The Danse Society
The Danse Society

FOR DECADES, TDS WAS KNOWN FOR DARK, MUSING LYRICS OF SOUL-SEARCHING, ACHING DESIRE. THE LISTENER WAS GUIDED THROUGH MAGICAL LANDSCAPES OF ECHOING MELANCHOLY BY BLEEDING KEYBOARDS, GLASS-SHARP GUITAR LICKS, AND THE HEARTBEAT OF THE DRUMS.

DESPITE THE OCCASIONALLY FUNERAL REFLECTION, THERE WAS ALSO THE RECURRENT LEAP INTO RHYTHMIC MOVEMENT THAT MADE THE 'DANSE' SO IMPORTANT. ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED 'POSITIVE PUNK' AND LATER 'DARK PUNK', THE ADJECTIVE OF 'GOTHIC' CAME MUCH LATER—AND WHILE IT NEVER QUITE FIT 100%, IT ALSO KEPT TDS IN VIEW OF THE FANS. THE NEW GOTH BANDS WOULD RERECORD THEIR SONGS, OR CITE THEM AS IMPORTANT INFLUENCES, AND BETWEEN THE FANS AND DJS, THE SONGS WERE PLAYED OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. WHEN GOTHIC COMPILATIONS CAME OF AGE, TDS WAS DE RIGUEUR ON THE SETLISTS. THE DANSE SOCIETY, DESPITE NOT TOURING FOR DECADES, HAS MAINTAINED ITS AUTHORITY AND FAME FOR ALL THESE YEARS. YOU CAN READ OUR INITIAL HISTORY HERE:

EVOLUTION

PRIOR TO 1980 PAUL HAMPSHIRE (BEE/BEE GOO) DAVE PATRICK, STEVE RAWLINGS AND PAUL GILMARTIN WERE IN A BAND CALLED Y? WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED. IT HAD MANAGEMENT AND WAS RECORDING AND PERFORMING. DAVE PATRICK LEFT AND THE REMAINING MEMBERS RENAMED AS DANSE CRAZY. LOOKING LOCALLY FOR MORE MUSICIANS TO BEEF UP THE BAND'S SOUND THEY INVITED PAUL NASH AND LYNDON SCARFE TO JOIN THEM FOLLOWED RAPIDLY BY TIM WRIGHT ON BASS. IT WAS AT THIS POINT THAT PAUL GILMARTIN REMEMBERED A NOTICE ON A DOOR AT SHEFFIELD UNIVERSITY WHERE Y? HAD PLAYED A GIG. IT READ "A MEETING OF THE DANCE SOCIETY WILL BE HELD IN ROOM 6"

AND SO DANSE SOCIETY WAS BORN.

THE FINAL LINE UP OF THE BAND AT THIS TIME WAS STEVE ON VOCALS, PAUL GILMARTIN ON DRUMS, LYNDON SCARFE ON KEYBOARDS, PAUL NASH ON GUITAR, TIM WRIGHT ON BASS GUITAR. PAUL HAMPSHIRE HAVING LEFT TO PURSUE ANOTHER MUSICAL DIRECTION AND TO ENJOY SUCCESS AROUND THE WORLD.

FIRST INCARNATION

IN 1980, THE BAND RECORDED AND RELEASED THEIR FIRST SINGLE, "CLOCK", ON THEIR OWN NEWLY FORMED RECORD LABEL "SOCIETY". THEY RELEASED THEIR DEBUT STUDIO ALBUM, SEDUCTION, IN 1982. IT REACHED NO. 3 IN THE UK INDIE CHART.

THEIR SECOND STUDIO ALBUM, HEAVEN IS WAITING, WAS RELEASED IN DECEMBER 1983 ON RECORD LABEL ARISTA. IT REACHED NO. 39 IN THE UK ALBUMS CHART. THE ALBUM CONTAINED A COVER OF THE ROLLING STONES' SONG "2000 LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME", ALSO EDITED IN 1984 AS A 12" SINGLE AND AS A LIMITED-EDITION DOUBLE SINGLE.

