New Thought Forms video featuring legendary Bristol skater Spex
At the beginning of this month, Geoff Barrow’s Invada Records released a split LP from roster act and Bristol fuzz-rockers Thought Forms and Brighton magickians Esben & The Witch (head here to get hold of it). Now, one of the TF tracks, ‘For The Moving Stars’, has some filmic accompaniment courtesy of recent Invada signing CUTS. In the spirit of the record’s genesis, harking back to early Sub Pop splits (“think of those heady early days where you’d get Mudhoney and Sonic Youth covering one another on either side of a 7″, aka record collector heaven”, as Invada say), the clip is inspired by skate videos of yesteryear and opens with archive footage of Bristol luminary Spex skating across the Clifton Suspension Bridge, before cutting to the man today making his way round his home city. Invada and CUTS have kindly given us a first look at the video, which you can watch above, while the label’s Redg Weeks fills us in on the full back story below:
“I first became aware of a lanky skateboarder called Spex in the mid 80s while skateboarding in south Bristol. The skating trend had sailed over the Atlantic from the States and was in full swing by around 1987. Spex was a ridiculous talent and was known all over the south-west of England and further. On days where the cream of San Francisco’s skateboarding community would come over for exhibition shows – Spex would turn up and not only rival them but put most to shame… The entire Bristol skate scene was huge and the worship all us teenagers had for this individual was unmatched for anyone else.
“Up until around ’86 my music tastes were simply HEAVY METAL – nothing more nothing less – it was all about Van Halen, Motörhead, Judas Priest and of course Maiden. When the skate scene started to take over my world in between school and sleeping, I began to see imported VHS videos coming from the States. Videos like ‘Streets On Fire’ introduced me to to a new form of music I’d not really known of: hardcore. Bands like Black Flag, Firehose, Minutemen, Blast, etc, became the mainstay of my listening and from that moment introduced me to all kinds of alternative music.
“When I heard the Thought Forms track ‘For The Moving Stars’, I wanted to have a skate video to accompany it; it immediately conjured up images of kids on the West Coast of America skating along to an early Hüsker Dü or Sonic Youth track – I mentioned this to Geoff and he was in agreement, but we didn’t know what to shoot or who to get involved. Geoff asked me what Spex was up to nowadays – in a weird twist of fate, my kids and his go to the same school – but I hadn’t actually seen him in years. I tracked his number down from a mutual friend and then set up a meeting between us with Invada’s latest signing CUTS, who not makes music but incredible videos too. Spex, despite having serious skating injuries over the past year, was obliging when we played him the track.