Goth, and indeed post-punk, are not genres renowned for their sense of humour, so it’s a rare delight to discover a band who bridge the gap between the two with such wit and style.
Worcestershire weirdos The Dancing Did released their sole album on Kamera in 1982. It stakes out its territory with the very silly clanging Hammer Horror piano chords of The Wolves Of Worcestershire, featuring the smirk-inducing lyrics “Suddenly, through the night, there comes a sound primeval/The baying, scraping, screeching found of undiluted evil.” Are they serious? Undoubtedly not, but then they’re not exactly joking either. A theatrical, intellectual outfit with a driven sound somewhere between early Bunnymen and Southern Death Cult, The Dancing Did were clearly a true English oddity, perhaps too odd to survive.
Their debut encompasses a range of mad styles, from the bizarre high-speed musical workout of The Rhythm Section Sticks Together, to the infectious goth bebop of On The Roofs. Squashed Things, an ode to roadkill, is almost proto-baggy in its lazy, loping rhythm. The biggest treat, though, are the lyrics, from the obsessive tableau of detail in The Headmaster & The Fly, to the disco-tinged deft comedy of The World’s Gonna End In Cheltenham. Beautiful freaks, indeed.