Something Else

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The Independent Culture
On a cold and drizzly Saturday night, a queue of flared jeans, flowered unisex shirts, thigh boots and mini skirts waits to get in to Car Wash in Soho, one of London's best Seventies nightclubs. Inside, the mirrored bar satisifes the needs of the overflow from the dance floor. The crowd - who range in age from under-20s to over-30s, come to chat, drink and listen to the music of 20 years ago: The Jackson 5, Sister Sledge, Rose Royce (whose hit gave Car Wash its name) and the Village People's wonderful 'YMCA'.

But why has such music, derided throughout the Eighties, returned with such vibrant energy? Pure nostalgia has doubtless played a large part with the over-30s. For the younger age group, a perceived lack of creativity in today's mainstream music seems to have resulted in a swing towards rediscovery.

The results have spread beyond music. Last year saw the introduction of revamped versions of Seventies gear. Flares were back and it was now acceptable for the owners of wide-lapelled suede jackets to parade the streets again without self-consciousness. Thigh boots have been selling like reheated cakes in Britain's high streets, and absurd sideburns are suddenly sexy.

So what does the future hold? It began as escapism for 30-somethings who remember the Seventies as fun, but has been remodelled by a younger generation into a genuinely new phenomenon. Dr Deckster, the DJ at Car Wash, calls it Nineties disco. 'It's going to be the music of the next youth generation,' he says.

'Carwash' is at Le Scandale, London W1 (071-355 1946), 10pm-3.30am Sats, pounds 8

(Photograph omitted)