Ed Spoons is a London based bboy and part of one of my favourite UK crews ‘Ghetlow Pirates’ Ed recently graced us with his thoughts and experiences in UK bboying and hiphop. I find this a really interesting read and I’m sure you will to. Here is what he had to say:
I’m Ed Spoons, founding member of Ghetlow PIrates. I’m a Bboy based in London where I teach, do shows and compete, but by day I also work for Hoxton Hall where I manage and develop youth arts projects for young people. On the side I also organise Jams and Parties in the local area and run Strike Cover with my good friend Carl.
Where are you from and how long have you been dancing for?
I was born in Manchester to Welsh and Scottish parents and moved to london when I was 5. As soon as I was old enough, I went to Uni in Leeds where I stayed for 5/6 years before returning down south, so I am not sure where I belong really but London is pretty hype so I am sticking here for now. I’ve been dancing for about 10 years now, I started at a youth centre out in Twickenham, I had to travel about an hour to get there but once I got started I got hooked!
What do you think to the current uk bboying scene?
The UK scene is interesting at the moment as the level is on the come up and people are doing some good stuff, but it’s a trade off, as to do that a lot of people are just emulating what they see on the youtube and following the trends with their dancing. I feel like there are a lot of dishonest dancers who are showing one thing but in reality it’s not true to them so it looks very forced. Partially it’s due to many of them being quite young in the dance so they haven’t found the real belief to just do their own thing yet, so I am sure it will settle down. Also I feel it’s true that the guys winning the jams arent really the best or most interesting dancers, it’s become more of a box ticking exercise and thats a shame, but that’s something that is happening everywhere so its not unusual.
What music do you listen to?
I listen to a lot of different stuff really, I have a big love for funk and soul music, though I really like that 80s boogie shit too. I listen to a fair bit of HipHop but then I am also into a lot of other stuff, a bit of electronica, psyche rock, jazz whatever. Good music is good music so genres don’t really matter. And morrissey is a rudeboy haha.
Favourite hiphop artists from the US and the UK?
Thats a tough question really, as its always so hard to pick favourites… UK wise I dunno what’s happening now so much, but when I was into it I was keen on Taskforce and all that Mud Fam business. For anyone who remembers it we used to session the old Dark and Cold video mixtapes a fair bit haha. My mate has a band called the Yes Men that are good, good MC with a great singer and some dope production so I’d say have a listen to them at www.theyesmen.co.uk
With the US it’s pretty dull to say but I’ve always been keen on Big L and all that DITC shit, the Wu, Nas, all the usual suspects like that. I like all that Demigodz stuff too with like Apathy and Celph Titled and them guys, also I always had a lot of time for Edan, he’s a good MC and his radio shows he did a few years back are worth a listen, he plays a lot of really good music across a lot of genres and it will educate you. sorry I cant be dropping some crazy secret shit haha recently I been feeling Action Bronson, saw him the other week in camden and he rocked it pretty good!
Favourite childhood cartoon?
My favourite childhood cartoons were Jayce and the wheeled warriors, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I got a lot of time for Ulysses 31, even though it was a little before my time I remember seeing it on Sky when i was on holiday and it was so good, combining my love of Sci Fi with classic mythology is a winner.
Which bboy would you most like to battle and why?
I really dunno who I would like to battle as I am not that arsed about it anymore like that, I am happy to battle anyone who has a good style and i respect really, it’s more about sharing than anything for me. I was supposed to battle both Joey D from the infamous PRS and Doke from bad taste in exhibition battles over the years but they always got cancelled for whatever reason so I guess that would be cool. We got a bit of a joke in my crew about me battling DeJaVu from HeadHunters too as he is like a footwork guy with glasses who was on the vids when I first started out, he was pretty mean at the time!
Your most memorable battle to date and why?
My most memorable battles I reckon are probably the old Circle Prinz UK when me and Zorro battled Spin and Abdul, there was a lot of hype around that time about a Leeds/London rivalry particularly between Ghetlow and La Familia. It went off and we won, but it was a good atmosphere as a lot of people kind of picked sides being either from the north or from london so it was pretty intense. I heard a rumour that it was actually rigged so we would get the draw in the first round to make it hype. Also when we won Mighty4 Uk its was hype as it was with my house/crewmates flo and Gump and we won in Leeds (beating two london crews) and the crowd went ballistic. I put the video on here as it was so funny haha..
Can you please tell us about your involvement with the highly succesful breakin’ event ‘Attention to Detail’?
With ATD I used to go to the northern ones and am mates with the guys who started it. I can remember talking to Jamie and Reveal way back about the concept and that though I think it was just as I moved away that it started properly. In london my friend Charly from Brassroots had a residency at the Richmix on a wednesday and they did an MC battle with the live band. I went down and immediately thought it could be done as a breakin’ event so i got back to the guys up north who were on about expanding anyway, so we got together and sorted it out. Originally it was a free night on a Wednesday and since it has grown to be a bigger thing than we ever thought and we now run on a friday night, we got 4/5 in the independent, pick of the week in Time Out. It’s actually becoming its own event on its own now called Breakin’ Brass as it means we can develop it further without being trapped in the format of ATD. There was one on the 6th april and the next one will probably be in July.
What have you got planned for 2012?
I have already said that 2012 could be the best year ever so lots planned. Personally I want to hit a couple of jams abroad, go see my pals in Paris probably. We got a night on the regular in london Called UNiTY which is just great music and vibes in a local boozer, got some really good DJs and a cracking good time, so that’s got to expand. Got some really cool shit happening with Strike Cover doing some education projects too, fingers crossed we taking ATD on tour in europe in the summer too. With regards to the Crew we trying to make a bit of a push to get out there again and remind people that we are still dangerous, as we been chilling for a while now. Got some good kids in the crew coming up so we gotta set a good example!
I guess I wanna give a shout out to my crew Ghetlow Pirates first and foremost as they are my inspiration. Also the justbreak boys in paris and Willski, all the old Leeds heads (F-Unit, Breakers Unify), the ORIGINAL imperial steps (Fuz, BombJack and Ian) for teaching me so much. All my friends and family in London town for keeping me busy and entertained, Howl at the Moon for being a great pub, Brassroots for being so hype, ELD for giving me work and getting me the brilliant Firm to work with, Mr. Chuckles for hooking me up all the time and holding stuff. Big love to the Lemonade Associates, Niya and the UNiTY collective, my boys in Heavy Smokers, Trinity, BTC, everyone who is holding it down and being honest. I also cant leave out the WGBGs, keep peeled for them, its gonna be bigger than anyone knows!
Check out www.youtube.com/BreakinBrass for footage from the latest events
Interview by Joe Downes