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This Archived News Report Proves We've Been Having the Same Pointless Conversation About Drugs in Clubs for 20 Years

A gem from the BBC's archive reveals just how little things have changed in club culture over the last two decades.

by Angus Harrison
18 January 2017, 11:05am

In club culture, everything from deep house to dummies goes around and comes around. It's a cyclical, deeply nostalgic world where the same Chez-N-Trent track speaks the same groove to an audience in 1995 as it will do 2085. That sense of shared history is nice when it comes to music, providing a sort of timeless language, a feeling that knows no generational divide and all the rest of the cliched claptrap we trot out week on week. The thing is, becomes a lot less fun when you realise that more than just sharing a feeling, we've literally been having the same conversations forever.

Check out this news report from this week in 1997, and see if it rings any bells.

Sounds familiar doesn't it. Like, eerily familiar. "You could take every step in the world, and as a company we feel we do, but there's always the chance that someone could slip through the net...the authorities could then step in and close you down, even if you were quite innocent," are words that could have so easily be spoken by fabric a few months ago. In fact, with the story of Club UK that is also included in the report—a nightclub which was shut down following two ecstasy related deaths—I'm starting to wonder if this is the moment the elaborate illusory matrix that is my life begins to glitch and unravel, revealing a vast and intricate social experiment run for the amusement of alien billionaires.

That, or it showcases that in 20 long years we haven't managed to move the debate past the idea that closing down nightclubs will affect drug abuse. As detailed by the bespectacled owner of the Planet Earth nightclub—a nightclub which has, sadly and cruelly, disappeared from the face said planet entirely—there is no way of catching every single person who has decided to bring illegal substances with them to the club, and to threaten clubs with licence revocation on this basis is unreasonable. It's the same unreasonable standard that nearly closed fabric, and successfully closed the Arches.

You'd think we'd have learnt by now. If it didn't work in 1997, then why would it in 2017? Oh well, at least we keep it old school.

Via BBC Archive.

club culture