About My Writing

9 06 2011

At the moment I’m submerged in writing a book entitled: A Darker Electricity. It’s about my time spent on the road, in the early 1990s, with the outlawed Spiral Tribe Sound System: a collective of people who staged large, free and unlicensed, dance parties across Britain and Europe. That is until the British government accused myself and others of being the ringleaders of a new rebellion – a rebellion so dangerous in its appeal and popularity that it required a new law to criminalise it.

Never before in British history has a musical style or youth culture been singled out and outlawed in an act of parliament.

Did the money-makers conspire with legislators? Spike booze-free youth with alcopops? Ring-fence the open fields with razor-wired regulation? Lock up the open-door policy of the free festival and free party movements? Criminalise a culture – because it was noisy – or because it was free?

You can read a few excerpts from the book on the following pages. I always appreciate your comments and why not subscribe? I’m still writing, so if you were there and would like to contribute you can email me direct: straydotwaywardatgmaildotcom (substitute . and @ where necessary).

Mark Angelo writes with flair… his story of the founding of Spiral Tribe, its evolution and its subsequent confrontations with the Thatcherite state, presents us with a vivid slice of 20th century social history… I really look forward to this book, and whatever else he might go on to produce.’

Barbara Trapido

 ‘Mark Angelo is a beautiful writer and his account, told close up and from the inside, plunges the reader into the fervour of those tumultuous times.’

Caroline Brothers

‘Mark Angelo Harrison has a fascinating and necessary story to tell – an account of 90’s rave culture as it butts heads with Thatcher’s State. This is writing with a big heart, a sharp vision, a driving energy, intoxicating detail, deft craft and an insider’s authority.’

Christopher P. Wilson

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26 responses

11 06 2011
Anonymous

Nice move, Mark. Guess this had to be done, keep it up.
I got to take that bus around ’93 in the south of France, and I met with Debbie and Josh and others later in London. Get in touch should you want my PoV. Cheers.

12 06 2011
straywayward

Though told in the first person I’m getting all the angles I can on the story – one of the luxuries of hindsight! Email me your contact details.

11 06 2011
francis

What a story you have to tell, Mark. You really give an insight into that time. I can’t wait to read the whole story.

Francis

12 06 2011
straywayward

Thanks Francis – the challenge of this project is getting the story out to younger generations – and others who weren’t around – and trying to convey the optimism and creative energy that free gatherings can generate.

12 06 2011
Trix5Ta

Can’t wait to read the finished product – Would it be possible to get copies wholesale as i’d like to stock it in my online shop ?

12 06 2011
straywayward

By the underground – for the underground! Absolutely!

12 06 2011
nikki

ditto cant wait to read it . a piece of history that needed to be shared and going by what i’ ve just read …your gonna make an excellent job of it .

12 06 2011
straywayward

Thanks Nikki – really appreciated!

13 06 2011
Anonymous

Can you explain the title of your book… or will it make sense once we have read it?

13 06 2011
straywayward

It’s more of a poetic title – and by that I mean I hope it captures a certain elusive atmosphere, undercurrent or energy. But now I’ve told you that, I hope you’ll still read the book!

14 06 2011
Hamish

Hello matey, its Uncle Hamish(Weybridge Acid-Larger-Techno-Lout) Nice to see your taking things forward… You always were an inspiration to a lot of budding young dj’s and look now 20+ yrs lators here you are fuckin fantastic mate! You probably dont remember me…. I came with Lordy Aarron, Darren and many others from the ‘illegal end of Slurrey… thanks for all the mad nights n funny memories. I live in the woods in slurrey now keepin bees(who dance techno) and growing a lot of fruit n veg… still put out lights n lasrs for various with Darren(he had apony tail back then)…anyway my wayward brother keep the faith but dont forget to fill your pockets on th way through! H

15 06 2011
straywayward

Hi Hamish – sounds like you’re keeping the faith too! Thanks for your comments – great to know that the vibe is alive! Bees and veg? Great stuff! I’m keeping animals and growing veg too – it always was about walking the talk!

