5 of the best.... Books on Clubbing

5 of the best.... Books on Clubbing

Whilst the nights are still drawn in, the weather miserable and the new year financial constraints still biting, a night out on the town is perhaps a distant memory for some. Never fear, we have complied a list of our favourite books about clubs and the party scene to re-ignite that dance floor passion. We’ve gone beyond the obvious to hopefully bring you at least a couple of titles yet to fall under your radar.

Party Lines by Ed Gillett.

Ed co-produced Jeremy Deller’s 2019 acid house documentary “Everybody In The Place” and here he focuses in on how authority and the mainstream has constantly pushed against the liberation of dance. From Warehouse raves to Notting Hill Carnival and inner city gay clubs to the fields of Castlemorton and the free festival scenes, it’s a comprehensive look at the British dance subcultures.

Turn the Beat Around, The Secret History of Disco by Peter Shapiro

Turn The Beat Around, The Secret History of Disco.

In our opinion the best and most authoritative book on the true birth of disco and dj culture, taking us on a roller coaster ride through New York in the 70’s and 80’s with characters such as Frank Gross, Larry Levan, Sylvester, Donna Summer, Nicky Siano and David Mancuso.

One part cultural study, one part urban history, and one part glitter-pop confection, Turn the Beat Around is the most comprehensive study of the Me Generation to date.

AREA: 1983 - 1987 by Eric and Jennifer Goode

Area was a nightclub in lower Manhattan. The concept of the club was change. Every six weeks the owners and a creative team changed the theme. Some of the themes were Science Fiction, Suburbia, Sports, Art, and American Highway.

Area was a themed nightclub that operated from 1983 to 1987 at 157 Hudson Street in Manhattan, New York City. It was a hot spot for celebrities and luminaries of the New York art scene such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Madonna, Grace Jones etc . The club was known for its unusual invitations and changing themes. Every six weeks from the time it was opened in 1983, the owners - four friends from California - completely changed the look of the nightclub that doubled as an art gallery. From live sharks swimming in a tank on the dance floor to the front of the club being made to look like a suburban house, the team behind Area went to extreme lengths to keep it feeling fresh.

Performance artists would writhe in food or paint, or be tied to a stake and surrounded by jets of flame as the club explored themes of religion, sex, natural history and fashion. When the theme was food, a pool was filled with alphabet soup and one Halloween crazed actors wielding chainsaws carved up fake bodies dripping with blood. Invitations as elaborate as the decor were sent out with each change, with lucky guests being posted ostrich eggs that had to be broken open to reveal the details, or invites printed on processed cheese slices.

Raving by Mckenzie Wark

A personal account taking us on a journey through the underground gay and trans clubs of New York. With loving precision, McKenzie Wark’s eyes and ears pay attention to the innumerable tiny interactions, gestures, and rites that make up the all-night drug-and-dance party. Raving radiantly understands the rave as a construction site for transitory kinship structures—a pocket in timespace that is a haven for fugitives from consensus banality—a miniature home world for the aliens already on this planet. Ravers occupy the city’s abandoned places and turn them into zones of abandon, where identities dissolve, where you can lose yourself and find yourself. 

Andrew Weatherall - A Tribute.

Pulled together after his untimely death, this is the definitive tribute to one of greatest DJ’s ever. Collecting interviews and stories about the great man over the years and covering clubs such as Shoom, Sabresonic, A Love From Outer Space and of course Convenanza.




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