The Monochrome Set are one of those bands that should have been massive.
I’ve always loved them- their songs take you into another world with vivid and darkly funny lyrics and tunes that hook themselves into your mind.
They emerged in the punk wars, with half the band being founding members of Adam And The Ants and Adam’s pre Ants band the B Sides. They were initially signed to Rough Trade and released a series of brilliant records of art school tinged British beat with a dark sense of humour and loads of brilliant melodies.
With a filmic sensibility and their 3D songs they were writing tunes that would have a big influence on bands like the Smiths and many others in the eighties indie scene as the bands started writing guitar pop with an edge. Somehow they never got their share but it seems that this was never their aim and they have remained underground faves with a fiercely loyal fan base who love the little world that they have constructed and the idea that some of the greatest guitar band melodies belong to this band that not enough people know about.
Recently reformed they are as good live as they ever were and released a fab new album, ‘Platinum Coils’.
Check out their upcoming gigs here.
The top 10 key albums in the life of Bid from the Monochrome Set
Yes – Close To The Edge
Genesis – Foxtrot
Both are very good albums, and also represent a level of technical craftsmanship that largely hasn’t existed for a long time- which goes some way to explaining why “lead” guitarists now who have never done much than a bit of picking are described as Rock Gods.
Judy Garland – Judy at Carnegie Hall
I like the hysteria in her voice.
Cream – Disraeli Gears
Taste – On The Boards
These albums represent the period when Rock didn’t know it was Rock, and was therefore very interesting.
Quintette du Hot Club de France – [any compilation]
The performances always make me smile.
Jacques Brel – [any compilation]
One of the great 20th Century geniuses.
The Monkees – [any compilation]
The vague half-remembered idea of a Monkees song is still an influence with us.
Lou Reed – Rock’n’Roll Animal
What pulled me out of prog.
The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
What inspired me to seriously start writing.