For some reason or other, we didn’t arrive at Fifi’s party last night until almost midnight. By that time, the place was in full swing. The music was loud, and people were dancing, especially when someone eventually managed to work out how the sound system worked. People my age should leave that sort of thing to the younger generation, because they know which buttons to press and can also see the buttons without changing spectacles, which can make quite a difference.
I felt rather spare, completely sober, walking into a room full of people who had been drinking all evening. My carryout was four cans of Polish lager. No-one else will be drinking Polish lager, so you’re not going to lose your stash.
Lindsey can work a room full of people when sober, but I can’t, so I didn’t really talk to anyone until the third can. This gave me a little time to watch a wild, wild woman dancing with great gusto. She had a mass of long frizzy hair, and even managed to do the splits, which took everyone by surprise. I know someone who’s party trick is to stand on his head in the middle of the dance floor, but seeing someone jump in the the air and then do the splits beats that. The fourth time she attempted the manoeuvre, something ‘gave’, and she went and sat down with a look of considerable pain on her face.
I had a very informative discussion about Ska music with three people who all seemed to be experts on the subject. I learnt about its origins in the West Indies and its fusion of calypso and jazz, which returning immigrants brought back from Harlem, and its eventual evolution into 2 Tone. The off-duty taxi driver seemed particularly knowledgeable on the subject, and in return I told him what the word ‘dichotomy’ meant, though he’d had too much beer to be able to spell it.
I was surprised that, even though he was a taxi driver and knew about music, he’d not heard about the Black Cab Sessions, of which this is one of the best examples.