The Danse Society

The Danse Society are an English gothic rock band, formed in Barnsley in 1980. They were originally active until 1987, reforming in 2011. They achieved moderate success during their career. Their lineup included Steve Rawlings (vocals), Paul Nash (guitar), Lyndon Scarfe (keyboards), Timothy "Bez" Wright (bass guitar) and Paul Gilmartin (drums). Scarfe was replaced by David Whitaker (formerly of Music for Pleasure) after the Heaven Is Waiting album.

The Danse Society
OriginBarnsley, England
GenresGothic rock, post-punk, dark wave, synthpop, new wave
Years active1980–1987; 2011–present
LabelsSociety, Arista
Associated actsJohnny in the Clouds, The Society, Meridian Dream, Party Day
Paul Nash
Jack Cooper
Sam Bollands
Tom Davenport
Past membersPaul Gilmartin
David Whitaker
Steve Rawlings
Lyndon Scarfe
Timothy Wright
Iain Hunter
Joss Rylance


First incarnation

Originally called Y? and then Danse Crazy[1] (changed due to the emerging Two Tone scene), Danse Society recorded and released their first single, "Clock", on their own newly formed record label Society in 1980. They released their debut studio album, Seduction, in 1982. It reached No. 3 in the UK Indie Chart.[2]

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.[3] 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. In 1986, after releasing their final album, Looking Through, as The Danse Society International, all of the band members except lead singer Rawlings left to form Johnny in the Clouds.

Rawlings continued as Society, and in 1987, released a single, "Saturn Girl".[4] After 1987, Rawlings continued to pursue music with the electronic dance music act Meridian Dream.


A campaign titled The Danse Society Reformation Plot was started on Facebook at the end of 2009 and succeeded in bringing most of the band back together. The reformed Danse Society, featuring new vocalist Maethelyiah from the group Blooding Mask, released their fourth studio album, Change of Skin, in July 2011. This was followed in November 2011 with the first single to be taken from the album, "God Cry". In April 2012 they released the second single from Change of Skin, "Vatican", backed with a reworking of their early song "Seduction". Their first live gig in 25 years was performed at Germany's Wave-Gotik-Treffen festival in May 2012, followed by selected festival dates and the addition of bassist Martin Roberts.

An unreleased track called 'Towers' recorded at the end of 2010 with Steve Rawlings on vocals (his only contribution to the reformation). The music of this track was then used for the title track of the album Change of Skin, with the new singer Maethelyiah who has subsequently fronted the band.

Their fifth studio album, Scarey Tales, was released in February 2013.

On 1 February 2014, Danse Society issued an official announcement that Gilmartin and Roberts had unexpectedly resigned from the band, resulting in the cancellation of a series of tour dates. Nash, Whitaker and Maethelyiah continued with Danse Society, joined by new bassist Lee Jones and drummer Iain Hunter. David Whitaker was replaced by Sam Bollands in late 2014, with Jack Cooper replacing Lee Jones. On 9 December 2014, the single "If I Were Jesus" / "Sound of Silence" was released followed by the sixth studio album on 25 September 2015 called, VI.[5]

In June 2018 the band release an EP, The FUTUR1ST, including a cover of NIN's "Hurt" dedicated to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation, and the tracks "One Thought in Heaven" and "Scream" featuring drummer Joss Rylance who replaced Iain Hunter, and who has subsequently been replaced by Tom Davenport.[6]


Studio albums

Compilation albums

  • The Danse Society (1983)
  • The Danse Society (1984)
  • Demos Vol. 1 (2011)


Month Year Title UK Singles Chart[3] UK Indie Chart[2] Record label
September 1980 "Clock"/"Continent" No. 11 Society
March 1981 "There Is No Shame in Death" No. 26 Society
May 1981 "Womans Own" Society
December 1982 "Somewhere" No. 2 Society
March 1983 "Somewhere" (re-issue) No. 94 Arista
July 1983 "We're So Happy" No. 22 Society
August 1983 "Wake Up"/"Seduction" No. 61 Arista
October 1983 "Heaven Is Waiting" No. 60 Arista
March 1984 "2,000 Light Years from Home" Arista
July 1985 "Say It Again" Arista
February 1986 "Hold On (To What You've Got)" Arista
August 1987 "Saturn Girl" (as Society) No. 48 Big Life
November 1987 "Love It" (as Society) No. 19 Big Life
November 2011 "God Cry" Society
April 2012 "Vatican" Society
December 2014 "If I Were Jesus" / "Sound of Silence" Society
June 2018 The FUTUR1ST (EP) Society


  1. ^ Larkin, Colin. (1992) The Guinness Who's Who of Indie and New Wave Music. Guinness Publishing Ltd. p84. ISBN 0-85112-579-4
  2. ^ a b Lazell, Barry (1997). Indie Hits 1980–1989. Cherry Red Books. ISBN 0-9517206-9-4.
  3. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 140. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ Strong, Martin C. (1999). The Great Alternative & Indie Discography. Canongate. ISBN 0-86241-913-1.
  5. ^ "Danse Society Official". Danse Society Official. Retrieved 6 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Danse Society Official". Danse Society Official. Retrieved 1 August 2018.

