Archive for the ‘Spiral Tribe’ Category

22nd-29th May 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Circus Warp, Circus Normal, Adrenalin and DiY at Castlemorton Common Free Festival, Worcestershire

October 5, 2012

I missed Castlemorton pbut I believe everyone who says it was wicked. Interesting that dr_box (see below) mentioned the police herding him onto the common, people often forget that the travellers and soundystems were pushed/chased there by the cops. By the way, if anyone has exact dates for this please let us know, we know it’s quoted as going on for 6 days, but we need some sort-of-facts! Thanks!

UPDATE 5.10.2012:

We came across three longish (slightly chewed) VHS videos of Castlemorton free festival recently. Thanks a million to youtuber discodelinquent (great name by the way!) for uploading them. Discodelinquent has also uploaded some footage from Sugarlump parties. We’ll probably do a post on Sugarlump sound system sooner or later… Meanwhile, enjoy these videos:

Here’s a quote about Castlemorton from ‘Adventures In Wonderland’ by Sheryl Garratt:

Mr Arm (you know who you are!) let us scan a load of newspaper cuttings from his scrapbook. Big up! :


The following photo was captioned “Festivalgoers on Castlemorton Common yesterday, enjoying the sound of music in the Malvern Hills”.

The following photo was captioned “Common nuisance: The 20,000 hippies encamped at Castlemorton common yesterday”.


A classic headline:

Click on images for larger versions:

The following picture and article appeared with the headline: “Villagers threaten to burn out hippies -An illegal festival in the Malverns has driven people living near the site to breaking point”

Continuation of article above, click on image below for larger version:

The following article and photo appeared together:



Here are a couple of videos, the first one’s been online for ages, the second one’s newer and includes some footage taken near the spiral rig-

Thanks youtuber Yangow for the first vid, and thanks youtuber hemustbemad for uploading the second (he credits his friend Matt with filming).

Old friend Atomic Robot Man was there, and he sent us this page from his diary:

These great photos courtesy of Pete Dibdin whose work can be found at http://www.peterdibdin.com/ :

The photos below are from George McKay‘s book ‘Senseless Acts of Beauty’ and I believe they were taken by Alan ‘Tash’ Lodge (whose excellent website you can find in the links on the right hand side of our main page.

The Riddler (who has a great site, well worth a browse), has some pics of castlemorton here:

http://www.webm8.co.uk/riddler/castlemorton.htm

A Flickr pool with some pics of Castlemorton:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/castlemorton/pool/

Commenter Jam Smoot told us about this mixtape:

http://ylow.blogspot.com/2009/09/sparks-martian-circus-warp-live.html

A couple of contributors remembered some tunes they heard at Castlemorton and here are a couple of youtube links for them (see this post for details:https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2009/02/27/some-hardcore-mixes/ )

Tim Aldiss’s site has his account of his trip to Castlemorton (his rave diaries are a good read, look at the other entries while you’re there)- http://www.loftsites.co.uk/old_school_rave/diaries/castlemorton_common.html

Here are a couple of Guardian articles about Castlemorton etc: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2009/jul/11/castlemorton-free-party-scene-spiral-tribe?showallcomments=true

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/jul/12/90s-spiral-tribe-free-parties

This lucky lucky person was there too:

dr_box wrote:

Castle Morton was an experience.. I’d been visiting a mates place in East London and he was coming over to mine in the depths of West Wales afterwards. we’d heard that there was a festi down near Bristol that weekend, so set off on the hunt along the M4. At one of the service stations along the M4 we got a lift from a Green godess fire engine that was loaded down with kit and Hippies, it was one of the vehicles spiral tribe was using to get to the festival. As we got close we found out that the festival might not be on, so set off on a hunt. the police herded us up to Castle Morton, by the time we got close there were several miles of trucks and busses full of people. At one point the line stopped and a guy with us got out and started counting vehicles as he walked towards the front. when the line started moving again, he waited for us to catch up. he’d counted over seven hundred vehicles, and he hadn’t reached the front of the line.

When we got there, the sun was setting and from the hills overlooking the site you could see the site starting to pulse with light and hear blasts of sound as things were set up. Travelling off all the way to the horizon there was a ribbon of headlights delivering more people to the festival.

Blinding weekend, my mate had his first E experience, Watched the police try and drive through the centre of the crowd. they got stopped in the middle, and a nameless longhair got passed over the crowd, and started selling Acid off the bonnet of the police car. after futilely attempting to get out of the car the plod ended up just laughing at the sheer balls of him.

Nighttime had more than its fair quota of low flying helicopters with spotlights. (although someone did take a potshot at them with a firework)

Last of the truly fun free festivals.

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23rd January 1993: Spiral Tribe Free Party at Brent Cross, London

September 3, 2012

UPDATE 04/09/12:

Here are some photos taken at and around this party by photographer Pete Dibdin:

Photos courtesy of Pete Dibdin whose work can be found at http://www.peterdibdin.com/

UPDATE 13/08/12: 

23 January 1993
Spiral Tribe
Disused Depository, Brent Cross, London
Diary entry:
Fucking too fucking good the most violent aggressive unmusical music I ever heard, fast noteless, tuneless grinding noise. Gave Mark lift in Tom’s car. Mental building.

