Fleshback is the latest in a trilogy of films we’ve made with Boiler Room, each exploring the underground scenes of three of the UK’s major cities. It tells the story of alternative queer raving in Manchester and nearby Salford, from the 1980s to the present day.
In 2016, Beyond A BPM focussed on London, with contributions from artists including Gaika, Visionist and Sports Militia who are creating bold work as an antidote to the mood they feel in the modern capital. In 2017, Glasgow’s New Wave showed how Scotland’s “second city” is much more than house and techno and how young pioneers are shaking up the old ideas about what club nights could be and what Scottish youth should sound like. This year, in Manchester, Fleshback uncovers that same spirit of mutuality and a DIY punk ethic, giving rise to nights where “homos, heteros, lesbos, don’t knows” (Homo Electric) feel free to be who they want to be against a soundtrack that puts music before politics.
Fleshback touches on key moments and influences over the past decades of UK history which have helped to shape the contemporary scene. From the 80s, archive footage recalls the Section 28 protests – a backlash to UK legislation that banned the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools. From the late 90s, we hear how Channel 4’s ground-breaking Queer As Folk TV series saw an explosion of awareness in gay culture. We also revisit the Hacienda’s seminal queer party Flesh in the early 90s and then explore the contemporary scene with contributions from Homo Electric, Meat Free, Body Horror and High Hoops.
Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zones
Please be aware that the film contains scenes of a sexual nature, nudity and some strong language.