The scene is a ballroom somewhere in Belgium. Couples are dancing, in a rather formal, old-fashioned way. The record they are dancing to is a Bill Haley single called Chick Safari. But this isn't a rock'n'roll revival night, nor is it a scene from a David Lynch movie. The DJ plays Eartha Kitt, the Skatalites, something that sounds like a northern soul record at the wrong speed. The atmosphere is friendly but exclusive, and the musical mood dark and opulent. This is a Belgian Popcorn club.
Popcorn is possibly the last truly underground music scene in Europe, one that has yet to be ransacked and reduced by adverts for Orange or KFC. Its narrative was formed by Belgians in the 1970s, largely from American records made in the '50s and '60s. It took its name from a club named in honour of James Brown's 1968 hit Mother Popcorn, but it has little to do with funk.