Dancing Counterparts


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1979-81)

- Grant Gillingam -- drums, percussion

- Brent O'Halloran -- bass, keyboards

- Joe O'Halloran -- sax

- Glenn O'Halloran -- vocals

- Howard Lewis -- lead guitar

 

  supporting musicians:

- Del Bromham -- keyboards

 

 

 

- Brent O'Halloran (solo efforts)

 

 


 

Genre: new wave

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Infants of Infinity 

Company: Off Center Records

Catalog:  OFF 2
Year:
 1982

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: includes lyric insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $50.00

Brothers Brent (bass), Glenn (vocals) and Joe (sax) O'Halloran formed the London-based Dancing Counterparts in 1979.   Trying to describe the band is a challenge - picture a weird mixture of new wave angst, avant-garde experimentation, coupled with ska and dollops of soul and funk and you'll start to get an idea of what to expect..

 

Rounding out the line-up with drummer Grant Gillingam and lead guitarist Howard Lewis, the group became a popular draw on the London club circuit.  In spite of their popularity, unable to land a recording contract they started their own label - Off Center Records, debuting with a 1980 single:

 

- 'Dancing Counterpart' b/w 'Never Ending Theme' (Off Center catalog number EJSP 9432)

 

 

 

 

The single was followed by an appearance on the 1980 compilation album "A Warped Sense of Human" (Peartree catalog number EJSP 9688).  Produce by Stray guitarist/keyboard player Del Bromham, the album featuring bands that had performed at the Peartree Bridge Center in Milton Keynes and included two of Dancing Counterparts songs:

 

- 'Jacob's Room'

- 'Pain'

 

The album's opening track, 'Jacob's Room' was dark, jarring, disturbing and attracted the attention of John Peel's BBC show.

 

 

Released on their Off Centre label, 1982's "Infants of Infinity" found the band continuing their partnership with producer Bromham.  In addition to the previously released title track, the set included eight new studio efforts.  The music was frequently brittle, bordering on discordant and then expectedly turning funky.  It was challenging, occasionally reminding me of James White & the Blacks, or maybe a really pissed off early version of XTC.  Elsewhere 'Armageddon (In the Groove of)' made it clear  these guys had been listening to more than share of Tow-Tone ska bands.  As a 60 year old American who grew up in Alabama, I've always found the lyrics on this one difficult to puzzle out. Tracks like the rapid fire 'Pap' and 'Natural Instincts' certainly weren't your typical I-hate-everyone-in-society rebellion, rather seemed like a reflection of blue collar life in early-'80s England.  And in spite of all of that, there was something totally fascinating in these grooves.  Nah, you weren't going to play it for your Christmas party or when you wanted to get down-and-dirty, but there was a time and a place for listening to 'Armageddon (In the Groove of)' and 'Sleep'.  Shame they didn't include the three other non-LP tracks on the album - 'Dancing Counterpart', 'Jacob's Room', the radio-friendly 'Never Ending Theme' and the funky 'Pain'.

 

"Infants of Infinity" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Prime Directive   (Brent O'Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran) - 3:50

2.) Sleep   (Brent O'Halloran) - 5:03  rating: **** stars

For a song that wasn't particularly melodic, the slinky rocker 'Sleep' somehow managed to climb into your memory and take up residency.

3.) Armageddon (In the Groove of)   (O'Brent Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran) - 3:51  rating: *** stars

The energetic ska-powered 'Armageddon (In the Groove of)' showcased the band at their funkiest.  You weren't going to confuse this with Nile Rogers track, but I bet this one got the crowds up and moving.

4.) Horse and Carriage   (Brent O'Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran - Howard Lewis) - 5:34

 

(side 2)

1.) Word Love   (Brent O'Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran - Howard Lewis) - 3:47

2.) Try Talking To Me   (Brent O'Halloran) - 4:49  rating: *** stars

Hum, 'Try Talking To Me' almost qualified as a tuneful ballad ...   not exactly what I would have expected from these guys.  Luckily Joe O'Halloran's slightly out of tune sax ensured they didn't get to close to commercial glitz.

3.) Natural Instincts   (Brent O'Halloran - Howard Lewis) - 4:07

Showcasing Grant Gillingam's drums and Joe O'Halloran's bass, 'Natural Instincts' was the album's simplest, most stripped-down number.  With a haunting sound, it was also one of the album's standout performance.

4.) Pap   (Brent O'Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran) - 2:54 rating: *** stars

'Pap' sported the album's bounciest tune, though even with the lyric sheet I don't have a clue what the song was about.

5.) Infants of Infinity   (Brent O'Halloran - Glenn O'Halloran) - 3:32   rating: *** stars

If you've ever enjoyed James White and the Blacks, the propulsive 'Infants of Infinity' might strike a chord with you.  Well, you'd at least have a feel for what to expect from the title track - well maybe if you expected James White to sing with a distinctive English accent with early XTC backing him up.  Also expect lots of honking sax.  

 

 

As far as I know, this was the end of the band's recording career.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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