Saturday, October 30, 2010

Beast - Love in a Dying World 7”, (Amdusias, 1983)

The year is 1980 and guitarist Bryan Gregory has abruptly left The Cramps, reportedly absconding with not only his girlfriend Andrella but also with most of The Cramps’ stage equipment. It seems a strange move, as journo James Marshall would observe at the time;

It’s hard to imagine The Cramps without Bryan, but it’s harder to imagine Bryan without The Cramps. Where does a human reject from a Vault of Horror comic go? The mind boggles.” (Johnston, The Wild Wild World of The Cramps - Omnibus Press, 1990)

In retrospect, one may be forgiven for wishing that perhaps the mind could have boggled a little harder because the answer to this imponderable riddle would turn out to be the dire entity known as Beast. Author Ian Johnston in his above mentioned biography would describe Beast as “a universally reviled rock band” and Mick Mercer was similarly scathing with “Some dodgy old American band who liked to look swish…the live experience dulled all present.” (Gothic Rock, Pegasus Publishing, 1991).

But never fear! Being the brave and intrepid musical explorers that we are, far be it from us to be deterred by the errant mumblings of those who have gone before! Not when we can experience the true wonder and delight of Beast for ourselves! Onward!

Love in a Dying World was Beast’s second single following the Possessed 7” (Amdusias, 1982). Straight away, the astute observer is immediately struck by the band’s classily subtle logo apparently composed from two parts willies and one part dookie. Clearly, we are in for quite a treat here, and the single does not disappoint so long as one was not anticipating that anything good could possibly emerge from this.

Musically speaking, the Love in a Dying World single is very much a case of Goth-By-Numbers. Goth as a genre of course is no stranger to clones, but it is rare that it has been done before with so little of interest to recommend it. I suppose one could always argue that the inclusion of a saxophone does add something unusual, so it’s simply too bad that I don’t happen to like saxophone. Nevertheless, the single does manage to distinguish itself in spectacular fashion in letting Andrella’s vocals shine out in their astonishingly stellar level of mediocrity.

But you don’t need to believe me and indeed, why should I have to suffer alone? It would be quite simply inexcusable of me to deprive you gentle reader, of experiencing the full horror for yourself:

On the whole, it’s probably better to consider Beast as something for the die-hard Cramps collectors, while the rest of us concede that Beast were, shall one politely say, more than a little pedestrian. They went on to record New Moone both as a 12" and a 7” on I.D. Records in 1983. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this was in fact any kind of improvement:

The band, sans Gregory, would later relocate to England before reincarnating as The Veil, a band Mick Mercer is even more disparaging of, and after the experience of Beast, I’m not so sure I’m brave enough to examine at all.

Track Listing:
  1. Love in a Dying World
  2. Floating / Dead

Line Up: Andrella Canne (vocals), Bryan Gregory (guitars), other members unknown, but to extrapolate from The Veil’s line up James Christ (bass) & Marcus De Mowbray (drums) would seem likely culprits.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Juju (Polydor, 1981)

As bands being covered on this blog go, they don’t come much bigger than Siouxsie and the Banshees, all the more impressive for a girl who started out life as a hanger-on with the Sex Pistols, and part of a social clique that would become known through the writings of journalist Caroline Coon as “The Bromley Contingent” and which also included a very young Mr Billy Idol who would go on to form Generation X.

The full history of The Banshees is far too well documented to be worth repeating here. Suffice to say that The Banshees started out as a punk band performing a virtually impromptu gig at the 100 Club in 1976, moved swiftly into post-punk and later into a style of their own right that would last until their dissolution after The Rapture (Polydor, 1995). Somewhere in the early period however, the band would become terribly influential to the nascent Goth scene, not least due to Siouxie’s make up and hair, but also their sound which would go on to lend so much to the bands that would follow in their shadow.

