A very special concert from one of the most important and influential bands to emerge from the post punk scene in the late 70s.
The Monochrome Set was formed in 1978 by vocalist Ganesh ‘Bid’ Seshadriand guitarist Lester Square when art rock band The B-Sides split (whose name-changing bassist Stuart Goddard formed Adam & The Ants). To quote the Asahi Evening News, 1993: “When B-Sides singer Adam Ant quit the band for an ill-fated solo career, The Monochrome Set was born.”
With a whimsical pop sensibility, clever lyrics and an idiosyncratic, retrogressive guitar-led sound, they bridged the gap between freak beat and post punk and effectively paved the way for groups such as The Smiths and influenced a whole family tree of bands from Orange Juice and Fire Engines to The Divine Comedy, Graham Coxon and Franz Ferdinand. The Monochrome Set are back, with new album Spaces Everywhere out in March.
The music on Spaces Everywhere is very melodic and cheerful. The lyrics, however, deal with death, decay, change and a very particular humour. Although this time banjos, Hammond organ, female backing vocals and even flutes can be heard on the new album, experts and laymen alike will recognise: This is THE MONOCHROME SET. Undistorted, nervous guitars, like the soundtrack to a Nouvelle Vague film … but one featuring Michael Caine, Louis de Funès and Belmondo (directed by Andy Warhol).