Dancing Did Biography

Hailing from Evesham in Worcestershire, England, the Dancing Did’s brand of rustic rock ‘n’ roll proved you could write songs about the English countryside without embracing the comic style of the Wurzels or the Yetties. Dancing Did took their name from ‘didicoi’ - otherwise known to town-dwellers as Gypsies. The band comprised Tim Harrison (vocals), Martyn Dormer (lead guitar, synthesizer, vocals), Roger Smith (bass) and Chris Houghton (drums). Formed in 1980, they released two singles on first their own Fruit And Veg label, then Stiff Records, before moving to the ill-starred Kamera Records. Musically they resembled a marriage of the Clash with Steeleye Span, but their true appeal lay in the imagery of Harrison’s lyrics, as shown in such titles as ‘A Fruit Picking Fantasy (The Day Bo Diddley Nearly Came To Evesham)’, ‘Badger Boys’ - a celebration of country delinquents - ‘Ballad Of The Dying Sigh’ - a tale that would not be out of place in Fairport Convention’s repertoire - and the rousing ‘Wolves Of Worcestershire’. That the subject matter was of such a rural hue limited their attraction within the cities to a mere cult following, ensuring their eventual demise in 1983. Dormer became first a clothes shop owner then mobile telephone salesman, while Houghton continued part-time in pub cover band the Bassetts, while continuing to run a market stall. Smith went on to study farming and played intermittently with Rhythm Oil, while Harrison used his graphic design degree to obtain employment at Punch, then Chat and Q magazines.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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