Words by Guillaume Le Goff (French MC Contributor)
The new House of Vans in London opened last night and from everyone’s perspective it was an amazing evening. Over a thousand people, including amazing skateboarders, artists and musicians, lots of riders, cool heads, celebrities and creatives from all over Europe congregated at HOV. House of Vans London is a brand new, massive indoor space dedicated to skate, art & music, and is situated in the heart of the City, not far from Southbanks and Waterloo Station, in this graffiti all covered underground venue called Old Vic Tunnel (previously known for a Bansky/Lazarides street art curated show some years ago).
Already well known for its long and true history with skate and street culture, Vans stepped up its game with this huge creative hub for all its present and future development in UK and Europe. So, first impressions? In-cre-di-ble. You enter the House of Vans and immediately you’re welcomed by a concrete street park with banks, curbs and transitions. Perfect. Then in the second room on the right you find a concrete bowl. Many US and European Vans riders are of course there to test the skate space, legendary Christian Hosoi is here doing his famous stylish moves from backside ollie to smith grinds, Nicky Guerrero, Curren Caples, Samuel Partaix, Ross McGouran and many others are already home in the bowl, and the session is impressive.
After one (or more) good drinks at the bar, we’re on our way to discover the music space where tonights big names are to perform: Savages, Roots Manuva, Dinosaur Jr, Public Enemy and Toddla T. As we walk in, Savages have started and Roots Manuva are next, and everyone is psyched. A big crowd has gathered, and although its only early, Trevor Jackson and Ben Drury (who have pieces in the art room), UK rapper Dizzee Rascal, Carri Munden from Cassette Playa, Vans & Flip pro Geoff Rowley, James Lavelle (Mo’Wax), Vans legend Tony Alva and skateboarder AVE, and of course many local and european skateboard crews (Palace, National skateboard co, Antiz, Cliché.…) are all here to party.
In the last room we discover the art space and inaugural exhibition Scissors and Glue, which explores the DIY aesthetic and contemporary creative culture : Uk artists French and Gorm have produced beautiful original pieces, as Ben Drury with his poetic videos, Trevor Jackson with his Only After Dark photo and graphic work, and Will Sweeney with an amazing illustration drawing. Monique Kawecki from A La Champ magazine has also curated a really nice zine. House of Vans London is just at the beginning of its journey. Of course we’ll keep you informed with future activities and projects there. Be sure to hear again about this new place very soon!
Sara Sani was there to capture the night for MC. Check out all her images in the gallery: