7th–9th August 1991– Spiral Tribe and Sweat soundsystems at Torpedo Town Festival at Bramshot Common, Hampshire

Updated- some of the Youtube links were broken.

We try and keep an eye out for broken links/deleted video/mixes etc but please let us know if anything seems wonky or missing 🙂

Please note: this covers the 1991 festival, here are links to the 1990 and 1992 festivals of the same name.

Here are (possibly different versions of) the tunes Tim Acid and Dunk mentioned hearing at this party (see comments):

And here’s something one commenter just mentioned:

Here’s a picture and some quotes from Andy Brown’s wonderful but hard to find book ‘Rave: The Spiritual Dimension’. If anyone else has anything to add about this, please send it in 🙂

In 1991, the festival was 5 miles further north along the A3 and the turnout was even higher at a cool 12,000… Torpedo Town 1991 mushroomed into existence on a Friday night, grew at a phenomenal rate for all of Saturday, sustained itself through Sunday and then, on account of an M.O.D. injunction, had completely disappeared by Tuesday, except of course for the burned out wreck of a coach which looked like a crashed spaceship. The land itself was I think a M.O.D. common, mainly scrub trees and grass with broken, disused tarmac roads. When we first arrived on the Friday night things were a bit quiet so we took it easy. We parked up in a lane thing and pitched our tents right near. To start off with there were hardly any tents but things didn’t stay that way for long. As more people arrived, a right of way formed through our piece or real estate. What had been a hardly used path through the ferns when we arrived, was now one of the main routes for ravers collecting firewood from the forest. What had happened was that the quiet suburbs which were quite near to the dancefloors had turned into prime sites. Anyway, we had a good spot so we weren’t bothered. At its peak, the city had streets, all heaving with bright eyed happy people, so many that sometimes the paths were so completely rammed with bodies that you couldn’t move at all. This festival really was a city and it even had its own booming economy. I don’t think I need to say what were the main commodities but just as in any established city, you could buy anything you wanted from food to clothes- even a haircut. I was so happy, I cannot stress that too much, really, really, really good times. The totally awesome atmosphere generated at these festivals can be overwhelming… It no exaggeration that once experienced, these festivals can change your life.

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22 Responses to “7th–9th August 1991– Spiral Tribe and Sweat soundsystems at Torpedo Town Festival at Bramshot Common, Hampshire”

  1. Tim Acid Says:

    Great site…bring those memories right home 🙂

    I was at this Party from Friday through to Monday, the main sound system was actually Sweat’s rig who were based in Farnham, Surrey not too far away from the site, although if I remeber I think Bob did pair it up with another rigs that may have been Spiral’s.

    Excellent party and my first proper experience of a Free Festival… I can still remember tunes like Epitome of Hype – Ladies with an attitude, Brainstorm – Voodoo child (rmx), Set up system – fairy dust being blasted out on the rig…was a very special party…. I have a few tapes of one of the DJ’s who played there…although it was not a recording from the party…more of a studio recording of the tunes he played there…:)

  2. Dom Says:

    Wicked festival/party! As all of them were that year!! Very near Liphook if I remember correctly??
    One thing that sticks in my mind -is when we were on route we picked up this guy who was hitching to the Reading festival and persuaded him to come with us! He hadn’t heard of ‘free festi’s’ before-but I think he kind of got the picture after an hour in the back of the bus with all 10 of us!!!
    I remember seeing him again the next morning a bit dazed but better for the experience! Got to get some photo’s of this festi off my mate!!

  3. Dunk Says:

    Funniest memory of this one – being told by the police at the entrance that my reg number had been taken in case of trouble as I was illeagally entering MOD land, and then saying “But have a great night.” Hilarious.

  4. Dunk Says:

    Oh, and hearing Charly by The Prodigy for the first time.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    castle morton loved it saturday night kicked big time there was a sound systems called armageddon they were mad 4 it good rig and a shit hot light show went to most of the free party from 1990 on woulds saw so meny DJs there four or five i rember DJ dom, andy and nutter called DJ coby the tune,s were just banging all night went to a few more armageddon party in devon and raeding i still go to party, not the same! so thanks to all the peaple who were there big up to you all keep it up you no the coo! mick the pole

  6. Pk Says:

    I remember 5 of us driving down down in a converted truck form Ipswich on the friday afternoon arriving there about 8pm, nr Liphook,on the old MOD site, police at the entrance most polite, saying ‘have a good time and look after yourself’ I was amazed then and still am!!

    Got parked up pitched the tents,and grooved to the ‘Sweat’ soundsystem on the friday, but it filled up saturday and got more mad, chilled out to a few bands too, can’t remember who they were, good times.

  7. HardCore Bob Says:

    Went to Enstone airfield first to a Prism Party and then the Convoy came down to Torpedo town in the early hours.

    I remember them take in my number plate, but you just didn’t care then, i bet it’s different now.

    What ever happen to the Sweat sound system? always used to be about at the barn in Dunsfold and Coombe Gibbet.

