One of my all-time favourite films about cultural transformation is 24 Hour Party People (2003, dir. Winter bottom), which tracks the shift from punk rock to dance culture in Manchester’s music/cultural scene of the 1980s.
I use the film in my teaching to spark students’ engagement with concepts such as assemblage, eventuation, contingency, and actor-networks.. In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, the ludic narrator (played wonderfully by Steve Coogan) clinches that moment that everything comes together: the music, the dancing, the technology, the drugs, the venue …to generate a distinctively new situation – an event: the birth of rave culture.
The dancetrack that enacts and amplifies this effervescent moment in the film, set signally in Manchester’s legendary Hacienda Club, is Voodoo Ray, widely regarded as the first acid house single produced in the UK, produced by legendary DJ A Guy Called Gerald. You can watch the videoclip to that seminal house track here.
A couple of weeks ago i was contacted out of the blue by Prem Borle, a drug researcher and ANT scholar from Berlin I had only met through Facebook, who was in Sydney, looking for something queer and festive to do. Friends took him out to some queer performance art one night, and on Sunday he came over to hang out with Stephan, Herc and I. We had a really great day. 💕
On Sunday night Prem lured me across the road to Pavlova Bar at Club 77, where A Guy Called Gerald (who I hadn’t really heard of at the time) was said to be spinning.
What an amazing set! Ivan Ligne-Noire, eminent professor of fine rave, let me know that Gerald had come only with a bunch of self-prepared dubs which he was mixing live on the spot.
At the height of his set, Voodoo Ray started kicking in here and there…among other things that might have been kicking in at that moment…whipping the crowd into a frenzy. Excited, I turned to Ivan to ask him if he knew the the Winterbottom film, and the scene that featured that track.
Ivan just laughed gently and, pointing to the DJ (spinning only an arms length away from us) whispered: ‘yes, that was *him*. Gerald was the guy who played that track, right there in the Hacienda that night that everything came together’
Mind. Blown. 💥🌈
Still reverberating in the afterglow
#Ecstatic #event #queerchemistry #disconerd