It's like we've always said: the industry, perpetually several steps behind what's really going on in the world, never fails to jump onboard and lend its full support, long after the party's over.

In The Guardian today, Caroline Sullivan writes:

Is this the end of the band? James Oldham, head of A&R at A&M Records, says: "All A&R departments have been saying to managers and lawyers, 'Don't give us any more bands, because we're not going to sign them, and they're not going to sell records.' So everything we've been put onto is electronic in nature. British guitar bands became characterised as meat-and-two-veg - dull, bland, thin gruel, whereas this is seen as sleek, modernist, exciting, a mish-mash of modern elements."


And if this IS the case, I'm kind of glad we're turning away from all things 'electronic'. As a band that's been tagged with the term for a while, we've consistently been way too noisy and raw for the electro crowd (chuck a vintage synth in the mix for your bland indie fart-water). And far more electronic than your average electro act (live loops = too confusing. Drum machines = cheating. Guitars that sound like synths, synths that sound like guitars = too fucking weird)

But you know, this "exciting... mish-mash of modern elements" is just as retro, bland and thin as the boys with guitars brigade.

Can we move on? No, of course not.


I became really self-conscious about The Mekano Set. A loss of confidence I think. The material has been getting really good again, but my heart hasn't been it. But things have happened lately that should be telling me that's stupid. I guess I needed someone to say it straight up.

So it's true. It's looking like there will be an album. And on our own terms (which is why we're finally saying yes to letting other people do stuff for / with / to us).

I don't want to say too much at the moment because, well, it tends to break the spell. But I do want to say that I think we're doing it for the right reasons. We need the focus, and we can't just keep doing ep's, because putting three or four tracks together is easy, play-listing a whole CD's worth is going to be a challenge.

This is no sell out. Frankly, it's something we've always wanted. And we certainly have more than enough material. Which is good and bad...

At the moment I'm thinking that it will almost be like a compilation (but with studio versions of tracks, with decent mixes and production etc. not just compiling the tracks that you already have). Conventional packaging too, for the first time. Because the arty hand-made paper style releases are a hell of a lot of work, and they take time, and you can't do 500 of them, let alone 5000.

And as much as we all love those early ep's, they never received the production / mix we felt they really deserved. I've learned so much over the past couple of years that I feel I can really do them justice now.

If it does OK, I'm hoping that we will be in a position to release key tracks from the different stages - the best freewheeling tracks from the 'Classic Agenda Lineup', the best grooves from the Screw Top / Cake Shop years of Beth and Milk Bedsit Therapy, the best of the 'Milk Now Has All The Toys He Could Ever Need' sessions, and beyond.

Expect some surprises.



Well it was a hell of a gig. Absolutely excellent. Completely exhausted for a week afterwards. I'm still exhausted now but want to type a little.

Apparently I was spitting water and generally being silly, I don't remember that but it certainly sounds like me. Or at least that 'me' that comes out around Jo and Al... Ask them, I used to be a shameless mix of shamelessly silly and blatantly offensive. Or something... Now I do it all quietly and cause even more trouble. Anyway, the gig:

Wrapped in Plastic is Beth refined. Her songs (down-tempo industrial dirges where her voice stalks) have that 'organic' edge she brings to the mix. All those years scrapping with lion cubs in the bush seeping through.

SPC-ECO. Well, what can I say? I'm very glad they exist. They put these disgraceful 'Nugaze' bands (the same thieving stuck up brats that jump every other bandwagon) to the shame they deserve. They groove in a way those fakers wouldn't dream of. Why is it so hard to find a band that have noisy guitars, decent beats, some real bass end, and a unique vocal sound? Well we had a couple that night didn't we?

And there was Milk & Pickles:

And so...

'For Play' is pretty much sold out. We're keeping a few copies back for ourselves this time because I no longer have copies of the early ep's. Have recently been listening to To The Doghouse, Awake and the mix of Buoy with Beth's vocals and they all sound huge, urgent, special. Saw Patrick the other night and we were trying to work out why we only did Doghouse live just once.

I was almost on a downer but there's a new batch of tunes, and a couple of fresh mixes of the 'almost there' tracks. And I want to get them out there.

We now have a new batch of CD's almost ready to go and they look and sound way better than the last set (I know you're supposed to say stuff like that, but we're only doing it BECAUSE it's an improvement). They now have these shiny red sleeves, on-CD printing and the stickers are nicer too.

We also have enough material for an album! There's just a couple of tracks left to mix and then we need to sort out the running order (never an easy thing...). We think these might end up as jewel-cased type releases with proper artwork and stuff but we're not sure if that's really where we want to go with it.

Plus, now that there are enough promos we might do a very limited run of DVD's.

The new songs... the old songs... I think there's a definite 'natural' progression going on.

But what sort of music is it? And does that really matter? You either like it or you don't.

The Mekano Set


Wednesday 19th November : SPC ECO + WRAPPED IN PLASTIC = LIVE!

As you know, SPC ECO is none other than Dean, Deb and Monti from indie / shoegaze / bigbeat legends Curve, with the delovely Rose Garcia on vocals. They do a damned fine line in down-tempo psychedelic electro shoegaze and they've still got THAT bass / guitar noise sound...

