Heart Searching: Just blame it on the boogie: Struck by a bad case of Saturday night fever, Lyndsay Russell pulled on her cheesecloth blouse and platform shoes and tottered down to the Carwash

Let's get up and boogie,' said Suzy, tying her silk batik blouse high above her midriff. We were hanging out in London's West End, about to hit the Carwash - a 1970's theme night frequented by Soho's cognoscenti.

Dressed the part, five of us were on our way to 'where it was all at'. Only for once, we were 20 years ahead of fashion. You see, we were original Seventies chicks. Average age 30 plus VAT, we'd already seen the movie, read the book and got the tie-dye T-shirt.

Still, it was Saturday night and we all fancied a really good 'bop'. But where, amongst the clubs offering Garage-House-Garden-Rubbish, do you find such a thing?

The Carwash seemed ideal. A club where we could hear records recognisable as music, and put together outfits recognisable as trendy. 'Are you sure these gold medallions aren't too over the top?' ventured Sue, 34, looking like Engelbert Humperdink's love-child. 'They look fab,' we lied.

As a dare, each of us had trawled the depths of our wardrobes, resurfacing with items of hideous merit. The coveted title of 'Dancing Queen' went to Joanne's unbeatable effort: shiny orange stretch-pants and a pink sequinned boob-tube.

'This is what it's all about,' she sighed, adjusting her sparkly Abba-style headband to above her eyebrows for the fourth time. Instead of ravers at the Carwash, we looked like raiders from a car-boot sale.

Hoisted onto platform soles, we strutted down the street, not so much 'Staying Alive' as staying upright. Unfortunately, by the time we'd shuffled to the Carwash, our Saturday night fever was somewhat dampened by a massive queue. 'Wasn't like this in the good old days,' muttered Lauren, irritated at the doorman's discrimination against the uncool.

Secretly panicking none of us would get in, I marched up to the front of the queue and confronted the doorman: 'Now look here young man, we're original Seventies chicks and I think we deserve some VIP respect, don't you?' No. He didn't. Relegated to the back of the queue, we stood around with the rest of the peasants, where the aroma of afghan coats brought back memories of first snogs.

Hurt that our authenticity carried no weight, I grabbed the bouncer by the arm, and tried another tactic. 'My varicose veins are killing me,' I groaned. Realising that leaving us outside was more image-damaging than letting us in, the bouncer capitulated.

Although the flashing disco atmosphere was the same, the young clubbers had interpreted the Seventies look with Nineties designer flair and were extremely sophisticated. Their things matched, for a start. The only thing I'd matched was my cheesecloth shirt to my face.

Suddenly, the decade's hit record 'Le Freak' pounded out. Surfing a tidal wave of unexpected nostalgia, we raced en masse to the dance-floor, jumped onto a large go-go podium, and freaked-out Seventies style. It was brilliant fun. As we bumped and gyrated to the rhythm, admiring crowds of young men gathered at our feet. They looked entranced. We danced wilder.

And then we realised: it wasn't admiration, it was curiosity. To the pack of staring teenagers, we were les freaks. As the record changed, our image remained unimproved by the fact we were also the only clubbers doing John Travolta impersonations.

Joanne and I found ourselves partnered by a couple of Italian students. These days, no one asks you to dance. They just sidle up. 'You should hang a notice round your necks saying: 'A dance with the real McCoy - 50p',' sniggered Suzy.

Two records later, my stamina failed. Mustering what was left of my dignity, I made the excuse I was off to powder my nose. The students thought I meant drugs.

'I wouldn't like to be young these days. Look at all the posing,' said Sue. It was true. In our day, it seemed you simply got up there and danced with sheer joy. Glancing at the self-conscious youngsters around us, you could see how slick advertising had taken its toll.

They were having to grapple with new social fears such as: 'Am I swigging from the right designer beer?' and 'Does it matter I'm wearing last season's trainers?' Their faces wore an 'I'm bored, amuse me' expression, whilst fidgeting, nervous fingers betrayed the truth. What the poor things needed was a spell in Gary Glitter's gang.

My thoughts were shattered when I recognised the 18-year-old au pair of a business acquaintance. I shrunk into the corner. 'Hi, it's me, Ulla,' she said cheerfully. At the same time, the Italian students reappeared on the scene. 'How old are you and your girl friends?' asked one, brutally.

Ah, dear Ulla. Putting a friendly arm around her, I innocently answered: 'If you take our average age, it's about 27'.

Luckily, 'Boogie Nights' interrupted the conversation. 'Have you ever danced 'The Bump' little boy?' I asked, leading one of the students back up on stage. He adored the rhythmic moves. 'What a crazy dance. Your Bumps, it's - how do you say it? Sexy, no?' The child was getting a little too fresh. With one sharp, experienced hip bounce, I sent him flying through the air, and into oblivion.

Not long after, our own party started breaking up. Literally. Lauren complained of a headache: 'Do you think we could ask them to turn the music down?' Then Joanne, grooving to 'Another One Bites the Dust' chose to illustrate the lyrics to all and sundry when her back went.

Suzy, whose eyes couldn't take the smoke, wanted to go elsewhere for a nightcap of hot chocolate. Finally, Sue 'I'll go back and watch the handbags', was found slumped on a sofa, watching a video screen. Mesmerised by reruns of Starsky and Hutch, her eyes had Paul Michael Glaser-ed over. Time to go. Anyway, we didn't want to be around when the house lights came on, did we?

Worth doing again? Sorry, not unless we're members of BUPA. On the other hand, if you do see us there tonight - don't blame us - blame it on the boogie.

Carwash: Saturdays at Le Scandale, 54 Berwick Street, London W1. 10pm-3.30am, pounds 8.00. Telephone 071-355 1946.

(Photograph omitted)

Voices
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US
voicesRobert Fisk: Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
filmReview: Lucy, Luc Besson's complex thriller
Arts and Entertainment
tvExecutive says content is not 'without any purpose'
News
A cleaner prepares the red carpet for the opening night during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival May 17, 2006 in Cannes, France.
newsPowerful vacuum cleaners to be banned under EU regulations
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
sportLeague Managers' Association had described Malky Mackay texts as 'friendly banter'
News
A polar bear’s diet is rich in seal blubber and half of its own body weight is composed of fat
i100
News
peopleCareer spanned 70 years, including work with Holocaust survivors
News
people
Travel
Flocking round: Beyoncé, Madame Tussauds' latest waxwork, looking fierce in the park
travelIn a digital age when we have more access than ever to the stars, why are waxworks still pulling in crowds?
News
London is the most expensive city in Europe for cultural activities such as ballet
arts
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson has rejected criticisms of his language, according to BBC director of television Danny Cohen
tv
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Nursery Nurse

    £40 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse needed in salfordI a...

    Nursery Nurse

    £25 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery nurse needed in th...

    Supply Teaching jobs in Thetford

    £21588 - £31566 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...

    KS1 teachers needed in Peterborough

    £110 - £125 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are ur...

    Day In a Page

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

    The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
    Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

    Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

    A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
    Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

    Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

    Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
    Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

    Nick Clegg the movie

    Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
    Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

    Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

    Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

    Waxing lyrical

    Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
    Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

    Revealed (to the minute)

    The precise time when impressionism was born
    From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

    Make the most of British tomatoes

    The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
    10 best men's skincare products

    Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

    Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
    Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

    Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

    The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
    La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

    Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
    Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

    Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
    Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

    Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

    Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
    Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

    Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
    Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

    Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

    Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape