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The Monochrome Set

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London, United Kingdom (1978 – 1985, 1990 – 1998, 2010 – present)

The Monochrome Set are an English band originally formed in 1978 from the remnants of a college group called The B-Sides (whose members had included Stuart Goddard, a.k.a. Adam Ant). The band is notable for its witty lyrics, the laconic delivery of lead singer Bid, and the idiosyncratically retrogressive playing style of original lead guitarist Lester Square.

The original line-up consisted of Indian born lead singer and principal songwriter Bid (real name Ganesh Seshadri), Canadian guitarist Lester Square (real name Thomas W.B. Hardy), drummer John D. Haney, and bassist Charlie Harper. The band went through several bassists in the next few years, including Jeremy Harrington, and Andy Warren of the Ants, a childhood friend of Bid.

Experimental filmmaker Tony Potts began collaborating with the band in 1979, designing lighting and stage sets with film projections for their live appearances. The band’s early persona was defined by the shadowy, uncertain stage images created by the films to such an extent he is often described as being the band’s “fifth member.”

They released several singles for the Rough Trade label before recording their debut album, “Strange Boutique”, produced by Bob Sargeant, for Virgin Records’ imprint DinDisc in 1980, as well as their follow-up effort, Love Zombies, produced by Alvin Clark and the band later that same year. John Haney left the band in 1981 and was replaced by Lexington Crane.

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