The Danse Society – Demos Vol. 1 LP
Dark Entries digs deep into the UK Goth underground to unearth The Danse Society “Demos Vol. 1.” The band formed in Barnsley, England in 1980 from the remnants of local post-punk bands Y? and Lips-X. Between 1980 and 1982 the band released a handful of 7” and 12” EPs and the debut album “Seduction” on their own independent label, Society Records. The band also recorded several sessions for Radio 1, including a John Peel session, and topped the Independent Charts with the single “Somewhere.” Their commercial debut, “Heaven Is Waiting” was released in February 1984. They released two further singles and the album “Looking Through” before breaking up in 1986. After 24 years three original band members reunited to record the new album “Change of Skin,” released in July 2011.
1983 was The Danse Society’s year. Playing sold out tours and the success of “Seduction” won them a recording contract with Arista Records. Spending their advance on new equipment the band recorded an album’s worth of demos in one day at Greenhouse Studios, London in May 1983. The line-up for this session was Steve Rawlings (vocals), Paul Nash (guitar), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards), Tim Wright (bass) and Paul Gilmartin (drums). Doom laden guitar riffs, swirling synthesizers, crushing drums, driving and disembodied vocals, characterize the distinctive Society sound. “Demos Vol. 1” is the closest you’ll get to The Danse Society live experience. You can almost taste the dry ice, feel the power coming through the monitors, and become entranced by the strobe-induced madness this album embodies. The Danse Society operate in a raw, atmospheric realm less campy than many of their Goth Rock peers, unconcerned with pop charts or commercial appeal. These aren’t songs, they are commands.
This 11 track collection includes an early version of the single “Wake Up,” 5 demos that would make the cut for “Heaven Is Waiting,”3 songs that would later become B-sides and 2 unreleased instrumentals. All songs have been remastered from the original tapes for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA. Each LP includes a fold-out, double-sided newsprint poster with photos, lyrics and liner notes by original drummer Paul Gilmartin and music journalist Mick Mercer. 28 years later these demos capture a band at the height of their confident, powerful and haunting glory.