Access – There Will be Dancing!

Access
There Will be Dancing!
1985 (no label)
United Kingdom

Mark Pennells – Vocals, guitars, bass, brass
Zarc Porter – Keyboards, computer & rhythm programming

Side 1:

  1. You Look Inside Us
  2. Easy Life
  3. Patient
  4. Never Make It on My Own
  5. The Way

Side 2:

  1. The Day
  2. Talk Through a Wall
  3. Tomorrow Never Knows
  4. Lead Me On
  5. There Will Be Dancing

No, this is not the Access that used to be Restricted Access and then became The Swoon. This is actually an early demo from Mark Pennells and Zarc Porter – the duo that eventually went on to form World Wide Message Tribe. Yep, you read the right. They were also involved with all kinds of electronic bands, from 65dba to Rhythmsaints. After this demo, they changed names to Except for Access and released two more demos (Give Me Another World in 1987 and Made Perfect in 1989) as well as a “solo” demo for Mark Pennells called One of These Days in 1990 before forming WWMT. All of this and more is chronicled well in this article at CrossRhythms. Here is what that article says about the recording of this demo:

“We had what I think was the very first music computer which was called a Yamaha CX5, and it could only record one note at a time. You had to enter everything in step time by typing it in, telling it whether you wanted a crotchet or a quaver, and then enter all the rests, manually. This is why those recordings sound so robotic. It was really ancient technology, and we actually made the foolish decision to use it on stage live which proved to be scary because it kept crashing in the middle of gigs. So Mark would have to fill in for two minutes while we rebooted, bearing in mind we had to reboot it off data cassette. It took ages to reload it all up. That was back in the day, proper old school technology.”

So does this sound like WWMT? Not at all really. This is early 80s techno that flirts with 80s pop and new wave quite often. I mean, “Talk Through a Wall” is pure 80s that could have been on any radio station in 1985 – complete with 1999-ish synths and British vocals. The ballads do suffer a bit from being too slow and cheesy – not their best forte on this demo. But the upbeat numbers are where they shine. Hard to believe each note was programmed separately. Must have taken some time. Pretty much everything is electronic-sounding, so that may not be your thing. But this is like a nostalgia trip for me with a band I never knew existed until now!