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Socialist Review Index (1993–1996) | Socialist Review 176 Contents

Socialist Review, June 1994

Ray Brazier


Mega brilliant


From Socialist Review, No. 176, June 1994.
Copyright © Socialist Review.
Copied with thanks from the Socialist Review Archive.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


The Tories hate the idea of young working class people of diverse culture and lifestyle coming together to have fun.

The Tory Criminal Justice Bill is an attempt to legislate against all illegal and certain legal raves. The Advance Party set up by rovers intent on fighting the Tories’ bill is an example of how young working class people can be motivated politically by Tory attacks on their right to enjoy themselves in such a depressing period of high unemployment and homelessness.

The most recent examples of how popular diversity in culture has become can be seen at the Mega Dog raves which bring together musicians, artists, light shows and dancers in a cornucopia of sound, sight and emotion.

Technology has reached a point where music and art can be combined to present a truly multi-media event of the kind found at Mega Dog raves. Traditional musicians east and west come together with the latest in relatively affordable technology (a secondhand drum machine can cost less than a second hand colour television!) as well as homemade gear to present a live experience where nothing is certain.

Because the influences of musicians such as Banco de Gaia, Future Sound of London, KK Kings (whose single Justified and Asian is wonderful!) and Transglobal Underground are so diverse, it is difficult to pigeon hole their roots, but they all contain a mixture of so called ‘world music’ with dance beats and quite often an anti-racist message.

But the emphasis is not only on music. Experimental video and other images together with a much more open approach to the diversity of lifestyle and culture in capitalism has ensured that black, white, gay, straight, women and men feel more comfortable dancing together at these events. Many previously all gay clubs now have an open door policy.

This new openness to all things is a reflection of how the Tories have failed to defeat the progressive ideas that came out of the workers’ movement in the late 1960s. In many ways the new dance music extends the experimentation of 1960s popular music. The ‘drop out’ attitude of the 1960s may have resurfaced because of the despair many young people feel at 15 years of Tory rule but it has been tempered by the recent struggle against the rise of racism and the Nazis.

Every socialist should support the Advance Party campaign and argue that the Criminal Justice Bill should be linked up with all other fights against the Tories.

If a socialist society is just half as good as a Mega dog rave then let’s get busy.

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