Victoria by The Dance Exponents

They’re barely known outside New Zealand, but The Dance Exponents were reliable hitmakers in the 1980s. They kept enjoying success through the 1990s after they shortened their name to The Exponents. They weren’t edgy or pretentious, a pop/rock guitar band with a gifted songwriter in Jordan Luck.

Their songs are regular fare on NZ radio, but my favourite is their first single – 1982’s ‘Victoria’. It was written about Jordan Luck’s landlady, a 23-year-old who also ran an escort service. Luck used to answer phones for her and help her with the laundry, and noticed that her boyfriend was beating her. Luck felt that he didn’t emphasize the domestic violence message enough- he’s been asked to play the song at a wedding. It did, however, have its desired effect on his landlady.

“We had a cup of tea,” he says. “She had a huge promotional boarded poster on her wall.  She thanked me for the song.  I recall her turning with the kettle from the kitchen bench exclaiming: ‘I got rid of the bastard!’…  One of my proudest moments in music.”

‘Victoria’ is well arranged – the drums don’t kick in properly until halfway through the song, giving the song tension. The odd way that Luck pronounces the title – Victohhhwia” – is a key part of the song’s charm. The record has a timeless sound that doesn’t scream 1982.



  1. I like this Graham…it is a cool pop/rock song. I’ll have to check more of them out. You are right…it’s not flashing 80s all over it which is a great thing. I like the delay on the drums coming in.

  2. He said Alvin Toffler in the song. That was the guy who wrote those books about Future Shock and everything. haha. The guitar thing in the first half is really pretty. It sounds really nice. I’m not too crazy about his stage act though. Too rockstarry. But this was 1982 and he was kind of New Wavy too.

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