SKArL SHOP FOCUS
A local skateshop for local skaters, Edinburgh’s Focus does more than stock ultra limited lines of sneaks and a plethora of cool boards, skatewear and accessories - it’s also promoting local art and skating talent. And keeping the kids off the streets to boot. When it opened in April 2001, Focus aspired to be a focal point for Edinburgh’s skateboarding scene as part of the British network of Skater Owned Shops (SOS). It not only supported the industry but encouraged a Zephyr-style, community atmosphere.
‘We’re cool with the kids hanging around for a while,’ explains Grant Roberts, co-owner with Stewart Rattray. ‘But we will send them out to practice.’ Shop manager Mark Foster concurs: ‘We try to encourage actual skating rather than just chatting about it.’ It comes as no surprise that trainers are the main trade here, pushing absurdly limited and enormously collectable lines. One of only two Scottish outlets to stock Nike’s SB line of super sexy, limited edition sneaks, they would expect such models to fetch five or six grand on ebay.
But then there are the clothes. Again espousing uniqueness through exclusivity, Focus is there first, courting new brands such as Crownfarmer and the Quiet Life long before they’ve broken the mainstream stores. Claiming that the presence of ‘skate-toys’ (coined ‘the porcelain dolls of our generation’ by Adam & Joe) is purely to liven up the surroundings, even these vinyl figurines underline the link between skate-art, culture and clothing.
‘Skating is one of the biggest underground cultures of our time,’ notes Roberts. ‘But I don’t think people realise the influence of the creative community attached to skateboarding.’ This is a viewpoint championed by the inclusion, and planned expansion of a board-art exhibition area. So if you’re sick of seeing every other Tom, Dick and Harriot in your prized new threads, or you just want to hang out with the capital’s unrecognised artistic community, it’s time to put yourself in Focus. (Mark Edmundson)
I Focus, 44 West Port. Edinburgh, 0870 750-1415. lit/My.focuspocus.cot/k 12.. I
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HaVing a fetish is a veiy delicate thing. It can affect your relationships with friends. family. neighbours and. of course. potential lovers. Thankfully though. the only ruhher lll\./()|V(E(l ".‘Jlili my fetish is on the end of a spatula as my desire is for quality kitchenware. This is more than just a few Day-Glo Alessi l‘-()V(3lll()8 strewn on a worktop. We're talking about the big guns: heavy duty pots that even Gordon l’tainsay would struggle to lift and chopping knives that could have been used in K/// B///.
One Scottish website has the ability to sate all my fetishistic urges: Pots and Pans. l-‘annhar perhaps to residents in Stirling, St Andrews or Ayr where it has retail outlets. it specialises in supplying the finest cookware at fairly realistic prices. There's the rustic beauty of Le Creuset's rainbow of cast iron pots and lvtauVIel's classic copper pans. as well as the entire range of Gaggia espresso machines. the lance-like wonder of Global and Sahatier knives and there's a seemingly endless number of gadgets on the way down the price range. I didn't even know I needed a .vaffle iron until now. ifvlark Rohei‘tsoni I ‘v‘JWW./)()ff§--(l/l(/-/)(lllf;.(It).(/k
I BEDROOM DJS can give their mix tapes the truly seamless and professional touch with a knacky new piece of software call Ejay. Yeah, we know it’s technically cheating but the idea is it uses a ‘patented beat-matching algorithm’ (well, that’s what it says here) to give your blends apparently silky smooth transition from tune to tune. No, we don’t quite know what that means either but it’s retailing for £29.99 so is a reasonably priced, sure-fire way of impressing snooty muso party guests or just for making sure there are no glitches on those summer mix CDs. Visit www.ejay.com for more info.
I BADGES. NOT TO be confused with badgers of course — try pinning one of those buggers on your lapel. But like their animal cousins they are guaranteed to elicit shrieks of delight from friends and relatives when spotted from a
distance. Two mysterious young men in the capital are making and selling their own unique brand of badges under the charming moniker of PRIKKS. Not one their mothers would have liked perhaps but these boys have a perverse taste in visuals that w0uld appeal to the most discerning of
palates. Stormtroopers with antlers and wired graphicy but odd nature scenes are just the start of it. For more info visit www.prikks.com
I NOT TO BE confused with hip hop band of the moment N‘E‘R‘D, M‘A *S‘H, that truly tremendous US army hospital sitcom, is getting a complete DVD reissue and the fourth series is out this month. Staying with American TV, the second series of Six Feet Under and Curb Your Enthusiasm and the third series of 24 are further reasons to
stay glued to your couch post-Euro 2004. Classic Brit spy thriller Smiley’s People ﬁnally gets a release on DVD too.
I FOR THOSE looking to the future (or in this case. a galaxy far. far away) Star Wars dweebs take note: the original trilogy box set can be pre-ordered at wwwamazoncouk for $326.99. saving a princely 5218. It‘s out on 20 September, so start counting the days.
I ON A DECIDEDLY more dynamic and outdoor note, Global Activewear is launching its new line of luxury leisurewear. The Atvio and new Retucco ranges claim to respond to the need for freer clothing given the rise in more holistic pursuits such as yoga, pilates and aikido. The idea is sympathetically cut pieces in silk jersey and silk lycra which are slightly more indulgent than your average gym kit. The range is stocked at Guilty, 26 Morningside Road, Edinburgh.
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