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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Spiral Tribe
Logo Spiral Tribe.png
Background information
OriginLondon, England
GenresFree tekno, breakbeat hardcore
Years active1990 (1990)–present
LabelsNetwork 23, Big Life, Rabbit City, Force Inc, LabWorks

Spiral Tribe, also known as SP23, are a musical and arts collective and free party sound system that organised parties, festivals and raves in the UK and Europe in the 1990s.[1] They were involved in the Castlemorton Common Festival.[2]

Early history

Between 1990 and 1992, Spiral Tribe organised or were involved in excess of 30 free parties, raves, and festivals in indoor and outdoor locations in the UK.[3] From then on, the group travelled across Europe and had a huge influence on the emerging free tekno scene.

On New Year's Eve 1991, a rave was held at the then empty Roundhouse venue in Camden, London, which was to last for a week.[4]

In May 1992, the free party circuit moved up a gear and attendances increased heavily. At the beginning of the month, Spiral Tribe joined DiY Sound System and Circus Warp at Lechlade, Gloucestershire.[5] This would reach its peak by the end of May with what would become the most well known and largest party the group had involvement in, and also its most controversial.

The Castlemorton Common Festival would turn out to be an unintended consequence of Police preventing travellers heading for the annual Avon Free Festival.[2] Thirteen members of Spiral Tribe were arrested immediately after the Castlemorton event and subsequently charged with public order offences.[6][7] Their trial became one of the longest-running and most expensive cases in British legal history, lasting four months and costing the UK £4 million.[8] Spiral Tribe first use the slogan "Make some fucking noise" on t-shirts which they wore in the court room. The judge ordered them to remove these garments. However, when the female defendants revealed that they wore nothing underneath their T-shirts, the judge reversed his instructions, something quite rare in UK courts.[9] Regarding Castlemorton, Nigel South states that "the adverse publicity attending the event laid the groundwork for the Criminal Justice Act 1994".[10] Low and Barnett opine in Spaces of Democracy that "Spiral Tribe, with their free and inclusive parties, succeeded in constituting an alternative public space, rather than just a secret one.".[11]

After being acquitted of all charges relating to Castlemorton in March 1993, the group moved to Europe shortly after, doing parties in cities such as Rotterdam, Paris, and Berlin. Over the next few years, the collective organised parties and teknivals throughout Europe, then it slowly dispersed with some members taking up residence in Germany and the Netherlands and releasing work on Labworks and many other techno labels. Individual members of the collective joined other sound systems, did squat art events or pursued other interests.

Spiral Tribe also toured the United States towards the late 1990s.

According to Spiral Tribe founding member Mark Stormcore, the name came to him when he was at work, staring at a poster of the interconnecting spirals in an ammonite shell.[12]

The number 23, which is ubiquitously associated with Spiral Tribe, was introduced by Mark Harrison. Despite allusions to the number having been used by Psychic TV and Robert Anton Wilson, Harrison has stated that it "had nothing to do with any pre-existing individual, group or subculture".[13]


The three founding members of Spiral Tribe/SP23 are Mark Harrison, Debbie Griffith and Simone Feeney.[14] As the notion of being a member of the collective has always been a largely informal one, it has regularly changed throughout time and place.

Current SP23 members

Members of SP23 are:[15]

Mark (a.k.a. Stray Wayward), Debbie (a.k.a. Feenix13), Simone (a.k.a. Sim Simmer), Meltdown Mickey, Simon (a.k.a. Crystal Distortion), Sebastian (a.k.a. 69db), Ixindamix, Jeff 23, Max Volume and Charlie Kane.


In 1992, some members of the collective signed to the major label Big Life, as a result of the publicity generated from their involvement in the organisation of the Castlemorton Common Festival. Three EPs were released with them enjoying short crossover success with Forward the Revolution and Breach the Peace, an album Tekno Terra, as well as a compilation.

Members of Spiral Tribe also released records on their own label Network 23, as well as Rabbit City, Music Inc, and LabWorks.

