Alternative music reviews

March 16, 2008

The Monochrome Set

Filed under: nostalgia,vinyl — @ 12:41 pm Comments (0)

The Monochrome Set were a band on Rough Trade records in the early days. They had been formed by refugees from a band called the B-Sides who became Adam And The Ants (actually I’ve only just read this now so I hope its true). The two main player were Bid, the singer, and Lester Square the guitarist (silly names were a big thing then).

He's Frank (Slight Return) by The Monochrome SetThere were four Rough Trade singles tinged with theatricality and arrogance. Alphaville was like an embodiment of a Jean Luc Goddard film. Eine Symphonie des Grauens was a musical romp. You may find it a common theme with me and bands I have loved that when the album (Strange Boutique) came out it was a little bit “thin” and disappointing in comparison to the first singles.

But I’m going to talk about the Disquo Blue single He’s Frank (Slight Return) because that’s the one I’ve just made into an mp3 and I have some excerpts from the NME music paper sellotaped to the cover. He’s Frank was the first single and was a fine song. The Monochrome Set re-recorded it although the crude immediacy of the original Rough Trade production meant they were hardly likely to improve on the original. They added Silicone Carne and Fallout as the other tracks.

I kept my copy of the single in a plastic lined cardboard cover and attached two cuttings from the New Musical Express. Tom Robinson (Gay activist and singer) reviewed it and said he found the lead track derivative (unfairly in my opinion). But he said of another track:
Fallout/O Sweet Everything is altogether more interesting both musically with odd counterpoint guitar lines under the vocal and lyrically – “I used to my own but now I’m a fag…” – WHAAAAT? A very disconcerting record.

A week later there is a letter from Andy Warren of The Monochrome Set.
the lyric…in question should actually read “I used to roll my own but now I’ve a fag”. Not as Tom Robinson in true Adolf Hitler/Lester Bangs tradition misquoted

Personally I think the misquoted line is much better and fits in to a song that finishes with the line “Now when the postman comes I split his arse”.

Fallout by The Monochrome Set

Fallout by The Monochrome Set

No Comments

No comments yet.

Leave a comment