Firstly, lets do a bit of an introduction. I’m a 37 (damn…always freaks me out when I think about it) year old Mancunian, brought up in the rough and tumble that is the Manchester suburbs. Growing up in the 80′s and forming a hatred of all things ‘mainstream’ from quite an early age, I never went in for what the most of the kids were. My first obsessions (after the usual childhood Toy car/Tonka and Scalextric thing most boys of my age were into) were Hip Hop, Electronic music, Skateboarding and get trashed with my mates and going clubbing.
The first genre of music I had a passion for was early Hip Hop…I remember hearing it for the first time on Blue Peter…some kid was explaining about how he loved regae and ‘rapping’….it caught my attention instantly and I was on the hunt for as much of this rap music as I could possibly get my hands on. I still remember the day my Dad took me to Rumbelows to buy my first Ghetto blaster….I walked around the streets annoying the locals for as long as my battery’s would last. I started hanging around with a few guys who breakdanced, but never being that flexible I was always the guy that provided the music….I suppose that’s where I get my love for DJing. Anyway, along with the musical side of hip hop and the fact that I was quite an arty kid, I was drawn into the world of Graffiti as well….spending hour after hour chatting to mates at school and sketching in my ‘black book’ which was, in fact, just an old English school book. I remember the first day I came up with my own ‘style’ and not copied from a mate or out of Subway art….it just spurred me on to do more and more.
My love of all things hip hop furnished me with an embedded love of trainers or sneakers, if you will. During my school years (and even my early working life) I couldn’t afford a lot of the shoes that I wanted….. my parents weren’t exactly what you’d called flush and the jobs I had when leaving school weren’t the best paid. My partner Michelle will tell you though, that I’ve made up for the fact by amassing a quite large collection of Adidas, Nike, Jordan and New Balance shoes that now fill up our spare room (sorry Mickey).
When I left School in 88 I went for dead end job to dead end job, always with the aim in mind to just earn enough money to go out with my mates to a techno/house clubs in and around the north west (Shelleys/Kinetic/Bowlers/Wigan Pier/The Orbit)….this went on for a good 2 years before it all got a bit too much and I decided to give my liver and brain a bit of a rest. To fill the void that clubbing left behind I started Skateboarding with a group of friends and even got a job in a skateboard shop (Split sports in Manchester city centre)….this was a huge passion of mine for quite a while….we skated pretty much every night and every weekend (when the Manchester weather allowed it that is)…..I had to give up in the end due to getting a shin splint…but have always wanted to take it up again….i’ve tried a few time recently, but the lack of muscle memory, beer gut and the fact it really hurts when you get older, seems to be holding me back somewhat.
In 93/94 I got a call from someone I used to go clubbing with to ask if I wanted a job at the place she worked as they were looking for people….I asked what they did and what the job was and she told me the job was for Ocean software and I would be testing games for a living….needless to say I jumped at the chance to leave my job refurbishing smelly, rusty beer pumps to take a career palying games for 8 hours a day and getting paid for it.
Jump forward a good few years (around 15) and the games industry has been a rocky ride to say the least….I’ve endured 7 redundancies now, but it’s been good to me in other ways…allowing me to stay in a creative industry (moving up from tester to QA Manager, Designer, Producer then back to Designer and now almost full circle back into QA Management)….it’s also allowed me to get out of the north of England and experience the bright light of London town for a few years, and now the sunshine in Brisbane Queensland, Australia.
Anyway, thats the story so far and it should give you a good idea why most of the stuff I post on here will be about Music/Trainers/Art and Skateboarding. I will be posting a lot of pictures I take of events I attend and purchases I make, but most of the content will be ‘aquired’ from other sites which I find interesting or amusing.
I’m sure not a lot of people will read this, but it’s been quite nice to sit here and type it with fond memories and a glass of wine (cue the ‘ponce’ comments)….so….hope you all enjoy the blog…