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‘Pills, Stills and Bellyaches’ is a retrospective of Acid House and Rave culture over the past 20 years.

From clubs such as ‘Shoom’, ‘The Trip’ and ‘Spectrum’ in London and Manchester’s Hacienda, through to orbital raves around the M25 and the mid nineties Hardcore and Drum & Bass scenes, the exhibition covers all styles and sounds up to the ‘New Rave’ and ‘Electro’ scenes currently taking over clubland.

The exhibition contains the unique images of David Swindells who photographed the original Acid House and Rave scenes as well as images by Tristan O’Neill, Peter J Walsh, Naki, Matthew Smith, Suzy del Campo plus many more.

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It has almost been 20 years since Danny Rampling, Paul Oakenfold, Nicky Holloway and friends came back from a summer in Ibiza that was to change their lives forever. On their arrival back to England they vowed to keep the party going and set up new club nights, which would kick start the Acid House and Rave revolutions.

A new electronic sound known as ‘House’ music had just emerged from Chicago and combined with a new drug Ecstasy, it would change music and clubbing forever. Nothing would ever be the same again!

Along with club nights such as Shoom, The Trip and Spectrum in London, The Hacienda in Manchester was at the centre of another exciting musical revolution. Bands such as the Happy Mondays, New Order and The Stone Roses combined dance rhythms with rock guitars and fuelled by ecstasy they created a scene so unique that the city was renamed ‘Madchester’.

In 1988 ‘The Summer of Love’ had arrived and the whole country was now in the grip of the Acid House and Rave revolutions. Huge Raves were organised all over the country, from farms around the M25 to disused warehouse spaces in London and the North West.

Over the last 20 years the music and fashions have mutated and changed to give us the multi-genre scene that exists today. Raving never went away it just changed direction and fell from the media spotlight. But as they say “What goes around comes around” and now Raving is back and there is a ‘New Rave Revolution’.

PYMCA is celebrating Rave culture with an exhibition that spans the last 20 years from Shoom and The Hacienda in the late eighties, Hardcore Raves in the nineties through to the ‘New Rave’ and ‘Electro’ scenes in the Noughties.

So come on, get on one and get sorted. Hallelujah Rave on!

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