(Featured: Sidewalk Magazine website, April 2015.)
Cliché Skateboards latest video is here for you to feast your eyes on, this time focusing around the team’s infamous Gypsy Tours which has previously seen Fred Gall and Benny Fairfax along for the ride as special guests. For this journey, its Herion Skateboards bearded pool warrior Chet Childress taking the guest spot. Chet has also worked on the artwork for Gypsy life which features prominently and coupled with the fast editing can seem a bit a much initially, though as the video progress becomes an amusing fourth wall breaker. Abiding by the usual rules of no hotels and fifteen Euros a day, the opening commentary sets the pace for their gruelling journey across Europe with Kyron’s vision of ‘lots of sweaty men’ being applicable to any skate trip even if just down your local for the summer evening power hour.
Because of the tour video nature of this production most of the elder Cliché riders you may be expecting to appear are present only in small doses. Regardless, this does not stop (does anything?) Lucas Puig dishing up his expected yet always admired French stylings in various ways. Fakie Inward Heelflipping over a fire hydrant being one of them along with a couple of less is more ledge bangers on our home turf from last summer’s ‘Where’s Cliche’ tour.
The video does lay a spotlight on the younger and Am members of the Cliché roster, the first of which to deliver a full part is Paul Hart who amusingly with the above thought in mind skates to a live ensemble of ‘All The Young Dudes’ by David Bowie. For someone likely to be labelled a stair jumper, I found it refreshing that amidst flinging himself down 10+ stair sets, because this lad can go big, that Hart actually looks at ease delivering standard tricks and ledge tech lines. Also while not a strictly a Heelflipper a la Wieger (he can Kickflip, well at that), Hart delivers a good assortment of the notoriously hard to make look good trick, dropping a Switch Heel across a roof gap and Fakie down a couple of flights of stairs including the Santa Monica Triple set. Whilst Hart’s Fakie prowess continues by flicking a backwards Kickflip through an incredibly narrow spot (second angle, where are you…) and another one blindside into Backside 5050 on Clipper.
After some skate park partying, drinking and French techno mayhem, Kyron Davis is up next. It really is rad to see Kyron deliver a unique, very British approach to the spots laid in front of him with the footage of his job centre Wallride being even more amusing than the photo was. Newest recruit and all around transition devil Brad McClain provides all sorts of fast footed back to back coping dancing. While rounding off this shared part is Adrien Coillard who arrives in style by holding a lengthy Bluntslide to Fakie down a skinny hubba. Adrien’s skating is definitely one to marvel at with a nice blend of stuntman type trickery along with well thought out lines and interesting Boardslide/Lipslide to Smith and Feeble variations. Then ending the part giving Lyon’s famous hubba a right spanking with a Switch Nosebluntslide that’ll go down in history as one of the best tricks to ever grace the spot.
Those of the professional ranks of Cliché follow on with Flo Mirtain dishing out a tasty Frontside Tailslide to Fakie Feeble grind on a familiar bank spot and Javier Mendizabal smoothly cruising through transition. Cliché OG JB Gillette lays a line with trademark style so smooth to remind everybody he’s one of the few people in the world to make Gino look sloppy at times. Whereas foul mouthed Australian exports Sammy Winter and Andrew Brophy powerfully pop across the screen for a brief moment. Lem Villemen, who calls it quits after three days of the tour, and Daniel Espinoza also briefly appear while Lucas does Lucas to round off this section.
After some telling tales about the all around rogue nature and weariness the Gypsy Tour brings, Lucas delights us with trouble maker Max Geronzi’s antics from throughout the tour including hair dye spray cans to give us a good chuckle at a ginger Lucas. Max and Kyron’s frequent camaraderie is one of the most comedic bits of the video with both hyping each other up leading to Kyron stating ‘I wish I knew what you were saying now, Max.’ To which he replies in French ‘Huh, I don’t understand?’ After this tomfoolery we’re given arguably the most anticipated part in the production, by all at Sidewalk anyway, from Max Geronzi.
Those unfamiliar with Geronzi will find themselves in awe and rinsing his back catalogue of footage, with those in the know sure to be stoked at his casual demeanour and style that suggests he just threw a flip in at the spur of the moment rather than pre determining anything. If you paid close attention to our coverage of him last year, the Tailslide to bank gap and bump to bar Switch Late Shove are delivered at speeds you would not have assumed so while handrails, hubbas, stairs and gaps get thoroughly rinsed with French finesse. Lines are lengthy, as often are the grinds within them and furthermore, Max’s delivery of Fakie Backside Bluntsides and Switch Kickflips are so nonchalantly spectacular. Switch 360 flipping Barcelona’s renowned bump to bar is an absolute pisstake as is the following Backside Lipslide down an eight stair handrail – out of Manual. If I go on much further, I’ll spoil more than what is fair to do so of his part so quite simply, Max is beast and I’ll leave it there.
However in the end, the two week long Gypsy Tour is not that much of a daunting prospect to me. Actually that’s a lie, I’m soft, rubbish at drinking and my rotation of pristinely clean white tee shirts puts Gilbert Crockett to shame. However, a group of my friends spent last summer travelling across Europe, embarking on what they considered a Gyspy tour, in a battered camper van. At their most broke they survived on three Euros, a baguette and a block of cheese a day. Cliché’s bohemian endeavours pale in comparison to the retelling of events I’ve heard from the months my friends spent on their Gypsy tour and the Cliché team had five times the expense my mates lived on. So perhaps these pampered professionals need to man up a little bit… But with that aside, props to all involved for what is another great Cliché video from Boris Proust. In the famous words of Groundskeeper Willie, nice work you ‘cheese eating surrender monkeys.’ Consult your local skate shop for a copy of Gypsy Life which retails at £12 with the deluxe 72 page book edition covering the filming and making of Gypsy Life with art from Chet Childress at £25.