Battersea bridge / Lee Bridge Road, London

22 July 2000
HEADFUK, Mayhem / Underground Sounds, AKA

Down from Norwich to London again for another squat party bash, this time a mate, Sid, came along from Norwich, Sid had never been to a squat before. We went down on the Friday night for a small "eviction" party, some friends were leaving a squat they'd had for some time so we helped them say goodbye to what had been a nice place to live.

On Saturday we headed out to Battersea for a Headfuk / Mayhem party, which meant a long tube ride and and even longer walk across London. We got to the venue around 11.30 or so, an old tire changing place near to Battersea bridge. It didn't look a bad location, a few houses a little way away but mostly surrounded by offices from what we could see. Anyway, we went in and the rigs are just about ready to start when the shout goes out "old bill".

I've never been in a place that gets really busted before, that is the police smashed the door open with a battering ram and came in force.

Everyone ran into the building when they came in, apart from me who just stood there and watched as they ran past. I was told to go outside and sit on the pavement, where my beer was confiscated. The place gets emptied of people (there were maybe 60 - 100 of us in there) and we all have to sit and wait outside.

Eventually we're told to disperse and the rigs are allowed out. So me and Sid and - it has to be said - most of us - hang around at a safe distance to see what's happening.

Eventually, following a walk to Victoria station around 50 of us end up taking a night bus to Lee Bridge Road (Walthamstow??) for an Underground sounds party. The bus journey turned into something of a party, the top deck getting very foggy with the sharing of things smokable.

We arrive around 3.00am, a longer journey than expected due to traffic jams, by now the place is getting a bit full, anyway we get in.

Two rigs here, Underground sounds and a new one (to me) called AKA, an old factory with two large rooms and an old office area.

Just about the first thing to happen though was I ran up against some pick-pocketing kids, who were actually very bad at it and so easy to deal with. As it happened someone saw what was happening and dealt with them, I didn't see them again.

That was the only downer of the night (apart from the bust) and, although we had a late start, the rest of the night was really good, there was non of the darkside of previous parties, no in-the-face dealing and non of the usual dodgy people, it was a very well run party.

Underground sounds stuck to the banging techno all night, quality tunes and first rate mixing. AKA started with techno but later moved over to drum and bass, not my cup of tea. However, around dawn (whenever that was) we got acid techno in there, which cheered me up no end. This evolved into the sort of brain drilling techno you only really get in London squats.

The crowd there consisted of a lot of the regulars and there was almost no problems, although there were three small flair-ups, in each case the people were separated and calmed down, self policing at its best.

I enjoyed it, Sid had a whale of a time and it was with some difficulty I managed to prise him out around 2.30, but the party was showing no signs of coming to an end.

No recollection of the journey back, but we got home.

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