Juju stands out from the rest of The Banshees’ catalog however, in that rather than being content with merely influencing the new crop of post-punk gothicness, they actually decided to jump briefly on the merry-go-round for a quick ride themselves. Freed of the raw fire of earlier numbers like “Love in a Void”, Juju presented the listener with something much more sinister and bleak. Of course everyone is familiar with the singles “Spellbound” and “Arabian Knights”, but is really on other tracks like “Halloween”, “Night Shift”, “Head Cut” and “Voodoo Dolly” that the dark brilliance of Juju really shines through. “Halloween” is especially interesting, not least for how closely the guitars would resemble those used by Christian Death on Only Theatre of Pain (Frontier Records, 1982) around the same time, but also for its lyrics:

 “A sweet reminder,
In the ice blue nursery
Of a childish murder,
Of  hidden luster…
…I wander through your sadness,
 gazing at you with scorpion eyes

Head Cut” makes for similarly fascinating listening with instrumentation eerily predictive of the sound bands like the brilliant X-Mal Deutschland would emulate in the not too distant future.

Good heavens - could that really be Mrs Smith's little boy Robert on
 guitar in this one? Why yes, I do believe it could.

The Banshees appear to have been a little ambivalent where their lasting legacy was concerned, on one hand proud of their degree of influence, while at the same time perhaps less than fond of their strange offspring. Liner notes on Mick Mercer’s compilation Gothic Rock (Jungle Records, 1992) quoting Banshee’s manager Tim Collins make for an enlightening read:

 Many thanks for your wonderful offer to be included in a cavalcade of goth-geek. I’m frankly amazed that some of the bands you’ve listed have actually agreed, however, I can understand why others have. I’m afraid we will have to decline this wonderful opportunity on the grounds of Mick’s comment that Siouxsie and the Banshees weren’t part of the Goth movement. We’ll just have to hope that our exclusion from this project won’t reflect too badly on us.

Track listing:
1. Spellbound
2. Into the Light
3. Arabian Knights
4. Halloween
5. Monitor
6. Nightshift
7. Sin in My Heart
8. Head Cut
9. Voodoo Dolly

Line Up: Siouxsie Sioux (vocals, guitar), Steve Severin (bass), Budgie (drums, percussion), John McGeoch (guitar)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ausgang – The Teachings of Web 12” EP (Criminal Damage Records, 1984)

Yesss….Strong with The Birthday Party this one is - hmmmmmmmm.

Needless to say, Ausgang were one of a number of first generation Goth bands to be heavily influenced by the early doings of Nick Cave and his cohorts.

Beginning life in an earlier incarnation as Kabuki they released a solitary 7” “I am a Horse” / “My Hair” (Kabaret Noir, 1982) before deciding a name change was in order and that Ausgang seemed an appealing alternative.

As vocalist Max put it:
In '82 we ditched the art, the backing vocals, the synth and the drummer (but got a new one, Ian) and got back to basics, ie, a post-punk, pre-goth, Stooges/Birthday Party-like nightmare which fused drugs, sex, motorcycles and twisted rock'n'roll in equal measures. It was only after we made this move that we realised there were other outfits operating in a similar vein - Sex Gang Children, Alien Sex Fiend, Skeletal Family, Gene Loves Jezebel, Specimen, etc. We were not alone. And what with live shows that teetered on violence and madness, a porn-infested fanzine and a dedicated, rabid following, who could ignore our dark potential?

The Teachings of Web was the band’s first EP (or could it be a 12”? The difference often seems a little arbitrary) came dangerously equipped with oddly disturbing cover art that somehow managed to combine surrealism and arachnophobia with sex and shotguns.

 Although The Birthday Party’s influence here is obvious, most clearly on “Vice-Like Grip”, a song whose bass line bears more than a passing nod to TBP songs like “King Ink”, the band was clearly more than a mere carbon-copy, being less chaotic and murky, and rather more, well…sexy and fun – in so far as “fun” can be used in this sense, but then what’s not to like about a bunch of skinny Goth boys who liked to cavort around stage sans shirts?  It’s probably easier to just look for yourself:

1982 was a busy year for Ausgang, also kicking out the “Head On” 12” and the “Solid Glass Spine” 7” (all on Criminal Damage) before a full length album (Manipulate, Fourth Dimension Records, 1986) finally materialized.

