Music, Clubbing and Our Changed World

While we are contemplating these important questions, we can still hit the dance floors and streets to dance the day and night away.
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Idris Elba presenting How Clubbing Changed The World was a polished presentation (what else would one expect from the infamous "Stringer Bell" who is also a less well-known DJ. Trying to cover everything from fashion to design, architecture and alcohol was always going to be a challenge in 90 minutes and there were certainly things that could have been added, done differently and improved upon. However, fair play for putting Ecstasy at number one position.

This is an honest assessment for anyone who is realistic -- in spite of the sacking of Professor David Nutt, one of Britain's leading authorities on psychotropic drugs for stating that ecstasy was safer than alcohol. You can watch Keith Allen in a "TV experiment" on this soon if that's the sort of thing you like to do.

This weekend in London, sandwiched between The Olympics and Paralympic Games London has the now internationally renowned Notting Hill Carnival as well as the increasingly popular SW4 electronic music weekend festival.
In the midst of this, events all over London and throughout the UK will be hosted where festival-meets-club-meets-carnivalesque attitude reigns supreme. Clubbing has changed - and so has the world -- and it did make an impact on the world too indeed. But more attention may well have been paid to the collapse of popular political movements at the end of the Eighties and the end of transformative radical ideas (and then their conservative counterparts) and how many retreated in to a Soma-like coma as far as public consciousness went. Tune in turn on and drop out -- remixed and rewound and mashed up. Alongside that, the ever encroaching legislation of the Criminal Justice Act, Health & Safety legislation and the encroachment of legislation around all our personal behavior in the form of drinking curfews, smoking, salt, trans fat and soda bans on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ironically, 50 years after the release of Bob Dylan's album, we would do well to ask ourselves where culture stands in terms of the wider issues facing us as far as our freedom and autonomy go. One place that will be happening is at a different kind of weekend festival at a session entitled No future: has pop lost its radical edge? In the age of digital communication it will also be considering what the implications for music are in this new digital world as well as visiting various countries taking these debates internationally asking if some music, such as classical is better than others.

While we are contemplating these important questions, we can still hit the dance floors and streets to dance the day and night away. If you happen to be visiting London, or a local anyway, we'll be making sure there's a top vibe at Vibe Sundays at The Vibe Bar in Brick Lane. Or as the clarion cry used to go out when we were organizing those parties without the consent of the police or the authorities, Come On -- Let's Have It!