The Monochrome Set

The Monochrome Set was an English post-punk band that released three 1978–79 singles on Rough Trade, followed by the 1980 Dindisc albums Strange Boutique and Love Zombies. They resurfaced with the 1982 Cherry Red disc Eligible Bachelors and again with the 1985 Blanco Y Negro release The Lost Weekend.

Guitarist Lester Square and bassist Andy Warren hailed from the original lineup of Adam and the Ants; Warren appears on the Ants debut Dirk Wears White Sox.

Members: Bid [Ganesh Seshadri] (guitar, vocals), Lester Square [Thomas Hardy] (guitar, vocals, 1978-82, 1990-2014), John Haney (drums, 1978-81, 1982), Charlie Harper (bass, vocals, 1978), Simon Croft (bass, vocals, 1978), Jeremy Harrington (bass, vocals, 1978-79), Andy Warren (bass, vocals, 1979-present), Lex Crane (drums, 1981-82), Morris Windsor (drums, 1982), Carrie Booth (organ, flute, vocals, 1982, 1982), Nick Wesolowski (drums, 1982, 1983-85), Foz [James Foster] (guitar, vocals, 1983-85)


First Four Singles

In November 1978, the Monochrome Set released their debut single: the re-recorded Bid–Hardy number “He’s Frank” backed with Bid’s “Alphaville.” The single appeared as the label’s fifth release (RT 005) between the first two singles by Belfast punks Stiff Little Fingers.

A. “He’s Frank” ()
B. “Alphaville” ()

In June 1979, the Monochrome Set released Bid’s “Eine Symphonie des Grauens” backed with Square’s “Lester Leaps In.”

A. “Eine Symphonie des Grauens” ()
B. “Lester Leaps In” ()

On September 14, 1979, the Monochrome Set released their namesake theme song: a Bid composition backed with the Lester co-write “Mr. Bizarro.”

A. “The Monochrome Set” ()
B. “Mr. Bizarro” ()

In December 1979, the Monochrome Set released their April 1978 original recording of “He’s Frank” and two early demos on self-press Disquo Bleu.

A1. “He’s Frank (Slight Return)
A2. “Silicon Carne” ()
B1. “Fallout” ()


Strange Boutique 

The Monochrome Set released their debut album, Strange Boutique, in April 1980 on Dindisc.

1. “The Monochrome Set (I Presume)” (5:12)
2. “The Lighter Side of Dating” Bid, Lester Square (2:42)
3. “Espresso” (3:11)
4. “The Puerto Rican Fence Climber” Square (2:59)
5. “Tomorrow Will Be Too Long” Bid, J.D. Haney (2:59)
6. “Martians Go Home” Bid, Square (2:01)

7. “Love Goes Down the Drain” (2:27)
8. “Ici Les Enfants” Haney, Bid (3:06)
9. “The Etcetera Stroll” Square (4:42)
10. “Goodbye Joe” (2:42)
11. “The Strange Boutique” Bid, Square (3:09)

Studio Sound Suite, Camden, England

Bid – lead vocals, guitar
Lester Square – lead guitar, vocals
Andy Warren – bass guitar, vocals
J.D. Haney – drums, percussion, vocals

Bob Sargeant – keyboards, vocals, production
Alvin “2 Shades” Clark – engineering
Peter Saville, The Monochrome Set – cover design

The Monochrome Set lifted “The Strange Boutique” as the album’s only single with the exclusive b-side “Surfing SW12.”

B. “Surfing SW12” ()

Love Zombies

The Monochrome Set released their second album, Love Zombies, on October 19, 1980, on Dindisc.

1. “Love Zombies” Bid, J.D. Haney, Lester Square (4:04)
2. “Adeste Fideles” Bid, Square, Andy Warren (3:48)
3. “405 Lines” Square (3:16)
4. “B-I-D Spells Bid” Bid (3:19)
5. “R.S.V.P.” Bid, Square, Haney (3:32)

6. “Apocalypso” Bid, Haney, Square, Warren (3:37)
7. “Karma Suture” Bid, Haney, Square (4:47)
8. “The Man with the Black Moustache” Bid, Haney, Warren, Square (3:18)
9. “The Weird, Wild and Wonderful World of Tony Potts” Bid, Tony Potts, Square (3:26)
10. “In Love, Cancer?” Square (3:24)

Studio Sound Suite, Camden Mews, London NW1

Bid – lead vocals, guitar
Lester Square – lead guitar, EDP Wasp synthesizer
Andy Warren – bass
J.D. Haney – drums
Additional musicians
Alvin Clark – keyboards

Alvin Clark – producer, engineer
The Monochrome Set – producer
Gill Thompson – cover illustration

In July 1980, the Monochrome Set lifted “405 Lines” as an advance single, backed with Bid’s “Goodbye Joe.”