Two smaller releases would follow before they would change their name to Ausgang Au Go-Go, in an apparent attempt to shed the “gothic” tag they had acquired. This strategy somehow didn’t seem to work and Ausgang Au Go-Go dissolved after one EP Los Descamisados (Shakedown Records, 1987). A large, but incomplete collection ranging from the Kabuki period right up to Ausgang Au Go-Go would eventually appear as the excellent “Last Exit…The Best of Ausgang” (Anagram, 2001).

Ausgang reformed in 2003 and played a number of gigs in Europe and the States. A new album, albeit mostly of rerecorded old material, Licked (Shakedown, 2005) also appeared however, not being available on either iTunes or and with the shop on the band’s official site currently down, locating a copy could prove quite a challenge. You may have to hunt ya down (see what I did there?) one of those naughty bit torrent thingies.

Ausgang circa 2006. One can only speculate as to whether 
"My Hair" remains on the playlist.

That infallible font of wisdom that is Wikipedia reckons they’re still going, but I can’t personally locate any evidence to suggest they’ve been active since 2007. I stand to be corrected.

 Track Listing:
1. Weight
2. The Lady is For Burning
3. Vice-Like Grip
4. County Hunters (You Just Can’t Count on Us)

Last Exit...The Best of Ausgang (Anagram, 2001) also includes: I am a Horse, My Hair, Strip Me Down, Sink Into You, Lick, Hunt Ya Down, She Lacks Discipline, (You've Got the) Hots for Christ, Here it Comes, Fat Vigilante, Head On!, Pumping Heart, 4 Tin Doors, That Heat, Let Me Say (Then Have it Your Own Way), Crawling the Walls, King Hell, Turn-On Tonic.

Line Up: Max (vocals), Cub (bass & vocals), Matthew (guitar, piano, clarinet), Ibo (drums & percussion).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Children’s Hour – Flesh 12” (Flying Nun Records, 1983)

Thanks to my good friend (and occasionally steadying rudder) Lightning Baltimore for showing this to me. You’ll find a link to his excellent and eclectic blog Lightning Jukebox in my bloglist below.

Considering that the prime exposure to New Zealand throughout my life has been Murray Ball’s cartoon strip “Footrot Flats” it’s probably unsurprising that the idea of New Zealand Goths conjures up visions of kids attaching buckles and spikes to their gum boots. In the case of Children’s Hour, the fact that they would later appear on a N.Z. compilation entitled Outnumbered By Sheep (Flying Nun Records, 1986), does nothing to dispel the image.

Luckily for the listener (and come to think of it, the band), Children’s Hour’s debut 12” Flesh sounds considerably less…err…rustic and indeed exciting if at times outright menacing. Nods to Joy Division and the Birthday Party are obvious here, and is that a spot of early Cure influence I detect here and there on guitars and vocals? Wouldn’t surprise me to discover the band might have a fair bit of Killing Joke stashed away in their record collections either. Happily, the band were successful in combining this plethora of styles in a manner that render them as a distinctive entity in themselves rather than merely vapid clones.

