The Red Bulletin September 2019 (UK)


Birth of rave

The Future, The Soundshaft,

London, March 1988

I’d seen clubbers on ecstasy before, especially at

[outrageous club legend] Leigh Bowery’s Taboo in ’85-86,

but this time it wasn’t the hedonistic demi-monde getting

“on one, matey”. This was a dressed-down crowd who,

like the DJ/host Paul Oakenfold, had been out to Ibiza,

fallen in love with ‘Balearic beat’ and the vibe there,

and wanted to carry on in London. Most were ordinary

suburban kids, and if they were this over-excited on

a Thursday night, Oakenfold’s club name was bang on:

this was The Future, only it was already happening.

Fascinations, Downham Tavern, Kent,

July 1988

I couldn’t believe it when I first saw a gyroscope at an all-day rave.

Whether the kids were on ecstasy or not, being spun every-which-way

was bound to result in diced carrots flying through the air. I was happy

to be proved wrong. The promoter, Tony Wilson, also organised indoor

pyrotechnics and two go-go dancers – from London gay club Troll –

wearing dungarees and performing synchronised moves with fans in

front of the lasers, which was pretty radical in Kent in the late ’80s.

Fantasy FM radio studio, late 1990

Sixteen storeys up in a tower block somewhere in Hackney, pirate

station Fantasy FM was broadcasting to the east side. No one

bothered with NDAs in those days, but I had to promise not to reveal

where their studio was based. I’d been to their storming World of

Fantasy night at the Astoria, and the invitation came from there. I had

dreamt of a shot of the DJs playing in front of a window, with the city

spread out behind them – but, of course, that could well have given

away their location. So instead I took some snaps of DJ Stacey on

the decks while DJ Foxy, aka Mystery Man, who ran the station, got

busy on his brick-sized mobile phone in the background.


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