B. “Goodbye Joe” ()

“Apocalypso” became the second Love Zombies single, backed with the non-album Bid–Square–Warren number “Fiasco Bongo.”

B. “Fiasco Bongo” ()


“Ten Don’ts for Honeymooners”

On July 31, 1981, the Monochrome Set released the standalone single “Ten Don’ts for Honeymooners” (Bid–Square) backed with “Straits of Malacca” (Bid–Haney–Square).

A. “Ten Don’ts for Honeymooners” ()
B. “Straits of Malacca” ()

Eligible Bachelors

The Monochrome Set released their third album, Eligible Bachelors, in August 1982 on Cherry Red.

1. “The Jet Set Junta” (2:06)
2. “I’ll Scry Instead” (2:50)
3. “On the 13th Day” (3:06)
4. “Cloud 10” (3:30)
5. “The Mating Game” (3:20)
6. “March of the Eligible Bachelors” (3:01)

7. “The Devil Rides Out” (3:02)
8. “Fun for All the Family” (3:45)
9. “The Midas Touch” (4:53)
10. “The Ruling Class” (2:45)
11. “The Great Barrier Riff” (3:39)

Recorded Quest Studios, Luton, England

Bid – lead vocals, guitar, sleeve design
Lester Square – lead guitar, keyboards, vocals
Lexington Crane – drums, vocals
Andrew Warren – bass guitar, vocals

Tim Hart – production
Dave Cook – engineering

“The Mating Game” appeared in July as an advance single backed with the Bid–Warren exclusive “J.D.H.A.N.E.Y.”

B. “J.D.H.A.N.E.Y.” ()

“Cast a Long Shadow”

On November 12, 1982, the Monochrome Set released their tenth single: the Bid–Warren “Cast a Long Shadow” backed with “The Bridge,” a group-written number.

A. “Cast a Long Shadow” ()
B. “The Bridge” ()


“The Jet Set Junta”

In May 1983, the Monochrome Set released their eleventh single and seventh standalone: “The Jet Set Junta,” a Bid–Square–Warren number backed with two Bid songs.

A1. “The Jet Set Junta” ()
B1. “Love Goes Down the Drain” ()
B2. “Noise (Eine Kleine Symphonie)” ()

The Lost Weekend

The Monochrome Set released their fourth album, The Lost Weekend, in 1985 on Blanco Y Negro.

1. “Jacob’s Ladder” (2:54)
2. “Sugarplum” (3:37)
3. “Cargo” (3:38)
4. “Take Foz” (3:06)
5. “Letter From Viola” (4:16)

6. “Don’t Touch” (3:24)
7. “The Twitch” (2:18)
8. “Wallflower” (3:35)
9. “Starry Nowhere” (3:43)
10. “Boom Boom” (1:58)
11. “Cowboy Country” (4:40)

Bass – Andy Warren
Drums – Nicholas Wesolowski
Guitar – James Foster
Guitar, Vocals – Bid

Producer – John Porter
Engineer – Pete Rackham
Design [Sleeve Design] – Foz
Photography By – Walter Wesolowski

“Jacob’s Ladder” first appeared as a December 1984 single backed with the exclusive Foster song “Andiamo.”

B. “Andiamo” ()

“Wallflower” became the second Lost Weekend single in May 1985, backed with the non-album group composition “Big Ben Bongo.”

B. “Big Ben Bongo” ()


  • “He’s Frank” / “Alphaville” (1979)
  • “Eine Symphonie des Grauens” / “Lester Leaps In” (1979)
  • “The Monochrome Set” / “Mr. Bizarro” (1979)
  • “He’s Frank (Slight Return)” (1979)
  • Strange Boutique (1980)
  • Love Zombies (1980)
  • Eligible Bachelors (1982)
  • The Lost Weekend (1985)


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