Retrospective:TBC Compound

I was asked by the killer duo “The Shadow League” to dig up an old photo from one of the TBC parties our crew threw. I managed to hunt through my archives and surprisingly dig up my old raw files of the photographs. My archiving is on point!

The photos are noisy and grainy and from when I first started shooting, taking photography up whilst I waited for my knee rebuild. I am so stoked to share the memories though, these were times worth capturing.

These images are from seven years ago, from a house in Thornbury that is surely pushed over for over priced high density housing. Gez lived there (amongst other crew over the years) and Bristol built the humble little mini that was the catalyst for so many good times. Some of the bands that played our parties included Guttermouth, The Shadow League, Strawberry Fistcake and The Clowns.

Despite the large number of drunken punks in the backyard, we never really had any trouble. Crew knew how we rolled and what we wouldn’t put up with. People knew if they fucked up we would kick them and all their mates out, so people got loose as hell but maintained respect.

I remember one of the neighbours  coming over with his kids, his kid getting really hurt by a flying board. He took him home and put them to bed, and came back with a slab for the party, staying until stumps.

I knew a lot of these heads for years before these old photos, and am really chuffed that so many are still part of my life.

Damn good times. I’m not going to caption all these! Feel free to share with credit and make sure you write a small yarn about one of the parties.

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Respect Where Due: Josh “Morph” Malthus

Over the many years I have known Morph he has always held the throttle wide open. Full speed, one hundred percent committed and head first. There is no hesitation of caution about his skateboarding, and he is not intimidated by brutal terrain. He will cop a beating on a trick that will make your eyes water, he won’t stop until he rolls away in his trademark crouched style.

All these photographs were taken over a couple of days on the road in the South Island of New Zealand. He was nursing an injury, I had seen him a couple of months before with a full cast on his ankle to his knee and a cane. That didn’t stop him rolling into Lynfield bowl!

He may look like a Warlock’s understudy, but he is a kind hearted, considered bloke and loyal to his friends.

Hope to roll with you again soon mate

Textbook boosted boneless

Then a 270 boneless one

Stalefish in Grom Boy’s front yard

A very loud layback smith

Layback five 0 on a brutal vert wall.

Flapped out frontside air

Respect Where Due Revisited: Tim “Cunnaz” Cunneen

I reckon it’s about time I did a few more of these. The last one on Cunnaz was 5 years ago. Has old mate slowed down? No chance. Sure, he has a spawn now, but fatherhood has not taken the fizz out of his Fanta fuelled veins. It is rad to see him embrace his new role as well.

The “Respect Where Due” articles were really about giving a nod to the underground rippers. Those skaters that everyone respects, that throw it down during the session, time after time. Most of these photographs are from our recent New Zealand trip you can check out here.

Cunnaz absolutely slayed it. Ten days on the road, ripping it up every single spot. Damn good road company too, keeping the yarns and vibes rolling along as we chalked up the kilometres.

I’ll let the images do the talking, and endeavour to keep these going.

This hip was a really harsh blend, old crusty west coast battered concrete. Steep as. Blasting after ten days straight.

Hucking a solid melon in Wanaka, before cooling off in the river. Les Hiddins attire.

It took me a million goes to chicken scratch here. Go there, it’s fucked. Back tail that would have to be an NBD

Back d’s on lock. How’s the serenity?

This think is jacked. No idea how he got into that bit. Pitted.

Mild in the Streets. 42, Don’t Panic

Since I turned 40 I have tasked myself with getting a few skate photos together, with my birthday being the deadline. Perhaps one day I can stitch my face in each of them together into a time lapse, so you can see me turn into Voldemort from Billie Corgan.

Underwhelming as it is, I am ok with my skateboarding. I know where my level fits into the greater scheme of things and these are my limits to push. Is what it is.

Thank you to my old friend Duncan Ewington for his patience and for always coming through with excellent photographs. I’m sure going to miss our regular rolls and your stoke.

I work pretty hard to maintain my pop. I have a weird looking pre skate stretch routine. I try not to make eye contact during it. Ollie into some cool obstacle

Back boneless on a roof. “You should get higher” Yeah sure, you go skate it.

Arty tail block on a crusty spot

Slappy stand up. The best feeling trick ever. This was on a solid 8/10 hangover

I’ve seen some heavy stuff go down on this. This is just an ollie

You have to go super fast into this. I landed proper on both my shins going pretty quick so I was so stoked to roll away. Slappy fifty fifty onto the road

NSC Xmas Bash 2017

Nothing better than hitting the road. Disagree? Your opinion is invalid. It is a spec in the distance of the rear view mirror. Shrinking, disappearing. Like the troubles, anxieties or fucks to be given.

It hasn’t been as easy to get the crew together. I’m putting it down to the silly season and newborns and so forth. Once the dust settles on 2017 crew should be easier to muster. I bloody hope so.

Anyhow, we headed North East across to the alpine grazing region of the state, to drink beer, eat BBQ, heckle our friends lying in pain on the concrete and occasional skateboarding.

These guys had the right idea, except they were taking away all the good bits about motorcycles and adding a death pod. I snapped this whilst eating an AM pie.

First stop Yea. Scotty swept after hooning through Flowerdale in his SS ute. Cheers for driving mate!

