I need your help again, fellow freepartypeople 🙂 Any ideas of rigs in attendance at this festy? Also, any memories? Or photos?
Here’s a link to reports on the Torpedo Town festy from ’82 to ’91: http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/torpedo-town-free-festival.html , as well as this year’s: http://www.ukrockfestivals.com/torpedo-town-festival-1992.html.
And here’s a report from our raving reporter par excellence, Amino Clang:
We set off late again so by the time we were lost in the countryside it was pitch black except for the passing trees lit up by the headlamps of the Rave Mobile (a beat up white fiesta if I remember correctly) and the odd car going the other way. The drive to parties was usually accompanied by driving beats to keep us awake and get us in the mood.
Don’t ask me how, but eventually we ended up parking the car on the side of a road (along with hundreds of others) and set off on the long walk past the police roadblock (a load of railway sleepers that had been put across the road), down a VERY long road and onto the site.
My mate, The Driver, had spent the afternoon sewing tiny little glowsticks (available at all good fishing tackle shops) onto the knuckles of his white gloves for that extra edge to his dancing. He cracked the glowsticks on the walk down this massive road and was waving them about in a hardcore raver style most of the way. As we got closer to the site we passed some people who were walking the other way. They had seen The Driver raving away and weren’t too sure if they were about to get abducted by aliens or if they were just seeing things. They seemed quite relieved to see that it was just a raver and that he was real after all!
Anyway… we finally made it onto the site by walking through a gate onto the field and headed for the nearest sound system. It was a UV experience to say the least! It was still very dark out and the backdrops were looking fantastic under the UV and of course The Driver was in his element – glowing teeth, glowing gloves and glowing glowsticks. It still makes me grin when I remember it now!
Anyway… we didn’t stay there very long and off we trotted in the direction of the “Massive Factory Building Of Some Sort” (I guess we were either looking for friends or drugs or (probably) both). It was late and I hadn’t slept and I didn’t have any money for drugs so I just followed the group into this massive building full of ravers generally taking the piss. I don’t like it when raves are used as an excuse for vandalism, freedom to do what you want doesn’t mean you can be a 2@ and get away with it. So anyway, I wasn’t too happy about being in this building, but eventually I guess we found what we were looking for because I was given some E and we wandered off to find a sound system (thank fuck!).
For some reason this is where my memory becomes sketchy (who’d a thunk it!?!) so allow me to bullet point…
1. I remember that it was getting light when we left the building.
2. I remember wobbling about on top of a muddy hill near a sound system watching this geezer dancing. He must have been tripping because he was watching his arms move as intently as I was, moving like a fluid robot drawing geometrical shapes in the air with the traces coming off his arms. I can’t remember if he had his t-shirt hanging out of his back pocket, but he probably did, I can’t remember if he had a pony tail, curtains or a sun hat on, but it must have been one of the three, I can’t even remember if he had a whistle or a dummy or white gloves on, but I reckon it’s a safe bet!
All this talk of stereotypes has got me thinking. Let’s hold the mirror up to Clang for a minute…
I was almost certainly wearing some trippy t-shirt, possibly tie-die, possibly with my star sign on it, maybe even my URL t-shirt with the half Acid House Smiley and half Robo-Smiley logo on it. I will have been wearing some ridiculously bright home-made trousers (my favourites were the blue/green/red/yellow geometric patterned ones and the purple ones with little dayglo green wormy shapes on them). I must have been wearing my dayglo fleece and I probably had my tennis hat on (it was basically a sun hat with the words set, match and love sewn into it) and this was definitely accessorised with a nice home made badge made out of Fimo.) It was a round navy blue badge with glow-in-the-dark edging and a glow-in-the-dark E on it. If I wasn’t wearing my hat I will have been sporting the long-fringe-slicked-back-over-the-short-sides hairdo (I was working towards a pony tail and thank god I never made it that far!) Around my neck will have been any of the following, or maybe all of them: a crystal, a whistle, a home made Fimo pendant with a Purple Ohm on it, a lighter on a string and maybe another crystal for good measure. I usually had a bag with me too (dayglo backpack of course) which would have a bottle of Robbinsons Apple and Blackcurrant and my glow-in-the-dark juggling balls in it. Right, now we are on a level playing field, let me get back to Torpedo Town…
3. I remember seeing somebody else wearing a spiral tribe t-shirt (grey with black print), but it said “Make Some Fluffy Toys” instead of the Spirals’ usual war cry!
4. I remember sitting in the back of an old ambulance that was somebody’s excellent rave-mobile as the sun came up properly. Just chilling out in the sun smoking and talking shite, as you do.
