HIGH ON HOPE, Piers Sanderson’s documentary about the Hardcore Uproar parties in Blackburn in the late Eighties and early Nineties has already won acclaim at film festivals in Barcelona and Leeds, and with a bit of luck it will be touring around the UK next year. Keep an eye on the High on Hope off-yer-Facebook for more details.
In the meantime, here’s an exclusive interview with the film’s wobbly cinematographer, the visionary social historian and painfully shy local raver known at the time as Preston Bob – his real name is actually David Rostron – without whom High on Hope would simply not have been possible.
Nice one, David.
PIERS SANDERSON is a documentary filmmaker who has put together a feature-length film about the warehouse parties that took place in and around Blackburn in Lancashire from the end of the Eighties to the start of the Nineties.
As well as in-depth interviews with many of the people who organised and attended the Blackburn parties, High On Hope also features previously unseen footage shot in warehouses at the time.
Sanderson planned to release the film last year but ran into problems licensing the music used in the film. I got in touch with him via the High On Hope website and he agreed to answer a few questions about the project.
IT WASN’T so unusual that someone threw a party in Gildersome, just south of Leeds, 10 years ago. What was unusual was the fact that 836 people were arrested for attending it.
The party wasn’t for anyone’s birthday. According to flyers which had been circulating throughout the north over the previous month, it was called Love Decade. It took place in an empty warehouse on the Treefield Industrial Estate, just off Gelderd Road.
The party’s organisers didn’t actually own the warehouse – they’d had to snip through a padlock with a pair of bolt cutters before getting in. Some started to rig up a basic soundsystem while others headed for Harsthead services, just up the M62, to collect their guests.
Just after 2am they headed back at the head of a convoy of hundreds of cars and vans. The police, including the West Yorkshire force’s helicopter, followed at a discrete distance.
Hundreds of people got into the warehouse before the organisers closed the doors. Hundreds more gathered outside. Sue Hollingsworth had travelled over from Blackburn earlier in the evening.
“There were police all over the place,” she remembers. “We abandoned the car and legged it towards the party but you couldn’t get anywhere near it. All the roads around had roadblocks on them, they had dogs, searchlights, the lot.”