There’s a video that has been on YouTube since 2014 with the title ‘Old School Rave – The Morning After The Night Before’. It has the simple caption “This was filmed in the carpark the morning after Fantazia on New Years Eve 1993 at Littlecote House.”
I’ve seen it do the rounds a few times via Facebook pages with titles like ‘Raving in the ‘90s’ and ‘Back to the Old Skool – Rave On’ and it’s a glorious watch. If you haven’t seen it already, please do so now.
It’s a magical snapshot of a certain, much-romanticised, period of time, and what makes it so brilliant is that it’s a document of a part of the rave experience which is rarely shown: the morning after, when the cold light of day has brought and end to the fun, the drugs have worn off, reality is giving you a cold hard slap in the face and you’ve somehow got to get home from some field in the middle of nowhere while enduring a gargantuan comedown.
And you don’t know where you’ve parked your car.
For those too young for the rave days, the Monday morning of any major festival after you’ve been on the large for three solid days and now have to work out how on Earth your tent is supposed to fit in that clearly far-too-small bag is a more than adequate proxy for the experience.
Of course, we say the drugs have worn off, but clearly not if you take the good stuff, like the two soldiers of rave depicted in this video, who are not letting the absence of any music stop their single-minded pursuit of an inner groove.
The video itself would be magic enough. But now it’s gone up a level.
After multiple comments along the lines of ‘legend has it she’s still there dancing’ and ‘believe in yourself’ – with more than a few acid house smileyface avatars in there from people with usernames like ‘repetitivebeats’ – who is this we see replying, just a few months ago?
It’s only the girl in the video.
She lives! This undisputed legend of the game. The OG of the rave scene.
What follows is a beautiful outpouring of genuine, actual love. No irony, no sarcasm here – just real emotion.
“RAVE ON ALL RAVERS”
You can stick ‘Brexit means Brexit’ up your arse: this is the mantra we should all live by. This, truly, is a message to follow. You, Michelle Marie Smith, should be leading the country and – let’s be serious for a minute here – probably the world.
24 years on and she still believes. Isn’t that just brilliant? Isn’t it life-affirming?
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. Rave on all ravers.”
But hang on, did she ever find her car?
Mike Dobinson weighs in with a classic rambling YouTube comment – and our new Queen takes it in in her stride:
There is only love here in this room.
But then, it gets better. What’s this? It’s a mate of the guy she was dancing with!
“I can’t remember it that well.” Phil, consider us shocked on that front.
But, after all this time, we now have names. Our King and Queen: Eugene and Michelle. They’re still with us. Maybe things will all work out for us all in the end. Maybe it will all be OK?
Be like Michelle. Be like Eugene. Be-lieve in yourself.
RAVE ON ALL RAVERS.