Beats (2019, Brian Welsh)

There were some beats I actually know in this, including some by Liquid Liquid, whose music was ancient when this takes place, the reissues still a couple years off. Two loser kids, a dark mophair with downturned mouth called Johnno, and fuckup Spanner with a drug-dealing bully brother, just wanna go to raves, at the time when Britain is trying to make dance music illegal. The notorious law-loophole soundtrack with no repetitive parts comes into play. Black and white except for the little red lights on stereos, and psych-freakout imagery when the kids take their pills.

There’s violence and breakups and hurt feelings and reconciliations – the whole coming-of-age teen period drama isn’t my thing, but I kept watching for the cool accents. The kids finally have their party, a moment of bliss, but the cops and the drug dealers are both descending, the plot needing to pummel the vibes, making it no better than the government order to punish ravers. It’s got nothing on the Michael Smiley episode of Spaced. Spanner ended up on Bridgerton and Johnno’s on some kinda submarine mystery.