From Sidewalk 203 – August 2013
James, Jimmy, Foz, Foster kills!
No amount of words can do justice how offensively good he is and no amount of clichĂ© lines ever will. I first met the lad at Hyde Park (which he has made his primary habitat) many full moons ago. At first I was going to rugby tackle him thinking that a feral dog had escaped into Hyde and was causing terror in the skate park, but then I realised the dexterity in his thumbs; rolling and eating red Leicester sandwiches. Since then Iâve grown to love this cute-as-can-be mutt and appreciate all the time I spend with him. Hereâs to you Jimmy boy, youâre the best!
Photography by Reece Leung & Interview Guy JonesÂ
Given that you were raised in the rural Swinford, whatâs a country bumpkin like you doing in the hustle and bustle city of Leeds?
– I came here for Uni innit. I checked out Manchester as well but it was the day Steve Irwin died and they were all just ripping on him. I used to love Steve Irwin (laughing), so it was the wrong impression straight away. I came to Leeds and itâs sick. Thereâs so many skaters and theyâre all sound as f*ck.
What do you miss the most about your fox-loving county of Leicestershire?
- My dogs man, I always walked them. I remember the day I came to Uni,
I had a tearful last walk with them and knew that I was gonna miss these guys.
How has adapting to city life been? I heard you literally had no public transport for miles where you were raised
â must be a big change to be in Leeds… – Yeah there was no public transport at all really; I had to get a ped when I was 16 because I had a lifeguard job at the time, so I had to get to that. I almost hit a badger once and he shit himself, (laughing/badger impression).
Do you think your upbringing in those surroundings has influenced your adoration of nature?
- Yeah I reckon so, being surrounded by it you canât really ignore it, I was always walking dogs like, being out in the fields; playing with the cows, feeding the horses and laughing at the sheep. When the sheep get out of their original fields you have to chase them back in, so my collie mentality would come out.
Pat always claimed the only advantage of the Midlands is that it gives Northerners somewhere to take a shit when they were on their way to London, is this true?
- I thought you said that man, (laughing), well where do you think we go for a shit when weâre visiting Scotland?
Good point. Youâre keenly interested in Biology, animals, plants and the natural world in general, lay down some nature insights for the readers.
- Well for my dissertation I did âstress responses in the plant Arabidopsis thalianaâ. It was pretty mad, that was testing and shoving them in microwaves seeing how much they grow and react. The weirdest thing we did was to do with genes. We basically mutated tomato roots and potato leaves. We gave them the reporter gene, which gives off UV and essentially made them glow.
It was inevitable that this interview would repeatedly mention the subject of dogs, what with you being one and them dominating a good portion of your interests, so what are your favourite breeds of dog?
- I like all the breeds to be honest; theyâve all got their own little personalities I suppose. The way they move is pretty individual, some bounce up and down – they get their swag on down the street.
What kind of dog do you see yourself as, appearance wise and personality?
- Iâve got the hair like a labradoodle, personality wise Iâm more on the collie side; herding people up, like scooter kids if theyâre by themselves Iâll just get in there and bark at them a bit, (laughs).
Donât you currently walk dogs such as Sherlock (pictured for haunts portrait) for pennies too? Howâs that for you and does it fill the void of not being around your own dog?
- Yeah it does but itâs not the same dog, so itâs like a completely new friend. I love the bond you get with the dog; you can just go on little adventures together, buddies and that.
Have you ever had a wank over a dog?
- (Laughs), donât be stupid, thatâs a stupid question: theyâre dirty little animals man.
Youâre a dirty little animal!
- Well thatâs why we get on so well.
What else do you for the dollar-dollar bills, and are you good at your job?
- Thereâs the dog walking and I do a cleaning job as well, itâs easy just cleaning. Iâve been caught out a few times though. Iâm used to being by myself and forget other people walk past; one time I was emptying out a plastic bin, and when I was walking back I put it over my head and pretended to be Solid Snake off Metal Gear Solid. This guy saw me and I pretended I didnât see him, (laughs). I teach kids how to swim as well, thatâs boss. I want to do that more than the cleaning. I did it when I was younger and itâs just funny getting kids to do the doggy paddle with their tongues sticking out.
