When I was 19 I spent every weekend on the motorway with my friend Charlotte behind the wheel driving us to club nights in Sheffield, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham and London. Rather than being an inconvenience, the journey was an integral part of the night: the time when we'd reminisce about the weekend before and dream up the night ahead of us. We'd be locked in to Pete Tong's radio show on Radio 1 and I'd be in charge of hitting redial on my Nokia, the two of us screeching with delight when our shout-out request was answered. On the way home, many hours later, we'd often stop at a petrol station and bump into other clubbers we'd seen earlier. Back then we'd all been fluid-limbed beings in harmony with the music and the lights; now we were just a bunch of wide-eyed kids congregating on the forecourt like it was an extension of the dancefloor. It kind of was though—the blurry glow of traffic lights in the rain (it was usually raining) held their own magic and the music still rang in our ears. All of these memories came flooding back watching this Joe Alexander-directed video to London trio Real Lies' new song "North Circular," named after a stretch of motorway that snakes round north London. They're the closest thing we've got to a modern day New Order: they mine the UK's long and rich relationship to dance music, convey a sense of belonging in being on the outside of cozy suburbia, and find beauty in the greyest paces.
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