Pays to be a little wary of Vice articles, but this piece by Clive Martin seems to be a genuinely moved (and moving) appreciation of the wistful, earnestly reflective comments left by old E heads underneath YouTube clips of house anthems and vintage rave footage
The comments are screen grabs so can't select any, but here are a couple of Clive's annotations:
"If you were being cynical.. you could dismiss their exhortations of the "old days" as merely the rueful people who can't grasp the modern dance world, with its live streams, forum trolls, and LiveNation wristband raves. And that may or may not be true. But it doesn't matter, because what these people are expressing through the unlikely medium of YouTube comments is pure romance. Regardless of what Positiva release caused their Proust-on pills recollections, these people seem to be genuinely conjuring up fragmented glimpses of a lost past, something that is infinitely more life-affirming and valuable than anything spat out by the usual "Hey, remember Pogs!?" school of internet nostalgia....
"I like to imagine misty-eyed men and women staying up late in their newly built homes, waiting for their kids to go to bed before they can transport themselves back to their carefree, wide-eyed, hands-in-the-air youths spent blissfully blowing holes in their psyche in New York warehouses and on Balearic beaches. It might be a bit tragic if they were still showing up at Warehouse Project three speckled Doves deep, still losing their shit to "Voodoo Ray" as Joy Orbison plays it 25 years later. But they aren't, I don't think. These are people who know that their raving days are over, and are looking back on them rather than trying to recreate them in some Hacienda historical reenactment society. In that way, these are examples of wistful longing rather than regressive nostalgia. "
One particular comment he re-presents - from a MrCockPirate, which moniker sabotages the poignancy a tad - goes like this:
Life has always disappointed me since those great days. Always remembered, never repeated.
Another, MyJamsta, concludes his or her reminiscence with:
I am still struggling to understand where it all went - it fooking kills me.
Those comments reminded me of "Weak Becomes Heroes" - Mike Skinner's finest moment maybe - and specifically the line "my life's been up and down since i walked from that crowd" - that's what a lot of those YouTube comments are mourning, essentially: leaving the ecstatic crowd, returning to atomised normality, the privatised life of go-it-alone striving, where collectivity reduces to the dimensions of domesticity, the family unit
The next album, Skinner captured the bleaker side of clubbing excess... how you can be lonely in the crowd