External links

Alaska Studio

Alaska Studio is a recording and rehearsal studio, located in Waterloo, in central London. Alaska Studio was founded by Pat Collier of The Vibrators in 1977; initially as rehearsal rooms; and was so successful that he also founded Greenhouse Studio in London a few years later. As of October 2017 it was announced the studio might possibly close December 2017.


Barnsley () is a town in South Yorkshire, England, located halfway between Leeds and Sheffield. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the town centre lies on the west bank of the Dearne Valley. Barnsley is surrounded by several smaller settlements which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Barnsley, of which Barnsley is the largest and its administrative centre. At the 2011 Census, Barnsley had a population of 91,297.Barnsley is a former industrial town centred on linen in its former years and coal mining, glassmaking and textiles. The industries declined in the 20th century. Barnsley's culture is rooted in its industrial heritage and it has a tradition of brass bands, originally created as social clubs by its mining communities. It is also home of the Barnsley chop.

The town is accessed from junctions 36, 37 and 38 of the M1 motorway and has a railway station on the Hallam and Penistone Lines. Barnsley F.C. is the local football club, which has competed in the second tier of British football for most of its history. Barnsley F.C. also won the FA Cup in 1912.

The town of Barnsley also has a Women's Football Club which is in the fourth tier of Women's Football. Barnsley Women's Football Club was formed in 1982 and finished 4th in the FA Women's National League Division 1 North in the 2018/19 Season.

Change of Skin

Change of Skin is the fourth studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society. It was released in 2011, through the band's own record label, Society. Released in a limited edition special glossy ‘Maltese cross’ 9-panel Digipak CD, incl. lyrics and artwork to each song. The Danse Society, one of the founder members of the Post punk & Goth movement in the 80s are back with a brand new album, their first since 1987.

Dark wave

Dark wave or darkwave is a music genre that emerged from the new wave and post-punk movement of the late 1970s. Dark wave compositions are largely based on minor key tonality and introspective lyrics, and have been perceived as being dark, romantic, and bleak, with an undertone of sorrow. Common features include the use of chordophones such as electric and acoustic guitar, violin, and piano, as well as electronic instruments such as synthesizer, sampler, and drum machine. The genre embraces a range of styles including cold wave, ethereal wave, gothic rock, neoclassical dark wave, and neofolk.In the 1980s, a subculture developed primarily in Europe alongside dark wave music, whose followers were called wavers or dark wavers. In some countries such as Germany, the movement also included fans of gothic rock (so-called trad-goths).

Gothic rock

Gothic rock (alternately called goth-rock or goth) is a style of rock music that emerged from post-punk in the late 1970s. The first post-punk bands which shifted towards dark music with gothic overtones include Siouxsie and the Banshees, Joy Division, Bauhaus, and the Cure.The genre itself was defined as a separate movement from post-punk due to its darker music accompanied by introspective and romantic lyrics. Gothic rock then gave rise to a broader subculture that included clubs, fashion and publications in the 1980s.

Heaven Is Waiting

Heaven Is Waiting is the second studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society. It was released in December 1983, jointly by record labels Arista and Danse Society's own label, Society.

List of gothic rock artists

The following is a list of notable artists that have been described as gothic rock by reliable sources. "Gothic rock" is a term typically used to describe a musical subgenre of post-punk and alternative rock that formed during the late 1970s. Gothic rock bands grew from the strong ties they had to the English punk rock and emerging post-punk scenes. According to both Pitchfork and NME, proto-goth bands included Joy Division, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Bauhaus and the Cure. The term was first used by critic John Stickney in 1967 to describe the music and accompanying performances by the Doors. The Doors' lyrics and their "audience-antagonizing performances" have even been seen as the beginning of gothic rock.

List of music artists and bands from England

This is a list of notable bands/musicians from England. Bands should be notable and linked to their articles which lists their English origins in the lead. References should be provided for any new entries on this list. Bands may be temporarily red-linked (while an article is developed) as long as the reference establishes their notability.

