Sunday, 29 September 2013

Non Stop Fitting Room Archive Part 2: The Rock City Skate 'festivals'

Posts over the summer have fallen to a level of infrequency comparable to Frozen in Carbonite, without the admirable quality control.  Too much actual skateboarding in the here-and-now has left little time to post 'owt about way-back-when.  Perhaps the only disadvantage of the amazing summer we've had in the UK.
Anyway, back to getting some of those photos that have been languishing in the gloom of Non Stop's fitting rooms back into the electronic light of day.  The next three posts relate to some particularly fond memories:  the first two relate to themes of macro importance to skating in Big Notts in the late 90s and early 200s; the third has more personal appeal to a small group of us.
The Rock City Skate Festivals - 1997-1999

For two/three years running (depending on whether you count the last one, which kind of got cancelled after being moved to the ice stadium) the owners of hair-metal-sticky-floor teenage drinking venue Rock City took leave of their senses and allowed Non Stop to organise a skate jam/booze-addled party inside the nightclub.  In the first one, the Panic-Blueprint team showed up to promote their first vid, Mixed Media...  and Paul Shier kickflip-50-50'd the edge of the main-stage out of a sketchy kicker.  Sidewalk have already reminisced on how mental these events were...  unlikely to ever happen again given skating is now so much more visible.  The venue literally didn't know what they were letting themselves in for - a couple of hundred nobs took over the place and used it as a massive skatepark, most of them drunk out of their minds.  The midlands were introduced to Pritchard's Welsh genitalia.  I remember learning to ollie by repeatedly jumping onto then off the stage of Disco 2, not really distracted by Feeder trying to dreary their way through middle-of-the-road indie-rock on the same stage at the time.
And some dude took a bunch of black-and-white pictures...  no one remembers who.  I checked with Horsley....  it wasn't him or any other Sidewalk-affiliates, so I guess its OK to post them.
[ADDENDUM TO THIS SHIZNITZ: I've just found out that the man behind these photographs is none other than my good buddy and raddest dad Ben Taylor, source of unfailing positivity and owner of a floaty, fruity flow on his plank.  Not sure how he found time to take these snaps - for a photography course, I believe - given I clearly remember him shredding hard throughout the event whilst dressed as Toymachine-era Brian Anderson).

Pics above and below: Lil' Jon Weatherall by the looks of it, performing tres flips to fakie, presumably in the first and second years - unless he went for a t-shirt change.

And the unmistakable form of Craig Smedley smashing a frontside flip - in the era in which he was in his element - white DC Syntaxes, massive jeans, white tees.  He had every flip trick correct, and still has.

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