Danse Society

Musicians Weekly Classified - June 5, 1982


ULTRA-VIOLENT PØP! A scatter of geometrical patterns on a slide-screen, flashing like thousand-volt blueprints referencing from the white heat of Charlie Parker to the cool of electric power-lines and the precision of sharp angled ferrocrete overpasses. Guitar in brittle runs, like rolling naked on broken bottles. U.V. PØP is extreme, is intense, is mesmeric. John White used to be one-third of the much rated I Scream Brothers (check out the ´Your Secret Safe With Us´ compilation LP) but since automating his sidesmen out of existence, replacing them with drum machine and spiralling tapes he´s evolved a one-man show that makes Bill Nelson´s conceptually similar solo art-attacks seem bland and safe. His ´Sleep don´t talk´ reduces lyrical content down to an impressionistic Burroughs looped echo, a circular motif tracking through infinite repetitions; while ´Commitment´ dispenses with lyric entirely, cannibalising speech instead into musique concrete slabs of weirdness. U.V. PØP shove the intelligent manipulation of noise to the limits, a brainstorm for all senses.
Dance Society, by contrast, contrive the punk renaissense, as flag of convenience for their loud grabby Rock, and get resulting slots alongside the Theatre of Hate´s and Bauhauses. But they´re a young 5-piece (operating out of Sheffield) and already they´re growing outta this straight-(leather)-jacket, shifting into more esoteric areas. Full minutes before they come on there´s a Police prowl-car light revolving red splashes around the stage while their machines spit discordant startles of static running like molten quicksilver; and throughout the set that follows Lyndon Scarfe´s synth nudges preconceptions into new alignments. Drum heavy numbers like ´Woman Own´ ´My Heart´, and their Indie-chart hit ´Clock´ all get ennervated by smears of sometimes deliberately ugly but always unorthodox Arp phrasing. And their new sinlge, ´We´re So Happy´ points up their distancing from the pervasive grayness such bands are supposed to subscribe to, front-man Steven Rawlings´ vocals climbing into peaks of tribal yodels that send VU metres bouncing into overload, and Tim Wright partying as far as his bass-lead will allow in contagious celebration of Danse rhythm. There´s happiness in what they do - a rare commodity - and they´re growing in all the right directions

(Andy Darlington)