Slaughter House

Caroline's Dream

I Know Where She Lies

Frontman Chris Matthews has some intriguing recollections of the song “Looking For The Sun” that make it a genuine pity author John Birmingham didn’t have the opportunity to interview him as source material for “He Died With a Falafel in his Hand” – sounds like Children’s Hour would have fitted in perfectly:

(It’s) “Mostly about a big, run-down, 12-bedroomed, 3 storey victorian villa in Grafton, Auckland, that was a veritable den of iniquity - there was a brothel next door - where Johnny, Grant, Bevan and lots of other people lived for a time: I  remember one young guy fresh up from Gore who'd just moved in, but within 2 days of being there he decided to sample the datura that grew in abundance in the garden and then spent the entire night running around the house from floor to floor like a rabid jack-in-the-box while the rest of us were involved in an all-night drinking session downstairs. He popped back up at about 7.00 a.m., raving about how his father had just turned up at the front door with no arms or legs, and then vanished into the semi-darkness again and when I went upstairs looking for this drug-addled flatmate a short time later I was just in time to find him on the phone to his place of work telling them that he couldn't come in that day because of his hallucinatory limbless dad (he moved back to Gore the next day but was spotted some months later at the only gig we ever played in that N.Z.. home of country and western music, on the looney tour that we did with The Chills, The Stones and The Expendables, early in 1984). That sort of shit happened there all the time; it was that sort of house. There's also some stuff in this song about me spending the night in hospital after overdosing on anti-psychotic medication I stole from my grandmother. Good times... good times...”

The Ya Ya Ya 7” (Flying Nun Records, 1984) followed the next year, the A-Side of which “Stuck Pig” would cause the band some perhaps understandable grief from what otherwise might have become female fans for the line “If she’s young enough to bleed then the pig will feed”. A serious strategic miscalculation by any measure.

By 1986 the band would mutate into the rather less confrontational, less Goth and more radio-friendly Headless Chickens who would go on to have several reasonably big hits in both Australia and New Zealand in an apparent attempt to prove me wrong that the genre “commercial alternative” constitutes a total oxymoron.

A brief reformation and a series of live shows took place in 2005, resulting in the live CD Looking for the Sun (Failsafe, 2005) which incorporates all their recorded material and a number of other tracks. It's still available at the link below.
Sit back and enjoy.

Track Listing
1. Caroline’s Dream
2. Go Show
3. I Know Where She Lies
4. Slaughter House
5. Looking For the Sun

Line Up: Chris Matthews (vocals, guitar), Johnny Pierce (bass), Grant Fell (guitar), Bevan Sweeny (drums).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Positive Punk -The South of Watford Documentary (ITV, 1983)

When I started this blog I always considered it as much a labour of love or a museum exhibition as a research project. In that sense, it seems relevant to look at this attempt at a documentary, although I’m very unclear it adds anything of actual worth, its real value being as an artifact of a bygone era rather than anything genuinely informative.

Music journalist Mick Mercer first bought it to my attention in mentioning its existence in The Gothic Rock Black Book (Omnibus Press, 1988) and indeed deriding it as "a truly desperate effort". Although Mick (who is a very nice guy and without whose ramblings this blog would be impossible) writes much that I disagree with, in this case it’s difficult to dispute his conclusions.

The doco is hosted by Michael Moorcock , a fantasy author I have utmost respect for, but whose musical ventures I more usually associate with Hawkwind or Blue Oyster Cult so what he has to do with Goth I can't begin to imagine. The lengthy footage surrounding The Sex Pistols and early Siouxsie, while interesting seems like filler of questionable relevance to the idea being put forward that punk was in a process of revival.

I suggest you watch it for yourself. I doubt you will learn much, but you will get to watch some very cool footage of Blood and Roses & Brigandage.

Part 1 of 3

Part 2 of 3

Part 3 of 3

Mike Moorcock makes some interesting if brief retrospective comments on his website concerning both the documentry and the nature of subcultures.

"I did a documentary (rather messed up by the production company) about punk revival in, as I recall, 1982, in which I interviewed Siouxsie and Glen Matlock, amongst others. I saw the punk movement being very similar in its dandyism, resistance to fashion and so on to the best of what I'd been involved in since the early 60s, with different haircuts. Just as we were misrepresented in the media, so was punk…..Movements like the first 'alternate society' of the 60s onward were fired by genuine anger at injustice and inequality. You can't revive those movements or reproduce them, but you can come up with your own version. Dandyism seems to go with it -- that is a willingness to resist current fashion and display that resistance in the way you dress. Once the style has become a fashion, however, it's no longer functioning as it did."