AT THIS POINT LYNDON SCARFE LEFT THE BAND WHICH LEFT A GAP IN THE LINE UP. PAUL GILMARTIN AGAIN CAME UP WITH SOMEONE FROM HIS DAYS IN Y? WHEN HE CONTACTED FORMER MUSIC FOR PLEASURE KEYBOARDIST DAVID WHITAKER. DAVE JOINED THE LINE UP THAT YEAR AND CONTINUED UNTIL THEY "MOTHBALLED" IN 1986.

THE BAND WAS IN TRANSITION AND THERE WAS SOME CONFUSION. STEVE LEFT FOR THE STATES AND WAS KEEN TO KEEP THE DANSE SOCIETY NAME. 1986 SAW THEM RELEASE THEIR LAST ALBUM LOOKING THROUGH AND THEY DID SO AS DANSE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL. INTERNALLY THE BAND TOOK A DECISION TO CONTINUE WITHOUT STEVE AND HE EVENTUALLY TOOK THE MONIKER OF DANSE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL WHILE THE BOYS FOUND ANOTHER VOCALIST AND PERFORMED AS JOHNNY IN THE CLOUDS.

STEVE CONTINUED AND THE FOLLOWING YEAR IN 1987 RELEASED A SINGLE ENTITLED "SATURN GIRL". AFTER THIS HE PUT ASIDE THE DANSE SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL NAME AND BEGAN TO PURSUE HIS MUSIC WITH MERIDIAN DREAM. THE DANSE SOCIETY WAS IN HIBERNATION.

REFORMATION

IN 2009 DRUMMER AND ORIGINAL MEMBER PAUL GILMARTIN CONTACTED KEYBOARD PLAYER DAVID WHITAKER WITH A VIEW TO REFORMING THE BAND AND PRODUCING NEW MATERIAL. THEY MADE APPROACHES TO STEVE RAWLINGS, STILL LIVING IN THE US AND PURSUING AMONGST OTHER THINGS, HIS MUSICAL PATH WITH MERIDIAN DREAM. WHILST WAITING FOR A RESPONSE THEY WROTE SONGS AND LYRICS AND LAID DOWN TRACKS IN WHITAKER'S STUDIO. THESE TRACKS WOULD LATER BECOME CHANGE OF SKIN AND SCAREY TALES. PARALLEL TO THIS, A CAMPAIGN TITLED THE DANSE SOCIETY REFORMATION PLOT WAS STARTED ON FACEBOOK AT THE END OF 2009 BY ALISON HOWELLS AND THIS HAD A GALVANISING EFFECT ON THE PROCESS - IT ALLOWED CONTACT AND SHOWED THE BAND IT STILL HAD SUPPORT OUT THERE. PAUL NASH WAS CONTACTED BY THE DUO AND DESPITE INITIAL RESERVATIONS WHERE SAID HE WOULD "HAVE TO THINK VERY CAREFULLY" ABOUT ANY RETURN. - HE EVENTUALLY DID AND CAME IN TO THE STUDIO TO LAY DOWN GUITAR TRACKS. STEVE RAWLINGS DELIGHTED EVERYONE BY RETURNING THE CONTACT AND AGREED TO COME OVER WITH A VIEW TO REJOINING THE LINE UP.

STEVE'S RETURN WAS SHORTLIVED AND AFTER RECORDING SOME VOCALS HE RETURNED TO THE US AND HAS NOT AS OF YET, MADE CLEAR ANY FUTURE INTENTIONS TOWARDS THE DANSE SOCIETY. VIA THE FACEBOOK PAGE, THE ITALIAN VOCALIST LOUISA PILE (AKA LOUISA ALLSOPP) WHO USES THE STAGE NAME "MAETHELYIAH" ENTERED THE SCENE. THE BAND BEGAN REHEARSING WITH HER ON VOCALS AND WHILST THIS RADICAL DEPARTURE FROM A MALE VOCALIST CAUSED MUCH CONTROVERSY AMONGST THE FAITHFUL, THE BAND PERSEVERED WITH IT. EVENTUALLY A STUDIO ALBUM TOOK SHAPE, CHANGE OF SKIN, IN JULY 2011. THIS WAS FOLLOWED IN NOVEMBER 2011 WITH THE FIRST SINGLE TO BE TAKEN FROM ANOTHER NEW ALBUM, "GOD CRY". IN APRIL 2012 THEY RELEASED THE SECOND SINGLE FROM CHANGE OF SKIN, "VATICAN", BACKED WITH A REWORKING OF THEIR CLASSIC EARLY SONG "SEDUCTION". THEIR FIRST LIVE GIG IN 25 YEARS WAS PERFORMED AT GERMANY'SWAVE-GOTIK-TREFFENFESTIVAL IN MAY 2012, FOLLOWED BY SELECTED FESTIVAL DATES AND THE ADDITION OF BASSIST MARTIN ROBERTS.

