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Big Takeover Issue #83
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The Monochrome Set - Monty Hall (Jersey City, NJ) - Saturday March 2, 2019

4 April 2019

This was a long time coming for me. Although The Monochrome Set, formed in the late ’70s by still-leader, singer/songwriter/guitarist Bid, reunited in the late ’00s and have played in the U.S. several times before since then, this was my first time seeing them. Predictably but thrillingly, the set combined golden oldies like the opening “The Monochrome Set (I Presume)” and 1982 single “The Jet Set Junta” with newer material from their last 3, all excellent, recent albums like 2018’s Maisieworld and 2015’s Spaces Everywhere. These included the title track and “I Feel Fine (Really)” from the aforementioned Maisieworld and “The Z-Train” from Spaces Everywhere.

Though very different in style and a bit more classicist from the faster, somewhat spiky and caffeinated early material of their post-punk years, the new material meshed quite well with the oldies, proving yet again that far from a nostalgia act, these legends are making vital new music every bit the equal of anything in their catalog. While brilliantly named original guitarist Lester Square is no longer with them, the rest of the group, including long-time bassist Andy Warren (once a member of Adam and the Ants as well) and drummer Mike Urban, more than make up for that loss.

 

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