I should be totally bored with going out clubbing. After all, I’ve been doing it for coming up to twenty-five years now. I still go out because it’s still fun: the names and faces change but the essential interactions don’t.
It used to be Human League girls gliding across the floor in flowery dresses and now it’s Enter Shikari boys waiting for the clappy bit (and those boys are probably the sons of the Human League girls). But the ritual of clubbing is no different than it ever was. I dare say pretty much the same thing was going on in the Teddy Boy era. Pre-rock’n’roll, things must have been slightly different as the teenager as a motile spending unit didn’t truly exist in the manner it does now. But I’m sure the young adults who trotted around to Lew Stone and Roy Fox can’t have been that different to the kids slamdancing to SOAD tonight.
I love the culture of pop music, the ebb and flow of the various genre strands and the way new/old things appear and disappear. When you’re part of that for a long time, as I have been, the rhythm of the variations becomes apparent, it appears like the image in one of those stereoscopic puzzles which used to be all the rage.
I’m sure those who are fashion-savvy have the same fun tracking the rise and fall of hemlines and trouser-widths. For me, it’s things like reverb densities and vocal levels that appeal. Listen to any classic ’80s indiepop with contemporary ears and you’ll immediately wonder why the vocals are so low. Similarly, if a pop band from the ’80s heard modern production, they’d wonder why everything isn’t draped in reams of reverb. And Synclavier snare samples.
The changes in pop music rebound into wider changes in pop and club culture. 1980s indie dancing was basically standing in one spot quite straight and flailing around a bit. Arms were quite restrained and air-drumming and guitaring were frowned upon unless Nuclear Assault was on. Whereas now, it’s arms a-go-go! Whether it’s pointy emo action or cor-blimey mockney prancing, there’s a lot of arms about.
I was standing at the side in Mosh tonight and it all came together. I watched all the people dancing about, the vast majority between 18 and 25 and I know that they probably won’t be out dancing a decade from now. They’ll get bored of clubbing, won’t have the time, lose touch with music or simply have other things they prefer to do with their weekends.
I wish I’d had a little digital camera when I first started clubbing, I’d love to look back at those photos and see how everything’s changed. But remains the same. The clubbing pics I took when I first moved back to Derby are already starting to look a tad historic:
The above pic is only just over three years old!
And what about this old pic from Screamadelica?:
Okay, it’s not soon-to-be-famous Blitz Kids caught unawares but you wait, one day that pic is going to make a few people smile. Or groan…
Enough rheumy meandering from me. Click the pic at the top of the post for a gallery of tonight’s rock action. 😀