The Monochrome Set formed in London in 1978, from the remnants of a college group called The B-Sides, whose members had included Stuart Goddard, later known as Adam Ant. 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 (formerly of The Art Attacks), and bass guitarist Charlie X. The band had two more bassists, Jeremy Harrington and Simon Croft, before Andy Warren of the Ants, a childhood friend of Bid, joined in late 1979. They released several singles for the Rough Trade label before recording their debut studio album, Strange Boutique, produced by Bob Sargeant for Virgin Records’ imprint DinDisc in 1980. By 1990 the band had gone through a number of lineup changes and Bid recorded a number of albums with his band, Scarlet’s Well. In 2010, Bid, Square, and Warren reformed the band, with the addition of drummer Jennifer Denitto from Scarlet’s Well and keyboard player John Paul Moran. 2022 sees the band release their 16th studio album, Allhallowtide. Bid joined Norman B for an in-depth conversation, delving into conspiracy theories, the music business, and recovering from a serious health problem. This is an illumination interview with controversial opinions and ideas, complete with a look back at The Monochrome Set’s first 7” single, He’s Frank (Slight Return), and a preview of the band’s latest album.
The artwork is from a screenshot of the Zoom conversation with Bid. We thought the strange, eery ambient lighting was perfectly fitting.