Raving.

It’s a word that will mean something different to every single one of you reading this blog post.

To some of you, raving will just have been somewhere to get wrecked and have a weekend laugh every now and then.

Then there are others for whom raving is more important – a way of life, something they live and breathe.

While I’ve dipped in and out of the rave scene since making my debut back in 2000, and still go to the odd event (tragically pre-COVID, of course), it’s no exaggeration to say raving – with its wonderful community of safe, smart, fun people – has got me through some dark times.

There have been moments when I needed new people in my life, so I unashamedly went raving alone, knowing I would meet loads of wicked people, and I made some friends for life.

Other times, when my mental health has been struggling, I’ve managed to fix myself with exercise, meditation, creating artwork – and raving. Plus the odd cheeky bit of acid…

Back in the day, me and R.O.A.R. founder and presenter Tom L have regularly raved it up at at multi-arena events with happy hardcore,
jungle, drum and bass, old school, gabber, acid house and techno, such as Hardcore Heaven, United Dance, Epidemik, Bangface, and even a couple of Bust an Old Jams, promoted by Tom’s co-host Cris.E.Manic and producer Paul Kingsize!

More recently I’ve partied at bass events like UKF and Hospitality, and smaller mixed-scene raves.

As for my art, it’s mainly inspired by cartoon and comic books – particularly those featuring subversive cultures between the 1970s and 1990s such as Fat Freddy’s Cat, The Furry Freak Bros, Tank Girl and Howard the Duck. There’s possibly a link to why I like raving there, too.

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But cult icon Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth is my biggest inspiration. This guy was everything I love rolled into one – an artist and engineer creating crazy cars and contraptions as well as icon characters like ‘Ratfink’ and ‘Mr. Gasser’ in the ’50s and ’60s Hot-Rod movement. If you’ve never seen his stuff, Google him – trust me, it’s wicked…

It means my natural style is cartoonish, with bright and bold colours, and lends itself well to rave art…or at least that’s what my old school buddy Tom told me when he called to ask if I fancied being R.O.A.R’s resident artist…

Of course, I’d do anything for my pal of 22 years, and it sounded an intriguing project to get involved in, with good vibes and fun times. I didn’t need to think twice. Love, peace, unity, respect… I’m in!

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Prior to hooking up with R.O.A.R., I’d done rave commissions, graphic wall projects, and recently produced artwork for musicians and a record label – but this was something that sounded fresh and different, with plenty of room for me to flex my creativity.

So I got to work creating the logo. Tom wanted it to have the iconic and nostalgic feel of those famous old ’90s rave logos such as Rezerection, Helter Skelter, and Dreamscape – something you could imagine seeing on a T-shirt, a mug or framed on a wall.

Much like raves, I like my artwork to be naughty and nice and I hope that comes across in the two logos you can see dotted around this site and on our social media in various colours and styles – one a cheeky hardcore acid pirate face, another a mischievous junglist version.

(With a hat-tip to our resident graphic designer, Sam ‘Mule’ Worlledge, for pimping the originals up for our socials. I don’t usually like people messing with my art but I have to admit he’s done a cracking job.)

I’ll also be creating more limited edition rave-themed artwork as we move through R.O.A,R: The ’90s Rave podcast series, so keep your eyes peeled for those, and the chance to own some of it, too, if you’d like.

Get set for what promises to be an exciting project celebrating British music, culture, and art – viewed through the lens of ’90s rave.

 

*You can see more of GrantusArts work at https://www.facebook.com/GrantusArts/ and https://www.instagram.com/grantusarts/on 

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