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Dislocation Dance

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Indie pop pioneers Dislocation Dance formed in Manchester in November 1978, when bassist-lyricist Paul Emmerson met up with singer-guitarist Ian Runacres via a “musicians wanted” ad in a Virgin record store. They were joined by Andy Diagram (formerly of Diagram Brothers and The Pale Fountains, trumpet, vocals) and Richard Harrison (drums). Weaving a patchwork of minimalist new wave, ’60s French pop, and jazz, with influences ranging from Orange Juice and The Pop Group to John Coltrane and Burt Bacharach, Dislocation Dance were immediately engaging though too eclectic for the tastes of big record companies and the pop mainstream. The group’s influence can be seen in bands such as Stereolab.

Dislocation Dance’s first EP, Slip That Disc!, launched their reputation and gained them a session with John Peel. Their debut album Music Music Music (1981) set a new benchmark for eclecticism, with styles ranging from funk (Stand Me Up), bubblegum pop (Don’t Knock Me Down), and be-bop (Take a Chance on Romance) to ersatz movie soundtracks (Vendetta). It earned a clutch of good reviews from the UK rock weeklies. In March 1982 the band supported like-minded Glasgow indie-popsters Orange Juice on a full tour of the UK, and in April completed a successful string of dates in North America.

That Dislocation Dance were hovering on the pop periphery is borne out by the fact that they were voted “band most likely to succeed” in a 1983 Smash Hits poll. However, their second album Midnight Shift failed like its predecessor to sell in large numbers.

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