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French Dancing

On the subject of the French, I was at a small party near High Street Ken last night to say farewell to some friends heading back soon to France, which is always a sad occasion.

However, we had a good time, especially as the evening came to a close, and, all of us in our 30s or very early 40s, danced to tunes from the 80s, on the lovely wooden floor, somewhat more stiffly than when we were younger, bien sur. The French dance Le Rock, of course, that regimented, impressive and faintly ridiculous style of swinging their partners about with impeccable timing that we in the English world associate with Jazz dancing from the 40s. I am tempted to try and compose a paragraph that has numbers 10-100 in it now, but will avoid that compositional urge.

Have you seen battles of the iPods yet, at parties? I have. Amateur DJs, drunk on champagne, huddle in gentle conflict, each plugging and unplugging their rival machines, quickly accessing their own files, to inflict a new, more private choice of song on the few remaining dancers, flailing or regulated, by the fireplace with its candles.

One guest, French but with great musical taste, played "Boys Don't Cry" and "Just Can't Get Enough". I was in retro heaven. But there is a shadow Parisian 80s, known only to the French and francophiles, that is equally delicious - Les Rita Mitsouko, Indochine, Vanessa Paradis and so on - wonderful kitsch. My favourite song of the period would have to be Indochine's classic "L'aventurier" (about the "real hero of all time" Bob Morane) - covered so well by Montreal's Kingpins in the 90s.

LRM have a new album out March 16, 2007.

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