"It was a one-off for me and I didn't want to do another because of the amount of editorial interference. Forgetting I was miked (a la G Brown) I was asked by Souixsie what the producer/director etc. were like and I said 'the usual wankers etc.'. There were some funny moments, most of which I can't really repeat here but had to do with sulphate. I did my best to concentrate on the women in punk and wanted Gay Advert on the show. It was good to connect with Glenn Matlock again. I'm pretty sure there's a full-length tape or CD of the show. I might have one. Not one of the most successful progs I've been involved in. Somehow I let myself say lines like 'Sweaty old punk is back'. I did get some insights into why punk was so popular with certain people from the conventional world."

Friday, October 8, 2010

March Violets – Religious as Hell 7” (Merciful Release, 1982)

Along with The Sisters of Mercy and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, The March Violets were yet another outfit from the hub of the Gothic universe that was Leeds in the early 80s.

Shamelessly nicked from

Religious as Hell was their first single, issued through The Sisters’ own label Merciful Release with the two bands often sharing gigs before The March Violets would join the line (and it’s a very long line) of people in the UK Goth scene to have a falling out with Mr Andrew Eldritch esq. Whatever the source of the dispute, it can’t have been comfortable with March Violets’ front man Simon Detroit sharing digs with The Sisters’ bass player Craig Adams at the time.

Religious as Hell” is a very catchy number in itself, although the band would go on to record far stronger songs on their own label. Most notable of these were Walk Into The Sun (Rebirth Records, 1984) and their signature song Snake Dance (Rebirth Records, 1983).

The remainder of the 7” is also remarkable in its own way. B-side “Children on Stun”  being sufficiently iconic as to lend it’s name to a 2nd wave Goth band many years later, and “Fodder” grooving along with a compelling bass line not that far removed from The Cure numbers like “Primary”.

The final track “Bon Bon Babies” is a little mystifying. Depending on the listeners’ perspective, this is either hilarious or one of the most irritating songs in the entire Gothic cannon. I note that one commentator has rather unkindly compared it to “the Chipmunks on amphetamines”. The lyric sheet accompanying the Botanic Verses compilation (Jungle Records, 1993) is no help either, simply advising the listener to figure it out for themselves. Either way, the song serves as a welcome pointer that unlike many of their contemporaries with more pretentious aspirations to art-rock  that The March Violets possessed a strong sense of humour about themselves that always made listening to them a real breath of fresh air in an often uptight and self-conscious scene.

After the high points of “Snakedance”  and "Walk into the Sun", they went into something of a decline, first with Rosie leaving, apparently disturbed about the band’s increasingly commercial direction. Then Simon Detroit was forced out to make way for new vocalist Cleo. Simon ran off to Grebo unit Batfish Boys and the band managed to get themselves onto the soundtrack of 80’s teen-flick “Some Kind of Wonderful” before completely disintergrating.

All their early singles were initially compiled on Natural History (Vinyl Rebirth Records, 1984) and most of their entire back catalogue would eventually emerge on CD in the form of the excellent The Botanic Verses (Jungle Records, 1993).

The good news is that they’re back, releasing an EP of new material (Trinity, self released, 2007). An excellent recent interview in two parts can be found here:

Their fan club The Radiant Lodge has recently been showering me with messages to the effect that they are having their first gig in London in 20 years this November. I’m on the wrong side of the planet Goddamnit – you people are cruel, cruel. I hate you.

Track Listing:
1. Religious as Hell
2. Fodder
3. Children on Stun
4. Bon Bon Babies

The Botanic Verses compilation also includes Snake Dance (Extended), Walk Into the Sun, Slow Drip Lizard, Lights Go Out, Essence, Crow Baby, 1 2 I Love You, Grooving in Green, It's Hot, Long Pig, Steam, Radiant Boys, Crow Bait and Snake Dance.

