Breaking a 33 year hiatus – INTO A CIRCLE – announce their return to music in 2022.

The noir new wave band have been recording what will be their first album of original material since 1988’s seminal debut album: ‘Assassins’.

The band which features Paul “Bee” Hampshire and Barry Jepson were last seen on the live stage in 1989 before splitting in the autumn of that year.

Back together all these years later and fronted by the original line-up, Into A Circle are also confirming plans for a very limited and exclusive series of reunion showsin 2022, with first dates due to be announced imminently….

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Into A Circle AKA In2a0 was founded by members Paul “Bee” Hampshire and Barry Jepson in 1985.

Barry, who was also a member of Southern Death Cult (a band that featured vocalist Ian Astbury and later went on to become The Cult) was later introduced to Bee in the legendary post/punk band Getting The Fear. While the project was short-lived, with GTF initially only releasing one single ‘Last Salute’ (released on RCA Records in 1984), the project would sow the seeds for a creative blossoming between the two.

Splitting from the five piece to form a duo, Bee and Barry performed their first live show under the Into A Circle moniker in December 1985.

Scoring a support slot with none-other than Nico, it was a gig that saw the duo make a statement from their earliest opportunity. Revealing some of their genre-twisting new material for the first time that night, it was a performance that also saw Bee aesthetically stun the audience present with a clear-plastic junkie spacesuit, as-made by Vivienne Westwood designer Murray Blewitt and adorned with tubes and syringes.

Catching the attention of the legendary Arcadia label, Into A Circle issued their debut single “Rise” later that month. A song about sexual initiation, it featured the bittersweet accompaniment of Rose McDowall, formerly one-half of the polka-dotted pop-punk outfit Strawberry Switchblade. Released on 12–inch in an edition of 5000 copies, it proved an instant hit and shot to a No. 5 position in the UK Indie Singles Chart. While never a full-time member, the single’s success saw McDowall become something of a regular feature with Into A Circle, with her distinctive vocals appearing on all of the band’s subsequent singles and often as a part of the band’s live set-up whenever commitments permitted too.

Signing to Abstract Records in July 1986, Into A Circle released the ‘Inside Out‘ EP which featured input from Billy Morrison, an acclaimed guitarist who would later go-on to find fame on the LA music scene playing with acts as diverse as Robbie Williams to Black Sabbath and Billy Idol.

With the EP also denting the Top 20, the momentum spurred Into A Circle towards ‘Assassins‘, the band’s iconic debut album. Teasing the release with a single that hinted at a wildly different exploration of sound, the band released the fluid, funk-tinted electronica of “Forever“, which featured resplendently ethereal vocals again from Rose McDowall and proved to be another Top 10 Indie Chart hit.  Of that period, Bee reflects:

“We were constantly being dragged into the ‘goth’ section, which we had nothing against but felt no affinity with too. Working with Larry Steinbeck was a definite move to shake off that label.”

Co-produced by Larry Steinbachek of Bronski Beat, ‘Assasins’ found the band in experimental mood and exploring a more electronic/dance oriented sound across a suite of moreishly dark songs that touched on literature, theology, animism, sex, and spirituality.

“There was no concept or theme to the album” remembers Bee. “The songs were inspired by our fascination with theology and spirituality and also by the books we were reading and people we spent our time with.”

Proving a hit with their growing fanbase, it would reach a peak of No.7 in the UK Indie Charts of Summer 1988 and would cement itself as something of a cult classic in the decades to follow.

From there, Into A Circle would cut just one more single from the record, ‘Evergreen‘. A pop song somewhat idiosyncratically inspired by the Iain Sinclair poem “Lud Heat” and Peter Ackroyd’s Hawksmoor, it would nonetheless equal the band’s charting best with a peak No.5 position in the Indie Chart. Adding visual flair to what would be their final release, “Evergreen” was coupled with an MV directed by Viv Albertine (of The Slits) and saw them earn repeated rotation on the flagship Saturday morning UK pop programme: The Chart Show.

Incorporating further visual arts into the live gigs that followed, Into A Circle’s final performances offered an AV spectacle that mixed their uncompromising music with mesmeric projections, with additional guests including ‘Crass’ collaborator Annie AnxietyRose McDowall and a few less conventional stowaways.

“The last tour was a blast! We had both Rose and Little Annie (Annie Anxiety ex-Crass) on backing vocals. Rose couldn’t bear to leave Kali and Loki, her marmoset monkeys, at home, so we took them with us too. I had by then forgiven Kali for biting my face. We wrote a lot of new material for that tour.”

The completion of the tour at the end of 1989, would also draw a line in the sand for the band. As a series of unplanned twists in their personal lives unfolded, along with Bee’s decision to relocate to Thailand, plans for the release of a second In2a0 album fell apart and would open a chasmic shift in time…

After three decades apart, in something of a twist of fate, it would be Getting the Fear that would reintroduce Bee and Barry to each other once again.

Rekindling their creative spark in 2019 during discussions for what would become the Getting the Fear album release ‘Death Is Bigger’, the project would also inspire the pair to revisit material they had penned for Into A Circle’s ill-fated second album.

Making a pact to retain the original lyrical qualities of those songs written in the 1980s and keep their same perspective and sentiments, the pair set about moderating their arrangements with an updated 21st Century finish. Relishing the process, it even encouraged them to begin writing new material together too.

It’s Winter 2021 and the band now find themselves with a crop of new cuts in the canon. With invigorating new tracks including “My Frozen Heart”, “Bright Death”, “Drunk Stupid”, and most recently “Stitches” already available to hear online, founding members Bee and Jepson have honed a whole new album’s worth of material that artfully joins the dots between In2a0 then and now.

Set to release new music and live shows, standby for further news from Into A Circle in 2022.

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INTO A CIRCLE
CULT NEW WAVE BAND ANNOUNCE
RETURN TO MUSIC AFTER 33 YEARS
LIVE SHOWS + NEW MATERIAL PLANNED FOR 2022