Lords of Butetown II - Reid Allen Interview

by Dan Bunn

Following the release of his new zine the other week, we sat down with the good homie, Reid Allen, to find out what he's been up to and discuss all things Lords of Butetown.

Reid Allen Portrait by Nick Vieweg - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Reid found himself on the wrong side of the camera this time and ended up getting snapped by the homie, Nick Vieweg.

Safe Reid, how’s it going?

Yes Dan, I’m good man! How’s things?

Yeah, not too bad thanks mate! What are you up to these days?

I’m in London these days doing a Sociology masters.

First off, for those who missed the first ‘Lords of Butetown’, wanna tell us a bit about where the name comes from?

I nicked the name from CSC haha. It’s a play on 'Lords of Dog Town', the film about 70s Venice Beach skating, and CSC used ‘Lords of Butetown’ on the OG snoopy hoodies they did when the shop first opened.

CSC Lords of Butetown Longsleeve T-Shirt Logo - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: OG CSC Lords of Butetown Tee.

Had you planned on making a sequel?

It wasn’t so much planned as something that I hadn’t ruled out. Then summer just gone, when I knew I was moving to London and I had some time, I thought fuck it yeah I’m doing it.

You managed to capture some brief but magical moments from the scene over the years, from Ethan’s fountain wallie to the glory days of the Fun House. Have you got any particular favourites?

Yeah those were some great times. I think they were both in that period of spring/summer 2019, the same summer we all went to Prague, that was definitely a sick period for the scene.

Have you got a favourite picture or spread?

That’s a tough one! Lloyd going off his van bonnet into the velodrome with Phil’s sick illustration over it came out great, hyped on how that one looks.

Lloyd Houston boneless into the velodrome with artwork by Phil Morgan, from Reid Allen's Cardiff Skate Zine Lords of Butetown 2 - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: Lloyd Houston soaring into the velodrome of the bonnet of his gaff alongside an illustration by Phil Morgan.

It seems like there’s less late night drinking shenanigans and a bit more skating than the first one, was this a conscious decision you made?

I think that wasn’t so much conscious as organic, probably a lot related to actually learning to use a camera haha, and getting older. I still like to shoot both though: ‘get the boring shit out of the way so you can do the fun stuff’ in the words of Jake Collins.

How did the Cardiff scene change between the two zines?

It’s grown a lot, for sure, there’s more different crews, back then pretty much everyone skated together, fat sessions going down. But it’s still the best. It’s welcoming but also honest, everyone’s super friendly but if you try and cool guy someone you will get called out there and then. I miss it when I’m dealing with some of the flannels you get in London.

Yeah it's pretty crazy how much the scene has grown in the last few years. So, in between the first and second ‘Lords of Butetown’, you also made ‘Yallah’, a book documenting your time volunteering with SkatePal. Did working on ‘Yallah’ change how you approached your photography when you came back?

Yes and no. First, I barely shot any for months after I got back, and then I took it more seriously (hence less piss up photographs), but when I let myself just shoot freely again that’s when I started really enjoying it again.

The girls of Jayyous skatepark, Palestine, shot by Reid Allen from his zine Yallah - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store
Photo: The girl's of Jayyous skatepark in Palestine from Reid's zine, Yallah.

What’s the story of the guy on the floor with the bouncers?

Haha. Some rugby game was on in Queens Vaults, Harry, Jake and Ethan and I were drinking megapints and these French guys were getting denied entry by the bouncer for being steaming. Eventually they decided to have a pop at the bouncer and the rest is history.

What’s next for you now?

Haven’t got a clue. Currently just trying to make it out of this masters alive. Oh actually, we’re gonna do a group exhibition to celebrate the release of the zine, exhibiting work from myself, Lloyd, Phil and Beef. It’s going to be in the shop (CSC) and the top floor of Bacareto, on Friday 25th March from 7pm onwards, should be a good little do.

Yeah sick, looking forward to that mate. Nice one Reid!

Lords of Butetown 2 Zine Exhibition Poster - CSC, Cardiff Skateboard Club - UK Skate Store

That's enough chit-chat though. Head to the shop to grab yourself a copy of Lords of Butetown II while you still can. Or, check out more of the latest skate-related content on the CSC Blog. Safe.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.