Thursday, November 22, 2012

Lost Alternative 80s: The Monochrome Set

If you’d asked me a few years ago to name one indie act from the early 80s that would surely resist all offers or any temptation to reform for the nostalgia circuit I’d have gone for The Monochrome Set. Without question. And I’d have been completely wrong. I was aware there had been a reformation in the Nineties and a one-off set at Cherry Red’s 30th birthday bash in 2008, but I certainly wouldn’t have predicted yet more live gigging across the UK and Europe in 2011 and 2012.

I’d always (blindly) believed that this band was somehow above all of that, somehow pure in its 80s incarnation, almost the true definition of what it meant to be indie in its original form. Perhaps they were all of that and more ... and maybe they all just needed an ongoing outlet for their collective creativity – so who am I to judge?

One thing they can claim to be is hugely influential, with bands like The Smiths and Franz Ferdinand being the most notable disciples of a template that combined a quirky faux Sixties sound with a bunch of very clever – and often very funny – lyrics.

I once had a girlfriend who worshipped this otherwise almost forgotten band, and this track in particular was a regular backdrop to our lives together. I can still see her prancing around our damp little flat, glass of wine in one hand as she danced with her eyes closed, errantly spilling its contents as her hips swayed from side to side ... here’s the beautiful simplicity of The Monochrome Set with ‘Jet Set Junta’:

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