Monochrome Set - Fabula Mendax

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 22 / 10 / 2019

Monochrome Set - Fabula Mendax

Label: Tapete Records
Format: CD
First-rate album from indie pop outfit the Monochrome Set, which was inspired by manuscripts from the 15th century


Back in 2002, I did an interview with Monochrome Set frontman Bid (his real name is Ganesh Seshadri) via email for Pennyblackmusic - an interview that I remember with dread, as he wasn’t exactly talkative (reading it again now, I realise that my questions were quite bad as well). But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that the Monochrome Set released some truly amazing singles and albums during the late 70s and early 80s (just listen to masterpieces like ‘Eine Symphonie des Grauens’ or ‘The Monochrome Set (I Presume)’ if you don’t believe me). Since then, the band has reformed a couple of times, and Bid also had the band Scarlet’s Well, where he worked with a bunch of different singers for each album, as he didn’t want to be the lead singer for once. And this new album, ‘Fabula Mendax’, actually reminds me quite a bit of Scarlet’s Well (apart from that Bid is the lead singer, as usual in the Monochrome Set), partly because of its lyrics, based on old manuscripts from the 15th century by Joan of Arc’s friend Armande de Pange, but also because of the music, which is haunting and employs a lot of unusual instruments. The first single off the album, ‘Come to Me, Oh, My beautiful’, is a classic Bid tune, and is one of the best songs here, but there are plenty more good songs to discover on this album, which probably won’t spawn a lot of new fans, but will definitely satisfy the old ones.

Track Listing:-

1 Rest, Unquiet Spirit
2 Throw It out the Window
3 My Little Reliquary
4 Eux Tous
5 Darkly Sly
6 Summer of the Demon
7 I Can't Sleep
8 Come to Me, Oh, My Beautiful
9 Sliding Icicle
10 La chanson de la pucelle

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Interview (2002)
Monochrome Set - Interview
Eclectic and enigmatic, the UK's Monochrome Set have been the focus of many legends and myths. Tommy Gunnarsson speaks to its ironic and teasing frontman Bid about the group's twenty year history

Live Reviews

(with the Hepburns and Karen), Thunderbolt, Bristol, 17/3/2018
Monochrome Set - (with the Hepburns and Karen), Thunderbolt, Bristol, 17/3/2018
Dixie Ernill watches the Monochrome Set and Karen bookend a fine evening of skewed indie on a wintry night in Bristol.

Favourite Albums

The Lost Weekend (2015)
Monochrome Set - The Lost Weekend
In our 'Re:View' section, in which we look back at albums from the past, Tommy Gunnarsson listens to 'The Lost Weekend', the Monochrome Set's 1985 would-be chart-topper, and also their last album during their first period as a band, which has just been re-released on CD

Digital Downloads



Cosmonaut (2016)
Brilliant comeback album from durable London-based post-punks, the Monochrome Set
Volume, Contrast, Brilliance….Vol. 2, Unreleased and Rare (2016)
Spaces Everywhere (2015)

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