The premise of the show was that it all started in New York in the ’70s (with The Loft and Paradise Garage briefly name-checked), citing ‘Saturday Night Fever’ as the catalyst for bringing the movement to the UK, leading to Britain, as the programme asserts, taking its position at the vanguard of ‘modern club culture’.
There is a level of truth in this, but only with regards to the mainstream experience – the underground scene in the UK goes right back to the early ’60s, with its own unique lineage, separate to what was happening in the clubs of NYC, which ultimately fuses with New York Disco culture in the late ’70s / early ’80s to create the alchemic conditions from which Britain would instigate the oncoming Rave era, taking the culture worldwide as a consequence.
Further to this, the ‘Ibiza 4’ was actually 5, for it was DJ Trevor Fung who facilitated the trip, Fung already working on the island for a number of years before the others came over, having previously holidayed there since 1977.
He was particularly critical of fact that Hip Hop hadn’t been covered, asking He was then informed that the company behind the programme, Fresh One, had already produced ‘How Hip Hop Changed The World’ in 2011.
A documentary about the history of British dance culture that doesn’t include reference to the likes of Guy Stevens, James Hamilton, Roger Eagle, Jeff Dexter, Les Cokell, Ian Levine, Colin Curtis, Chris Hill, Bob Jones, Les Spaine, Richard Searling, Russ Winstanley, Mark Roman, Ian Dewhirst & Paul Schofield, Terry Lennaine, Greg Edwards, Robbie Vincent, George Power, Graham ‘Fatman’ Canter, Froggy, Mike Shaft, Paul ‘Trouble’ Anderson, Norman Jay, Jay Strongman, Chris Sullivan, Hewan Clarke, The Wild Bunch, Trevor M, Mastermind Roadshow, Maurice & Noel Watson, Paul Murphy, Mike Allen, Winston & Parrot, Stu Allan, Chad Jackson and others who made their mark in the pre-Rave era (apologies to those I’ve undoubtedly missed out), should be taken with a pinch of salt.
However, such a documentary wouldn’t make it onto prime time Channel 4 – this used to be a cutting-edge station, but now it’s part of the orthodoxy.
This was illustrated when the narration stated that in reference to this development.
The choice of the presenter also suggests this intention – Idris Elba has major kudos across the Atlantic playing the drug lord Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell in ‘The Wire’.