The Dancing Did The Green Man & the March of the Bungalows 7" (Kamera, 1982)
One of the great things about seeing a record priced at 49 cents by a band you've never heard of. Perhaps it is because I am not a Brit or maybe because I ignored the Batcave scene after one Specimen record that I never heard of the Dancing Did. I can't say I am sorry, because I am sure if I'd have checked them out when I was a teen, their music would have fell on ears more suited for Black Flag and the Feederz. That I came upon the Did twenty years after this record was made is good. Now I can appreciate it.
There is a lot of dorkiness in this record. The refrain of "Bungalows! Bungalows!" is easily one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. The reverb at the end of "I'm the Green Man" is cheesy as fuck. However, ever since I first heard Bow Wow Wow I've been a sucker for Brits playing jungle drums. Then there is the big dumb riff that centers the song. And, to be truthful, the cheese, taken as a whole, is pretty damn cool. I mean, these guys don't hold back. Those three things make for the immediate appeal.
After a few listens some nuggets from the Brit Lit classes I took in college came into the memory. Since the 11th Century, the Green Man - usually depicted as a man's face sprouting branches and leaves. On the surface, the Green Man represents the emergence from Winter. A bit deeper and the image means both rebirth and a vibrant Earth. From there it is pretty obvious (if it already wasn't) that The Green Man & the March of the Bungalows is an environmental protest song of sorts.
That the Dancing Did were mythology obsessed, tree hugging Goth rockers might seem odd until you find out their big influences were Fairport Conventions and Steeleye Span. Knowing that I am pretty sure these guys were nursed on Pentangle and other Brit folk acts as well. I have not heard their LP, but titles such as The Wolves of Worchestshire and descriptions of their live act (lots of drums, lots of flailing around) tells me that what you hear here is standard for the Did.
Good point. I'm glad I heard certain bands/artists when I did. I would've hated much of what I like now, and had I heard much of it when I was younger, I might've written off some great bands, completely.
I love your blog, Scott. Sorry for my mix up!
(Oh, and I thought it was "Witch's Butt! The witch's butt! The witch's butt!" at first.)
I just wrote you, but I think I missed sending my message. I am Troy Shondell, and I really enjoyed your blog. Send me your address and I will send you a new CD that has "Girl After Girl" plus several more you might enjoy.
Thanks for the blog.