    Bob

    • theacidhouse Says:

      not sure what happened to Sweat …I lost touch with them a few years back…although I did bump into Bobs Mrs who said they still put on the odd party now and then……

      I remeber Dunsfold…. I had been to Evolution in Farnborough…a Pay event…popped in to make some quick cash 😉 and then headed off to Dunsfold…..I remeber about 6am or so… when the MC stopped the music and announced that some fuckers were breaking into cars in the field…so a big group of us legged it after them….never did catch them though…then all back to the barn to carry on the party…… stand out tune was The House Crew – Got to keeo the Fires Burning (put up the mid range…drop the bass)

      Then there was Sweat at Twyford Down…think it was before the M3 had cut through the area…may have been a motorway protest rave ….it was in a huge rusty barn…that was raining loose rust on us all night…as the bass vibrated the barn…..that was 1993….chalky white MC’ing…. big tune was that one on Slamming Vinyl…. must have got played about 7 times…. Red Alert & Mike Slammer – Don’t need your love / in effect

    • markie mark Says:

      sweat sound system built by bob & justin, eventually trashed by the old bill in oxfordshire, still see justin about in farnham, happy times,happy memories,

      • Emma Says:

        Oh my god are you markie mark, who went to san,fran… Played in the greenfields when, tonka and sweat got together?? at glastonbury?? 1990 “i think”

  8. johnny luv Says:

    dont forget the massive’ playing with knives’ ,, i was at torpedo town and that was the tune for me …. woooowooowooow

    freepartypeople says: fair point, we’ve now added it to this page 🙂

  9. bullit Says:

    Bramshot rocked! We rolled up mid evening on the saturday night after a few liveners at the Cobbett, Farnham. The place was rammed ‘n it was me first spiral down me neck!….It was me ‘n three mates and we got split up in pairs somehow….

    The night was full of mad little events. I got caught out by the strobe in a ‘side-room’ away from the main stage…peakin’, all I could see was snapshots when the strobe was on. The strobe went off and I was blind for a millisecond. I think i crawled out of there on me hands ‘n knees as I didn’t want to get clothes-lined by peoples arms as they were dancing!

    The mainstage was jumping…really good sound, great vibe all over the town. We ended up as the sun reared it’s head, at the van where a couple of folks were working out on guitars and effects pedals. Was that Ozric? Still, we managed to find the other half of our mates who were zoned out there too!!…

    I always like the change in surroundings when the sun came up at those gigs…the lights, shadows, sounds, smells and night time air always gave way to some twisted smoky haze as dawn broke; and the realisation you were off ya tits. Phase two – oh wow…this is where we are!

    We left later that morning and I was convinced my car had been kicked in coz my eyes were playing tricks on me…;)…then we crawled past the coppers on the way out (who were well cool) and headed to me mates place down near Andover – now THAT was a mental drive!

    There’s one track that I remember from there n i’ll go and dig it out right now so I remember the name, here’s some beats for ya:

    http://russtee.podomatic.com/entry/2009-04-14T04_28_22-07_00

    • Murf Says:

      Live stage was Ozric & Pals… I think they were calling themselves something mad like ‘U-Slosh’… very crazy sounds indeed! *)

    • Anonymous Says:

      remember this one from the main stage…

      ‘Look at their eyes….!’ nuff said haha.

  10. Scott Robinson Says:

    This was THE best party ever. After the Torpedo town of 1990 I managed to convince more friends that this was going to be a weekend to remember.

    We stocked up on food and stuff and set off early in order to get a good place on the site.

    It was friday afternoon and the weather was fantastic.

    Friday night was pretty good but I had to work the next day so I only partied until about 4am. I went to work and came back later on saturday and the site was heaving. It the rest is history. Fantastic main rig and also some excellent smaller systems. 12000 people was big and it was fun. I have no idea what I took all I know was it was big and in a matchbox and possibly was called a disco biscuit. All I know is it kept me dancing well in to a beautiful sunday. I remember everyone was so friendly and nice, no attitude. The best party of my life.

    It was such a life changing experience that I actually wrote about it in an essay that actually got me an A but also almost got me kicked out of art college for writting about the experience of taking E. Nowadays no one would care I imagine 😀

  11. Matt and Paula Says:

    We were looking for the site when a huge seddon atkinson tow truck pulled up. it was really old, we thought it was reinforcments but it was the bloody police. We found the entrance to the site with a couple of others and were first on before it got chotic. Ours was the pink bus near the entrance. What a great few days, there was a stage, i remember seeing some bands and there was also a blind date show going on one day. Spirals brought speakers in on horse and cart through the estate at the top of the site.

  12. Gini Says:

    Happy memories, although I’d left my bus fare home in a purse in my tent. Someone stole it but kindly left me a few shiney ‘rave’ and ‘festival’ magazines to compensate. Luckily I managed to get a lift all the way home. Our mate climbed up a tree but had more difficulty getting back down. And there was a good pub somewhere out the back of the MOD site. Good Times!

  13. Sam Says:

    http://www.ravereunited.co.uk/apps/photos/photo?photoid=143219093

    i was there too.. i took some photos 🙂 xx

  14. Richard Wheatley Says:

    Snowballs were around at the time of the Liphook torpedo town festie, we got there around 10pm on the Saturday night had to park about 1mile away, as we walked in the plod said, enjoy yourself but we have to tell you that the festival is totally lawless and if anything happens then you are outside the law.. Great we all though and dropped our snowballs.. mental night left about 11am the next morning…. Why don’t they have these still today????

  15. jugjimcos Says:

    Anyone remember the fire jugglers – FIRENOISE! in front of main stage.

  16. Martin Says:

    The Police closed the main road and we all walked from just past Petersfield. It took hours, and then you heard the thud of the bass and the Police outside said “have a nice night lol” . We got in and there was an old fire engine with a search light pointing upwards and a valley full of ravers and hippies. It was off the scale I can still remember everyone saying “tongs, knives, a quid”. And having a few hot knies out the back of one of those old post office vans. Best rave I have ever been to and it was my first 🙂 .

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