As featured in Sidewalk 206’s The Altar – review below…
You know what? I genuinely can’t remember if there’s ever been a scene video from the Northern market town of Huddersfield before. Back in the early 90’s, Paul Silvester, Sean Burrows and a few other Kirklees stalwarts definitely worked on some form of VHS based projects – parts of which have surfaced online over recent years – but as for properly released productions, there’s certainly none that I can think of, which is baffling considering the strength of the scene that is housed there.
Does that make the recently released Mashlife crew video ‘Wasteman’ a first? Unless I get an scathing text from Paul Silvester the second this issue of the mag lands in Canada telling me otherwise, I guess it does…
One thing that is evident from the offset when watching Wasteman is just how many unrinsed, unseen spots there are in and around the Huddersfield area. Seriously – perfect ledge spots, banks of all shapes and sizes, rails, stairs, hubbas…you name it, chances are this lot have got it. I’m not claiming that rural Yorkshire is the new Barcelona or anything, but these guys are definitely sitting on some gems of spots, something that I’m sure Pontus and the rest of the Polar crew will attest to after their recent northern visitation.
On the skating side of things, Wasteman definitely follows the traditional scene video format, showcasing up and coming talent alongside OG heads, low key local types and unknowns – pretty much everyone from the Huddersfield area gets a trick in here (minus the legendary Felix, oddly enough), giving the video a really rad all-inclusive feel.
Long serving staples of the Hudds scene such as Jude Matthews and Kieran McDonnell make use of the rugged architecture located around their hometown – previously untouched handrails get tackled, virgin gaps get taken down and the whole town center gets made appropriate use of.
New blood such as Scouse and Daniel Walker bring out the lines and get involved with some of West Yorkshire’s unique ditch spots, Endemic Skatestore proprietor Andy Wood manages to escape the shop and family life combo for long enough to bang out some solid lines and manny antics, and even heads like Shaun Turner, Sean Burrows, Ben Raynor and Ben ‘Ozzy Ben’ Blake hold down steady amounts of footage across the video’s various montages.
Benjamin Bostock appears to enjoy f*cking up ledges with unrequired amounts of speed, Joshua Whitehead seemingly enjoys tanking it at gaps and banks, and 18 year old youth on the up, Robert ‘Rooney’ Woodward, ends our West Yorkshire journey with a three minute part consisting of full pelt street lines, grimy hubbas, awkward tricks on less than perfect banks and an insane ability to land every trick firmly over the bolts, no matter what. The hardflip down Wakefield’s new Bread Gap is particularly pinnacle, as is the frontside bigspin down Sheffield’s infamous Art Tower set. Seriously, keep an eye out for Rooney over the coming twelve months…
All in all, Wasteman is a pleasant glimpse into one of the UK’s most undocumented yet constantly active scenes. Genuine ‘for the love’ productions such as this are the lifeblood of our scene and deserve to be supported with your wallets and appreciated with your eyes. Big ups to all involved –head on over to www.endemicskatestore.com and secure your copy now.