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FourAces Club - 1984         Winstan Whitter

The Four Aces Club's history told by Winstan Whitter

Wayne Walton interviews the creator of the film Legacy in the Dust

Winstan Whitter, creator of the film Legacy in the Dust interviewed by Wayne Walton for Forest Radio.

"19 years in the making, Legacy in the Dust tells the story of the Four Aces Club in Dalston ‘the London equivalent of the New York Apollo’. The film charts the rise of black British music and the demise of heritage at the expense of gentrification. Featuring Don Letts, Bunny ‘Striker Lee’, Ariane Forster, Junior Giscombe, Dennis Alcapone, Lloyd Coxsone, Tippa Ire, The Prodigy, Tessa Pollitt, Dennis Bovell, Billy Bunter, Trevor Saxon, Newton Dunbar, DJ Slipmat and others. The voice-over to the film is by author, Lloyd Bradley."
(Lloyd Bradley - Sounds Like London).

"The Prodigy made their name at the club, which went on to pioneer acid house, hardcore, drum & bass and jungle music. With a parenthetic symmetry the Four Aces finally closed its doors after 33 years in 1999.

"The building was allowed to fall into disrepair. Roof slates were removed allowing progressive deterioration of the interior. A prolonged campaign ran; expert opinion evidence was given in support of preservation. Despite resistance, demolition made way for a housing development of 550 flats of which only 28 were social housing. Ironically and without consultation with those concerned, the tower blocks of flats bear the names Dunbar, Sledge, Labyrinth and Collins.

"This musical history and expression of a generation runs alongside recollections of the SUS law and frequent police visits to the club. The sense of intimidation this brought is expressed through cartoon imagery by Stacey Bradshaw and press cuttings from the time. By contrast the later era of the building; when the police raided Labrynth, the predominantly white ravers had a far more blasé response."
Bryony Hegarty in Louder Than War - July 13, 2016

A particularly shocking aspect of this interview is what we learn about Hackney Council's attempts to evict squatters by means of arson, causing people to jump for their lives from upper storey windows.

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