How to Beat the Winter Blues

Justice

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French dance duo Justice are on tour in the UK this week. We talked to Xavier de Rosnay (the one without the moustache, above) for some tips on staying cheerful in February.

Ignore faddy science
“My mum got me a lamp to beat the winter blues for Christmas four years ago. They’re meant to regulate the melatonin delivery from the brain — the thing with the blues is you don’t see enough daylight. I had to watch it for 20 minutes a day. I tried for two days but it didn’t work, and perhaps I should have given it longer. Probably, I’d look more healthy if I had. It was a thoughtful present and now it’s in a box somewhere. I hope mum’s not going to read this article.”

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Move to Australia
“The best thing to do in winter is to go away to somewhere where it’s summertime. That’s why we tour Australia in January — we try not to spend winters in Europe. I don’t want to sound like a dick: ‘Yeah, go to Australia.’ I know we’re very lucky. Recently, for the first time in several years, I spent winter in London and it really was very cold. I noticed I didn’t have any jumpers, or any cold jackets. So I went to Topman and bought three cardigans. That is a good tip.”

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Take up a manly hobby
“Since I was a kid, I’m really in love with the art of butchery. I did a course and now I practise every day, just for the love of it. I am in charge of beef at home. I am in charge of the Sunday roast, and everything else that has to do with meat. It’s a good manly skill, yes, but it’s the only one I’ve got. I’m really bad at odd jobs. But cutting sirloin I know how to do with my hands. The thing people get wrong most often is to put sauce with it. Sauce is the evil of the Millennium.”

Bring a pet into your life
“I have a dog called Chuck, a Labradoodle. For those who don’t know, that’s a Labrador crossed with a poodle, which sounds really weird. And what sounds even weirder is that the poodle is the dad. No, I don’t know how that worked — and I don’t want to. He’s a really nice and smart dog and he’s always with us when we’re rehearsing. He’s the friendliest dog ever. Really. I’m sure everybody says that about their dog. But mine is. My dog is the kindest. And my kid is the most beautiful and smart, too.”

Distract yourself with some clever pop music
“The music that cheers me up the most is not really cheerful music. Like Todd Rundgren, there’s a bit of humour in there. Also, I would say 10cc. Often songs are really misunderstood and misused. ‘Every Breath You Take’ is about stalking, yes? But people play it at weddings. I’ve never paid much attention to that song; I love The Police, but only their songs that are a bit more rough. They were really a great punk band. ‘De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da’? Yeah! This one I love!”

Or just go and watch Justice perform live
“At our UK shows, people can expect to have fun and to see something that is entertaining. Hopefully. I don’t want to say, ‘Yeah, you’re going to see us rock the house!’ or whatever. ’Cos you never know what’s going to happen until you do it. But if we don’t rock the house, you should come and ask for your money back. You should! It would be fair enough.”

Justice tour the UK, 9–13 February

Photograph by Perou