Not sure how we got to this party but when we arrived Tom asked me if I could go and pick up Mark from Spiral Tribe, who was still back at their squat on Uxbridge Road. Tom couldn’t because he was too out of it on ketamine already. I’d just taken some drugs, so it became a race against time driving across London before I came up. I picked up Mark, Sebastian and Emily, all clothed in black bomber jackets and combats with shaved heads. I felt a bit old skool Day-Glo in my orange jeans and tie-dye T-shirt.

The music that night was relentless pounding techno. And outside was the best collection of matt black traveller vehicles I’d ever seen.

Many thanks to http://simonmathewson.blogspot.co.uk/ for the write up. He promised more of the same. Looking forward to it 🙂

UPDATE 30/09/09: Thanks to an old friend’s generosity we now have this flyer:

Rumours from a source very close to Spiral Tribe at the time indicated that this never happened due to one of them doing a runner with the money and spending it on crack. So much for the ‘positive energy matrix’! The flyer below is for the free event that happened in its place:

Was anyone else there? Anything to add?

9th May 1992: Spiral Tribe Free Party on Selsey Common, Stroud, Gloucestershire

March 17, 2012

UPDATE 18.3.11: Most commenters are saying this was pre-Castlemorton,and we just noticed a reference to Lechlade (misspelled as Lechale) being the previous weekend in this newspaper article, so we’ve changed the title. If anyone can confirm the date, please let us know in the comments! Thanks 🙂

Eric sent us this clipping from the paper. Nice one 🙂

A mate of ours remembers that the police turned up at some point to try and shut it down, realised it was too big to stop, and buggered off again 🙂 …

Here’s some more memories:

a guy pulled a gun on someone and spiral stopped the music and said that it wasn’t on, so get the fuck out of here.. all the ravers boo’d the gun guy until he had no choice but to leave.

music back on, party continued.

it was a pretty crazy party all told. getting there was quite a mission as well, climbing up that hill. I think the soundsystem caught fire at the beginning, or some wires did anyway. and then eventually it all kicked off. great place to see the sunrise as well.

edit: also pretty funny to see people walking their dogs in the morning. what must they have thought!

Does anyone have an exact date for this? Or any more detailed memories?

Anyone who’s looking for the 1991 event should go here: https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2009/10/02/21st-september-1991-free-party-at-great-mills-stroud-gloucestershire/

30th November-3rd December 1991: Spiral Tribe and Circus Warp Free Party at Staravia Factory, Ascot, Berkshire

June 22, 2011

NB This post refers to the second party at this site, for the earlier do, please read this post: https://freepartypeople.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/saturday-23rd-november-1991-free-party-at-staravia-factory-ascot-berkshire/

More from Snufkin:

That Ascot party was awesome. Last day of November 1991 and it was cold, minus ten at least I’d say. We had been living there ten days or so, on the site of a demolished jet engine factory called Staravia. The site had been used for storing  pea gravel so there were mounds of the stuff everywhere and huge ruts frozen solid.

… Easygroove turned up with the whole Circus Warp crew and added their tent onto our shambles. Spirals turned up later and they had to stay out in the cold. I remember walking away from the party at one point, tripping my tits off I turned back to look. There were 5000 people raving in a bodged together tent and the heat of their bodies formed a fog around the tend, which pulsed and throbbed with the lights. As I watched, the fog sat up on its haunches, like something ethereal out of ghostbusters, smiled a snaggletooth smile at me, winked and then settled back down again, curling itself around the party contentedly. No, really!

I can’t remember how long we partied for, maybe til tuesday, it got pretty twisted by the end. I had the burner going in my trailer all the way through and the site was big enough that it was possible to sleep now and then, but I don’t remember too much sleeping..

Here’s a map: http://wikimapia.org/9626663/Spiral-Tribe-Rave

Thanks again for the nice long comment Snufkin. Does anyone else remember this at all? Any photos?

31st December 1991-2nd January 1992 New Year’s Eve: Spiral Tribe and Circus Normal at The Roundhouse, Camden, London

June 22, 2011

Here’s a quote from Steve Spiral:

The round house we never had a generator… Had to hotwire, FACT, I was there when it was done… not saying I did It.

Thanks to Snufkin for this comment:

I was at the Roundhouse gig on New Years Eve too. At the time it was derelict and owned by the Metropolitan police. the entrance was blocked with several hundred tonnes of rubble, totally filling the access road. Didn’t stop the Normals drving the rig and genny in on a six six-wheel-drive Militant that used to belong to Moscow State Circus, strainght over the top. Another crazy night. Next night wasn’t so great, after the security had done too much coke and gone to sleep and every mugger in London moved in.

From the Spiral Tribe Wikipedia page ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spiral_Tribe ):

The power was stolen from a light socket owned by British Rail at the back of the building and the system went off at 6:30 in the morning when they turned the lights off. Someone then found an alternative power source.

There are also some lovely pics and a flyer from this party over at:

http://www.spiral-tribe.org/understand/page10.html

Again, we heard about it at the time but didn’t attend. Remember hearing rumours about muggers, but also about what an amazing venue it was. Were you there? What was it like? Got any photos or flyers? Also, there seems to have been a Christmas Eve party (also Spiral). Anyone know about this? We’ll create another post for it.


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