Like a dog?
- Itâs a good technique, youâve got to adopt the nature of the stroke, which is the doggy paddle and dogs own that stroke, just pretend youâre a dog and youâll have it down.
What career would you ideally like to get into you adorable hippy?
- Iâve been doing conservation work and Iâd definitely like to do more of that. Itâs ideally what I want to do, along with skateboarding. Iâve done water vole and bat surveys where you go out looking for signs of them. With the water voles, it basically involves going out looking for little bits of poo along the water streams and occasionally coming across their burrows. You have to stick your arm in to your elbow to confirm itâs not something else. Theyâve been massively decreasing because of farming pesticides, humans encroaching on their land, habitat loss and fragmentation, they canât really connect anymore, there used to be so many of them. I did that in Scotland, trekking up the hills, it was boss up there man. With the bat one you sit in a deck chair with a little bat detector that gives off static for echo location calls, so you’d wait for sounds then look up and write down what time it was and what type of bat it was. That was for a proper company so I got paid for that as well, yippeeeee!
Would you say your skateboarding career is going better than your music career with the Kooks/ Razorlite?
- (Laughs), my music careerâs just about to start man, since Iâve moved in with Garry. Heâs got a mandolin or a lute; Iâm not sure which. He needs to serenade somebody with it really. Heâs got a banjo as well; I definitely want to learn duelling banjos.
House band is it? Whoâd play what?
- Jah Cruise would play bass obviously, Garry would just go around playing everything at once, wizardry one-man band, and I guess Iâd hide in the corner and play the triangle or something.
When all round diamond geezah Tom Brown offered to wash your clothes for you, did it influence you to up your hygiene? Also how often do you wash a load?
- He ripped on my grey hoody sleeves didnât he? I definitely wonât get a grey hoody again, they get filthy too quickly man. Iâve got a lot better at washing recently though, it depends how often the washing machineâs available which is surprisingly rare. I canât really be arsed, Iâd prefer to go out and do something really.
(Reece) When we lived at Dennistead last year didnât you only do three washes for the entire year?
- Yeah but they were big washes man (laughs). Iâve got quite a few clothes, so each one lasts a week.
Come to think of it, how often do you wash yourself, or is that a job for the rain?
- Iâm a lot better these days, the first few years living in Leeds I was pretty grim, I was living the lifestyle of the dog I suppose, itâs probably why theyâre so interested in me. Theyâll be like, âf*cking hell this guy smells goodâ in their sense. My dog will be sniffing a bush and Iâll go over to see what sheâs found and sheâll be smelling a piece of shit. I mean that must smell really good to them. Giving off the smell, itâs a natural thing
(Reece) Are you scared using shampoo will ruin your doggy coat?
- (Laughs), I hate washing my hair, I look like a complete prick afterwards, it balloons out.
(Reece) Jonathon Creeking it?
- Yeah, the portraits Reece shot of me for this, Iâd just washed my hair and it was a bad hair day man… I canât believe weâre talking about my f*cking hair (laughs).
Is that why you made one bottle of shampoo last over 2 years? Is that your personal record for least amount of soap dispersed over a period of time?
- Well we moved to 59, there were 7 of us and it was the first communal bathroom in Leeds that I lived in, and it just got rinsed, Josh Rose shaking water absolutely everywhere taking man sized portions of shampoo, (laughs).
Letâs discuss some of the bizarre situations youâve gotten into on booze influenced evenings, starting with the Sidewalk âIn Progressâ premiere. What the hell happened there and how did you make it back to mine the next day with no money and little geographical knowledge of where I lived?
