Back Street Heroes - - EVENT - WORDS & PICS: NIK

MER­CIA, THE AN­GLO-SAXON NAME FOR THE AREA THAT TO­DAY IS KNOWN, PRETTY MUCH, AS THE MID­LANDS, WAS ONCE JUST ABOUT THE MOST IM­POR­TANT RE­GION IN THE BRI­TISH ISLES… DE­SPITE THE FACT THAT ITS CAP­I­TAL WAS TAM­WORTH.

AS I’m sure I’ve said be­fore (look, I’m get­ting on, okay, and me mem­ory’s not what it was), I do like Na­tional Chop­per Club shows be­cause they re­ally are about cus­tom bikes – it’s the Club’s rai­son d’être, isn’t it, and that means that the ma­chines you get at­tend­ing are proper cus­tom bikes… well, ex­cept for my Niken.

Billed as both a car and bike show, there weren’t that many cars, it has to be said, but the bikes more than made up for that. Three long, long lines of chops an’ bob­bers (and oth­ers) stretched the length of the field, and I ended up tak­ing a frankly ridicu­lous num­ber of pics as there was just so much there ( what you see here is just the mer­est frac­tion), and walked far enough to en­sure that my rather large cheese­burger (with onions, natch) didn’t re­ally af­fect my rac­ing snake fig­ure too much… what? What are you laugh­ing at?

Sit­ting here all th­ese months later writ­ing this, one thing I do re­mem­ber very clearly is how good the mu­sic that ac­com­pa­nied the day was. While we ob­vi­ously go to bike shows to see bikes, mu­sic, back­ground mu­sic, plays a huge part in establishi­ng the right kind of at­mos­phere – too much or not enough can make or break an event. The mu­sic at this one was the best I’ve heard in ages; a bit o’ trad’ rock, a bit o’ mod­ern rock, a bit o’ reg­gae, a bit o’ dub­step, a bit o’ pop – it was var­ied and in­ter­est­ing, and a thor­oughly pleas­ant back­ground to the day. Who­ever was re­spon­si­ble for it, nice one.

The NCC don’t do ac­tual cat­e­gories as such at most of their shows – they just pick out a num­ber of ex­em­plary bikes. The win­ners here were no ex­cep­tion to that, and the awards went to: Bob’s ‘39 In­ter­na­tional (car award), Dave’s Sport­ster, Rob’s Tri­umph, Jamie’s twin­turbo Suzuki (sec­ond men­tion this is­sue!), Mick’s Har­ley, Steve’s XS650, Derek’s Har­ris Mag­num, and Justin’s Sport­ster.

The date for this year’s show has yet to be fi­nalised but, as soon as we know, we’ll let you know too – watch the events pages for info!

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