Deeper Understanding — An Interview With Charlie Birch

Interview by Farran Golding
Collages by Requiem For A Screen
Original Photos by Marimo Ohyama & Alex Pires

It seems like just the other day that Palace was a small U.K. brand buzzing with montages filmed on VHS tapes, and P.W.B.C. news segments aimed at a skate industry still coming to grips with how to use the internet. In the ensuing decade of successes, it has remained unshakably English in its vision — even the fact that Jamal Smith is the only American to turn pro for the brand rings of a certain “foreigners appreciating your homeland in a better way than you do”-type thing.

To the American eye, Palace rose to prominence in that void left by Blueprint at the onset of the 2010s. In the time since, the world of U.K. skateboarding feels like it became closer intertwined to our own. This of course is thanks to Palace, yes, but also because of things like Isle’s unanimously adored “Atlantic Drift” series, the Yardsale videos, Free becoming one of the best alternate channels for skate media, and the inspiring success of the Long Live Southbank campaign.

With little context for how the U.K. scene actually operates, we asked Farran Golding — the man behind many of the deep-dive features on the Slam City Skates blog — to interview Charlie Birch, Palace’s newest teamrider, who we don’t know all that much about on this side of the Atlantic ;)

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Summer 2k19 4ever

Photo via Stafhon

#SaveTompkins in The New York Times. Sign and share the petition to keep synthetic turf off the courts at Tompkins.

The JHAKX video from Takeshi Nagamatsu has a New York section to start it off, plus a lot of familiar faces. It’s funny to see the metal strips across the Cooper Union bank get defeated one at a time over the years.

Pleasure” is a 20-minute NJ/NYC/Philly video by Hugh O’Hare, and “Don’t Smoke That Wood In Here” is a 10-minute NJ/NYC/Philly video by the Lottery Boiz. Shout out to the enduring badness of bust-free ledges in the greater New York metropolitan area, which causes all of us to still drive out to Staten Island to skate P.S. 6…in 2019. Also, of course skaters wasted no time editing something to Young Thug’s late summer beach anthem, but tbh, “went from boogie board shorty and now I’m the big kahuna” is a lot to live up to.

#Mandatorypost of #TylerTuftycontent for our core readership.

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One Link At A Time

Congrats again Bob LaSalle on the pro model basketball. Photo via Antosh.

“Day in the Life” videos warrant a cursory skimming through at best, but this one with Jawn Gardner skating around Long Beach and making friends with everyone kicking him out of spots could have gone on for twice as long :)

You’ve probably caught this one already — but Go Skate Day in Bogota, Colombia was insane. Hope everyone is ok.

Philly from Humidity, Tyler Tufty, and Keith (!) Denley (!!) all have cool clips in this Nike SB wear test montage from Minneapolis a few weeks back.

People are still flying down that hill from the Long Island Expressway by Queens Mall, huh? Iconic 2008 spot. OMW is a twenty-minute video by Angel Delgado that Skate Jawn posted up last week. Features a bunch of familiar faces.

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An Arm & a Leg & a Monday Link

Jesse Alba made a bro cam edit from a trip to London with Cyrus, Diego Todd + some cameos from the Atlantic Drift dudes.

Alex Olson explains why Mike Carroll is the best for eight minutes.

Naquan uploaded a five-minute “remix” of Gang Corp’s Black Business video, though it feels like a solid chunk of those clips weren’t in the original video.

A wider net for skate interviews this past week than the typical guys talking about their first sponsor type of thing — 1) The Wall Street Journal interviewed Beatrice Domond. There’s a pay-wall involved, but it seems like they let you rock on one free article. 2) “I just really like New York.” Elissa Steamer interviewed Alexis Sablone for Thrasher. 3) Skateism interviewed Forrest Kirby, in what I believe is his first interview since he publicly came out last year.

“Are we already in the Matrix?” Skate Jawn interviewed Jawn Gardner about astrology, the afterlife and time travel + they also have a quick one with Kyota that includes some rad photos.

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Link or Drown 2

(Colors.)

The week’s best piece of skate content: The New York Times with an illustrated story about Chico Brenes’ journey from asylum seeker fleeing Nicaragua, to pro skater, to the present day in his home country.

“I kind of consider 2000 to 2009-10 the dark ages of skating. It was just like, the filmer and photographer decided what a skater would skate. If you were good, you got shipped out to California and you would skate with people that would be like ‘You need to do this.’ Almost like there were requirements. ‘Do this handrail.'” Spot-finder extraordinaire, Dave Caddo, has an interview with Village Psychic about the rules of skating new spots, blown out spots, and unlocking spots.

Spent a month or three mulling about whether to write something about the three skate movies that came out in 2018 on here. Quite obviously, nothing on that end came to fruition, and this Paris Review piece on Minding the Gap is nine zillion times better than anything I could have written on what is, far and away, the best “skateboard movie” ever made. Get that free Hulu trial if you haven’t seen it yet.

i-D has a long feature commemorating Palace’s ten-year journey from a brand conceived in a dilapidated skate house by Southbank to what it is today: employer of Torey Goodall, Jamal Smith and Tico ♥

Slam City Skates has a long interview about the current status of the Long Live Southbank project, and it being on the cusp of reaching its massive fundraising goal to open up + reconstruct the closed-off portion of the spot.

LANDLINE” is a rad, mostly NJ-based mini video by Matt Hilzenrath.

Brad Cromer has an all New York part (with a couple Jersey clips) commemorating the release of his new Huf pro model.

Unclear if he’s been reading more women authors or not, but Mark Suciu has a bunch of New York clips in his new Thunder part. Pretty sure he’s the first one to get a clip at those year-old, two-second bust ledges by IBM, and that rock ollie in front of Corner Bistro is fucked.

Ciao is the latest all-New York video by Ricardo Napoli. Teaser here.

Here’s the preview for Virgin Blacktop, a documentary about a 1970s skate team based out of Nyack, New York.

Jahmal Williams is the latest guest on the Mission Statement podcast, and Joe Castrucci is the latest on The Bunt.

More post-“BLESSED” content: New Order Mag has a quick “Five Things” interview with Bill.

Stuff You’ve Probably Caught Already: Frog has a team montage over on Thrasher, Eli Reed has a part that is 70% filmed in New York and made this guy’s girlfriend think he died + Franky Villani and Jakes Hayes skate two or three city spots in their Duets section.

QS Sports Desk Play of the Week: Trae Young with the magic trick.

Quote of the Week: “When two skaters have babies, a VX dies.” — Shawn Powers. Congrats to Matt Mooney on the birth of his daughter, and congrats to Derick Z. and his lady as well ♥