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Twenty F**king Years of Gnargore

Gnargore - the finest purveyors of crust coated West Midlands skateboarding productions - celebrate the closing of their second full decade in the game with the appropriately titled Twenty F**king Years of Gnargore.


Filmed and edited by James Denning, this 10-minute beast starts out with Ryan Price, ends on a full part from new Gnargore blood Tristan Jones, and features the likes of Rasheed Osman, Kris Vile, Tom Gillespie, Jamie Brewer, Burger Bigmore, Nick Binnington, Arran Burrows, Ciaran Dennison, Cam Edwards, Thom Hinton, Daniel Jordan, Ash Moore, Alex Ramsell, James Denning and Wig Smith in between.


Dive in head first now, then scroll below for a chat between Tom Gillespie and James Denning about the project, accompanied by some photography by Rob Whiston!



James Denning interviewed by Tom Gillespie.


Introduce yourself!

Hello, my name is James Denning and I am from a lovely little town in Shropshire called Ludlow. I’ve been skating for about 22 years now, and been with Gnargore for at least the last 15 years. As well as skating, I also do most of the filming, with help from some of the other lads.

 

So who and what is Gnargore? For the sake of those who might not know.

Gnargore is a group of skaters originally from the Black Country area, but now we have riders from all over the West Midlands. Gnargore is the brainchild of Tom Gillespie, Wig Smith and Thom Hinton, who started it all 20 years ago, and since then it’s grown into the family we are now.

 

Tell us about the crew’s 20th anniversary and how the video came about.

Who would have thought it, eh? It’s crazy! We had a little bit of a timeout over the last few years, but after I broke my arm badly last year and wasn’t able to skate, I thought I’d see if anyone would like to make the most of a crippled me behind the camera, so I put the feelers out to see if anyone fancied going another round. Thankfully everyone jumped on board and we’ve managed to make another little video. It’s been really great having everyone on board like the old days, as they were the best of times!

 

How has the filming been?

There have definitely been highs and lows, just like with any project, but thankfully we were dealing with mainly highs! It started off with myself and Nick Binnington just going on a few little filming missions, and then Clever (Ryan Price) got involved and we started going further afield, then the clips really did start coming thick and fast! After that, everyone realised we were serious and all banded together to make the video we have today!

 

So Clev just got a pro board on Fore-Cast, which is a big deal for the crew. How long have you known Clev?

I’ve known Clever now for probably going on 15, 16 years! I first met him at Perdiswell skatepark in Worcester and he was doing backside 360 melons over an eight foot spine, which was mind blowing to see considering he was only 14 or 15 years young. So we spoke to Tom Gillespie about getting him on Gnargore and he said no because of his age (laughs), so me and Joel Taylor did a little Facebook poll with all the lads and he got the votes and the rest is history! He hasn’t slowed down ever since, and has now deservedly so got a pro board with Fore-Cast, so big shout out to Tidy Mike for making that happen! Was a really great day to be a part of, and I’m super proud of the person he is! Love you, Clev.

 

Have you got any funny stories of Clev from the road, whilst filming for this video?

Nothing in particular comes to mind, other than his childlike enthusiasm for going on the road and skating as much as this country has to offer. He’d ring me two or three times a day, full of excitement with ideas of places to go and tricks he wanted to get. Having that kind of energy is great and always leads to having good times. Being on the road with friends is the greatest feeling in skateboarding! 

 

Most people’s skateboarding ability drops off the older they get, but you’re nearly 40 and skating better than ever. What’s your secret?

(Laughing) That’s very kind of you to say, thank you! I’m not really sure how I’m blagging it to be honest. When I go skate I like to make sure I go home pleased with at least one thing I’ve done. It’s definitely gotten harder these last few years as the body doesn’t heal as quick as it used to, but I do choose my battles these days, compared to just throwing myself into things like I used to. A big part of it is having great people around me that not only push me but also have lots of fun with whilst we play skateboards. Tristan Jones has been a big part of that recently as he skate similar to myself, just way better (laughs).

 

And now Tristan has the last part in the video. How did you two originally link up?

I’d seen Tristan about and skated with him a few times previously to him getting on Gnargore, and he is a treat to watch! He’s got such a strong and solid style when he skates, but makes it look effortless! It really is a joy to skate with him. As for him getting on ‘Gore, he just started coming out on the missions with us every weekend, and got on really well with everyone, so it all kind of happened naturally, and we couldn’t be happier about it! 

 

What have been your highlights whilst working on Twenty F**king Years of Gnargore?

My personal highlight from this last year was probably being in Cornwall with everyone. We had a long bank holiday weekend and I think it may have been the hottest weekend that year. We spent most of our time skating really great spots and camping in the woods where we could. Our friend Harry Sewell had a boat, so on one of the evenings he took us out exploring, we then spent the evening watching the sunset on the beautiful southern coast, which was really fun. We ended the weekend by getting tattoos from Harry, and then went home with some really great memories! 

 

So now the video is done, what’s next for Gnargore?

Next up is probably upgrading to HD and hopefully working towards releasing a full-length video. This vid was more of a jumpstart to get everyone back together, especially as it’s our twentieth anniversary. And judging by everyone’s reaction at the premiere, they are all very keen to get started on a new project, but more importantly it’s a great reason for us all to get together again and enjoy our times together. Like I said, earlier we really are like a strange little family, and I’m honoured to be a part of it.

 

Who would you like to thank?

Everyone that has helped me out over the last year while I’ve been injured. It was a really tough time and there are too many to mention, but you know who you are. The boys at Ideal Skateshop for always supporting us. Tidy Mike and all at Fore-Cast.

Toby Batchelor and Heathen. Rob Whiston and Rye Gray at The Skateboarder’s Companion. Anyone that has taken time out of their day to watch the video, and everyone that came to the premier to show their support. It really does mean the world to us all! 

Lastly, I really want to thank everyone on Gnargore for all their hard work on this project, but more importantly for being such great friends to me. I really do love you all! 


James Denning - ollie, Birmingham.


Nick Binnington - indy taildrop, Redditch.


Ryan Price - ollie, Coventry.


Cam Edwards - wallie, Bromsgrove.

James Denning - the director.

Ryan Price - Texas plant, Rushall.

 

 

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