Fashionable young find East End ecstasy: Cigarettes were long, drugs abundant and guarana the main drink. Marianne Macdonald sampled a new 'unaggressive' style of acid house event

THEY BEGAN queueing at midnight and were still arriving at 4am. Unadvertised and costing pounds 15 a head before drugs, a Dalston warehouse was yesterday the venue for what was billed as London's biggest acid house event.

This was not a rave, but a party: the latest entertainment fad which eschews aggression for love and plays dance tunes as well as house music to clubbers at the sharp end of fashion.

Yesterday morning they came in their thousands to the disused warehouse off Kingsland Road, east London, for the 'Always There' gig held by Que Pasa. Fuelled by the drug ecstasy, guests marched toward it in jackboots, platforms and trainers.

Inside faces leered out of the darkness, communication was impossible and thin young people apparently from the 1960s and 1970s bobbed in a seething mass.

Outside were 30 security guards, while inside guests popped drugs and swayed to the bass. The currency was straws and water a precious commodity. Cigarettes came long, drugs were abundant and lager was replaced by guarana, the herbal energising brew. By 1am the party was pulsing, the beat jerking the ribcage and the darkened skin-up room littered with cigarette papers. 'Pretty cool,' one fashion victim said to another, looking at a cardboard invitation with a dotted line to rip off a 'roach' for a marijuana joint.

'Where did you get your eyelashes?' a girl in a gold lurex dress, Nike trainers and bunches, mouthed. An actor dressed as an old-man sported a false red moustache. 'May they worship at your shrine for all time,' drawled a cyberman in dreadlocks.

People herded at the bar clutching bunches of straws, which were sold for pounds 1 apiece in a separate room to exchange for bottles of water. 'How much was your jacket?' said one. 'Eight hundred straws,' he replied. 'Guarana: it's the surreal thing,' read the notice beside him. Meanwhile the insistent beat crept up the scale: boom ba da boom ba da shuck shuck boom.

'Ecstasy . . . party,' exhorted a female voice over the crowds fighting their way between the hot, cavernous rooms and twitching like puppets to the music. 'Have you any water?' cried a girl anxiously, clutching an empty bottle of Evian. 'I can't face the queue for the loo,' another shouted, adjusting a Madonna- style corset. Beside her a youth in a baseball cap with Juice written on his T-shirt was dividing cocaine with a razor blade.

'I don't usually like London crowds. They're too up their own arses,' said Breeze, one of the 10 DJs paid to play until morning. In the staff room, people were leaning protectively into windowsills to roll joints or exchange 'designer stimulants'. A flash went off and there were exclamations. 'Evidential]' cried one, fearful of arrest. 'What I want to know is, what have you injected the oranges with?' said another, looking at some fruit.

Outside, a fug of sweat, cannabis smoke and a repulsive unidentifiable smell hung over the dance floor and dripped down the walls. Women draped themselves over picnic tables, tossed back long hair, lit Camel Lights. 'And you can't play pool and you hate cool someone might kill me tonight,' someone had scrawled on a table.

Up again rose the volume. Everywhere the fashionable young eyed one another and chewed gum to fend off sour breath induced by ecstasy and dope. Shirts were unbuttoned or taken off altogether and a boy squirmed in a corner, holding up his hands as if they were tainted. 'This is the way it is,' said Egg, the Que Pasa promoter, looking round benignly.

'We're giving young people a chance so they don't end up on crack. We're dictating delightful dance music and positive influences,' he added.

A girl with waxy skin, gaunt with exhaustion, pushed past. 'We're looking at the future,' Egg said, raising his hands. 'We are the future.' Around him the lights flashed and the partygoers dipped and danced in the thumping heart of darkness.

Sport
Lionel Messi pictured after reaching the final
world cup 2014
Sport
Lionel Messi and Thomas Muller have shone brightest for Argentina and Germany respectively on their way to the World Cup final
Sport
Brazilian fans watch the match for third place between Brazil and Netherlands
Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: Dutch pile on the misery in third place playoff
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
voicesWhen it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?