Story: Terry Farley Photographs: Chris Abbot

On April 11th 1988 the vast space that was (and still is) Heaven opened its doors to an ‘Acid House’ night. The problem was apart from around 200 people who frequented Shoom and Future nobody knew what Acid House was, let alone how to dance to it.

The promoters were Ian St Paul and Paul Oakenfold and the club held around 2,500 people. On the first night there were 124 people and everyone passing through the doors got a free E. Two weeks later there were still a hundred or so people wearing an odd mixture of Ibizan hippie and mid 80s football casual clobber trance dancing to music imported straight from Alfredo’s playlist of the 87 season at Amnesia.

Week three saw an influx of curious souls and young kids who had heard whispers around town. The following week the queue went up the hill onto the Strand. The next week had 1200 bods, and then by the following one the 2500 club was packed to the rafters. London had never, and never has since, had a clubbing phenomena like it. The club had a sound system unmatched by any other in the UK and a lazer show straight out of NY’s finest gay clubbing culture. The queue started 2 hrs before opening, and at 3.30 am when the club finished the Strand became a huge party with thousands of kids on E jacking on car roofs and stopping the West End traffic. This was the club that heralded Acid House as an explosion of biblical proportions and its legacy still lingers on today around the world. Fucking awesome…

It was also the start of the superstar dj cult with Oakenfold perched high above the massed crowd in a huge dj booth playing mad classical orchestral recordings of Wagner mixing into heavy Detroit beats with Fini Tribe’s ‘De Testimony’ and Nitzer Ebb’s ‘Join in the Chant’ jostling for peak time action alongside House hits such as Black Riot ‘A Day In The Life‘ and Derrick May’s seminal ‘Strings Of Life.’

The main room also ended up as the birth place of the Acid Ted with bandanas and smiley t shirts replacing Chevignon and Chippie as the look of the sweaty fledgling foot soldiers. On the middle floor the kids who considered themselves too cool for downstairs, the three month Acid House veterans, danced to the more Balearic grooves of Roger the Hippie and Terry Farley. Big anthems up there ranged from Yello’s ‘The Race’, The Woodentops ‘Why Why Why’ to the Mamas and the Papas ‘California Dreaming’ and even Jackie Wilson’s 60s hit ‘The Sweetest Feeling.’ The look up there was more ‘future’ inspired – baggy jumpers, Lee dungarees and beat up Kickers.

This piece originally appeared on Faith, home of acid house banter. Click here to read more from the chaps.

[Terry Farley]


Here’s a quality interview with Andrew Weatherall and Terry Farley about the history of Boy’s Own and the record label. Looks like it was done in the studio as they were recording the follow-up ‘Substance’. Weatherall dismisses techno in fine style, and the clip also features the videos for ‘Raise’ (as Terry calls it ‘a hillbilly balearic anthem for the summer’) and the Less Stress cover of ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’. London attitude in full flow.

Thanks to Nick Dart.


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Terry Farley needs no introductions to most of you, someone long respected and still getting it right. From Boy’s Own to Junior Boy’s Own and now as one of the key players in the Faith crew Terry has been keeping the house flag burning for years now. If you Google Faith fanzine here’s what you get. Kind of sums it up really.

Anyway, Terry has done the first of three mixes from the Faith crew with Raoul and Jimmy P to follow soon. Perfect summer HOUSE music. Looking forward to the other two mixes. Enjoy while the sun shines.

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Boy's Own Bogner Regis Flyer
Boy's Own Flyer

In a recent interview for the Defected website Darren Emerson was asked about his initial involvement with the Boy’s Own crew. Here’s what he said…

When and how did you start playing at the parties for Boy’s Own?

The one that sticks out is the one where Andrew asked me fill in for because he couldn’t make it and he requested me to play for him. I was honoured because I looked up to Andrew and thought it was a fantastic thing to be asked to do, at a young age as well. It was in Bogner Regis so it was a weekender, I remember going on and doing my usual thing of using two records and starting off with a long intro. I remember Norman Cook was there and it was the first house party he’d been to, and he always says now in interviews that I was the first person to get him into house music. I remember using Robert Owen’s ‘I’ll Be Your Friend’ over and over again just looping it and going back and forth. Justin Robertson was playing there as well, it was really good fun to play that weekender. I remember waking up the next day and feeling a bit hazy sharing a hair of the dog with Charlie Chester! I spent that Sunday with him at the bar having Sunday afternoon pints.
Thanks to Phil Mison (love the way you wrote ‘now that we’ve found love’ on the flyer Phil – Ed)

The Face: Italia ’91

September 20, 2009

Terry Farley piece from The Face, March 1991.
Iatlia '91 Farley Piece
Thanks to Emma Warren.

Time Out: Shoom Piece

July 21, 2009

Time Out Shoom Piece
Time Out Shoom 2
Time Out Shoom 3
Thanks to Phil.


Following the Face magazine clubbing tree Terry Farley kindly sent us the London House Tree that appeared in the Faith fanzine. There’s always a couple of clubs that get missed but it’s pretty much spot on. We’ll be speaking to Terry in the near future about the forthcoming Boy’s Own book and catalogue reissues. Looking forward to seeing all the fanzines in one place as they defined that era in such a fine style. Anyway, here’s the tree…

London House Tree 1987 - 2008


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