THE FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM,SCAREY TALES, WAS RELEASED IN FEBRUARY 2013.

IN 2014 PAUL GILMARTIN, MARTIN ROBERTS AND LATER DAVID WHITAKER DECIDED TO PART COMPANY WITH THE REFORMED VERSION THE DANSE SOCIETY.

REINCARNATION

WHILE PAUL NASH AND LOUISA PILE CONTINUED TO MAKE MUSIC AS THE DANSE SOCIETY, PAUL GILMARTIN ALSO BEGAN TO REBUILD HIS OWN VERSION OF THE BAND WITH A PLAN TO RE-ESTABLISH THE SOUND MORE IN KEEPING WITH THE ORIGINAL DANSE SOCIETY.

PAUL GILMARTIN RECRUITED A STRONG MALE VOCAL INITIALLY PROVIDED BY BRIAN JAY WHICH PROVED POPULAR WITH FANS OLD AND NEW AS WELL AS LIVE AUDIENCES. DAVID WHITAKER WAS INSTRUMENTAL (PUN INTENDED) IN THE BAND'S DEVELOPMENT AND DIRECTION AND PROVIDED SUPPORT IN THE STUDIO.

THE LIVE BAND ALSO BEGAN TO TAKE SHAPE WITH THE RECRUITMENT OF DARRAN GUY ON KEYBOARDS, ADE CLARKE ON BASS AND ELLIOTT WHEELER ON GUITAR.

THE DANSE SOCIETY REINCARNATED ITSELF AND INDEED - A SIXTH STUDIO ALBUM PENNED BY GILMARTIN'S SKILLED LYRICAL HAND AND SCORED BY THE BAND WAS RELEASED IN 2015.

WHILE THIS INCARNATION OF THE BAND GAINED MOMENTUM EXTENSIVELY TOURING THE UK AND EUROPE PLAYING ALONGSIDE SUCH BANDS AS BALAAM AND THE ANGEL, CHAMELEONS VOX, SPEAR OF DESTINY AND THEATRE OF HATE THINGS WERE HAPPENING IN THE BACKGROUND TO DERAIL THE PROJECT, A BITTER CUSTODY BATTLE WAS BREWING FOR THE SOLE USAGE OF THE BAND NAME, ON A TECHNICALITY PAUL GILMARTIN LOST THE RIGHT TO PERFORM AS "THE DANSE SOCIETY" THE BAND THAT HE HAD FORMED ALL THOSE YEARS NOW SEEMED TO HAVE BEEN SNATCHED FROM HIS HANDS.

IT WAS DURING 2016 THAT BRIAN JAY STEPPED ASIDE TO ALLOW A NEW FRONTMAN JONATHAN "J" CRIDFORD TO STEP INTO THE FOLD, BRINGING THE CLASSIC SOUND OF THE DANSE SOCIETY TO THE BAND, THE REINCARNATED TOUR CONTINUED BUT THE PRESSURE TO MOVE ON FROM USING THE DANSE SOCIETY NAME INTENSIFIED AND AS THE TOUR DREW TO A CLOSE THE DECISION WAS MADE TO CHANGE THE BAND NAME.

THE FUTURE

AT THE START OF 2017 "THE SOCIETY" WAS BORN, SAME PASSION, SAME DESIRE TO DELIVER PAUL GILMARTIN'S LEGACY OF THE DANSE SOCIETY'S BACK CATALOGUE OF SONGS AS WELL AS RECORDING AND PERFORMING NEW MATERIAL.

LONG LIVE "THE SOCIETY"