Thursday, 6 October 2011


What was your earliest memory of graffiti as a kid?
I can’t really remember the very first time I saw graffiti but I used to see tags & pieces up around my area by local writers in the late 80’s as well as seeing various tags by writers from crews like WRH and WD all around parts of north London... There was a ‘We Rock Hard’ tag on High Barnet station by Doze which stayed for years and years, I was gutted I never got a photo of it when it finally got buffed.
I also remember one Christmas at my Nan's house 'Surprise Surprise' came on the TV and there was Bob Carolgee's accosting this poor writer...He took him off to do piece with Artful Dodger. I remember thinking 'this is the bollocks' I always used to draw and draw but after that I spent a lot of time trying to draw outlines.
When did you go out on your first mission, was it a success???

 I was totally clueless when I first started attempting to paint graffiti. I remember doing a piece with my mate in broad daylight around the back of Wood Green shopping centre. Every time someone walked past us we’d act like we were just hanging about, hoping they hadn’t noticed the array of Carplan on the pavement. We actually got away with it and I continued to do most of my first bombing missions in the day, including quite a few track walks… like I said I didn’t have a fuckin’ clue!

There have been many great double acts over the years…Morecambe and Wise, Rod and Emu, Shearer and Sheringham….tell us about you and slam!

Haha, I've known slam for years, we’re from the same area and have knocked about together since we were kids. He had been into graff for a little while before and could draw a good outline from day one. We’ve spent a lot of time loafing, getting fucked up & painting over the years…

How did TBF come about?

Me and slam started TBF in 92, it originally stood for two bad fuckers. We also used to put it up as 2BF. It expanded pretty rapidly when we hooked up with writers from other areas of London. Shouts out to all of them.

What one night sticks out from the rest?
There was a particular night that I remember when a few of us were painting a shitty maintenance train that had laid up. Someone spotted a torch light coming our way so we started to shift down to the end of the train. When we got to the end some copper jumped out and we all legged it in different directions. While everyone was running to get away a helicopter appeared and started circling above us. I managed to run into a local estate and recognised a couple of lads I vaguely knew who were hanging about with their mates. I explained to them what was happening while the helicopter circled above us. Minutes later a couple of meat wagons turned up to quiz us all about the train.  I managed to dodge the stop & searches and they nicked two of the local crew probably to make up the arrest numbers. It turned out that everyone else who was painting the train got nicked apart from my mate who had jumped in a wheelie bin for an hour or so…
Any other close escapes or funny racking missions?

One of the longest chases that I got stuck in happened on a racking mission. I was walking out of Homebase in Mill Hill with Slam, we both had a few tins of Plasticoat ballsed up when we heard a load of footsteps running at us from behind. I turned round and clocked a firm of security guards legging it towards us. As soon as I started to run all the paint fell out everywhere, I shifted onto the road and threw myself over a fence and ran threw a wooded area behind some sort of industrial building. I found a fenced of area where the building kept their bins and hid behind it trying to get my breath back, compose myself and give the security wankers a bit of time to fuck off.
After about 25 minutes I slipped out and walked round onto a road where I planned to find a way out of the area. As soon as I’d walked onto the road I noticed a bloke in a car right next to me pointing in my direction and shouting at the bloke in the passenger seat, it was the bloody Homebase manager!
 I darted as quickly as I could across the road, behind the car and over into the park on the other side. I had run about half way across the grass when I looked round to see the car had mounted the curb and was driving towards me over the grass at full speed. I was knackered again and had slowed right down. I made it to the other side just in time and hopped over the fence.
About 15 minutes later I was walking through a little estate when I heard a car shifting up the road behind me. I looked round and saw the same car from before coming straight for me. I ran randomly around the estate and managed to lose them by hiding behind a car down a dead end. When I turned round there was a group of young blokes working on an old banger staring at me, thinking ‘who’s this geeza?’… I chatted to them about their car for a bit, trying to kill of some time in hope that the Homebase tracking unit had fucked off.
After a while I headed off again. I’d been walking for about 10 minutes in the opposite direction, trying to get further & further away from the Homebase as possible when I heard the revving sound of Mr Homebase’s fucking car again. I legged it around a corner, behind a hedge and doubled back behind the car as it pulled into the road.  This time I didn’t hang about… I kept running until I got to the station and got out the area completely. When I spoke to Slam it turned out the security guards had all run past him, he went straight home with all his paint. Lucky bastard!

How has writing and the scene changed since you first got into it?
There’s loads of differences with how graff is today compared to when I first started doing it. It used to be much less publicised for one. Nowadays there’s a hundreds of books, DVDs, magazines and websites. It’s very easy to see what is being done all over the world. It’s also much easier to get ‘plastic’ fame by doing a piece which everyone sees on a million blogs within an hour. The widespread coverage of graff has, I think changed a lot of the publics perception of it too… More people seem to know a bit about graffiti and often like it.
Despite all that one of the most negative recent changes is the custodial sentences being handed out. There clearly not working, writers are still out there night after night… not to mention that much more serious crimes are being given far lesser punishment.
The tools of the trade have changed quite a bit too. Not just the paint, which can now be easily bought in any colour you can think of, but the range of pens and other marking equipment too. I used to love trying out different homemade concoctions of ink, making pens out of plumbing pipes and what ever else. I think lots of those techniques are being forgotten which is a shame as it was a big part of getting up

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