Top Five Tunes

I’ve been so busy over the last few weeks I haven’t had time to blog. I’ve got a few minutes, so I thought I’d do a quick Top Five. I’m mid-way through shooting my Pirate Radio short film, so this Top Five’s inspired by the soundtrack.

I usually don’t like stuff with this ‘generic’ DnB beat that most commercial ‘DnB’ tracks have, but I love the vocal and synths in this. Cramp has produced some epic trance tunes and it shows in this track.

Big Bang 2015

It’s been a while since I posted. Between work, college and freelance work I’m not getting much time to do much else. I’ve managed to grab half hour to myself so I thought I’d post up photos from the weekend.

I blogged a couple of weeks ago that our VW Camper passed its MOT. Leo and I decided to take it out for its first proper spin and what better place to take it than a VW festival! By coincidence Big Bang was on the weekend after we put it in for MOT. We wanted to go and look for goodies for the van, so we bought tickets and headed upto Santa Pod.

Not only did we want to see what parts we could buy but we also wanted to see some other vans to draw inspiration from. There were loads of vans on show, although not many of them were T25s. Here is a selection of my favourite cars from the Show ‘n’ Shine.

Big Bang 2015-9

Big Bang 2015-16

Big Bang 2015-8

Big Bang 2015-4

Big Bang 2015-5

Big Bang 2015-3
I really like the colour of this Mk2 and would love to do the van in a similar colour, maybe a shade darker.

There was a Baja track which we went and took a look at. Really cool to see some buggies getting muddy. It’s the first time I’d seen one in the flesh/metal.

Big Bang 2015-14

Big Bang 2015-15

Big Bang 2015-10

We also met up with Leo’s housemate, Johnny. He also owns a van which used to be the same colour as ours! We spent much of the day relaxing with him in the vans and watching the jet cars on the strip.

Big Bang 2015-17

Big Bang 2015-19

Big Bang 2015-18

Big Bang 2015-22

Big Bang 2015-26

After a long, tiring (I ended up demoing with the bike display team on my uni) but great day of looking/talking/shopping all things VW, we headed home in true VW fashion; with a long line of traffic stacking up behind us!

Big Bang 2015-27

Big Bang 2015-28

All in all, a really enjoyable first outing with the van and not a single problem!

Last ever print issue of Ride UK

About three weeks ago I posted the news that Ride UK BMX mag is going out of print. Today they announced their last ever issue and it looks a banger.
I’m so happy that Bas Keep has made the cover for the last ever issue, a fitting send off for the UK mag. What a last cover too, Bas is absolutely fuckin’ sending it!

198_Cover

Check out the article on the Ride website here.

VW Camper update – Road legal at last!

We’ve been achingly close to getting the van in for an MOT for weeks now but every time we thought we were ready, the van had other ideas and spit it’s dummy out. Last week the low oil pressure light came on just when we thought we were done.

After an ordering frenzy, we headed down the workshop armed with all the parts we needed. We bought a remote T-piece so we could plumb an oil pressure guage in and still retain the original pressure sender to the light on the dash. In the case of the oil pressure being too low, we bought a new oil pump, gaskets and crank seal. There’s a bit of oil coming from that general area, so we thought that was the most likely culprit of our low oil pressure. We also got a new numberplate made up.

Camper MOT-2

Leo started the day with a set of pressups for maximum POWWWWAAR!
Camper MOT-3

We started off by fitting the T-piece. It allowed us to relocate the pressure sender to a location with better access, on top of the engine.

Camper MOT-7

Camper MOT-6

Once that was done, we plumbed in the pressure gauge temporarily so we could check the oil pressure. This was the moment of truth, because if it was indeed too low we would have to do the crank seal and oil pump which involves dropping the engine off its mounts. Not a five second job.

Camper MOT-5

After a few nerve wracking minutes waiting for it to get upto temperature, the pressure looked fine. Result!

We rang up our tame MOT tester to see if he had space for an MOT that afternoon and he did and told us to bring it down. We rushed around and did a few last minute jobs like fitting the front numberplate and tidying up the engine tinware which was all hanging off.