5. I remember volunteering to go and get the tent out of the car for The Driver (well he had driven and we needed to get some stuff too) so me and another mate started the long walk back to the car…
1. I remember passing a few police vans and shitloads of ravers going back and forth up and down this road.
2. I remember walking along and looking out across the fields and seeing each blade of grass move at a different speed. Kind of difficult to describe this one, let me try again… In computer games that scroll across the screen, they make it look like a 3d image by using a technique known as parallax scrolling where the front layers (trees etc) will move quickly, while the background layers (hills etc) move much slower to give the effect of depth. Well, we could see each blade of grass scrolling at a different speed to give the impression of depth. Well… we were impressed anyway and we spent quite a bit of time walking back and forth watching this amazing phenomenon!
3. I remember somebody stopping us to skin up a spliff and talk about the party but we decided that his questions were all too suspicious (“do they look like they are going to be stopping soon?” , “Don’t worry about the pigs going by, I’ll just skin up this spliff and be on my way.”, etc) so we were pleased to say goodbye.
4. I remember getting back to the car and while we were sorting out our stuff to bring back to the party (tent, food, water, etc) a copper told us we had to move the car or he would ticket it and if it was still here in an hour he would ticket it again. Well neither of us could drive (even if we were straight) so we picked up our stuff and got a hustle on to get back to tell The Driver about his parking predicament.
6. I remember carrying the camping gear ALL THE WAY back to the site in a mad rush to pass on the message and immediately turning around to leave again. Allow me to elaborate…
7. I remember getting back to the site totally exhausted and walking past a fire engine that was refusing to go onto site without a police escort. I remember wondering why it was there at all!
8. I remember watching the plumes of smoke pouring out of the “Massive Factory Building Of Some Sort” as we sat in the sun with such happy times surrounding us, but such a depressing reminder in front of us of “The Morons Who Like To Ruin A Good Party” who latched onto the rave scene where they could be free to be idiots without anybody judging them or telling them that actually, maybe setting light to a building isn’t really in the spirit of a nice time for all!
9. I remember the vibe taking a bit of a dip right there and then, so we left Site 1 of Torpedo Town and didn’t look back.
I have some vague memories of driving back into a town, going to a shop, parking up and making our way onto the second site of Torpedo Town.
What fuckin’ bliss!!
After leaving such a horrible site (or should that be sight?) we was right pleased to find this place. Happy people, soft grassy fields surrounded by trees, ravers chilling out in the sun, tipis, traveller vehicles, more friends and Spiral Tribe were in the area!
The rumour goes that Spiral Tribe had their decks confiscated on the way onto this site and so they were playing tapes instead of mixing vinyl, but I wouldn’t have been able to tell the difference at the time anyway and as long the beat didn’t stop I was happy.
We set up the tent and proceeded to chill out for the day and just make the most of being somewhere so calm and peaceful (despite the Spirals Making Some Fuckin’ Noise!… no, scratch that… BECAUSE the Spirals were Making Some Fuckin’ Noise).
This is where I was given one of those “Bury your shit” flyers that were going about at the time (I was not impressed when my mum chucked it away along with my other Spiral Tribe flyers and those two-tone posters (one was black-on-white and the other was white-on-black) with the Spiral Tribe 23 face grinning at you) and I just remember seeing a traveller type walking purposefully towards a wooded area when one of his mates shouted for him and threw a shovel to him. I was never a traveller and I never stayed out for more than two nights anyway so I used to use the suppress-your-diet-and-clench method rather than the take-a-shovel-with-you method.
Anyway, the day passed, we met up with some more friends, took some more E and got things movin’ and shakin’ again. Back to the bullets…
1. I remember dancing in front of the Spiral Tribe Sound System with a big fuckin’ smile on my face, waving my hands in the air, surrounded by my friends and feeling more at home than ever. I still can’t beat that feeling.
2. I remember walking back and forth between the tent and the sound system, walking faster, stumbling more and getting more lost each time we tried to run the gauntlet.
3. I remember… not much else! Just wobbling about, giggling, dancing, falling over, gibbering, jabbering and generally spiralling about the place getting into the spirit of it all.
Bass + E + Friends = Joy!
Freepartypeople says: Here’s a comment from Ed:
Tekno travellers rocked it at the one where the factory nearby got set alight!! I had 2 pills 2 acid and 2 speed, it rained and I stashed my clothes in the tekno travs speaker boxes while ravin in me pants!! the wooden sound of the tts boxes fuckin rocked it all night long (and all day) until the factory fire fucked things up…altho I did have a paranoid time thinkin everyone was undercover old bill!!