Archive for the ‘Carpettes’ Category

The Monochrome Set Durham University 1981

The Monochrome Set Durham University 1981
monoThe Monochrome Set was formed in London in 1978. The original line-up consisted of Indian-born lead singer and songwriter Bid, Canadian guitarist Lester Square, drummer John Haney and bass guitarist Charlie Harper. The band went through several bassists in the next few years. Experimental filmmaker Tony Potts began working with the band in 1979, designing their lighting and stage sets with the use of film projections for their live shows. The band’s early shows were defined by the shadowy, stage images created by his films and he is often described as being their “fifth member”. Today they are spoken of in reverential terms and are thought of as a seminal, legendary new wave / art-rock band. I only recall seeing the Monochrome Set once, at this gig at Durham University Dunelm Ballroom in 1981. By this point the line-up was John, Bid, Lester and Andy Warren on bass. My memories of the band are of a weird, slightly avant-garde arty new wave ensemble, very black and white (hence their name); quite strange.
From their official site: “You can never pin down The Monochrome Set. They’re so difficult in many ways, yet easy to appreciate.
They’ve been together now …. since the dying days of punk, developing a music which oscillates between furtive seriousness and high enjoyment and tries to connect fantasy with the world. Label them and their music at your peril. Because of the Rough Trade alliance, brief enigmatic press coverage, shadowy pictures, the casualness of the group, their seemingly aloof airs and faces, and the apparent strictness of their live performances, the wrong impression of the group is being communicated. I’m not sure they are doing all they can to change this.” Support came from local heroes the Carpettes.
The band have recently reformed and have been playing concerts to renewed acclaim.

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The Inmates Redcar Coatham Bowl 1980

The Inmates Redcar Coatham Bowl 1980
inmates I’d forgotten about this band, until I came across my ticket stub for a gig at Redcar Coatham Bowl in 1980. The Inmates (I’ve just checked and they are still playing to this day) are a garage rock band who based their style on 60s music such as the Pretty Things and the early Stones. I also had them catalogued alongside the Feelgoods and the Hot Rods in my own mind. In fact, Barrie Masters of the Hot Rods stepped in as lead singer for the Inmates for a short period when their singer Bill Hurley wasn’t well. I remember them as a great night out, and wondered at the time why they never managed to achieve greater success. A DVD entitled Back in History – Live 1980 showcases their live set from the same year as I saw them at Redcar and includes “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” “Jealousy,” “Talk Talk,” “So Much in Love”, “Talkin’ Bout You”, “Some Kinda Wonderful,” “The Walk” and their minor hit which was an ode to the Thames River, “Dirty Water.” The line-up of the Inmates was: Peter Gunn – Guitar, Vocals; Bill Hurley – Vocals; Ben Donnelly – Bass; Tony Oliver – Guitar; and John Bull/Eddie – Drums. Support came from local band The Carpettes, who I saw lots of times in the late 70s and early 80s. Happy days. I miss Sunday nights in Redcar.