Kit Hain playing School For Spies, Ronnie Scott's Club, London, October 1983.
Dancing In The City. Notes by Kit Hain
From those one-hit wonders, Marshall Hain. The first of the Brit Duos, if the world did but know it (the Eurythmics were still a band [then the Tourists] with this blonde singer in it at the time).
For the benefit of US Web visitors -- this song, written by Julian Marshall and me, was a huge hit in the summer of 1978 all round Europe, and still gets a lot of airplay. It started life as a reggae quasi-instrumental piece by Julian, complete with rather macho-sounding male vocals singing 'Dancing in the City - Running down the alley - Pictures at the Pally - Fun tonight' This was some time before he and I teamed up. Then, when we did, it took him months to play me the idea - we'd already done one demo, had some interest from EMI, and were writing like crazy to come up with material for another. I think he felt pretty sure that I wouldn't go for it but -- I loved it. Pictures at the Pally and all. Only I wasn't sure if the Great American Public At Large that we were going to conquer would know what the Pally was (pity - I love that lyric!). So I reworked the chorus, wrote some verses over the same chords, et voilà. Vive la simplicité!
A drummer friend Bob Critchley wanted to produce the demo for us, which he did. He got rid of the reggae groove and came up with the basic drum pattern that's such a part of the vibe. As for the explosion at the top of the song -- that was one of those serendipitous events. One day, rehearsing the song, I was sitting on my Roland Chorus Reverb amp, tipping it forwards. Then, just as Bob was finishing the count-off, my bum slipped and the amp fell backwards, setting off the mechanical spring reverb. Bob said, 'We must keep that!' When it came to the Real Thing, Chris [Neil, who produced the record] wanted to hire musicians he usually worked with so Bob didn't get to play on it. Pete Van Hook did a great job though. No drummer we used since on the road ever really got their sticks round the way he played it.
Kit Hain at the Stereo Society (selected links):
To Kit Hain's home page (all links)
To Kit's interview
To Kit's comments on Spirits Walking Out
To Kit's comments on School For Spies
To Kit's note on Dancing in the City
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