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Back from the dead for one-off Baltic concert

  • 2005-03-16
  • By TBT staff
RIGA - Cult '80s/'90s band Dead Can Dance has resurrected itself for a special series of 16 concerts around Europe after disbanding in 1998. The group will be playing the Latvian National Opera in Riga on April 1 in what should be a truly special night.

Dead Can Dance never had much in the way of commercial success but it certainly had a large and very loyal following right around the world for its unique, contemplative and unusually intelligent form of music.

The group combined elements of European folk music, especially Middle Ages and Renaissance music, with a subtle ambient sound, and the occasional big beat.

Over the course of its long career, Dead Can Dance had a lot of members, but multi-instrumentalist Brendan Perry and classically trained vocalist Lisa Gerrard remained the heart and soul of the band.

Perry formed Dead Can Dance with Lisa Gerrard in 1981 and in 1982 the pair relocated from Australia to London. Within a year the group signed a record deal with 4AD and in 1984 released its eponymous debut album, comprised of songs the pair had written over the previous four years.

In 1985, Dead Can Dance released its second album, "Spleen and Ideal." The album helped build a cult following in Europe and peaked at number two on the U.K. indie charts.

The group released two more albums before "Aion" in 1990, which helped seal its reputation. The group toured the U.S.A. the same year and earned rave reviews along the way. Several more critically successful albums followed before the band announced that it was splitting after 17 years in 1998.

Perry and Gerrard both pursued solo careers as well as working on the music for movies such as "Gladiator," "Mission: Impossible 2" and "The Insider."

The news of their reuniting as Dead Can Dance will be ethereal music to many an ear, and the concert in Riga is certain to sell out, so get in there quick if you haven't yet got a ticket. The next stop after Riga is St. Petersburg on April 3.