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Taken from City Life. Courtesy of Manchester Libraries, Information & Archives. You can make an appointment to see this the City Life collection by emailing:

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Story below sent in by Cosmic Cath:

Memories of Megadog

I vividly remember a conversation I had with a man in 1994 where I responded to a question about my activities the previous weekend using words like ‘mind blowing, life-changing and mesmerising’. The man responded by saying in a dispirited tone “there is only one thing that you can be describing there, and that is a sexual experience”, as he saw his chances of scoring with me dwindling. “Oh no”, I replied, “I was at Megadog”!

When I think about my experience of Megadog, all those nights blur together into one fantastical, orgiastic cocktail of soaring beats and sweaty dancefloors, of triumphantly emerging in the early hours in my tie-dyed pyjamas and pig-tails, so elated by my experience that even the inevitable rain and cold of a Mancunian pre-dawn would fail to extinguish the joy of the night that had gone before.

The music was fluid, drawing me in then soaring and building to heart stopping crescendos, Eatstatic with their on-stage giant pulsating brain, usually provided one of the highlights of the night. But let us not forget: Banco De Gaia, System 7, Underworld, Transglobal Underground and all the other bands that provided the beating heart to those amazing Megadog nights.

Manchester Academy may be a bit of a barn of a building, but on Megadog nights, each corner seemed to be filled with potential excitement and magic. On one memorable occasion, I spent almost an entire Megadog shoehorned into the ladies toilets with two friends, one of whom was perpetually convinced that she needed to move her bowels. Despite the austerity of our surroundings, the atmosphere and that special Megadog magic meant that we still had an amazing time. At long last the much anticipated ‘thunderous evacuation’ arrived and we were able to rejoin the party, only to find that we had emerged triumphantly from our successful campaign to hear the final few beats and cheers of the night. On another occasion, I had taken a friend to Megadog who was a trance/ techno virgin. He came somewhat reluctantly but was so captivated by the experience and danced with such animalistic fervour that the dye ran out of his shorts, painting his legs black. A rather disturbing site in the grey dawn before we realised that it wasn’t necrotic tissue!

On other nights my memories are of a fantastic feeling of camaraderie with my fellow Megadog-ites. There was much sweat soaked hugging of strangers as we shared our appreciation of the music through increasingly elaborate dancing, thrusting our arms up towards the strobe lights and eying each other appreciatively before shimmying through the crowd to seek further kindred spirits. Dotted amongst the writhing masses would be fantastical creatures on stilts, be-decked in mind boggling outfits and swathes of UV paint. This was no ordinary night out, but a dreamscape, a place of possibility, where time itself took on an elastic quality.

Sadly all dreams must end, and finally the last tune would be belted out, the last stranger hugged and suddenly a sea of harsh lights went on to encourage people home at the end of the night. What had been a fairytale kingdom of UV paint, and mystically pulsating lights was suddenly revealed as a sordid mass of pale, sweaty partiers amidst a sea of discarded bottles, plastic cups and fag ends. Yet even this resounding return to reality failed to diminish our appetites for the next time, the next hit of Megadog magic.

Featured in the following MDMArchive online exhibitions:
Manchester Academy Memories
Artefact added : 5th September 2016
by Abigail
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