Line Up: Simon “Detroit” Denbigh (vocals), Rosie Garland (vocals), Tom Ashton (guitar), Lawrence Elliot (bass), Dr Rhythem (drums).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

K.U.K.L. – The Eye (Crass Records, 1984)

It seems inconceivable that this little Icelandic number has been almost completely lost to obscurity, not least because it’s quite brilliant in its own right, but also because its primary vocalist was a young lady named Björk Guðmundsdóttir who years later would of course go on to become one of the most famous artists in alternative music.

Kukl” is Icelandic for “sorcery” or “witchcraft” and as albums go, this is certainly left-of-field, but if not “Goth”, then it’s very difficult to imagine what else one might classify this disconcerting and often nightmarish excursion as. Lyrics from the first track “Assassin” do give us some clues that we may be on the right track here however;

“I'm dead.
on the floor.
I'm dead.
I'm dead.
I'm dead.
I'm dead.
I'm dead.
I'm dead.
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!I'm dead, until I stand up.
I'm standing up.
And bring this to an end.”

The Siouxsie and the Banshees influence (or perhaps X-Mal Deutschland by extension) seems the most obvious here, but is beefed up by something much more noisy and percussive (I notice some previous commentators have suggested Einsturzende Neubauten as an influence, although I’m not personally convinced that is where the answer lies). The album’s strangeness comes from both the unusual additional instrumentation including flute, strings and bells, but primarily from Björk’s vocals which are often reminiscent of Nina Hagen in frequently crossing-over into bizarre and tortured screaming chaos.

For sheer lack of mainstream accessibility, K.U.K.L. might well have remained unheard of outside of Iceland, but the band were fortunate to strike up a friendship with English punk/post-punk bands Flux of Pink Indians and Crass, ultimately appearing on Crass’ own record label. A second album Holidays in Europe (The Naughty Naught) followed (Crass Records, 1986) which is certainly something I’ll be aiming to pick up if the strength of The Eye is anything to go by.

After this, Björk and Sigtryggur Baldursson went off to form The Sugarcubes, and writing alternative music history in the process.

Outside of Björk’s hardcore fans, K.U.K.L. may have been largely forgotten, but it is highly recommended.

Track Listing
1. Assassin
2. Anna
3. Open the Window and Let the Spirit Fly Free
4. Moonbath
5. Dismembered
6. Seagull
7. The Spire
8. Handa Tjolla

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fur Bible – Plunder the Tombs 7”/12” (New Rose Records, 1985)

It seems only fair to cover Fur Bible here if for no other reason than that it is from their song “Plunder the Tombs” that this blog takes its name.

Formed by Kid “Congo” Powers and Patricia Morrison on leaving The Gun Club and relocating to London, Fur Bible was a short-lived affair producing only a single and a 12” both sharing the same title. Considering the relative obscurity of the release, I was expecting something which would be only of interest to collectors, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of this, in itself partially a testament to the abilities of producer Clint Ruin (aka: Jim Foetus, aka: Jim Thirwell). A thundering little piece of gothic psychobilly, fans of The Cramps will find much to like here – you just need to imagine your favourite band after they’ve taken just a smidge too much Xanax.

Plunder the Tombs 12"

Fur Bible supported Siouxie and the Banshees across the UK on the Cities in Dust Tour, before it all came to an end. Kid “Congo” Powers was seduced into joining first The Cramps and then Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, while Patricia ended up joining some obscure gothic non-entities called The Sisters of Mercy or some such crap and then in playing bass for some other band no-one had ever heard of called The Damned.

Needless to say, both of Fur Bible’s releases are long since out of print and locating a copy online was quite a saga in itself. Gold was finally struck at Ripped in Glasgow’s very interesting and musically diverse blog, a link to which can be found below. You can also hear "Plunder the Tombs" & "Headbolt" on their Myspace site which you'll also find below. Sadly, this is the only video I can find this time round.

