|808 State, Boardwalk, Manchester, England
27th August 1988
808 STATE - LIVE
CENTRE DANCE-floor stands a boy in dungarees, stripey T-shirt and trainers. A frightening vision, glassy eyes fixed on an imaginary point two feet in front. He grasps a bottle of Coke in one hand, with the other he forms an OK sign and sways rapidly back and forthwith arm raised aloft, oblivious to the preposterousness of his pose.
All around him people are moving to the music like flower-pot men, heads swivelling like slow-motion mime artists and palms moving up and down. There are homeboys, scallies, Bhangra casuals and hippies.
One day they'll look back on all this and be terribly embarrassed, but for now it doesn't matter. When the woodwork creaks, out come the freaks, but when it's Acid House night everyone is a weirdo.
Few are in a state of mind to notice the alternation between records and live tracks. And 808 State are that good. Back in the days when the London scene was still too hooked up in its'70s phase to notice the beginnings of a new House movement, this lot were experimenting.
They huddle round the DJ box engrossed in their experimental sounds. Graham of Biting Tongues takes to the mixing desk, various others bend over a complicated array of sequencers and keyboards, frenziedly twiddling and tapping. The main man is a guy called Gerald who can currently be heard on a RHAM Records 12".
A thick, choking white smog falls over the club from the 808 State dry ice machine; coloured by the psychedelic green and orange amoeba shapes projected on to the white-sheeted walls. Far out man.
[Reviewer: Sarah Champion]