On Fire

Colin Kennedy

Pull Quotes

“Even if it’s just a stepping-stone it’s a good thing.”

“You see them buzzing (huffing) gas, then see them buzzing gas ten years later.”

“Four naked guys were rolling in this coffin-come-skateboard into the big bowl, it was just insanity.”

How often do you travel?

I have something planned at least once a month—it could be a four- or five-day trip or it could be two weeks. People may come up here to Edinburgh, or I’ll go down to London or into mainland Europe. I’ve been working in the States with Josh Stewart on a part for the new Static video.

Is Barcelona still the hot spot?

It certainly has all the hot spots. It’s not a new thing to go to Barcelona, but there’s good reason why everyone does—it’s probably the best skate city in the world. It also seems to be the most tolerant skate city—people don’t seem to mind what you do out there, which means there’s no authority coming down on you. Generally, all the spots are still intact.

Is there a lot of talent coming up in Europe that we don’t get to see in the States?

Europe is a massive area with a shitload of skaters going off. Some of the skating you see in Puzzle is amazing. There’s also an industry being built up with these small independent companies making their mark—you have Lordz, Cliché, Blueprint. It’s good because it gives people a chance—even if it’s just a stepping-stone it’s a good thing. It’s going off, but it’s going off everywhere.

Run through a typical day.

Great intentions to get up at nine or ten. Maybe shower, eat, check e-mails, spend too much wasted time on the Internet. Maybe do some Hoovering or wash the dishes. Go up to town, skate from three to eight. Have a couple of pints, go home, eat dinner, then either go out to the pub or stay in and watch television.

What were your first impressions of Ewan Bowman (TWS and Flip filmer)?

The first time I ever saw Ewan was at Bristo Square, he was skating around in these huge orange trousers hanging off his arse—New Deal jeans size 40—he had his top off and was flying around showing off to these girls, making a fool of himself. My first impressions were, “Who’s this prick?” I didn’t think he’d turn out to be one of my good friends when I first met him.

Give a good description of The Mind Changer.

If Ewan and me were at a crossroads and we had to decide where to go, Ewan would lose his mind. I’d say to Ewan, “Should we go east, or should we go west?” Ewan would be, “Oh man, I’m definitely going east, I think it’s the best thing to do. That’s where I lived when I was back in Edinburgh, so I’m definitely going east.” Then he’d ask me where I was going, and I’d say, “I don’t know, I think I’ll go west, to be honest.” After swearing that he was only going east, he’d probably go west with me. I don’t know, that’s The Mind Changer.

Is it true you have nothing but unfinished music?

Yeah, I’ve put together about 2,000 four-bar loops, and I just can’t get my head around finishing a song and actually structuring it. I’ve finished one song with my friend Jamie, but no one has actually heard it. I treat it as my own personal thing, and I’m quite enthusiastic about it. People ask me about it all the time. I’d like to be able finish the song but can’t—I end up being bored with my limited musical knowledge.

Most of our readers may not be familiar with the terms “ned” or “casual”—break it down?

A casual is an older word from back in the day that would describe a soccer hooligan, someone who hangs around the terraces for a bit of soccer but mainly for a bit of fighting. A ned is just your average kid on the street, probably harmless but quite annoying in groups, generally a troublemaker with not much else to do—sovereign rings, socks tucked into the track suit, quite pristinely dressed buut a real little bastard at the end of the day. They usually run in packs, a couple of their own is not a problem, more of a hindrance.

Is there much trouble at Bristo Square?

There can be. It’s just one of these places that everyone hangs out at—kids, tramps, and lots of little casuals and neds. Some of the kids are tough there and won’t take no shit. All it takes is one of the kids to retaliate and it’s all over with.

Did Fuet (local Edinburgh skater) get caught stealing a book on ethics?

Fuet’s an original Edinburgh skater. Eccentric would be a good word for him. He’s not religious, but he treats life that way. He didn’t actually get caught stealing a book on ethics, but he did like to always tell the story. He didn’t think that much of it, but everyone else did. Stealing a book on ethics, how does that sound to you? It doesn’t really sound right to me. Maybe once he read the book on ethics he wouldn’t go and steal again.

Give me a good Bristo Square story.

One time these two tramps were having a fight at Bristo Square. There were always territory fights going on. One day I saw this kid get in the middle of one, and he got stabbed in the shoulder. It was gnarly at the time. These young neds would grow up in the Square ’cause they never really went anywhere else, they’d just hassle folk, never got a job or had a life. You see kids grow up as you grow up, going to that same spot all the time. Kids who become tramps and down-and-outs, you see them buzzing (huffing) gas, then see them buzzing gas ten years later—it’s unbelievable. There’s one tramp called Kev who’s the main entertainer, he’s replaced Monkey.

Give me a good Livi story.

It rained the whole weekend, and Stuart Graham lost the plot from drinking too much. By Saturday night he was out of the game—you have to see this kid to understand. He was like a charging elephant—he gave this one guy a broken nose and was starting fights everywhere. Fighting rolling in the mud at two in the morning, four naked guys were rolling in this coffin-come-skateboard into the big bowl, it was just insanity. There’s many more where that came from.

If there were a Paul Shier talking doll, what four things would it say when you pulled the string?

“You know me, mate.” “Whoo, give us a bit of that, mate, give us a bit of that, whoo, it’s f—king lovely that, mate.” “The old f—king Shier Frier, mate.” “You can’t take it to the f—king grave with you, mate.”

What’s going on with Blueprint?

Right now it’s a massive stable of people, we’re trying to get everyone to focus on getting the next video done. It’s been quite a while since Waiting For The World. We have a lot of ams who are going off. We’re just waiting on the old pros to get their arses together.