I missed the first Revolution show organised by Shaun Fenton and Jake Robbins so when it came around for the second year I was really keen to get involved. There's something special about smaller shows, with no corporate sponsorship this felt like it was organised by bike riders for bike riders, with no compromises made. What really came across was the level of thought that went into the curation of the show, from the bikes displayed to the art work exhibited. Shaun and Jake's approach is show the art and craft that goes into making custom motorcycles and in doing so the dedication of those that do it. Alongside the bikes was a really impressive collection of art, this often feels like an after thought at many events. The cinema screened literally hours worth of films through the weekend and provided a real inspiration, I left with a determination to learn to weld.
Held in the Baker Mamonova Gallery in St Leonards the space was perfect, a large gallery at the front leading into a beautiful old cinema in the back, and a real contrast from light to dark between the two. I love being by sea and Hastings has a real mix of traditional sea side amusements, piers and fish and chips, as well as an emerging art scene. Bikes on display ranged from some classic small block cafe racers, a beautiful digger by Benny Bone shaker and a bewildering custom built around Masarrati engine. All examples in the various forms conveyed the skill and craftsmanship that goes into bike building - there were no duds or obvious customs in the whole show. I was honoured to have my Buell, which was built and styled by Jake Robbins on display. I left it dirty, as pretty as it is it isn't a show pony, it was built to be ridden.
The saturday night saw a screening of a number of shorts including a film following The Baron, Dick Smith, and his trip to race a Triumph on the Bonneville Salt Flats. This was a real highlight for me, a great film that carried you along with beautiful shots of the alien landscape and the passion of the riders who put their hearts and souls into breaking records.
Whilst the Revolution show may not be as big as some of the others that doesn't diminish its relevance. In fact it was refreshing to see a show were everything included was an inspiration and the quality of the show was reflected in those that attended and the atmosphere it generated.