(Featured: Sidewalk Magazine Issue 211, Folk-lore, April 2014.)
Featuring an ensemble cast of almost every UK skater you can think of, ‘Albion’ by Ryan Gray, Kevin Parrot and Morph, could be considered a scene video for the whole country; it is easily one of the finest UK skateboard videos. What originally started out at three separate video projects from each man behind the lense; roughly two years in the making, it’s safe to say everyone involved has clearly worked hard and it has seriously paid off. The soundtrack is also pretty top notch ,except one song, I’ll get to that later, and thanks to with Morph’s certain…finesse while filming there’s enough crack head encounters to contend with cherry. So without giving too much away, here are more than a few reasons why you need to get your hands on a copy.
Daryl Dominguez kicks the video off at mach-ten level by laying down stair and gap hammer after hammer, a few sections later into the video the ‘stair-hammer’ torch is passed on to Kris Vile who also must have contended with his fair share of winter palm stingers from the amount of stairs handled over the course of filming.
Loose lipped ATV killer Denis Lynn takes the first full length section. With style, speed and slams; Denis reminds us he’s even better at skating than he is spouting one liners, all the while providing a good blend of transition and street footage. The last 30 seconds of Denis’ part is full of non-stop eyebrow-raisers including lesser seen manoeuvres; such as a fakie blindside tailslide on a out ledge and backside no-comply tailslide shove out that oozes style…not to the mention the DIY monstrosity of an ender.
Cut within the main sections are two montages, the first features back on the grid bucket hat aficionado Harry Lintel, still fresh from his comeback with a vengeance along with Chris Oliver, Jerome Campbell, Baines and Gav Coughlan killing it amongst others. Montage #2 delivers a couple of team lineups, including a bunch of ex-Blueprint riders for you to get misty eyed over, but not before witnessing that extra Tom Knox footage you’ve needed since he rounded off 11th Hour. Also The National Skateboard Co gents have a few tricks with a beauty of a frontside flip from Manhead.
With pint sized Liverpool shredder Charlie Birch, everything is ‘sound’, even when it comes to jumping down things double his size, and with appearances from fellow Lost Artists Tom Tanner, Geff, and Vaughan Jones; this part is superb. When not popping off walls into banks and onto northern electric boxes, Charlie goes for rails that would be rad to see from your average fully grown stair jumper. So it’s even more impressive to see the little 15 year old nail them with such precision and it goes without saying keep a look out for Charlie.
If you’ve seen Nick Remon skate, ever, you don’t need us to tell you how good he is so simply put – Vans Excursion? Completely on level and this part is only two minutes long. There are also more than a few head-scratchers that are going to be studied relentlessly; well done Nick, you’ve killed it, confused us a bit and earned a few bags of crisps. Trill Palace badman Karim goes unchained alongside Chewy Cannon and some fellow Wayward Boys; although this is where my previously mentioned musical gripe comes in. I imagine it took some serious blagging on Karim and Morph’s behalf to get the choice of song used but while it is awful (for me, anyway) it does fit with the gully mans’ shared section.
Fairly transition heavy footage amongst other street antics and with cameos from a few other bowl blasters, Reamers and Horsey take the penultimate section. However thanks to Horsey’s choice of wheels, it could genuinely be something pulled from skateboardrumours.co.uk.
“Hear about Reamers and Horsey sharing a part?
Reamers did gnarly back-to-back 360s at Tottenham. No pads. Acting like he’s Ben fucking Raybourne.
Horsey got spotted with some pink wheels, head to toe in tie-dye Send Help, prancing about like he’s Todd fucking Bratrud. Called him out and offered a box of Marlboro lights for bluntsliding into this massive bank.
Next levs speed wobbles like.”
Finally, smooth styled man of the swoosh Jak Pietryga takes a double song part that is hands down worthy of closing the video. Filled with lengthy lines and a wide assortment of fast footed trickery, alongside his complete command over both regular and switch insanity; Jak should be stoked on the end result and so will you.
Due to the amount of people featured in Albion, all of which smashed it, some have been skipped over for reviewing purposes, with this being the case there is so much rad footage (and an extra 9 minutes of bonus clips) it really has been hard to chose who to mention, because this review could be an essay. Aside from being it being a UK video making it easy to relate to, the main crew are constantly seen hyping each other up in the same manner your group of mates will go ape shit over your next hometown hammer. Another thing Albion really does well is reinforce the willingness of UK skaters to get shit done through the constant haggard spots and despite the freezing weather we endure and know half of this video has been filmed in. Over the course of this review, I’ve watched Albion three times, and by the time this is in print it’ll have had more viewings as it’s the perfect length to stick on and go skate. Seriously, Albion does not disappoint, pick up a copy and support the guys on home turf that get you stoked.