Everybody In The Place - An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992

I’ll post this here if anyone is not aware that it exists. It really feels like it belongs here.
The video artist Jeremy Dellers BBC-documentary from 2019 about acid house under Thatcher regime. Every other music documentary fades and seem uninspired when compared to this. A real game changer if we are talking music documentaries, IMO.

Everybody In The Place - An Incomplete History of Britain 1984 -1992


I thought this was superb. I’ve watched it a few times now.


Agreed, seeing how the students in the classroom get drawn in during the course of the doc was great.


Loved it. Buddy of mine produced this nice ALFOS inspired track using an authorized sample from that documentary. Marshall Watson - The Story - Spotify link

It’s on Beatport too.


Brilliant documentary. Deller was also pretty good on university challenge over Xmas, any pop culture or music question the rest of the team visibly turned to him!

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I have 2 EPs of Marshalls coming on my label this summer… such an amazing producer.


I was born in 1988 so far too young to relate to this period as anything other than received history, but there were a few things about it I wasn’t sure about.

The white promoters selling a black subculture to a white audience made me uneasy.

I’m not sure I fully believe that rave culture was an all-inclusive utopia either, maybe it really was completely different then but in my own life experience it requires a certain freedom of responsibility and obligation to go raving Friday night to Sunday afternoon, something which people of certain backgrounds/jobs (ie class) can’t really do the same way…

white people sold everything to white people that doesnt belong to white people, still happening.


I’d say it was utopian at the time. Maybe I see it far too simply but I remember chatting to someone I worked for who was a bit older than me and him saying when they were young and first getting jobs if you wanted to do something alternative you went and worked in a hair dressers. Acid house / rave / whatever you want to call it - blew the doors right off that.

All of a sudden there was a self-belief and an opportunity to do whatever you wanted. Could be a printers, t-shirt company, record label, make records - I mean obviously a lot of this is centred around “acid house” but talking to the lot that were involved it just felt like they could do anything.

Combine that with a whole new world rolling out under your feet with new rules and going mental at night to amazing records and I imagine it was pretty utopian. Can only speak from my perspective but being in the UK in the late 80s to mid-90s was a lot of fun.


1988 London is a different place to 2005 Glasgow…

I grew up in a town about ten miles away from the big city. So when I was a skint student living at home, going clubbing wasn’t quite as easy as jumping on a bus or a train - if I was coming home after midnight I was either out til the first trains came back on or I was spending £20+ to get back from wherever I was. I didn’t really have a lot of pals who were into dance music when I was 18 - it was 2005, “indie” was the thing - so if I was going to something alone I was having to budget for it.

I also had carer responsibilities and losing a day to a comedown simply wasn’t on my agenda: I had to work part-time, keep on with my studies and then do whatever needed done for the people at home I was looking after.

As an out-and-proud gay, and quite effette, man: I’ve learned through experience and socialisation about the necessity of self-protection and policing my own behaviours when I go to new and unfamiliar places. It’s not that I expect to be gaybashed but at the same time there’s a certain carefulness you need to carry about yourself and it can make you think twice about diving headfirst into any adventure… such as a party taking place in the middle of nowhere with people you don’t know.

This background shapes my own experiences going out clubbing and partying. So when I saw on this documentary, and as you often see/hear from people talking about 88-92, about how it was a time of unity and harmony etc, I always question whose voice is being heard when that version of events gets repeated. It doesn’t take me a huge amount of imagination to think about how, even at the peak of rave culture in the UK, there will have been people whose experience of this might have been different.

That said, the eccies were different then too, weren’t they?


I really loved this. I watched it the following day again as I had found the viewpoints, footage and discussion so profound. The idea of how Deller presented the reasons why things happened on a social geographic/economic point of view felt far enough from the idea ‘it just kind of happened’.

I was a toddler when this was happening, I have no experience of what ‘it’ felt like but why things happen in culture is just as interesting as the results. I feel Jeremy presented that really well and in an engaging way. Another example of this is Keith Haring’s diary, his realisations/notes and development is just as fascinating.

I am bias, I love his art work and scored a ‘Bless This Acid House’ print last year which is now in the home art gallery, the fact he wants to make art that is for everyone and anyone can participate or view it is so important at the moment. We have to be able to engage with art and culture at our level rather than a stuffy gallery where someone is giving their view point on what we are looking at. There is a place for these things but I think Jeremy really does blast this notion away and does it well, The fact he has not made any ‘fine art’ in his career says a lot about the man.

Weirdly, I stumbled across We’re Here Because We’re Here’ his WW1 installation in Birmingham on the day of the installation, the participants who remained quiet and in role was deeply moving. I just did not expect to see that on the way to work that day, it’s very clever.

The world needs more people like him.

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a good post here - some good points.

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Interesting bit about the workers taking control of the Means of production. For example, making and selling music, putting on parties, DIY printing, artwork etc. This has always been an issue for the establishment. The lack of control scares them. See how these creative areas are being Squeezed out of business now.
On the subject of Acid House. Yep, it was a massive personal shift in an instant for me and many others. You either got it or you didn’t. Old friendships fell by the wayside and new ones formed. I remember I split up from a 5 year relationship the day after my first Warehouse party, all I was thinking about was the party the following Saturday. I was 19 in 1988. The scene was totally inclusive to all.


@postdub Love this one.


Really loved this documentary, have watched it a few times. I love how his brain works :slight_smile: I went to a talk he did a few years ago about a music doc he made on depeche mode fans called Our Hobby Is Depeche Mode. Check it out if you’ve not already: https://vimeo.com/362265825


The difference is that in the late 80’s early 90’s there was a semblance of a benefits system that you could live on. Housing benefit paid for your rent and if you had a sideline you could work and claim benefits. It was all paper and no central system. It was easy to do temporary work and you could sign up for multiple agencies to do pretty shitty work, but it also meant you could jack a job in and pick another up fairly easily.

So yeah, if you wanted to go to a party and spend the next week in a come down fantasy land, it was possible. Living for the moment.