Sunday, May 4, 2008

We're Gonna Turn This City Upside Down!

Following the breakup of The Eighty Eights ('Time Machine' and 'James Bond' - minor Oz hits 1981) frontman Larry Van Kriedt undertook a new musical direction and project in 1983, when with brother Brett, he formed Non Stop Dancers.
Larry Van Kriedt handled vocals, guitar and saxophone, brother Brett drums, Karen Steains Bass, Kevin Jones guitar and Jane Stewart keyboards. Together the Sydney based quintet played an interesting mix of pop, funk and soul, with a bit of jazz-fusion thrown in for good measure.

Gathering a loyal live audience they issued one independent single in May 1984 ('Only One') and were then snapped up by the EMI label. Their one and only album 'Surprise Surprise' was released in December '84 following hot on the heals of the first single lifted from it 'Shake This City'.

The song 'Shake This City' was an infectious song, in the best possible meaning. I mean you just couldn't help but feel upbeat and willing to dance like a damn fool every time you heard it - well I did anyway. I recall seeing the video for the song on the ABC's 'Countdown' at the time but have never come across it since. The song bopped it's way to #44 on the Australian national chart, largely on the back of its popularity in the band's home market of Sydney where it surged to #22 in November '84. Two more singles followed from 'Surprise Surprise' ('Mobbing Me' and 'Dancing'), neither of which charted nationally. The band continued to play for another 18 months and released one final single in mid '86 with 'Lost And Found'. But their brilliance just failed to register at the right moment on pop's timeline and so Non Stop Dancers stopped the bop and went their separate ways soon after.

Larry Van Kriedt (incidentally the very first bass player with AC/DC), went on to work with early 90's techno act Def FX, co-writing much of their early work.
I purchased a vinyl 45 copy of 'Shake This City' second hand (for $1.25 - you can see it scrawled on the cover scan), a year or so after it charted. As far as I know it's never been available on CD, but if you know otherwise and can point me in the right direction to obtain a CD copy please please do.
Meanwhile enjoy a taste of this hip song via the following clip (produced with full approval of the Mannequin's Union of Australia):

No comments: