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Party Lines

Dance Music and the Making of Modern Britain

Ed Gillett author


Publisher:Pan Macmillan

Published:3rd Aug '23


Available for immediate dispatch.

Party Lines cover

A brilliantly researched new history of dance music in the UK, exploring its role in social, political and economic change.

'A deep, engrossing history' The Observer
'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.


'Excellent' The Sunday Times
'Reminds us why the dance floor matters . . . fascinating' Telegraph

Ed Gillett’s excellent history of UK dance culture, moves beyond the saucer-eyed clichés of the raver’s epiphany and towards a sharper sort of revelation . . . the politics of dancing expertly laid bare. * Sunday Times *
A fascinating deep dive into dance music's uneasy relationship with the establishment. -- Jeremy Deller
Engrossing history . . . a wide and deep undertaking -- Book of the Week * Observer *
[A] well-researched, meaty account of dance music in the UK . . . an engrossing piece of modern social history. -- Books of the Month * Independent *
A deeply-researched and engaging new understanding of the interwoven soundtrack to the turbulence of modern Britain. -- Luke Turner, author of Out of the Woods and Men at War
Reminds us why the dance floor matters . . . fascinating. * Telegraph *
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. -- Dan Hancox, author of Inner City Pressure
Essential reading. * Spectator *
A passionately argued and intensively researched addition to the ever-evolving narrative of UK dance music culture. -- Matthew Collin, author of Altered State
It has undoubtedly set a very high standard for other authors looking to write historical stories born out of the euphoria of rave and dance culture. * Louder than War *

ISBN: 9781529070644

Dimensions: 242mm x 160mm x 38mm

Weight: 692g

464 pages