AWAY AGAIN, away, free, free, wheeeeeee, I romped, galloped through a night of splintered light,
through a blizzard of rain aureoled by the rainbow shafts cutting across the Canaan Downs. I was entranced and lost and upward bound and soon passing the Happy Hardcore Tent without any real idea of how.
Its outside caught my attention. Some sort of industrialised spaceship, crashed, obviously, with dire, red-shot smoke curling from its entrance. On a whim, I decided to check it out.
Happy Hardcore was a strange and speedy subculture of Electronica with a loyal following of fans with deficit attention spans. With its ferocious bass the music had always sounded like a train wreck to me, like somebody had taken a headache and made it audible, but I was willing to give anything a go in my current state of bonhomie. Perhaps there was something I was missing.
There wasn't anything I was missing.
Walking in was akin to entering a dark alley decked out in diamonds to find large cheerless and diamond-less men waiting. Or maybe thirty seconds after that, a minute, dependant on how much begging and blubbing you did.
The point being: an assault.
Humid and smoky, the tent was epileptic with continuous strobes, the bass bumping a million miles a minute. The dance floor seethed. It was violent. Dark. Disturbing. There was even a guy hanging from a pole in the centre, baboon-like, swinging his shirt above his head and parffing on his neon whistle for all he was worth.
A year into the dance scene I'd come to realise such guys weren't the kings of the party but, in fact, twats. To find one tolerated on the dance floor I took for a very bad sign indeed. I stayed for as long as it took to navigate to the exit on the other side, moving swiftly with a panicky stride: half step, half run.
Goddamn, I thought as I hurried away, worried some malevolent force might yet pick me up and put me back in the tent, there to be confined for the rest of the night . . . next to whistle guy.
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