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Twoccer's Ball - Rave in the North

Laz’s photos from the north-east rave scene in 1991-92, when the Rave spirit democratised. Regional people who would’ve been fighting in city centres at pub closing time on a Friday night instead donned psychedelic fancy dress and danced together for days on end.

Laz writes:

Back in 91/92, ’Twoccer’s Balls’ is what raves were nicknamed in the north east of England, a very poor but very lively part of the country. For the uninitiated, ‘Twoc’ stands for ‘taken without consent’. Normally it was used in reference to stolen cars.

These images were shot while I was studying photography at Newcastle Polytechnic. It was, as the phrase goes, grim up north at that time. Margaret Thatcher’s de-industrialisation had ripped the heart and soul out of the region and the UK was in the throes of a recession. These raves were a beacon of light and a place to forget worries about the future. The nation’s press though had demonised ravers as a threat to the very fabric of society itself; because they took new fangled drugs and danced all night.

I couldn’t stand rave music. But I loved the abandon and the anarchy. And as long as they got to work or college on Monday who gives a fuck what they got up to on the weekend.

It was an incredible thing. The energy of the raves were insane. Thousands of people whose normal Saturday night was a piss-up ,scrap, and a kebab who had replaced alcohol… with drugs. The ecstasy just about knocked back the inherent aggression, many a hard man was caught doling out the random hug here and there, creating this incredible tension in the air.

I consider myself blessed to have been able to document the beginning of a movement. I just wish I’d been able to afford to buy more film for the camera, that I’d liked the tunes a bit more, and had money for a taxi to get home.

'Raver One, a T-Shirt edition of 100 featuring imagery from the Twoccer's Ball series is available now.

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