Acid Casuals. Hooligans On E.
Abandoned factories, crumbling mills and high unemployment. It certainly was a bit Grim Up North in 80's Britain. However youth innovation is never too far away on this little grey rock in the sea. And something was bubbling in the underbelly. When us Brits do our own take on something we usually do it better and the Acid House movement was no different. Soon the empty factories and mills would become a hub for a new youth subcult movement with a new Chicago house music sub-genre as the main backdrop. From Blackburn to London, Illegal raves sprung up around the country turning the decaying urban landscape into hidden pill popping utopias which where initially as much about underground exclusivity as they where about playing a cat-and-mouse game that required planned organisation to ensure events went under the police radar.
Ecstasy was the drug of choice which brought about an almost modern counterculture movement uniting people from all colours, creeds and from all walks of life, all brought together to the sound of a squelching electronic soundtrack. The Acid House movement even created a lull in what was the now rampant football hooligan scene which had reached an all time violent high. Now the same terrace casuals who would be out on the hunt for confrontation and meeting for aggro would instead spend their weekends loved (Doved) up on E and raving alongside their would-be enemies.
The Second Summer of Love couldn't last forever. And instead of putting their focus on high unemployment, war and the bleakness of the current times, the media seemed more focused on waging it's own war on the acid house movement and started drumming up anti-ecstasy propaganda. No doubt backed by Thatcher's Tory government which would have now noticed the unity created by this new movement. Just as their predecessors had reeled in horror at the power of the 1960's hippy movement spurred on by ego crushing psychedelic substances, this new chemical high was put on the war on drugs hitlist. Unlike other cult music genres (ala punk) Acid had no political allegiance, making it a potentially dangerous animal.
The Acid House movement gave British subculture the reboot it needed. Not only by inevitability melting into the commercial club and legal warehouse style rave/dance music scene but even giving way to new waves of guitar Indie music which gave birth to the the Madchester scene and spawned many of the iconic bands that still resonate with people to this day. We also saw a change in fashion styles from baggy through to the mod / casual rehash for britpop in the 90's.
Here at CTM we love to dabble with the decks still to this day and have been involved in some Acid House and Manchester music events around Greater Manchester from MCR Rocks & Manchester Adored and also well known artists such as MC Tunes, Vince Vega, Dirty Circus and Rowetta to name just a few.
Not to mention we have created some very cool Acid Casual themed garbs over the years.
We would love to hear some of your stories from the glory days of acid house and rave. Either drop us something in the comments or get in touch at email@example.com