Suh Gen Z? U might think U is well dank two-footing pensioner’s doors for TikTok followers, n U might think U snatched the kiki, vibing n vaping through a Taylor Swift concert, polishing off a whole bag of Haribo, U total ledge. But I have wig for U about your so-called “boomer” parents; your slang is wonky at best, mate, they ain’t boomers at all, they’re more likely the wicked, jilted generation X, and it might just be fact that in a time of yore, before you were a twinkle in your daddy’s dilated pupils, they secretly partied harder, faster and longer in an hour than you will ever hope to achieve throughout your entire life…..
Big yikes, tho, don’t get salty, I’m not out to diss U, so don’t ghost me, I’m here to give you the tea on how to find out if your parents were what we deemed in the nineties as “ravers.”
Now, U might assume you know what this entails, but I can assure you, soz, but you have absolutely no clue at all. To rave in the nineties wasn’t clubbing in soft play centres covered in neon glow sticks and daring to drink six Primes, like it might be today. Raving back then was mostly illegal, multitudes gathering in fields and disused warehouses across the UK, all of which wouldn’t pass modern health and safety regulations; but this is only the tip of the iceberg, the rest will knock you the fuck out like you is Chris Rock at the Grammys, and these facts are Will Smith.
Yep, they might be dictating and demanding now, stamping their control over you, preaching right from wrong, and bigging up their own behaviour by comparison, but I ask, how well do you really know them, what secrets might they be hiding about their own misspent youth? Were your parents party to this outrageous trend? Did they gyrate like broken robots with eyes the size of saucers, masticating the shit out of a Wrigley’s Juicy Fruit?
Here are some tell-tale signs to help you discover if, in some long-forgotten past, your parents made some fucking noise, and if they secretly, knew the score (you may need to Google these archaic expressions):
1: Ask Your Grandparents
Grandparents might hold several clues but may not think it wise to let you in on them. Try asking them about what time your parents would get home after going out on a Friday evening. If they answer “usually around 1 or 2am,” you are off the hook. If they answer “sometime on Tuesday evening, and then they slept until Thursday,” then it’s a reason for suspicion.
If fortunate enough your grandparents still live in the same house as they did when your parent in question was young, go to their former bedroom and carefully peel back the wallpaper. Should you discover hundreds of blue smears, that will be blu-tac remains, and it’s very possible they adorned their walls with a thing called “flyers.” These were basically adverts for forthcoming raves. It was the carbon footprint fire insurance write-off done thing at the time, though collecting flyers doesn’t constitute they actually attended raves, it could’ve been a bluff to look cool and gain a shag, but it’s a good starting clue. Take some wallpaper paste to avoid detection.
2: Check for Jawbone Structure and Oral Hygiene
If you think it likely your grandparents would’ve taught good oral hygiene, yet your dad’s teeth looks like someone threw a grenade into Wookey Hole, chances are he was gurning his face off in a field somewhere, long before you were an itch in his “baggies,” and this is the aftermath.
Remember, don’t ask why, but the jawbone structure of Johnny Bravo and the teeth of Gollum is your gateway to enlightenment on the issue; I think it best you follow further instructions as your Dad sounds like the kind of right cheesy quaver who were dubbed “the white glove” brigade. Again, it was a thing at the time.
3: Blowdry your Hair and other Audio Clues
More simply, blowdry your hair. If they start dancing to the sound of the hairdryer it’s time to prepare for the worst; it sounds like they were officially on a “pukka one,” at more than one point in their life.
Attend a football match or other sporting event, should the referee’s whistle evoke blissful memories and your parents respond thus: “whistle posse!” you should be concerned.
4: Shout Outs
Shout out “I’ll take your brain to another dimension,” from the top of the stairs, and repeat three times. If they reply, “what the devil are you on about now, foolish child?” then you’re back in the safe zone. If, however, in a glorious screech of reminiscence they respond, “pay close attention!” Then it’s a pretty safe bet I’m afraid.
Alternatively, you could try the rave mantra, “top one, nice one,” and they should respond with “get sorted!” If that doesn’t trigger them nothing is likely to, and you can be safe in the knowledge they probably listened to boy bands in the nineties, the sad acts.
5: Search for Photographic Evidence and Pop Music Knowledge
Time for some research. You should note your parents are not of your generation who feel the need to photographically document every second of their lives on social media. In fact, pulling out a camera at a rave would be seriously frowned upon, so a decade gap of photographs in the fam’s archive of your parents might hold a clue. If all you find are the odd snap of a family occasion, where your parent can be seen snoozing on a sun-lounger in the background with a grin like the Cheshire Cat, or a photograph of them standing next to their XR3i or 3.0 Capri turbo, you should be wary.
Give your parents a pop quiz starting off with chart hits of the eighties, then the nineties. If they come up all chicken dinner with the eighties questions but fail like Joey Essex on Mastermind on the nineties ones, it’s because ravers forgot all about pop hits and chart positions when they first reached for the skies and got mullered at a rave party, fact.
6: Suspicious Purchases
If your mum neglects to buy you the bitesize GCSE maths book you’ve been asking for, but instead gets you a pair of Technics and a mixer, something is definitely amiss, and there’s a likelihood they want you to be the life and soul to a hopeful resurrection of the trend. Say “no, I’m not Carl Cox, I only want to pass my exams.”
7: The Obvious Final Exam
Only attempt this if your parents have scored high in all the above tests, and never, I repeat never question why; there are some skeletons in closets you really don’t want to uncover. For this final exam you will need a packet of M&Ms, favourably of the plain old chocolate variety. Take the sweets out of their packet, place them in a money bag and offer one to your old folks. The correct response from the average parent should be something along the lines of, “oh, no thank you, it’s very kind, but you eat them my love.”
However, should your mum or dad respond with a sniff, and a “na, sorted mate!” it’s pretty much concrete that your parents have had equal if not more ”rave accessories” than Bez of the Happy Mondays, (Google him and prepare yo bad self.)
The bottom line is to never worry too much about it, okay so your parents were hardcore, but you do not need counselling, it’s not biggie, really; just ensure they are comfortable and never throw out any of these things pictured below. They are called cassette tapes, and they might be the only fragments left of a long-forgotten youth culture very sentimental to them. You should note, the times were vastly different from today, we had an economic recession and were dictated to with an iron fist, by the last desperate attempts of a failing conservative government, but at least we didn’t have Ed Sheeran. You cannot judge your parents by the order of things today, this is not Minority bloody Report.