- That was an interesting night to be honest; I got pretty pissed (laughs). We started drinking on the coach from Leeds to Liverpool, then went to yours in the Wirral, kept drinking, drank some Cains the local beer. Drank that on the way to the prem. We watched the vid, still drinking and got free beer tokens for afterwards. If you get a free beer you canât not drink it can you? I remember getting to the stage where I thought I shouldnât really drink anymore I was pretty smashed, then I found a beer token in my pocket, so I had to use it, went and got the beer, after that black (laughs). I remember seeing pictures of that massive bottle of wine outside, I have no memory of that but thereâs photoâs of me drinking from it. Apparently I blacked out in the cubicle of the toilets, someone like Rye found me but I donât remember any of this. I went for a little wander about Liverpool; itâs a nice city, thatâs where my first memory of the night kicked in, just wandering about. Iâd lost my wallet, lost my phone and hadÂ a bit of baccy and king skins, nothing else. I went into a few Travelodgeâs to try and blag a night, and I definitely rememberÂ people coming up to me to tell that I couldnât sleep where I was trying to sleep. I kept ambling and walked past a skate spot you pointed out earlier giving me a weird dĂ©jĂ vu. Got to the train station about 6 and got the first train to the Wirral, it goes aÂ bit hazy again there, before waking up in Birkenhead about 10, where some guy woke me up. I got on another train, found your house and your dad answered and looked pretty confused. I got to a bed and it was fresh white sheets and I was pretty messy so I star fished on top of them. Liverpoolâs a good vibe though. The other time I was there Padâs birthday.
Oh yeah we were both smashed passed out on/ around the bunk beds.
- I was on the floor passed out and woke up with a fur coat on (laughing). Everyone was covered in chocolate fondue. I was licking that off on the coach home, (laughs).
On the same subject, what possessed you to sleep in a randomerâs car on chilling hill after that party where the Sheff heads came up?
- (Laughing), first of all I was locked out and Iâd had quite a few stubs, I remember there being glass everywhere in the street actually. Anyway, I got into this little habit when I was pissed walking home, (my parentsÂ are going to hate this), doing cheeky little checks on cars, if they were locked Iâd walk on and if it was open Iâd just get in and sit there for a bit, (laughs). Well anyway in this scenario I was walking away from the party and had a calling to this car on chilling hill, the first one I tried and it was unlocked. I was smashed at 4 in the morning on the weekend. I had to meet the landlord at 10 the next day to get the keys so I thought Iâd kip there for a few hours. I set my alarm for 6, missed that, and woke up about 11 surrounded by Take That cdâs getting a call from the landlord.
When you moved to Leeds, Reece seemed to be one of the first lads you started hanging round with,Â if you want to dish any dirt on this party animal nowâs your chance!
- Heâs got the drift hasnât he, that fringe drifting in. Heâd chat to all these people who all knew him and he wouldnât have a clue who they were, (laughs).
(Reece) I remember one time I was getting with some girl at the Fav, then went out for a drink and a cigarette, came back and you were pulling her (laughs)…
- She came onto me man! I was definitely just standing there, (laughs).
Does it freak you out that Reece has a perfect portrait photo of you in Milton Keynes years before you started hanging out? I heard he was grooming you into a modern skate Jesus.
- (Laughs), what photoâs that? Am I in the background or something?
(Reece) Nah in the foreground at the Battle of the Buszy, thereâs some kid sitting in the background cross legged looking at you like youâre Jesus…
- I had no idea man, (laughs).
Do you feel that Reece persistently taking snaps of your insane stunts over the years has helped you progress your skating?
– He was one of the first dudes I met who was into photography, so weâd always go out taking skate photos. Heâd always ask me to do the trick again, I could see him training up, (laughs). Weâd take it in turns filming each other as well.
Any good out and about happenings whilst youâve been shooting with Reece, or filming in general?
– Some moshers gave me some beer when I was skating tech 10: they were so hyped.
The feeble 180 you shot for the contents of this mag?
- Yeah that time, the moshers loved it man and they were classic moshers!
You must get on with all the moshers.
- Not all the moshers, some mosherâs are too mosher to even get on with.
You get on alright with the Hyde crusties though donât you?
– I pretty much get on with everyone at Hyde, even the scally BMX kids.
Who are some of your favourite Hyde locals?
