On Thursday 12th November 2020, Join The Future founder Matt Anniss took to YouTube to deliver a lecture on the roots and rise of rave culture in East Anglia in the ’80s and ’90s. It was part of a series of online talks, screenings and discussions called Of & By, curated by academic and contemporary art critic Jonathan P. Watts for the Assembly House Trust in Norwich.
The talk tells the tale of the foundations and early years of acid house and rave culture in East Anglia, moving from the jazz-funk era of the early ’80s, to the explosion of drum & bass in the mid-to-late ’90s, via acid house, hardcore and jungle. While it includes information about what went on in Essex, Suffolk and, to a lesser extent, Cambridgeshire, much of the talk focuses on the unlikely but true story of how DJs, music-makers and promoters from a stretch of the East Coast on the Norfolk/Suffolk border made their far-flung locality a genuine rave culture hot-spot.
You can watch the event, which begins with an introduction from the Assembly House Trust’s Henry Jackson Newcombe and Jonathan P Watts, and ends with a Q&A session, using the embedded YouTube player below. In the coming days, this article will be expanded to include additional information and links. These will be posted lower down the page, below the embedded video player.
Please note that this is the first chapter of a new research and documentation project. As stated during the post-talk discussion, if you were actively involved in dance music culture in Essex, Nofolk, Suffolk or Cambridgeshire between 1985 and 1998, and would be willing to share your memories, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us and we’ll get back to you.