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Dancing Did - And Did Those Feet

  by Geraint Jones

published: 27 / 8 / 2007

Dancing Did - And Did Those Feet
Label: Cherry Red Records
Format: CD


Welcome, augmented reissue of 80's post punk gorup the Dancing Did's only album

There was no one remotely like tThe Dancing Did then, nor has there ever been since. It’s been a very long wait for their sole LP to reappear on CD – 25 years in fact! I still have the original album, and unlike much from the period – the early 80’s, it’s had more than an occasional airing over the years. Somewhat disappointed at the time, as the album failed to live up to their much more visceral and unpredictable live performances, it’s nevertheless remained a favourite to this day. From Evesham in Worcestershire, the band formed in 1979 releasing their first single ‘The Dancing Did’ that same year. Further singles followed including ‘The Lost Platoon’, one which found them briefly at Stiff. Stylistically all over the place at times, embracing punk, post-punk, rockabilly and folk … at least, they’ve probably been more openly embraced by the Goth scene in the ensuing years than any other, which I’ve never quite understood. That said, it’s good that they’ve been remembered at all otherwise this very welcome, augmented reissue might well never have reappeared. With all the Dancing Did’s music written entirely by Martyn Dormer (guitar, synthesiser and backing vocals), while all members played their part, the other key constituent was vocalist and lyricist Tim Harrison, who spun some of the weirdest, wildest, unfathomably unique words, and equally otherworldly vocal performances both live and on record. Rhythmically captivating, his strange literate and evocative tales of dreadful goings on in the country (‘Wolves Of Worcestershire’), unfortunate events on the road (‘Squashed Things’) and corporal punishment (‘The Headmaster And The Fly’), hardly the stuff of rock ‘n’ roll cliché. And it still sounds fabulous today. Whether or not this reissue will attract any new converts who knows, but it’d be truly wonderful if enough people sat up and paid attention that Tim and cohorts even considered for a moment dusting down their horse brasses and other paraphernalia for some live dates. There’s no harm in dreaming. Augmented with sundry long-deleted single tracks, flexis and tantalisingly, five live tracks recorded in 1981, there is in fact now no reason whatsoever for failing to purchase this excellent set. With comprehensive sleeve notes featuring a full discography as well as interviews and photos, it’s hard to gripe about anything although it’s a pity the lyrics weren’t included as they were with the original LP and both ‘Lorry Pirates’ (B-side to debut single ‘The Dancing Did’) and ‘The Haunted Tea Rooms’ (the second single) are both conspicuous by their absence. Perhaps we can hope for a further outing to sweep up these omissions alongside early and latter day demos known to exist as well as additional live material. And hope against hope an outing in some form for ‘The Wounded Stag Hotel’, fondly remembered to this day from the few live shows I was lucky enough to witness, soon after relocating to London from the depths of rural mid-Wales - which probably goes some way to explaining why I continue to hold the band so dear. That and the fact they were and are genuinely peerless.

Track Listing:-
1 Wolver Of Worcestershire
2 The Rhythm Section Sticks Together
3 On The Roofs
4 Squashed Things
5 The Headmaster And The Fly
6 Ballad Of A Dying Sigh
7 Charnel Boy
8 Badger Boys
9 The Dancing Did
10 Within The Green Green Avon O

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