The Monochrome Set

1983 Sounds

album review


Eligible Bachelors

FULL PAGE advertisement in The Tatler: 'Monochrome Set reform. New LP out this week.' Uproar in St John's Wood. Record shop riots in Knightsbridge. Sloane Rangers trampled under foot.

Among the finer things in life, alongside caviar, the best brandy and curly cigars, are the Monochrome Set. A four piece beat combo who are the very essence of good taste and sophisticated elegance. Solid and dependable, the epitome of decency and educated, civilised behaviour.

Once, long ago, there were the Rough Trade singles. Records that were almost bewildering in their diversity, sometimes sublime in content (ie 'Eine Symphonie Dies Grauens'). Leaving the ragged trousered collectivists of Blenheim Crescent behind, the group lurched into the dodgy (business wise) Dindisc phase. Two albums were released; both attractive but faulty.

The first was a bounteous collection of ideas thrown together, sometimes stimulating but often with the total effect masked by cluttered soundscapes and the hard to-decipher vocals. The second was more refined and controlled but too hollow sounding for lasting appeal. And now the re birth.

'Eligible Bachelors’ is the Monochrome Set in blazing techicolour. The high flying humour gets a firmer, finer focus, the vocals gell solidly with the music. Gone are the agonising lapses into in song pondering which prompted the common accusations of pretence and tweeness. In short, this is a damn good show.

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 


mick sinclair

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