The Danse Society – Pax Records – 1981

There Is No Shame In Death

Dolphins / These Frayed Edges

Excellent debut 12″ record by Danse Society, recorded in 1980 and released on Pax Records in 1981.

Nice and gloomy, the A side clocks in at over 12 minutes playing time. A seriously epic dark dirge. The B side, also recorded during the same sessions in Manchester are slightly more upbeat, but not much!

Text below from

The forerunners of The Danse Society can be found in 1979 when Steve Rawlings (voice), Paul Gilmartin (drums), Paul Hampshire (known as Bee) (keyboards), Dave Patrick (lead guitar) and Bubble (bass) formed a band simply called Y? which had the track ‘End Of Act One’ included in the compilation LP ‘Bouquet Of Steel’ released in early 1980. By 1979 Lyndon Scarfe and Paul Nash had a band called Lips-X, the mutual ideas with the people of Y? lead to the joining of both bands by June 1979 to form the real forerunner of The Danse Society, a band called Danse Crazy. This band played at the Futurama Two Festival (popular name for “The World’s Second Science Fiction Music Festival”) held at Queen’s Hall, Leeds in September 1979. Other groups playing at that festival were: Joy Division, Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio, OMD, Public Image Limited, Soft Cell among others. The complete festival was filmed by the BBC and in November 1981 was aired. Danse Crazy were shown playing ‘Sink’, although they were listed as The Danse Society.

A few days before they played at Futurama, the band was in studio and recorded two tracks ‘There Is No Shame In Death’ and ‘Dolphins’, shelving them for a future release.

The nucleus of Danse Society was formed in January 1981 when Bee left Danse Crazy. Bee was later involved in other bands such as Panache, Getting The Fear and Into A Circle. Patrick also left. The four remaining members went on with the band but by March 1981 they changed the name to The Danse Society. The first line-up were Steve Rawlings (voice), Paul Nash (guitar), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards), Tim Wright (bass) and Paul Gilmartin (drums).

In September 1980 they recorded their first 12″; it was called ‘There Is No Shame In Death’ although it was shelved, releasing ‘Clock’ instead, on their new own label SOCIETY RECORDS.

You can read on Paul Nash´s own words how the first record was released:

“Clock / Continent was originally released as a one off 7″ single with a pressing of just 1000 financed by the band. We each of us put in about £200 to paid for the recording, pressing etc. and I designed the sleeve which was a wrap around white card with lyrics printed by my girlfriend liz at the local college ( she later became my wife! ).This was then inserted into specially made plastic bags and had an interesting clock logo for the label of the 7”. The single was subsequently re-released, with a different sleeve and label and I believe the original is still hard to come by. It was never released as a 12″, although we did used to play longer versions of it live”.

With a contract with PAX RECORDS ‘There is No Shame In Death’ finally saw the light and the first 7″ record (‘Clock’) was re-released in March 1981. Soon after, and prior to breaking the contract with PAX RECORDS later on in 1981, the band released a 12″ ‘Womans Own’ , which contains four songs recorded originally as John Peel sessions, and a 7″ ‘We’re So Happy / Woman’s Own’ , edited both by PAX and SOCIETY RECORDS.

By that time they were respected by public and musical press mainly due to their great live shows. Their tunes, with Steve’s typical distance voice and painful atmospheres, excited a public who found them far more accessible than other gothic bands. Their popularity quickly grew up as their shows improved. One of the reasons of their quick success was the opening of several shows for major goth bands of the day, like UK Decay, Killing Joke or Theatre of Hate.

Their musical career reached mature in 1982, when a six-track album ‘Seduction’ was released by SOCIETY RECORDS. This record contained only six songs but with the initial copies it was given a free bonus 12″ with two remixes of a popular songs by the band: ‘Danse / Move’.

A rare tape of that musical moment was edited semi-officially by the fan club. You can read Paul Nash´s comment on that:

“As far as live stuff goes there was only one official / unofficial live tape – released entirely through the fan club, of a gig at The Hague in Holland containing mainly the seduction album stuff. Again not many copies were done so it’s pretty rare”

The success of this work was big enough to make the band a point of interest for some major labels. Soon after releasing their last independent single, the glorious ‘Somewhere / Hide’ (December 1982), the band signed to ARISTA in January 1983.

A compilation of all their first singles was also released with the homonymous title ‘The Danse Society’. It was edited in two different versions during 1983, one in Canada with a free bonus 12″ and a simple edition in France.

The first singles with the new major label didn’t deceive, they were even better than the past material. ‘Wake Up’ released in June 1983, and mainly the great ‘Heaven Is Waiting’ brought them to the top of their popularity.

Their new major album appeared in December 1983. The record was called ‘Heaven Is Waiting’. A different edition of this record by Great Expectations Records can be found. This edition and adds four songs to the common edition by ARISTA, although it seems to be from the early 1990’s. The album contained great tunes like ‘Red Light’, ‘Where Are You Now’, ‘Come Inside’, and the two previous singles ‘Heaven Is Waiting’ and ‘Wake Up’. It also contained a song which, according to musical press opinion, didn’t fit with their style: the epic version of the Rolling Stones ‘2000 Light Years From Home’, also edited in 1984 as 12″ and as a limited edition double single.

During 1984 they toured extensively to promote their record, even playing in Madrid and Barcelona. A highlight performance during this tour took place on April 7th 1984 at the Hammersmith Palais, London, sharing the night with the German band from the stable of artists on 4AD records, X-Mal Deutschland.

  1. Trunt
    November 19, 2009 at 9:50 am

    I always liked Getting The Fear, thought they would have done more than they did. The T-Shirt with the girl holding a cross bow was brilliant. Wish I still had my old shirts, DOH. Anyone got any demos etc.