In 1997, Techno Import, a French commercial distributor, compiled a CD entitled Spiral Tribe: The Sound of Teknival. The CD consisted of previously licensed material via Big Life, Rabbit City, and Force Inc. It was released without any consent from members of Spiral Tribe, was advertised on television and sold at least 30,000 copies. Spiral Tribe issued a statement against its release which began, "F**k Techno Import, Spiral Tribe Is Not for Sale", and had to take quick action to ensure the name Spiral Tribe was not copyrighted by Techno Import.



  • Tecno Terra (Big Life, 1993)


  • Spiral Tribe Sound System (The Album) (Big Life, 1993)

Selected singles/EPs

  • U Make Me Feel So Good (self-released, 1992)
  • Spiral Tribe EP (a.k.a. Breach the Peace) (Big Life, 1992)
  • Spiral Tribe EP 2 (a.k.a. Forward the Revolution) (Big Life, 1992)
  • SP 23 (Rabbit City, 1992)
  • Sirius 23 (Big Life, 1993)
  • Verdict Not Guilty EP (a.k.a. Black Plastik) (self-released, 1992)
  • Don't Take the Piss (Network 23, 1994)
  • Definitely Taking Drugs (Network 23, 1994)
  • Expekt the Unxpekted (Network 23, 1994)
  • This Is Trance (Force Inc, 1994)
  • Panasonic (Network 23, 1994)
  • Probably Taking Drugs (Network 23, 1994)
  • LSP 23 (Network 23, 1994)
  • Spiral Tribe 1 (Network 23, 1994)
  • Spiral Tribe 2 (Network 23, 1994)
  • Spiral Tribe 3 (Network 23, 1994)
  • Spiral Tribe 4 (Network 23, 1995)
  • Spiral Tribe 5 (Network 23, 1995)
  • Power House (Network 23, 1995)
  • Power House 02 (Network 23, 1995)
  • Full Fill Fromage (Network 23, 1996)
  • Strange Breaks (Network 23, 1996)
  • Fac'em If They Can't Take a Joke (Facom Unit, 1997)



  • Shamanarchy in the UK (Evolution, 1992)
  • Survival! The Dance Compilation (Guerilla Records, 1993)
  • Technohead - Mix Hard or Die (React Records, 1993)
  • World Traveller Adventures (DVD) (Uncivilized World, 2004)
  • Aid Asia Compilation (Aid Asia, 2005)

See also


  1. ^ "About - sp23infoblip". Archived from the original on 3 May 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  2. ^ a b Tim Guest (11 July 2009). "Fight for the right to party". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  3. ^ Shaw, William. "Earthcore: The Chaotic Rise of Spiral Tribe". Select Magazine: August 1992. pp. 24–30.
  4. ^ Leanne Griffin. "It was like something out of Mad Max: Spiral Tribe's Week Long Rave". Roundhouse 50. Archived from the original on 29 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
  5. ^ "2nd May 1992: Circus Warp, Spirals etc. at Lechlade festival, Gloucestershire". 13 May 2011. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  6. ^ Reynolds S, 1998, Energy Flash, Picador, ISBN 0-5712-8914-2
  7. ^ "22nd-29th May 1992: Spiral Tribe, Bedlam, Techno Travellers, Circus Warp, Circus Normal, Adrenalin DiY, and LSdiezel at Castlemorton Common Free Festival, Worcestershire". 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 3 June 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  8. ^ Brewster B. & Broughton F., 1999, Last Night a DJ Saved My Life: The History of the Disc Jockey, Grove Press, ISBN 0-8021-3688-5
  9. ^ Skeet, Jason. "<makesomefuckingnoise>". Academia. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  10. ^ ed. South N., 1999, Drugs: Cultures, Controls and Everyday Life, SAGE Publications, ISBN 0-7619-5235-7
  11. ^ ed. Low M. and Barnett C., 2004, Spaces of Democracy: Geographical Perspectives on Citizenship, Participation and Representation, SAGE Publications, ISBN 0-7619-4734-5
  12. ^ "Uncivilized World - World Traveller Adventures". Archived from the original on 26 November 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
  13. ^ "Spiral Tribe Interview". Datacide. 24 March 2014. Archived from the original on 2 May 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  14. ^ Collin, Matthew (2009). Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House. Profile Books. p. 214. ISBN 9781846687136. Archived from the original on 2 July 2019. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Crew - sp23infoblip". Archived from the original on 18 March 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 10:40
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