You know? That same ethos I feel applied to the party scene in Scotland once Acid House arrived. There were no half measures when it came to what was going on inside the venues. This was something that was nothing more than expected so to discover parties that had absolutely zero fighting or aggro with everyone getting on right up to the last record being spun was a complete revelation in the country.
Where you from? It was a phenomenon that our country had never experienced before and never knew COULD even be possible. Those early days were just a love in of the like minded all congregating for the same joint reasons and like Scots tend to do, made every single second count while they were there. None of this stuff where as the hours would pass the night would start to wind down as people began to get tired.
Seeing thousands of people going for it as hard at 8am as they had been at 10pm the previous night still remains one of the most amazing sights I have ever witnessed in my life. As for the clubber at the time and speaking purely from a boys perspective yeah it was all taking place during a time where football casual culture was rife but inside these events there was no pretensions or judging.
People wore whatever they wanted to without ever feeling out of place and in some ways Acid House created its own fashion through this. Lots of wild day glow and loose fitting gear. Scotland has never been famed for creating its own fashion look or starting trends. The feeling being that whatever everyone was wearing in a say, London, Liverpool or Manchester would eventually trickle down to us.
Acid House I feel was the great leveller in that sense. If you thought it looked good and was going to be comfy then you just went with it. Anthony Donnelly — The Scottish house scene was amazing. Johnny — With the music, being early days in the scene we were really at the stage where we were being led by whatever everyone else was playing elsewhere.
As for the music itself to begin with it was often a mix of Italian and American House and hip hop but in no time a lot of techno from the Dutch and Belgians started to come through. Chicago and Detroit, hardcore techno, garage, breakbeat and so on. It was an exciting time watching how the scene began to splinter off into so many directions of what essentially all still fell under the house umbrella. As things began to go overground the average raver in Scotland was stereotyped as someone who wanted hard fast and noisy techno with piano breaks thrown in to get those hands in the air but that was the beauty of it all.
The more mature clubbers who had been there at the start largely had outgrown that genre had other options open to them as smaller more exclusive club nights were appearing that catered to their own acquired tastes. Johnny — I guess our crews up here, like they did with fashion, led the way in a few areas so it was inevitable that some of them would be there at the ground level when Acid house hit the country. Which they certainly were. With the designer clothes that they wore, always before everyone else caught on to them they were always seen in some quarters as leaders rather than followers and sitting on the right side of cool so with that they were in a good place to be part of this new scene that had emerged from places like London and the north of England.
Unlike previous subculture explosions such as Mods and Punks which had been very much defined by choice of clothing Acid House was more open ended and inclusive and something that a football casual could seamlessly slip into along with anyone else without them looking or feeling out of place. Of course, some football crews were notorious for not just fighting on a Saturday afternoon and had elements of being organised when it came to making money.
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Up here I think some of the crews saw an opportunity to make money be that through dealing or supplying security for the actual events although in a lot of cases there was a conflation between both schemes from the firms. It would be wrong though to suggest that they were only in the scene to make money. Like anyone else who fell into Acid House there was without question a large percentage of them who were knocked out by what an impacting movement it was.
The most infamous case I could give as an example took place at one of the clubs that was instrumental in Acid House exploding in my own neck of the woods, The Kronk. After trying to gain entry through both the main entrance and fire exit door to the rear this resulted in a battle outside in the street involving all kinds of weapons like knives, baseball bats, swords and axes.
One of the Dunfermline boys taking an axe to the back and left seriously injured. Four of the Hibs mob were subsequently charged with mobbing and rioting, attempted murder and serious assault.
That said though, in my own personal experience this example was more a case of the exception rather than the rule. With the effect of what ecstasy had on the scene it removed most chances of this type of stuff happening at your average house party or club night.
People just wanted to have a night away from the tedium of normal life and largely that was what they were allowed to do each weekend. Johnny — Remembering them for some obvious reasons is quite the challenge but yeah there is so many stand out moments in the history of the whole Scottish Acid House and rave scene. As alluded to earlier, the Slam boys from Glasgow were instrumental to so many of them. They brought us Atlantis at the Sub Club which coincided with the year that Glasgow had been awarded with the status of European capital of a Culture which gave them a 5am license which was pretty much unheard of in the country.
Slam in the park was the first of its kind in terms of being a legal open air house party inside a tent in a country park near Glasgow which boasted a life PA from State alongside Jon Dasilva from The Hacienda and Alex Paterson from The Orb. Once you went to Pure you were never quite the same again having sampled it.
A truly magnificent experience inside such a compact sweatbox of a club. Such was the impact of Pure on myself I dedicated a chapter to it in Ninety where the main characters visit it near the start of their Acid House adventures. It really would have been sacrilegious of me to not have paid homage to such a groundbreaking club such was the impact it had on me personally. Benny D, Timmsy And Lel were enough for a committed and loyal crowd who would sell out the place every single week.
You hear about how hard it is to get into Berghain in Berlin these days and this was similar to The Kronk. The best example of this was Technodrome which took place on a shooting ground in Ayrshire.
This, when the house scene was still very much a secret subculture only known and appreciated by a minority yet with a crowd of near on 20 thousand who attended it was a signal of how the scene was progressing. Buses had come from all over Britain to it such was its significance of how that particular night was viewed by those in the know.
Large scale events followed, and in spades like Rezerection, Maelstrom Fantazia but they never came close to hitting the heights that Technodrome provided. Special mention also has to go to the Streetrave boys from the West who always tried to give the paying customer that little bit of a different experience.
Rap music originated in medieval Scottish pubs, claims American professor - Telegraph
To this day I still will never know how they managed to pull it off but yet there we were inside an airport that would have otherwise been closed for a few days due to the time of year. Everyone dancing on top of airline check-in desks etc. A truly surreal yet unforgettable experience.
Like I say though, Carl. So many stand out moments from those initial years that saw Acid House and rave culture become part of the Scottish psyche. Pretty much any DJ you can think of from around that time played in Scotland. So who would you say were the first people in Scotland that got onto the whole acid house party scene, who were the peop le and places that kicked it all off north of the border?
As previously stated. The Streetrave boys also were instrumental in how the scene took off and through the obvious passion they possess are still around these days. It was, at the time the only popular commercial radio station show that was dedicated to such music and rightly or wrongly he brought it to a wider audience.
I say wrongly because there was the general feeling that if the scene went fully overground then it would be ruined forever and when you look back at events which had some party people and their white gloves and dummy tits and white spray painter suits attending I feel that was the watershed moment that things began to change. Being someone who lived during those times I had my own vast knowledge and experiences to work with.
I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane however by sitting down for the first time in years and really examining and remembering all that went on. Notify me of new comments via email.
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