Old mate turned up in a bee-keeper hat

On to Mansfield. It is a chilled little park in a sleepy tourist town. We begun to make the place our own with an urban camping attitude and gypsy flair

The kicker to kicker was longer than most. Kinda challenging. Old mate Gez emerged from the forest to snag it

Bristol battled for it. It was his 32 birthday we were celebrating

Jake rocked up with a fresh haircut and killer new whip. Steezed

Cunnaz 180

Street Morris is on a warpath. Back 180

Boardie to fakie first shot

Scotty ripping the gap from the bowl

Cunnaz is always going to kill it

Fiddy on Mr Plow

Feeble

Bonk to melon

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We lit the place up, shared (mostly) the same old yarns and showered under a livestock bore. We camped in a school yard due to a lack of options. The next day we found a hangover cure and washed away our shame.

Thanks gents, always a pleasure

Mild in the streets: 41.

Since I turned the big four zero last year I thought a good way to motivate my self was to try and get a few skateboarding photographs every year. Now my age has clicked over it has come time to share a few.

So behold, bask in my underwhelming lameness. As time goes onwards these pissweak skateboarding feats will become progressively worse. It will be a timelapse where I slowly morph from a pirate into a wizard. So, unfortunately, this is as good as it is going to get.

Thank you to Duncan Ewington aka @ewingram for the photos. Us grown man grommets help each other to keep the stoke alive. You can call shotgun anytime mate.

A hazard plant on an overnighter to Kerang. Sleeping next to the park with a belly full of beer and BBQ is as good as it gets.

Lexi’s ramp is insane. Seeing him hit it is superhuman shit. The transition to vert ratio is wild.

This is just a go to trick. However, it’s on my backyard ramp and there is nuclear stuff coming out of my arse. Every time I look at my backyard I am reminded that I have awesome mates and that I am still a child. I think this white t shirt phase lasted a week max.

Bucket list stuff. Carving a cake in a backyard pool. This doesn’t look like much but I would say it took a good hour. The struggle is real.

My favourite ramp at Mat’s shed in Kyneton. Rare front feeble.

Slappies are the best. I have wanted to have a crack at this for ages. I’m sure a little bit of wee came out.

Tokyo

It seems an impossible place. If you could cut through it with a giant knife and expose the layers of shops, houses, levels and levels of subway, tunnels and plumbing it would be unimaginable that it would all work.

But it does. It works. In a very strange calm way. Most other cultures would be at each others throats and looting the joint if they had to be around this many people and be this buzzingly fast. Not the Japanese. They just get on with it, politely and in a friendly manner. I saw at least half a dozen bicycle collisions. People just bow, ensure no one is hurt, and continue on.

Everything looks like it has been designed for children. Need death insurance? This giant whale with an anime haircut will sell it to you! The uniforms are very Lego, I don’t know how else to say it. The TV screen has a face in the top right corner pulling melodramatic facials in every program. It sounds like I am being patronising or disrespectful however I’m not. It’s awesome and I love it. I just don’t know how else to express my impression of the place.

Just get to the photographs eh?

The population density. It is intense, and is challenging.

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The small little streets that were left intact from the earthquakes and war were my favourite places to hang out. Streets too small for a car, bars that can hold less than a dozen, half of that comfortably. Dive bars are one of my most favourite things to explore when traveling. I would recommend you check out Golden Gai in Shibuya.

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Sure, it’s overpriced, cheesy and depressing when the performers have to clean the place at the end in front of you. But the Robot Restaurant is a must. We got kinda wasted.

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We hit the road to Hokuto with our old mates Hiro and Kelly. It was a great day and so good to catch up. The loveliest people!

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Hokuto and Gallery Trax. We ended up at a sake distillery and had a surprisingly awesome meal at a truckers diner

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We ended up at Harmonica Alley, Kichijoji at a little dive bar. The solo bartender and chef kept cranking out the beers and japanese tapas. The whole area is rad, I only took the one crappy photo where I cut Jo’s head off! The crew drank me under the table I must admit. Hiro is one of my favourite artists and we made friends with some rad tattooists and art makers that evening. Looking forward to catching up again in Japan!

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We took a tour to Mt Fuji. I can’t really handle tours but this one worked out OK. The view from Mt Fuji.

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Then it got more touristy, and we boarded a boat and a cable care. I must check this region out more thoroughly next time.

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I skated the city a bit, mainly bombing through Shinjuku and Shibuya. The Shibuya skate park, and adjoining “box man” homeless area, were taken over for more high density apartments. So the park, and rare public recreational space, was gone. Such a shame. It was rad just bumping into crew and joining their session before heading off down more hills )maybe via another bar!)

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Architecture there is wow.

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I had planned to head to a great new skatepark out of Tokyo, however the weather was going to turn. My only option was north. The 30 year old Annaka bowl, dubbed the “Death Bowl” in Japan, seemed like the go. Man, this thing is 1000 times gnarlier in person. So kinked and rough, ready to buck you off at any time. I had a fun roll with the locals in the ghetto bit too. The snake run is, well, unskatable really.

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Jo got more ink. Fugu!

Thank you to all the wonderful people that helped make our adventure so fun, and thanks to my wife for being a great travel companion!

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