  2. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    November 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Here you go Trunt, assume you were asking for Getting The Fear stuff:


    These last tracks were uploaded on this site (when the site was starting off) when I used to record one track at a time rather than the whole cassette or vinyl. I obviously do not upload in that way anymore!
    Both these cassettes were given to me by none other than Genesis P Orridge, which was very sweet of him!

  3. Trunt
    November 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Thanks for the GTF tracks Penguin. Brilliant.

  4. bobby nailen
    bobby nailen
    November 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Saw danse society at night moves glasgow in the early eighties,as usual the support bands were ignored but we stood face to knee for their entire set.
    My brother and I were very interested in this band for a while and our home resonated to their music on many an occasion.
    I cant remember who they were supporting may have been killing joke or the sex gang children…..any ideas anyone?

  5. Ian
    November 20, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Bobby Nailen!! You wont remember me but I knew Norman, Douglas and Sean and all you lot from the early/mid eighties. I was in the totaly underated ‘punk rock caberet duo’, Jacuzzis for Bears (I think we even supported your band at the Heathery bar in Wishaw once, Jesus Monroe??). I still have a tape you did with the afore mentioned lot and there was one song on it which I think you wrote, it was brilliant. Forgot the name but the first line of the chorus went something like, “skip trip hop fall onto…” and thats all I remember, but it was a great song, seriously.
    I didn’t see Dance Society as Night Moves but I think they supported Killing Joke at Tiffanys in 1982, maybe thats where you saw them? Jaz Coleman spent the night picking fights with anyone who spat at the band.

  6. bobby nailen
    bobby nailen
    November 21, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Hello Ian, guilty as charged.
    I do remember ‘Jacuzzis for bears’, I dont remember that lyric “skip trip hop fall onto…”..There are few recordings I dont have from then.
    But I am going to repeat it mantra-like until I get it.
    Someone else mentioned the Heathery in an unrelated conversation the other week, and its nice to hear you mention it also, brings back lots of memories.
    I dont think anyone realised the importance of a place like the Heathery existing as part of the circuit. Thanks for the wee jolt Ian.

    Did you cover the white horses theme tune?
    If not there was another punk rock cabaret duo with a guy called Ian in it!!

  7. Ian
    November 24, 2009 at 12:38 am

    “Did you cover the white horses theme tune?
    If not there was another punk rock cabaret duo with a guy called Ian in it!!”

    Ha! Guilty as charged.

    Hello Bobby. I only went to the Heathery a couple of times but I remember it being a popular place for bands to play. We also played at the Hattonrigg Hotel (sp?) with the Famous Monsters but as with most gigs we did I was really pissed and blacked out at the end of the evening. So pissed at the Heathery gig that the sound bloke put some effect on my voice that made me sound like chip or dale chipmunk, (which is apparently very popular with the kids these days.) I didnt even realise until I heard a tape of it months later! I walked home from Wishaw to Byres Road that night.
    I’ll need to dig out that tape I mentioned, at one time I had an A4 peice of paper with all the song details on it, I think it said that you wrote that particular song but maybe I’m wrong. I’ll give it another listen and see if I can work out some more of the lyrics, see if it jogs yer memory.
    Hope all is good with you.

  8. bobby nailen
    bobby nailen
    November 24, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Thank you very much Ian, that will keep me on tender hooks which i quite like.
    I remember the Hattonrigg gig, what does sp? mean?
    The Hattonrigg was great gigs, all those folk in the pursuit of fun!
    Yep we were all drunk.
    I had to take someone to Wishaw today and drove by the Heathery and it has been transformed into upper flats.
    The Hattonrigg went years ago. I always thought we were establishing some kind of roots for live music performance in Bellshill but alas no. No venues worth playing in.

  9. Simon
    December 14, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Wow! Not heard this in eons and had pretty much forgotten about it, had this 12″ back in the day, brill upload Pengers! 🙂

  10. DavidM
    April 1, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Great to hear these early recordings for the first time.
    As much as I enjoyed their output, and still do, always thought The Danse Society a slightly puzzling signing for Pax, their sounds seemingly at odds with much of Marcus Featherby’s other more traditional punk acts such as The Exploited, Mau Maus et al.

  11. ALI
    August 18, 2010 at 8:13 am




  12. Patrick
    March 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    i have a viynl collection here for sale lots of albums and singles anyone interested should call me om 07879 020944

    all mint

  13. derek_r
    March 6, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    I done gigs later on, over in Paisley 1987.
    I tried to do some gigs with these types of bands, it was a non starter really. Turnouts were small, Paisley is much bigger than Wishaw. Punk was popular, goth or experimental not so.

    I think Glasgow would have always been the best place for bands like them.
    I enjoyed going to Nite Moves and Tiffanys, and any other venue in Glasgow from 1983 onwards.

    Wishaw is a bit out of the way, some folk don’t even know where it is.

  14. kowboy
    March 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    Aah the Heathery bar in Wishaw…..Ital Ital from c/nauld played there on a few occasions ..supporting mark reily & creepers….and a few others lost in the memory….. We always had good support from the place and the crowd….Were always up for BOUNCIN….Thanks Wishaw ..x


  15. chick
    November 15, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Good grief ds played tiffanys 81 I saw them with messur nailen they were quite interesting but not enough from the bar other ppl who were thr that nyt were fi fi whiplash mackiegreat friends ziek heil peace chick lol

  16. Andy Low.
    Andy Low.
    July 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Bobby Nailen!
    Been trying to find you for ages dude,and this is all that comes up when I google
    Anyway.Got some stuff you might like to hear.
    Hope this finds you.
    Andy Low .xx

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