Looking Through

Looking Through is the third studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society under the name The Danse Society International. It was released in 1986, through the band's own record label, Society. AllMusic described the album as "a collection of demos". Looking Through was the band's final album until 2011's Change of Skin.

Music for Pleasure (band)

Music for Pleasure were a new wave band from Leeds, England, active in the first half of the 1980s.Music for Pleasure were founded in 1979 by Martin King (bass guitar), Alan Peace (lead vocal), Sean Wheatley (drums) and David Whitaker (keyboards). The band were originally signed to Rockburgh Records and contributed the song "The Human Factor" to Rockburgh's seminal Northern bands compilation Hicks from the Sticks (1980).

In 1980, Peace and Wheatley were replaced by Mark Copson (lead vocal) and Christopher Oldroyd (drums - formally a member of fellow Leeds band Girls at Our Best!). This line-up released a couple of singles on the indie label Rage Records - a re-recorded version of "The Human Factor" (1980) and the John Leckie produced "Fuel to the Fire" (1981).

King was replaced by Ivor Roberts (bass guitar) in 1982, and Music for Pleasure then signed to Polydor Records. The first Polydor release was the single "Switchback" (1982) produced by Mike Hedges, followed by the band's first album Into the Rain (1982) which was co-produced by Hedges and the band. The band released two more singles from the album, "Light" (1982) and a re-recorded version of "Time" (1983), followed by the Hedges produced single "Dark Crash" (1983), before being dropped by Polydor.

Without having a record deal, Music for Pleasure continued to release records on their own Whirlpool label, the Colin Richardson co-produced single "Disconnection" (1984), the John Porter produced EP Chrome Hit Corrosion (1984) and the album Blacklands (1985). However, following the release of Blacklands the band disbanded.

Keyboard player Whitaker went on to join The Danse Society (1985–1986), while drummer Oldroyd appeared on Red Lorry Yellow Lorry's second album Paint Your Wagon (1987).

Scarey Tales

Scarey Tales is the fifth studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society, one of the founder members of the Post-Punk & Goth movement in the 80s released this mini album at the beginning of 2013. It was released in 2013, through the band's own record label, Society. The album was released in a limited edition special book and CD, including lyrics and artwork to each song.

Seduction (The Danse Society album)

Seduction is the debut studio album by English gothic rock band the Danse Society. It was released in September 1982 on the band's own record label, Society. It included a cover of the Peter Ivers song "In Heaven" from the David Lynch film Eraserhead.

Stock Aitken Waterman

Stock Aitken Waterman (abbreviated as SAW) are an English songwriting and record producing trio consisting of Mike Stock, Matt Aitken, and Pete Waterman. The trio had great success from the mid-1980s through the early 1990s. SAW is considered to be one of the most successful songwriting and producing partnerships of all time, scoring more than 100 UK top 40 hits, selling 40 million records and earning an estimated £60 million (about $104 million).SAW started producing underground club hits, but earned worldwide success with a mix of Hi-NRG-influenced sound, romantic Motown lyrics and Italo-disco melodies. During 1984–1989, their musical style was labelled Eurobeat. They also put swing shuffle elements into their songs.

The March Violets

The March Violets are an English post-punk/gothic rock band formed in 1981 in Leeds, incorporating singers of both sexes, drum machine rhythms and echo-laden electric guitar, much in the style of fellow Leeds band the Sisters of Mercy. Seven March Violets singles reached the UK Indie Chart; the Natural History collection also was an indie hit (hitting No. 3 in 1984).

The Society (ex Danse Society)

The Society are an English gothic rock band, formed in Barnsley in 2014 after Paul Gilmartin, Martin Roberts and David Whitaker split from the reformed version of their previous band (see separate article, below). The current lineup is Jonathan Cridford (vocals), Elliot Wheeler (guitar), Darran Guy (keyboards), Ade Clark (bass guitar) and Paul Gilmartin (drums). Jonathan Cridford replaced Brian Jay in 2016.

VI (The Danse Society album)

VI is the sixth studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society. One of the founder members of the post-punk and gothic rock movement in the 1980s released this studio album in September 2015, through the band's own record label, Society. The album was released in a limited edition red vinyl and CD, including lyrics and artwork to each song. The album was re-issued in September 2016 as a deluxe version with the addition of the bonus tracks 'Sound of Silence' and 'If I were Jesus'

Whitby Goth Weekend

Whitby Goth Weekend abbreviated to WGW or referred to by attendees as Whitby, is a twice-yearly music festival for the gothic subculture, in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England, organised by Jo Hampshire.

The Danse Society
Studio albums

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