- Del pretty much took me under his wing, told me what was cracking. Brucieâs like the lord of Hyde Park; he keeps an eye on everybody and owns the mini ramp. Sangy as well, I saw him kick out this guy on a unicycle once, (laughs).
Excluding yourself, whatâs some of the gnarliest skateboarding moves youâve witnessed in Leeds, and who should the world look out for?
– Grove ollieing the rail at Headingley church then riding into the road tops-off was pretty insane. Just all the stuff all the boys do that I go skating with really. Rozeeâs channel gap at the whippies in the Uni was insane as well!
You currently live in one of the jah-est houses Iâve ever been in, how have you all survived without the house going up in green, gold and red flames and has it improved your doggy dreads?
- âKin âell thatâsÂ a mad question, (laughs). It is pretty jah, dub first thing in the morning with the bass vibrating me out of bed. I do like my peace and quiet first thing, thereâs a time and a place for loud music. Thatâs probably the country in me speaking.
Youâre also a part time Mario Kart extraordinaire, which character do you most relate to and why?
- Well you can make your own character now; there are a couple of guys with dreads driving about. Probably Diddy Kong, but when youâre picking your characters the popular oneâs go quick, so you have to act fast. Because of this I sometimes go for Luigi. Heâs a bit of an outcast; nobody really likes Luigi.
Outside of the Nintendo, whatâs the fastest car youâve driven and who the hell let you do so?
– Got a sick birthday present one year. I drove a Lamborghini Gallardo round Silverstone. I did 5 laps on one of the short circuits andÂ wore a racing helmet and everything. Iâm pretty sure I started in third as well (laughs). The track was so wide so you could go faster. I reckon I was going 140, that thing f*cking went. âWheeeeeeeâ.
Another beast previously only stepped to by Paul Silvester. This thingâs being crying out for a flip trick for years but it took Dog-boy to make it happen. Kickflip into nightmare brick weave.
Whatâs lined up for the future Jimmy, are you intending on going on any trips, travelling wise or mentally?
- I need to get my ass back up to Scotland for some more survey conservation work, I wanted to go this year but I was doing the bat survey, which was also rad. I want to do some more of that shit.
Who currently supports your talent? I think youâre only a couple of sponsors away from an energy drink hook up (despite raiding the Hyde park red bull cars on the regs), but we all know youâd prefer a biereâ deâspeciale stubbies package, I reckon theyâd be keen!
- Yeah man about time, Iâve been drinking that stuff for ages. Theyâve probably got better things to do like sit about and eat cheese, some of the finer things. I get Nike shoes and Kr3w clothing through Welcome skate store.
Welcome hook me up with everything really, Vince hooks me up with Sore boards. He was the one who hooked me up first, spotted me or whatever, (laughs), so itâs pretty sick!
Thank God you have those sponsors, youâre not the freshest guy but your threads create an illusion that you might be.
- Yeah man you can tell when I havenât had a package in a while when Iâm back to pockets hanging out, ass on show and all kinds of stains.
You still got those shredded to f*ck boxers?
- Yeah man may as well, Iâm not going to be showing them things off anyway. Theyâre comfortable boxers as well, I hate getting to the end and having to decide between boxers that give you a wedgie or occasionally have your balls hang out. Thatâs why I keep them; theyâre comfortable to skate in.
Who did you grow up skating with?
- The main dude I skated with when I was younger was Matt Green, he killed it: I still skate with Chris and Sam my stoner buddies, theyâre sick, and Callum Sandercock as well!
Who do you like to go skating with in Leeds?
- I kind of like doing my own thing, everyone will pop into Hyde at some point, go down there, see what people are saying, go street if thatâs whatâs going on. A lot of the time I skate with Vince and Reece, Hyde locals. Iâll roll with the boys as well, but you guys have so much energy, (laughs).
Does that mean youâre getting a Rolling With The Boys (RWTB) tattoo then?
- My body is my shrine (laughs). Well I havenât got any tattooâs. Iâd get some birds on my arm; some swifts, like them (points up at a flock of swift flyingÂ past). My local townâs Lutterworth and thatâs the local animal. I was thinking of a fox as well, maybe because thatâs a Leicester thing. 3rd tat could be a RWTB, but it looks like a prison tattoo. I could get with one joined up writing I guess.
