Energy - Acid House Parties - Reviews
Saturday 26th August 1989 will stay in my memory forever, the original rave 'summer of love' year was special for many reasons, the excitement of wondering where the event would be, not a single clue on the flyer giving you the dreaded feeling it might not take place let alone it being any good, phoning the 0898 number for the taped message giving you directions and then heading off on the 'orbital' motorway that was the M25, the sense of anticipation was so exciting and then that feeling could come crashing down if it was cancelled or was instantly forgettable if it was a lousy event in some dingy old warehouse with lousy lighting rigs and awful sound, I experienced this kind of scenario a few times, still, I guess it makes you appreciate the great events even more.
I was fortunate enough to go to 3 memorable events in '89, Energy at Westway, the first world dance, amazing night, a cloudless sky showing off a partial eclipse of the moon kind of added the feeling of togetherness that was so evident that night and hot and sunny Sunday that followed.
The following weekend after WD was the bank holiday weekend and also the feeling that I was gonna dance the night away at E.S.F. so yeah, woke up in a great state of mind, lunchtime my phone rang, disaster! our local 'Energy' outlet had no tickets after assuring us days earlier they would have them, to say I was disappointed was the understatement of the year.
The crew I went to the raves with were umming and arrhing about going but I said to them we have to go, period. We all got together and phoned around, real chore in those days, (no mobiles around current ravers!!) Early evening came and not a ticket anywhere so I blurted out "We gonna fuckin go for it or what? we might be able to get a ticket at the venue" more Indecisiveness followed which was beginning to really irritate me. I eventually managed to get most of them to agree so off we went, a nagging thought in my head was looming as we hit the M25, 'what if we can't get in after all this travelling'
As we passed junction 7 the traffic was beginning to increase dramatically and the excitement was building in all of us, 8, 9, 10, off we turned! car following car and we hit a country lane that came to a complete standstill, hundreds of people walking too and then came the shout we had all been waiting for- "tickets" came the shout, windows wound down, "over here mate" I shouted, after explaining we came all the way from Southend we got them for 20 quid each, (face value for most raves was 15 so we were were well happy with that) we could hear the bass line shortly and it was clear and booming, we had tickets, not only was this event on and up and running, it sounded amazing and it was obvious this was a huge gig.
Just before we got sight of the field we saw some of the lighting rig and even that glimpse of it had our jaws dropping, it was phenomenal, this was gonna be a special night. We parked up and I ran out the car (this was about 1am) wow, I was in heaven, this was truly awesome, quality wise I had never seen or heard anything like this, nothing before or after has ever come close to this night, and I'm sure people who went to this would agree with me on that, quite a statement I know, so here's why I say this- 20,000 plus people there, which is amazing considering everyone found the venue with limited communication in '89, it was a huge field but the sound was powerful enough to fill it, the reason being that either side of the stage were flat bed trailers side on with about 20 speaker stacks on each with huge fans behind the bass drivers blowing out the booming bass line, fantastic lighting rig on the stage which was huge solid stanchions with multiple lights on each one so they looked like huge traffic lights, lots of powerful strobes and to the left of the stage was a huge canvas ball supported by wires which had very trippy images projected onto it from the tower in the middle of the field, the tower was also awash with strobes and multiple lighting effects, all these factors just blew everybody away, you could just sense that and I had never experienced that before or since.
Everyone was dancing there socks off to all the classics of the time- ride on time, meltdown, what time is love, salsa house, come get my lovin', French kiss, pump up the jam etc etc, even the short rain shower didn't dampen the amazing feeling and togetherness that was there that night, the MC on stage summed it all up when he said "No matter where you're from we're all one we're all one" a huge cheer in unison greeted this remark, hugs and dancing all night long as one. we stayed till about 11am Sunday, drizzle in the air. the crowd thinning as people began to drift away, as we drove off I was totally and utterly exhausted but I wound down the window to look back at the field to see the event I had been part of before it eventually was out of sight but definitely never, never out of mind.
More Raver memories
"My favourite rave? I think it would have to be the first Energy at the Westway Studios in Shephard's Bush. That showed me the power of it. Everyone had been in clubs up until then, and that was like my first warehousey thing.
That was the day that everyone from all backgrounds came together - rich and pool, black and white. And everyone knew then that something was going on. That was the most magical night I had, and I don't think I'll ever have a bigger buzz than that. I actually played the last set.
Everyone had played so well up until that time, and the crowd was really up for it. I was so nervous because I hadn't played to a crowd that big before, but it went down really well and I got the best response I'll ever get, which was just magical. It was like everyone was on the same buzz, and because it was a really hot day, everyone went over to Clapham Common for this party afterwards. The police came down there and they really didn't know what was going on, seeing all these people of all nations, black and white, together.
One of the guys who organised the party, called Russell, went up to them, smoking a spliff, and said, 'Everything's gonna be alright mate, we're all peace loving people'. And the policemen were so bewildered that his guy was openly smoking his spliff, and was standing there skinning up another one that, d'you know, they just walked off and left us. That was a really good day."
Energy Rave Flyers
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5.50 Energy (14 Apr 90)
Energy - Part II (4 Aug 90)
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