I’d optimistically insured it that morning, ready for when we did eventually have to take it for an MOT but I didn’t think it’d be this soon! Driving it on the road for the first time was so surreal. It felt so much smaller as soon as it was off the farm and on the open roads. A good feeling for sure. My eyes were glued to the gauges though. I was so sure something was going to go wrong.

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It made it to the garage with no hiccups at all. In fact it drives much better than I thought it would. The five speed box is actually quite good and the engine feels stronger than I anticipated. It’ll cruise at 60 fairly comfortably.
Now the scary bit, MOT time!

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Standing there watching Martin go over it with a fine tooth comb was such a nerve wracking half hour. I was soooo nervous. It’s definitely the worse MOT I’ve ever had. Turns out I needn’t have worried. IT PASSED!

It went straight through, first time! There were a few bits and pieces like the pedal rubbers worn and a low tyre, but we changed them there and then. I thought it was going to struggle getting through emissions, but it was actually really good. To say I’m chuffed is an understatement.

Camper MOT-1

It spat its coolant everywhere during the MOT but that was just a hose that we’d plumbed the temperature gauge into that had been rubbing on a bracket. We drove it back home and sorted that as well as plumbing the oil pressure gauge in properly and putting it in the dashboard.
Then we had a small ceremony to celebrate.

Big thanks to Martin at General Mechanical Services. Big thanks to them in general actually. I take so many crappy cars to them and they still let me come back. Great garage, very friendly and fair. Check them out and give them a ring if you need anything doing car wise.

http://www.general-mechanical-services.co.uk/

Now, did someone say roadtrip?

VW Camper Van Update

I haven’t posted an update on the Camper in a while. Over Easter we haven’t been working on it much but this weekend Leo and I got down there and did a few litle bits to it. On Good Friday I went down to the workshop with my buddy Andrew and we managed to sort out the indicators and hazard lights. Turns out someone had cut through the wire when wiring up an auxiliary temperature gauge….ahem. While we were there we also filled up and bled the cooling system. When it was upto temperature we noticed a leaky hose.

Fast forward to this Friday and I went to the workshop by myself and refitted the spare wheel well. In an attempt to get the original dashboard temperature gauge working I cleaned up all the earths in the engine bay. One was super dodgy and I decided to replace it completely. I came away armed with a list of spares to buy.

VW Camper 11-04-15-2

VW Camper 11-04-15-6

Saturday I headed down with Leo and we replaced the leaky hose and fitted the new engine earth strap. The brakes were still a bit shit so we re-bled them too. We bought a new distributer cap a while back and so we fitted that in the hope it would sort out the rough running. It seems to have made a small difference. It’s got to be better than the old one anyway. I noticed the bumper end caps are missing and we misplaced them a long time ago. It won’t pass an MOT with sharp edges so I put some edging strip on the ends to cover them. I’ve no idea if that’ll be enough to satisfy the tester, but we’ll see. Then it hit us. It’s finished and ready for MOT!

VW Camper 11-04-15-4

VW Camper 11-04-15-5

VW Camper 11-04-15-7

VW Camper 11-04-15-3

This has been a (very, very, very) long time coming, but here is a video of it complete and running.

As always with this van though, it’s not that straightforward. While we were driving it up and down on the farm, the low oil pressure light came on. Bum.
There’s a bit of an oil leak coming from the oil pump area. It looks like a right bitch to get to. We’ll have to drop the engine off its mounts to get to it. We’ve got an oil pressure gauge, oil pump, crankshaft seal and gaskets on order. Oh well. One day we might finish this project.

VW Camper + Hijet-3

Spor – Caligo

I was going to put one of the tracks from Caligo into this weeks Top Five but I couldn’t choose just one, so I’ve decided to do an entire post on the album.

I don’t know how, but Caligo completely slipped under the radar. It was released a month ago and no-one seems to have noticed. It’s strange because it’s such a fucking banger! I’ve had it on repeat all week.

I’ve always liked Spor but he seems to have tightened up production and refined his sound. Caligo has hints of Noisia which isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m in love with that intro and the way the tracks are all segued. My favourite album this year for sure.

You can go and grab Caligo on BitTorrent for free!