Well everyoneâs is different.
- So thatâs allowed (laughs).
Ever dragged your arse across the carpet like aÂ dog?
- Weâve had races before (laughs).
Would you care to explain what a âburritoâ is?
-Â (Groany laugh), your mates will go out and get smashed and youâll be at home in bed with shit to do in the morning. Theyâll come in, wake you up, grab the mattress whilst youâre still on it, fold it over you then youâre just tucked up in the middle which isnât so bad. I got used to getting burritoâd, itâd be quite cosy, but it escalated to the point where youâd get flipped over; Iâd be on the hard wooden frame with a mattress on top of me, people jumping on me and generally causing a ruckus, so Iâd have to rearrange the bed I had just made and try and get back to sleep. It was my final year of Uni when it was going off the most so often Iâd be stressing about an exam the next day. Eeeeeeee!
Are all your recommended friends on Facebook still dogs?
- I think I added one or two famous dogs, Iâve got one on there at the moment called Trio, he f*cking owns it, I read his book.
Reece and I laugh…
Well not his book his owner wrote it. This dog went out to Afghanistan to sniff out bombs and the Taliban hated him and kept trying to kill him, but he just owned it! Iâm pretty sure that was the year I constantly got fraped, it was like an initiation into moving into the house. My laptop had my password saved so you guys added a couple of dogs, and before you know it all my recommended friends were dogs so I was stoked! Thereâs this Staffordshire terrier Iâve got on it called Boom, you should check him out heâs a sick guy. There was all that bullshit about Staffies being dangerous dogs and this guyâs chilling, thereâs photoâs of him chilling with bunnies and chicks on his head, getting on well with every animal. Itâs a bad thing when Iâm walking Sherlock, he looks like a Staffie and Iâve seen this hench scally guy from Woodhouse back up into a van, shit scared of him when heâs just having a little sniff (laughs). Theyâre the best breed for children, theyâre loyal and it just goes to show that itâs not the breed of dog thatâs the problem, itâs the owner.
The last 2 years or so youâve gone particularly hard in da paint, what tricks have caused you the most stress to get?
- F*cking Parkinson building steps definitely, I used to go past it on the train all the time. I front boarded the rail that was a mission and couldnât sit down for a week. I was trying to get a grind on it for a while and got it eventually, but itâs so weird gapping out to a rail against the wall. Every time Iâd go past, it was like it was mocking me.
Yeah Paul Silvesterâs the only other person to get a trick on it.
- Yeah years ago too! Now I go past it remem- bering the beef we used to have, but weâre kush now, itâs like âin your face!â But Iâm going back as well so it better watch it.
On the subject of Paul Silvester, whatâs some of your favourite Man stunts?
- Switch back T on the L block and some of the gaps heâs done are just ridiculous, itâs like; how did he even get up there, let alone do the gap?
Are there any other OG Leeds heads youâre fond of?
- Tom Brown definitely, heâs so sound and has fakie 5-0âs for days. Rob Burn and Mark Bowcock are lads too! Watch Markâs part on Dayzed and Confused.
Any last words/big ups/secrets you want to share?
-Â Big up the swift, the sparrows, Lipsy the weird cat with the weird lip, big up Dave who just mooned me. A big thanks to my mum, dad and brothers, all my friends from back home, the 51 boys, all the Leeds crew, all the Hyde locals past and present, Vince for the Sore wood, the Welcome lot for hooking us up, especially Tom Brown, Sidewalk for printing this, Vaughan at Krew and ColinÂ at Nike for the proddy. Reece for taking pics, being patient and getting paid!! Flora and fauna and the earth, dog pals past and present, the beardy collie crew, the Midlands!! Hemplow hill, Sherlock, Ellie, Meg and Lucy, you for doing a chilled interview, Tina for taking us out of Leeds every now and then, the golden owls and Davina Harrap, ha ha ha. Lastly: party Doug rest in peace.