The tail end of the 80s was a period of immense change (not least encapsulated by the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989) and as society looked forward to the coming decade, The Face ran a special ‘Futures Issue’ on how it saw the 1990s progressing.
Within this issue, Sheryl Garratt and Lindsay Barker penned an excellent article on the evolution of youth culture in the two years or so since the acid house explosion – “a happy face, a thumping bass for a loving race”, a Soul II Soul put it.
Featuring input from DJ Frankie Bones, the Boy’s Own crew, party organiser Tony Colston-Hayter (famously described as ‘Acid’s Mr Big’ by the tabloids), Simon Monday and others, it’s a fascinating snapshot of the dance scene as it entered a new decade – built on the foundations of what the authors describe as the ‘We Generation’.
‘On the whole, the We Generation don’t dress to stand out,’ the article reads. ‘They don’t want to be chosen ones, ushered in through the doors of small West End clubs because their clothes are sharper than the poor plebs in the queue. The We Generation like nothing better than dressing up like their mates in comfortable, baggy clothes, piling into a car together, then dancing all night with a few thousand like-minded souls.
‘The point is not to be noticed, not to be more knowledgeable or stylish than anyone else. The point is just to be there, to share that euphoria.’
There are of course parallels with today – then, as now, the UK was under the control of a Tory government, which, as Boys Own’s Terry Farley notes, may have played a part in the acid house entrepreneurship of Colston-Hayter and others.
“Thatcher might hate them, but they’re her creation,” he explains. “Ten years of Thatcher’s government has created Energy, Biology, Sunrise.
“It’s the sort of Yuppie, city whizkid, I’ve got a vodaphone and a Porsche, let’s have a party mentality.”
Click the images below to view the full article. [Article snippets taken from The We Generation, by Sheryl Garratt and Lindsay Baker, The Face, December 1989]