This article was first published as part of an Ibizan At Night Special Feature, Edition 861, 1st June 2017.  The entire feature is published online in 3 parts. (Articles will open in new window)

Part 1. Judge Jules Interview & Sankeys Dance 88/89

Part 2. Acid House, the True Story by Luke Bainbridge & SOS Strictly Old Skool & Acid 87 Clothing

Part 3. The Night Ibiza Was Born, Extract from The Acid House by Alfredo

 Ibiza Acid Pt2: Acid House, The True Story: SOS: Acid 87


“Acid House, The True Story” by Luke Bainbridge

  • Nick Gibbs

“Afterwards we all went back to the Villa and it was all a bit weird. We were all standing in the pool, holding hands, listening to The Art of Noise’s ‘Moments in Love’ like a load of wallies, all chilled out and loved up, thinking it was going to change the world” Nicky Holloway, Ibiza 1987

I really should pay more attention. Having been gifted ‘Acid House’ some time ago, it had sat on my bookshelf as what I thought was a welcome hard copy of Irvin Welsh’s collection of short stories by the same name.

In hindsight, a ridiculous mistake as Luke Bainbridge’s tome is actually a historical record of the birth and subsequent explosion of the Acid House genre that defined a generation.


Bainbridge earns kudos in gathering together contributions from all the major protagonists including DJ’s musicians, promoters, and the ravers themselves.

The cast of characters includes Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Andrew Weatherall, Nicky Holloway, Judge Jules, Irvine Welsh, Boy George, Mike Pickering, Graham Park, Mark Moore, Justin Robertson, Greg Wilson, Alfredo, Mr C, 808 State, Jon da Silva, a guy called Gerald, Martin Fry and the list goes on and on.

With such a line-up the book gains immediate credibility and perhaps can claim, more than any other source, to be a definitive history of how it all began.

Beyond his obvious good connections, Bainbridge must have something of a special talent in being able to get everything down in chronological order. My experience of interviewing those around in the early years of acid house is that memories tend to be somewhat sketchy at best.

 In taking a photo to go with the review I dug out some other early acid branded beauties ….. an 88 ‘jack compilation’ video, a double album with full 12″ versions of some very early tracks (some of which i’ll have subsequently obtained but this is possibly my earliest survivor purchased at the time), and perhaps most obscure of all this 6 track ‘Acid Spain’ album on Polygram ’89, track list including ay-ay-spain, ye-ye-spain, and extasispain (see what they did there?). It is truly bizarre – but worth it for the cover design alone, love the smiley face slapped on a tambourine. Dreadful music but i can’t think there are many copies out there.


Acid House starts in the years preceding its evolution. It chronicles the UK’s pre-house club scene and how the influence of Chicago and New York music and clubs started to influence the UK.

His book makes neither apology nor any attempt to dilute the importance of ecstasy on what happened in the late eighties. I personally found some of the best vignettes are those describing the revelation of ecstasy on the authors and those around them. Nicky Holloway has a disproportionate number of the best anecdotes and one liners.

As you would expect there is considerable debate and claim as to the most important milestones, both between the individual protagonists and London vs Manchester. It would take a brave man to stand up and say any one of those claims has the authority to be recognised as ‘that moment’, and of course in reality these things rarely are down to one moment, it is all about evolution.


Ibiza’s part in the journey comes up several times including a really interesting piece by Alfredo, the Ibizan DJ widely accepted as being the creator of the Balearic sound.

In his first entry to the book, Alfredo says he can pinpoint down to the exact night the moment ‘everything changed’.

With kind permission of Luke Bainbridge we have reprinted Alfredo’s passage as the third part in this special feature.

Buy The Book

Acid House, The True Story,  will appeal both to those too young to have been involved but interested to know the origins of the music we hear today, and also an excellent reminder to those who were around – let’s face it sketchy memories are a pretty well inevitable result of that late 80’s era.

  • Acid House, The True Story is available on Amazon price £13.45, or £8.96 on kindle/ebook.


Photo: SOS Tribe 2017: Credit: Meyouphotonow / Robert Szczechowiak

want acid?

  • Strictly Old Skool: Various Locations

Acid has had something of a resurgence in popularity in recent years, but for some among us, that old skool rules never went away.

Lisa, John and the SOS gang have been running their Ibiza weekends for umpteen years, and this year they had added a whole host of additional parties through the year.

Boat Parties, a second Weekender, there are plenty more chances to ‘av it … Find out more on the strictly old skool facebook page


wear acid

  • Acid 87

If the Acid 87 tees look familiar, don’t be surprised. Their growing band of design conscious DJ clients include Heidi, Solardo, Richy Ahmed, Cassy, and Maya Jane Coles, all showing their love for the summer of love, whether or not they were alive to see it.

Established in 2015, the people behind the urban clothing co say they take their inspiration from the beginnings of the Acid house scene “a feeling of real escapism, a togetherness and freedom from what was going on in society in a country that was in the mist of economic turmoil, much like today the youth have found a place to express themselves”.

want more?

Part 1. Judge Jules Interview & Sankeys Dance 88/89

Part 3. The Night Ibiza Was Born, Extract from The Acid House by Alfredo