Track Listing 7”
1. Plunder The Tombs
2. Fumble Fist

Track Listing 12”
1. Plunder The Tombs
2. Headbolt
3. Fumble Fist

Line Up:
Kid "Congo" Powers (vocals, guitar), Patricia Morrison  (bass), Murray Mitchell (guitar), Desperate(drums)

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Danse Society – Seduction EP (Society Records, 1982)

Ahhh, The Danse Society – at the time perceived as the most accessible of the new post-punk breed, so much was made of them, and disappointingly, so little of this expectation was realised.

Having released “Clock” and “There is no Shame In Death” and other lesser singles, the band led with the six track Seduction EP as their first “big” release. Opening with “Godsend”, a track that vocally was not a million miles away from Joy Division ala “Atrocity Exhibition”, the EP moves through the exciting and vital “My Heart” and “Danse / Move” (the obvious single), before concluding with the (almost) instrumental “In Heaven (Everything is Fine)”. A primarily keyboard driven band, it is at times easy to slip into speculating that this could well be how Alien Sex Fiend could have sounded had they ever possessed the desire for commercial potential. Meanwhile, vocalist Steve Rawlings didn’t so much sing as powerfully proclaim while the bass behind him weaved rich textures as the drums tapped an urgent morse.

Shortly after this, the band would be snapped up by Arista and release the much better known but much safer album Heaven is Waiting (Arista, 1986). Great things should have come, but sadly failed to arrive with both the label, public and the band apparently losing interest and impetus.

The Heaven is Waiting LP

Keyboardist Lyndon Scarfe’s liner notes included in Seduction: The Society Collection (Anagram/Cherry Red, 2001) make for interesting reading in viewing the band in retrospect:

“I think it’s important to place what we were doing in context…Politically, it was an anxious period – a time when Reagan, Thatcher, Brezhnev & Deng Xiaoping were pushing us to the brink. At home Thatcher was dismantling industry & preparing her troops to destroy the unions. In addition there were (officially) 3 million unemployed, hunger strikes in Belfast, the Doomsday Clock was at 4 minutes to midnight and TV transmissions were shut down every night at a similar time. If pop music is a product of its environment then it’s important to take these things into account.”

Track Listing:
1. Godsend
2. My Heart
3. Falling Apart
4. Danse/Move
5. Ambition
6. In Heaven (Everything is Fine)

Seduction has a very strange and contorted history of being re-released. Its first resurrection was as The Danse Society LP (Society Records, 1984) which also included “We’re So Happy”, “Belief”, “Woman’s Own”, “There is No Shame in Death” and had “Danse  / Move”, “Ambition”, “Somewhere” and “Hide” included as a bonus 12”. Oddly enough, it bore the catalogue number of SOC 1 despite being released two years after the Seduction EP which was numbered SOC 882.
To further add to the confusion, an earlier compilation of singles and twelve inches exists, also called The Danse Society (Sonet, Intercord Tontrager GmbH, 1983) which includes some tracks found on the SOC1  compilation, others which are not, and nothing whatsoever from The Seduction EP.
As if this wasn’t enough, the whole shebang was then released on CD as Seduction: The Society Collection (Anagram/Cherry Red, 2001), to some extent combining both of the earlier Danse Society compilations in also including “Clock”, “Continent”, and the B-side of There is no Shame In Death “These Frayed Edges”, but inexplicably leaving out both the second B-Side “Dolphins” and “There is No Shame In Death” itself. Just for good measure, it also has the tracks from the Seduction EP in a different order. Incidentally, The Danse Society did indeed have a song called “The Seduction” which in a final touch of the bizarre does not appear on either of the albums of that name.

Confused? I’m not surprised. I’ll have you completely befuddled by the time I’m done.

Line Up: Steve Rawlings (vocals), Paul Nash (guitar), Tim Wright (bass), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards), Paul Gilmartin (drums).