Out on 03 August 2023

Party Lines

Ed Gillett

03 August 2023
660 pages


'A fascinating deep dive' Jeremy Deller

From the illicit reggae blues dances and acid-rock free festivals of the 1970s, through the ecstasy-fuelled Second Summer of Love in 1988, to the increasingly corporate dance music culture of the post-Covid era, Party Lines is a groundbreaking new history of UK dance music, exploring its pivotal role in the social, political and economic shifts on which modern Britain has been built.

Taking in the Victorian moralism of the Thatcher years, the far-reaching restrictions of the Criminal Justice Act in 1994, and the resurgence of illegal raves during the Covid-19 pandemic, Party Lines charts an ongoing conflict, fought in basement clubs, abandoned warehouses and sunlit fields, between the revolutionary potential of communal sound and the reactionary impulses of the British establishment. Brought to life with stunning clarity and depth, this is social and cultural history at its most immersive, vital and shocking.

A fascinating deep dive into dance music's uneasy relationship with the establishment.
A truly thrilling journey through the politics, culture and successive social revolutions of British dance music: a landmark book, and a reminder that the dancefloor is always political.
A passionately argued and intensively researched addition to the ever-evolving narrative of UK dance music culture.