15 06 2011
Zoot Zujiva

Nice one 🙂 I enjoyed these minitales immensely- looking forward to reading more. Its gonna stir up loads of feeling in any reader – an adventure, full of humour and insight- but also a reminder of what is worth fighting for and part of ‘how we came to be here’. I never attended a Spiral Tribe rave, (I was at home with my armless barbies whilst my older siblings went partying) but fhink though this is a novel, these historical events need to be shared? good words, good style- and invigorating telling. x J

15 06 2011
straywayward

Cheers Zoot – glad you left invigorated! I’m very conscious of trying, not just to reminisce about historical events (though that too!) but to actually connect the same creative spirit that energised the scene, though the written words and out of the page.

Free gatherings and free social spaces (the places where much of this optimistic energy was generated) have been so heavily legislated against, I feel that music and the arts are the conduits through which it can arc and reactivate…

16 06 2011
Anonymous

wow, would love to read this book! been doing alot of reading of spiral tribe lately and i find it fasinating. Sadly i was born in 1990 and didnt have the chance to experience it first hand, so im hoping this book will be the next best thing 🙂

big up for everything you guys didnt back then, i only wish partys were half as good as they were.

peace, love and untiy,

somthing thats been forgotten over the years.

respect

17 06 2011
straywayward

1990 – a fantastic year to be born. So, you must be part of the new generation – so where’s the party!? Thanks for your comments – really appreciated!

17 06 2011
Czeko

Hi Mark,

Im really loking forward to buying this book. Never been on Spiral party but I went to parties since 1996, that was – if Im not mistaken – 2 or 3 years after Spirals and Mutoid waste came here, to Czech republic, to create one of the very 1st party here…

They inspired people here to create their own systems immediately, buy trucks and start their own parties and Im glad that I have been also around in those times.

I was already thinking that someone should write this book, I started to think about it circa 1 month ago – and now I see You working on it… thats the vibe I say, I hope writing goes well Mark!

PEACE

17 06 2011
straywayward

Thanks Czeko – yeah, for us the best buzz was inspiring and helping others to get their own projects up and running. Our events were always community events – our resources – like the mobile studio – community resources. One of the real problems with consumer-culture and its economic model, is opportunities for connection and creativity aren’t encouraged – unless someone can make money out of it. Space has been commodified – you gotta buy it or rent it. The financial cost then skews everything – everything is measured in terms of profit or loss. Creating a free community space can enable all sorts of amazing and imaginative things! I recommend it!

19 06 2011
Nigel

Great reading, Mark. A tantalising glimpse into what is going to be a fascinating book. I can’t wait to read it!

25 06 2011
unknown source

can’t wait to hold this book in my hands Mark.

there is not a week when i have a thought of this era. yeah i’m a nostalgic, but if i had a time machine, i’d press straight the red button on.

i can remember this freezin’ night in britanny we spoke in your van about symbols, the triskell, the shadow dragon, what a mystic disussion! and the day (again in britanny i think) you and Laurence offered me a stormcore tshirt for my 23 years bday!

Spiral Tribe has changed my life for ever….

– an unknown source

13 07 2011
Anonymous

Hi Mark

Timmy detached here (the juggler with Lunarci) Looong time fella. Looking forward to your festive tails 🙂 Peace

13 07 2011
roger

nice one mark always wondered what i missed out on lol. the old school in kilburn were the best. and i cant remember that, its a bit like what they say about the 60s if you can remember it you werent there.

13 08 2011
Steviepex

Get yer creative juices flowin dude! Man early days was always a great time,everyone happy with lots of love and vibe,spiral were,are,true innovators for the whole scene. Many fond memories well what I can remember! Lol thanx for everything xx

6 11 2011
M@f

Hey Mark
long time without news from you, and now … a book !! this is good news, that i’m sure which needed quiet reflection time.
hope this book will be translated in french 🙂 my english is (still) pretty close of a non sens, and specially for read your spheres 😉
regards
M@f

8 02 2012
Goro

Hi man ,what do you think about old school dj who play music 4 money in the club .In my opinion they get so far away from the initial Message and used the name of past tribe to get just they’re business thank’s a lot bye

5 06 2012
Dj X

Free parties still going strong uk, Norfolk Suffolk! Community based gatherings!! Message and vibes still full on.. Free party free people.

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