The annual All City jam in the Tivoli is one hell of a reason to get your arse into town early for once on a Saturday. We’ve even got a pair of tickets to give away. First, Rashers Tierney flung a few questions at the All City Dublin Facebook account. They schooled him in the ways of the jam…
Explain to those of us raised in the pre-internet withering culchie heartlands of line dancing and Garth Brooks just what exactly the term “all city” means? Some sort of hip hop slang is it?
I guess it is. All City is a term used to describe a prolific writer or crew! Though there was a mid 90s hip hop crew called All City, couple of US indie labels back in the 80s, graffiti stores in Paris & Marseilles.
It’s a fairly popular term, I never really thought someone mightn’t know what it means. It’s American too so Garth Brooks fans should be aware of it. If they could understand Chris Gaines they’ll work it out!
The first time I went down to the jam, I was like – “fuck, where have all these kids come from?” It was like they’d crawled out of the wood work. What are the hubs for the scene here? Where does it talk to itself and form its links and bonds? Is it through particular online forums or are there important off line hubs that bring people together?
Well I’m not sure when you first went was, it’s been going since 2008..around that time there was a Marc Ecko video game called Getting Up that brought graffiti into the mainstream. And I guess the Celtic Tiger meant that parents started giving their kids money so i guess without getting too UCD Cultural Studies PHD on it it was an international thing with the game mixed with a local thing of young kids shopping! At that time we didnt know where they were coming from, they’d come into the shop in droves, all classes, shapes and sizes.
It was weird, the amount of people who have passed through this shop at some stage in their youth. There has always been a touch of the Byker Groove about the place. Bebo was the online hub then,Flickr was a quick way to share photos and comment and all that and now it’s Facebook and Instagram I guess. You don’t have to search to hard for it these days. We used to get magazines from all over the world into the shop but we probably only really sell 3/4 titles now, it’s all online.
I just came across Representing Dublin, the online Youtube thing. Is there any other video channels or publications here folk should check to keep abreast of the graf scene?
Getn Loose, Eiresol, Lost in the Mood.. a couple of fanzines – No Brainer, High Pressure, Forever Wet.
You’ve been doing it for 7 years now. That’s a mighty long time for anything to keep its head above water. Where did the original idea come from and what lessons have you learnt over the years?
Ah it’s not that tricky, it looks after itself. It’s supposed to be understated and low key. It’s for people who are interested in it really, we’re not bothered if thousands turn up. People are always at us to expand it but it runs at a serious loss as is so we’re just happy to let it rock.
Last year I remember seeing some guard coming in and looking really perturbed before the event had ended. It was like he had walked in by accident and couldn’t get a grip on it. Thinking it was illegal or something. How do the authorities relate to it? Is there much misunderstanding or have they improved?
Really? I think the noise would bother them more than anything else. They’ve always been fine to be fair. It’s a private event so they’ve no choice anyway. In other countries there’d probably be undercover police wandering about. Thankfully Irish police dont get as het up about people writing on walls.
So, in terms of the shop – which is it, a graf store or a record store? Or do they complement each other well?
Mmm..well we get a wide mix of people in here, from record heads to women buying paint for hats and then artists and writers, dabblers of all ages. Whether they compliment each other or not I dont know but I’d like to think we serve both types at a decent level – I think we run a fairly tight ship for record buyers and writers. I think we’ve done the vinyl discussion to death at this stage, Of course plenty of heads in here buy both.
Graf has come along way here, from being the preserve of outlaws to the new face of on street marketing with the likes of Rabbit Hole Promotions, then the whole Evolve project brightening up an awful lot of spaces. Were there any key moments you can think of that signaled shifting attitudes to the whole thing?
I think it’s just time really. If you hang around long enough and are persistent enough eventually you get in the club, innit!
rabble has two sets of passes to give away to the jam. Just give us some back lip over at our reader survey and we’ll pull a name from the hat.