‘We sat on the stairs watching a group of football fans and erstwhile hooligans who were sat a few steps below us as they hugged and (literally) made daisy chains together. Andrew [Wetherall] gestured towards them and half-whispered: “He’s a Chelsea fan, that one’s Millwall, those two are ICF [West Ham’s Inter City firm of hardcore fans], he’s Arsenal and I’m not sure about those two wrong-‘uns behind them but you can bet that a couple of weeks ago they’d have happily been kicking chunks out of each other. This “Summer of Love” thing could be getting out of hand.”‘
This quote from Dave Swindells comes from his new photo book documenting the Acid House raves, warehouse parties and clubs of 1988, the year that dance music changed British culture and society (if you want to get really deep).
Acid House As It Happened* documents the scene in chronological order, highlighting short-lived but legendary clubs like Shoom, Trip and Spectrum. As the nightlife editor for Time Out, Swindells was out almost every night from 1986 to 2009. Significantly, as with any grassroots scene, Acid House wasn’t really documented in detail and it certainly hadn’t yet been commercialised. Hence Swindells’ images have a compelling nostalgia for both those who were there and those who wish they’d been. Not to mention a sense of unbridled hedonism as camera phones had yet to be invented and cameras in clubs were far from the norm.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Dave Swindells
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