve spoken to Jack Gittins recently and I know he’s finishing his video, but I don’t know anything about it! I don’t know who’s involved, but it’ll be well produced, he’s a film major or something.
There’s a lot of people filming in Leeds at the moment, like I said, we’re finally rivalling Manchester.
Welcome Skate Store – ‘Welcome 2: Hell’