Monday, 28 March 2011

How Weekends Should be Pt.1 : The Monochrome Set

Had you been listening-in as I walked home on Saturday night you would've thought me very confused.  One minute I was singing about being "a woman one more time", the next about "a very peculiar boy".  It was one of those late-night ambles along the south bank of the Clyde where all the great songs you've heard earlier vie for lip time.  Like some dream Jive Bunny mega-mix Subway Sect segued into Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Jacques Dutronc into Bettye Swann.  It's fair to say that Stephen Pastel killed it on the decks; one of those evenings when the records in the DJ's box were gloriously congruent with the needs of the people.  Even the PA did its bit by being crisp and at just the right volume.  The one song I wanted to sing to myself was this (I think!) Sister Sledge tune but I couldn't because, well, unlike most folks at Mono, I didn't know the words - something I'll rectify soon:

Excitingly, The Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set, Monochrome Set were every bit as suave as I had hoped.  Guitarist Lester Square even arrived on stage with an extravagant pipe (not lit, of course, in this era of the smoking ban!) hanging below his waxed moustache.  They had a nice balance of solemnity (black clad bassist, Andy Warren and Square) and smiles (singer Bid and drummer Jennifer Denitto) which mirrored the arty/playful duality of their music.  Lester Square's guitar playing was something special, existing at the exact meeting point of The Shadows' twang-axis with The Velvet Underground's gallop-axis.  I'm no aficionado (unlike, I'm guessing, Alex Kapranos who bashfully joined them during the encore) but I recognised a fair few singles as featured on "Volume, Contrast, Brilliance...(Sessions and Singles Vol. 1)" and, maybe predictably, "Jet Set Junta" was my highlight.

Somehow, a while has passed since I last saw Wake The President and in the meantime it would appear that they've acquired a Hardy Boy on bass.  I've certainly seen them cheerier but seldom zestier.  They rattled through a bunch of new songs that augured well for their next l.p. and "Miss Tierney" stilll sounded like a winner.

A fine evening!


  1. Sounds like it was a good time. Did they do He's Frank?

  2. Hey Toby. They sure did. It was a really, really fine rendition, too!