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Jack Cullen


Murder on the half-pipe

Gay Skate Fever Hits London


Way before Gus Van Sant scouted a group of boys on MySpace, talked them into stripping and skating, got the cameras rolling and released Paranoid Park, skating was already good eye-candy. I remember losing so badly on Tony Hawks as a young teen because while my friends’ wrists were whacking away on special moves, my eyes were on the boys. And yes, they were animated.

So point one – skating is sexy. Not just boarding, but ten years after Robbie Williams ruined the roller skate look for everybody, roller discos are back in force. And we’re not just talking about leg warmers this time, but candy floss, afros, Venice Beach chic, the lot.

Task one for you will be to find yourself some skates, assuming you sold the ones from Christmas ’81 at a car boot sale.

Task two is to find a skate venue that needs YOU. Here are three to get you started:

1) Vauxhall Skate.
2) Nokia Skate Almighty
3) Gay City Rollers

Starting with numero uno, Vauxhall Skate. It’s an exclusive invite-only mish-mash of all things skate-cool. But even if skating’s not your thing – don’t stop reading – there’ll be Carl Barat DJing, Sophie Ellis Bextor and Florence (sans machine). You can read our exclusive chat with Johnny Woo about the event here.

When we said invite-only, don’t worry though, it’s not like you have to prostitute yourself to an MP. We have a sneaky slick link to share, where you can apply. The guests will then be transported to a secret location (probably in Shoreditch) for the night of their life. The location will be a street, and according to Vauxhall Skate’s press boys we should “think Knight Rider on roller skates”. Is that not Punjabi MC?

We love how skating’s image is so trying to be rough n’ ready, but really it’s overly neat and tidy. Secret locations are one thing, but Sophie Ellis Bextor… aka the Sandra D of the 21st century… is it a kids party you ask?

Hopefully not, since Carl Barat will be on the decks too.

In case the event is sounding too grime for your liking – there’ll be Corsa roller boots and a pit-stop hair salon. *Phew*

So. If you like your trainers to be nice, and your boys to be Vice, check it out. Oh, and remember to take gloves and pads. Those skater boys are always on their hands and knees.

Now onto numero dos, Nokia Skate Almighty.

The name is admittedly a bit scary, but the event is apparently family orientated. What brought this event to the summery eyes of GT was the line-up however. Forget hairy DJs, they’re going to have live sets from Little Boots (above!) and Calvin Harris. And it’s all free.

That’s right. What better way to rediscover to roller feet, than falling all over the place to the music of Mr. Harris and little Miss Boots? There will be evening sessions for those who fear they might get carried away to You’re Not Alone and end up with a roller death pile of child road kill.
When you register for your free hour or skating, you also receive a voucher for free music downloads from Nokia’s music store. Perfect for pre-skate practice in the kitchen at home.

The third part of this skate blog trilogy is Gay City Rollers, not just the nickname that most people adopted for the Bay City Rollers, but also a skate fever institution.
It all became a bit of a craze following London Pride, where GCR hosted a huge event with Chris Geary boys, Ku Bar boys, and all your other favourite muscular irritants.
And um, yeah, now it’s a monthly night, where you can skate, drink, dance, and have a gay old time. If you’re in London and can skate of course.

The only other thing you need is a nice pair of shorts. I’m thinking candy-caned Fendi hot pants or some good old Cotton Traders for that rugger-bugger charm.

Vauxhall Skate, 29 July, 8pm until late

For tickets or more info visit: Vauxhall Skate

Nokia Skate Almighty, 5-9 August, all day!

For tickets or more info visit: Nokia Skate Almighty

Gay City Rollers, 1st Wednesday of the month

For more info visit: Gay City Rollers

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