Harry Strawson

Harry Strawson is news editor at Removals and Storage magazine. He recently won the 2021 Observer/Anthony Burgess prize for arts journalism.

Yeah, that was cool: ‘Rave’

Harry Strawson, 1 April 2021

When I ask my friends, they don’t remember their early raves either – just the venue, perhaps (a warehouse somewhere near the eastern end of the District line; a splinter of wood­ land beside a busy road in Hackney Wick; a squat with a full­-size skate bowl off Brick Lane); and what drugs they took (ecstasy and mephedrone), but not, in any concrete sense, what happened or what music was playing or who was playing it. No one had an answer when I asked: ‘What was your first rave really like?’ This is the question that Rainald Goetz and his cast of narrators set out to answer in Rave.

Diary: D, L, O, R, W

Harry Strawson, 5 October 2017

Earlier​ this year, in a London hospital on a dark afternoon at the end of winter, a neurosurgeon asked me to spell ‘world’ backwards. Behind him, an image of my skull floated on a monitor. On one side of it, there was a milk-white gob of tumour. It looked about as big as a golf ball. He wanted me to spell the word backwards because I am left-handed, and because I have a tumour...

Diary: The British National Corpus

Harry Strawson, 16 March 2017

In​ bnchs01 Carlo tells an old Mitch Hedberg joke: ‘Is a hippopotamus a hippopotamus or just a really cool opotamus?’ bnchs01 is an audio file I recorded and submitted as part of a drive to assemble a multimillion-word record of spoken British English. Carlo is a friend, and the joke is part of one of the many conversations I recorded. (Hedberg, 1968-2005, was an American...

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