Danse Macabre Profile

Andrew Schmidt
29 Sep 2014

Auckland post-punk quartet Danse Macabre were a moody and literate band whose sound veered from the disconcerting and fractured to the truly panoramic.

Their roots lay as so many of the emerging groups did in the incubator of the Auckland punk scene at Zwines in 1978. Stepping out first as The Sloth Creatures, their initial line-up was guitarist Wes Prince, drummer Roddy Carlson, bass player Tony Ryan and singer Grant Latimer.

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A 1981 Danse Macabre setlist
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Danse Macabre at Auckland's Kings Arms, May 11, 2013
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Nigel Russell at the Auckland Town Hall, March 1982
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Kings Arms, 2005
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Weston Prince at The Dude Ranch
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Roddy Carlson
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Nigel Russell at The Royal Royal Rage 2, His Majesty's Theatre, Auckland, June 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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Danse Macabre with Herco Pilots, July 1981
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Danse Macabre, venue unknown: Nigel Russell, Roddy Carlson, Weston Prince and Ralph Crump
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Danse Macabre practising at Oceania Audio, May 2013
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Practising at The Dude Ranch, where Manukau City is now - Nigel Russell, Weston Prince, Roddy Carlson and first bass player Tony Ryan
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Nigel Russell
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Tony Ryan, Danse Macabre's original bass player, seen here with The Kadets who morphed into Danse Macabre in 1980. Ryan was later in Infectious.
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Nigel Russell at The Rumba Bar, April 1981
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Danse Macabre - Between The Lines
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RipItUp, November 1981, with label mates Danse Macabre and Penknife Glides on the cover. The two bands were about to head off on the Positive Reaction tour.
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Last Request, the 2nd 12-inch EP, released in December 1982, some three months after the band had split, with artwork by Roger Guise
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Weston Prince at the Rumba Bar, April 1981
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Nigel Russell in May 2013 at Auckland's Roundhead Studios where the band recorded a 95bFM In Session
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Ralph Crump, Roddy Carlson, Nigel Russell and Weston Prince
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Danse Macabre at XS Cafe, February 1981, with first bass player Tony Ryan: Ryan, Nigel Russell, Roddy Carlson and Weston Prince
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Danse Macabre in Christchurch and Dunedin, December 1981
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Danse Macabre at Sweetwaters, 1982
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Weston Prince, NIgel Russell and Ralph Crump, venue unknown but likely The Reverb Room, Auckland
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
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Danse Macabre - Memento (95bFM in Session, May 2013)
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Danse Macabre in their Symonds Street practice rooms, December 1981: Ralph Crump, Roddy Carlson, Nigel Russell and Weston Prince.
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Roddy Carlson
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Mainstreet, Auckland, June 1982
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Danse Macabre's list of stolen band gear, taken from outside the Station Hotel in Anzac Ave, Auckland on December 22, 1981. Only the van was ever recovered and the Auckland music community played several gigs to allow the band to replace the lost equipment.
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A 1981 band agreement from the Rumba Bar. Danse Macabre were to play between 8pm and 9.45pm Monday to Wednesday for 90% of the door take - less expenses, $10 for the door person and half the advertising cost. Given the fact that on those days of the week the number of paying customers would many times be in single figures, a band could often expect to be paying to play.
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Reverb Room, Auckland, April 1982
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Weston Prince and Roddy Carlson at Sweetwaters 1982
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Ralph Crump at The Royal Royal Rage 2, His Majesty's Theatre, Auckland, June 1982
Photo credit: Photo by Jonathan Ganley
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Nigel Russell at Danse Macabre's first rehearsal at The Dude Ranch, Manukau City, late 1980
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Members:

Tony Ryan - bass

Nigel Russell - vocals, synthesiser

Weston Prince - guitar, keyboards

Rod Carlson - drums

Ralph Crump - bass

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