Luke McManus ‘First Light’ interview from Sidewalk 197

From Sidewalk 197 – February 2013


Photography by Chris Johnson


So then Mr. McManus, introduce yourself for us please.
– Luke Mc- Manus, I am 18 and from Birmingham

How, when and why did you first get involved in the wonderful world of skateboarding?
– When I joined secondary school a group of mates started going to Epic Skatepark (RIP). We all got these small BMXs for Christmas and we would go the park kitted up in full-face helmets. I ended up going to Ideal and buying a skateboard and taking it down the park with me; everyone at the park who was my age skated so I guess I just stuck with it. We would spend most of the time being little shits instead of actually skating. Epic at its peak had a sick layout and was pretty local; there would be a pretty big crew of us who would go there almost every day religiously.
A climbing wall was installed to help cover costs, they ended up taking over the skatepark and thought it would be good to kit the place out with volcanoes and jump boxes. Safe for that…

From where does the nickname ‘Crazy Frog’ originate?
– Kell claimed I looked like the little crazy blue frog when we were young- er, and it came up in conversation a few months ago when we were in Derby. Daz thought it was hilarious and made it his mission for it to stick and it has. I’m hyped on it; I’ve always been a secret fan of the Crazy Frog.

Kelley wants to know if you remember anything from Boulevard Barcelona?
– Partying with everyone is dope. I have too many memories from that place, mainly because Bearefish made us go there almost every night! We have a crew of German friends we meet every time we go BCN. One big spender was supplying bottles of vod in the club and bought us our way into the VIP area where we had full control over the flow of poon that we allowed to chill with us. I have vague memories of standing on speakers like your typical British tourists going mental, Alex swinging around a walking meter, making Kell throw up outside, followed by a water fight where I slipped and sat on my knee. After that I couldn’t walk for the rest of the trip.

Despite the fact you’re actually about to turn 19 and recently passed your driving test, you still look like you’re about 12. Has that caused you much grief whilst out driving? Are you allowed to operate the petrol pumps at the garage unsupervised?
– I was coming back from Leicester one day, and as I was filling up a Tesco assistant came out and asked me if it was my car. I got inside and they asked me to show ID. It was strange; can they even ID you for petrol? Maybe they thought we were some kids stealing a car. In fact… if OG Hewett had been with me at the time they would have definitely thought that’s what was going on.

Luke risks wrist snappage performing a high and tight winter 5.0 grind

Recently you’ve been getting about quite a lot with the ever active Get Lesta crew – how did you find yourself getting involved with that particular group of humans?
– Pretty much. I had met Mike (Simons) and Eric (Thomas) and a few others from events and skating The Boardroom on the odd occasion, but I knew Kell was going up to Leicester every weekend, so I decided to go up with him one weekend and ended up going back every weekend for the next year.

It’s good to always be going to different cities and constantly skating with good motivation. Also they are the best group of people to chill with! Cheers Slouse and Callun’s mum for putting us up all the time!

What’s your favourite memory from filming for What’s Cookin’? Did Callun have you on any ‘7am start’ missions like he did with Eric, or were you allowed to do most of your filming during regular hours?
– I don’t know how Eric handled the 7am starts, especially when he finished his bar work just an hour before. Callun is like a TM as much as a good friend; he would wake you up in the mornings, hurry you into the shower and make sure you were out of his house in minutes. Callun hooks it up more than enough for everyone and is constantly driving us to spots and different cities. As for a favorite memory, every single mission was too good.
The one time the weather was shit so we all decided to go out in town on the Saturday…which we did. Around about 5am we were still in town and I suggested we should go to the Vans Shop Riot as a joke; a few hours later we were driving down to Hemel. We came third; that was the funniest shit ever.

Do you do college, work, or have any other time consuming hobbies that we should know about?
– I am at college full time, doing media, graphics, business and finance. I should have finished a year ago but I ended up f*cking up in my first year of college as there wasn’t enough time to do work and skate. Also going to Barcelona was a much better idea than sitting my final exams. I also work part time at Next. I have a pretty busy schedule; shit’s gotta get done though.

So now What’s Cookin’ is out and the First Light is wrapped up, what’s next in store for you?
– I guess continue to go out with Cal and the crew and film something for the new Get Lesta vid. I’m also going to Gran Canaria on that Pixels trip in a few weeks so I’ll try and be as productive as possible whilst I’m out there too. I also finish college in June so I’m going to try and travel as much as possible for the next year, and visit my friend Matt Beare as much as I can in BCN. And also hit up as many events as I can in England!

Anyone you’d like to thank?
– Chris Johnson, Ben Powell, Ryan Gray, Zip, Kris & Bob at Ideal Birmingham. My fam, Callun Loomes, Kelley Dawson, Kris Vile, Smithy, OG Hewett, Matt Bearefish, Greg Herbz, Jack Edwards, Tim Hunt, Mike Simons, Will Golding, Eric Thomas, Joe Marks, Matt Clarke, Strawbz, Redlight, George, Neil, Eren, Skin, Bell, Dan, Jakob, Kieron. All the Germans, The Colonel for the KFC Snackbox, Callun’s mum, Slouse, all the homies I skate with and MOSH Leicester of course!


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