Beats, rhymes and strife: how ravers raised the roof on mass protest

A new film about Glasgow’s thumping 90s clubland traces a lineage of grassroots radicalism still thriving today

Beats is a gem of a film that has drawn attention not just for its exuberant depiction of early 1990s rave culture but the deeper questions it raises, 25 years on, about the legislation that criminalised the free party movement – and about how the UK pivoted from Reclaim the Streets, via Cool Britannia, to Brexit Britain.

Set in the summer of 1994, as the Criminal Justice Bill threatened to outlaw musical gatherings around “sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats”, the film charts the friendship – by turns madcap and tender – between teenagers Johnno and Spanner as they struggle to escape the restrictions of family and class on their West Lothian housing estate. With the help of a sisterly gang of older girls, the boys bounce into their local rave scene and soak up the ethic that “the only good system is a sound system, and if I can’t dance then it’s not my revolution”.

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Source: theguardian
Beats, rhymes and strife: how ravers raised the roof on mass protest