Just in case you weren’t paying attention yesterday, my new blog challenge is to participate in Twisted Mix-Tape Tuesdays (on Fridays. Because I can). This week, the challenge is to create a playlist of favourite dance music or dance club mixes. I wouldn’t call this a problem for me but… it might be a problem.
I listen to a lot of music, but I don’t visit a lot of clubs. I preferred bars (expensive ones) when I was a student, and I’ve lived most of my life in a small village. That’s not to say I don’t have a Clubbing Mode. I most definitely do. It’s normally engaged when I’ve had too many nights in on the bounce (and by too many, I mean about 200) or I’ve ingested too many tequilas. But no matter. Because I can think of more than five tracks which run us through my history in this area. It goes like this…
Now that I think about it, there really aren’t that many songs I associate with dancing to on a night out. I’m normally too busy laughing with friends to really notice what it is that we’re dancing along to, it all becomes a bit of a blur (maybe that’s the tequila…). Fortunately, a few songs definitely stick in my mind. The first one is a crystal clear memory of a particular night out during my first semester at university. I went to a popular club with an Australian girl who was doing study abroad at my university and lived in the flat next door to mine. I don’t know why I remember us dancing to this song, but every time I hear it, I think of her. It was very popular at the time, and I still smile when I hear it now:
Nelly Furtado ft. Timbaland – Promiscuous
So, fast forward two years, I’m in the same club, but with a different set of people, there’s now a smoking ban and this song comes on. I first heard it a month previously when it was debuted live at a festival. Very few people cared about this band prior to this song. And then they became one of the most popular bands on the planet. Which is funny, really, because they released their first album around the same time as one of my favourite ever bands released their debut record and, at the time, the critics were putting money on the latter being an enormous commercial success. The critics were wrong. The other band have all but disappeared (and I still adore them with every fibre of my being) and this band have taken over the world. Why? Because they released a song where every fifth word is “sex”:
Kings of Leon – Sex on fire
I can’t remember when I first heard this song, but it was a classic before I knew what clubs were. And I can clearly remember when and where I first heard this version. It was a few months after Kings of Leon kindly set everyone’s genitals alight. I was actually in a bar with a small dancefloor, rather than a club (and this type of venue is my preference). Of course, people recognise the opening electronic pulses of this song immediately. What they don’t expect is the bass in this version. I fell in love at first listen with this one, and it’s this version which I’m hooked on, and reminds me of a particular night:
The Source ft. Candi Staton – You got the love (bootleg mix)
It is now time to note the enormous portion of my 20s which have been spent in gay bars. I’m a self-confessed fag hag with a best friend who prefers to shimmy around with drag queens and straight bartenders who wear very small pants and subsist on protein shakes, and I can’t lie – I really don’t mind those circumstances either. Consequently, many of my nights out are a blur of gay club staples – Kylie, Madonna, Britney and Beyonce are the headliners of this show. But sometimes, the older divas come out to play, and they do it best. I have a strong memory of being in my favourite gay bar/club in Soho. It’s possibly the smallest club in the world, and there are naked Barbie dolls pinned to the ceiling. It was the dying hours of London’s Pride day in the summer of 2011. I was about to start a new job. I’d spent the day soaking up the sun and drinking, and I’d made some brilliant new friends (one of whom fell asleep in the club around the time this song played, and I will never let him forget it). And in the middle of it all, towering above Kylie, Madonna, Britney and Beyonce was this lady:
(Ike and) Tina Turner – Proud Mary
If you’re not dancing yet, I want to know why. My final track comes courtesy of dancing on a bar in Las Vegas last September. It’s okay – we were asked to. I’d heard this song before then, but several drinks in and having a ball with one of my best friends from the whole summer camp and holiday experience when we were called up and encouraged to dance along with a group of other women. And, given that my friend and I had spent the summer teaching riding, the song seemed hilariously appropriate to us:
Big & Rich – Save a horse [ride a cowboy]
I make no apology for the cheesiness you’ve been subjected to. There were a few more (highly predictable) songs which could’ve made the list (honourable mention goes to Official Tune of 2012 – Call Me Maybe, and Official Tunes of 2013 – Can’t Hold Us and Get Lucky), but I felt like these were hopefully more entertaining choices. Next time you see me shimmying on the bus or at my desk with a faraway smile on my face, you’ll know I’m in Vegas (or maybe Leeds, or Soho) having the (tequila-fuelled) time of my life.
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