WRAPPED IN PLASTIC features the gorgeous voice of none other than Beth 'Bake or Die' Rettig, and the filthy, from-the-ankle guitar squall of Deb (Curve, SPC ECO, Echobelly). A very delicious noise.

The Mekano Set won't be playing but we will be there, and I'll be doing some sounds with my best fiend Jo Staples (see Abstinence & Sensibility for more about that) and HRT will getting the ball rolling with their usual cinematic / ritualistic shenanigans.

Plus delightful DJ's Creta Fluxorum and Poison Creeper will play an exotic mix of tunes to merge it all together.

www. myspace. com/spceco

www. myspace. com/wrappedinplasticuk

www. myspace. com/abstinenceandsensibility

www. myspace. com/hrtcorp

www. myspace. com/trainofthoughtradio

TRAIN OF THOUGHT NIGHT @ The Good Ship, 289 Kilburn High Rd, London, NW6 7JR
020 73722544

www. myspace. com/thegoodship

8pm until 2 am. £4.

We hope to do a night with the same line-up in Brighton too as soon as the venue is sorted.

Meanwhile, you can check out the TRAIN OF THOUGHT PODCAST (featuring some exclusive tracks from the likes of CARTHAGE, WRAPPED IN PLASTIC, THE FLESH MACHINE, amusing asides by some bloke called Milk, and a theme-tune some band called THE MEKANO SET?)


If you missed us on the radio last night you can listen on-line:http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/tom_robinsons_introducing/

And see you in London on the 8th October?

And Worthing on Saturday 18th October?

The Mekano Set


Like a dreamless sleep.

Sorry that we've been so quiet. We've been busy doing stuff rather than writing about doing stuff.

Been thinking a lot about outsiders. Outcasts. How we want to belong but never quite seem to fit in. We've got our own thing going on. I never really appreciated that. Making the most of that. Got some tricks up our sleeves.

You find a gang who all dress like you. But people are people. And it's not enough to just dress like your friends. But more on that later...

Also been thinking again about how making CD's and doing gigs just aren't enough anymore. Boring. Boooring. So we're working on some things, some happenings and objects and stuff. Just to keep things interesting. Won't say much yet cause it's early days. But expect a few surprises.

Some ace new mixes going on. Really making progress in terms of the sound, the arrangements. All that crap. Really getting the hang of all that. Again, more details soon.

There are now a couple of videos for Thirst and Something Wicked This Way Comes. Thanks to MsD and Ruse23 for filming us doing stuff, and taking the time to put it all together and make it look nice. There's a rough edit of Something Wicked up on youtube at the moment.

Also had a great session with Al and Jo. The makings of another fine CDoG mess we've gotten ourselves into. Avant BBC Radiophonic Workshop train station stories... CDoG doing Sapphire and Steel. If I get my way...

Anyway, I'm going to bed. Night. X


New track Aminal up on our myspace. Next gig = Tuesday June 3rd @ The Good Ship, Kilburn. With visuals and infra-sound by HRT!


And a fucking hello to you too! Oh yes.

But you're not actually going out dressed like that are you?

I'm still here.

Following three weeks without any kind of sensible sleep or food. Another hard drive bit the dust. Typically, on the same day we receive a rather scary gift in the form an iPhone... It's all gone gloriously manic once again I guess. No time to stop and think. You just have to get on with it.

An excellent recording session on saturday. A day out on sunday, an excellent Flame On gig / house warming at Flame House. We're not in a rush to gig but there's a couple of possibles including some summer festival dates. Yes, seriously.

I've also been patching together copies of latest 'lost' mixes for the recent batch of CD orders - some recent stuff is maybe gone for good, but the likes of Something, You're The One and Hope from the recent live sets are safe thank fook. I'm waiting for the go ahead from Garfield for copies of Reel / Invisible (those songs are never going to go away are they? Goes to show you that it's not just about production!).


We're walking through a market place that's like a vast outdoor cloak-room. There's a music festival going on a little further along. They're using mirrors to make things appear bigger than they are. The stage is a huge tilted mirror. There's about thirty people all sat on the ground. I can see my brother backstage larking about with The Horrors.

"How do you know The Horrors?" I ask him when he joins us.
"They work in the same supermarket as me." He says.

Beth hands me a package. It's got "my brother's little brother" in it. He's tiny. I hold his tiny hand as we walk through the coat-hangers.

We have a TV in our house for the first time in two or three years. I can't believe the utter shit I've been missing out on. The liquid insults that are 'adverts' for liquid filth I cannot believe. We've got 200 channels and it's the same utter shit day and night.

I'm watching Children of Men again on DVD and In Search of the Miraculous on youtube. And I've just run out of fags. And it's 5 am. And I'm struggling to do more in the time allowed. Trying to sort out the new CD. I've re-recorded some of the vocals, they're maybe a bit too big and harsh. Taken some bass end off - ridiculous that you get more bass end in a voice than a bass guitar. Still working on the bass sound too, it sounded better a couple of months ago not sure what's gone wrong there. But I'm really happy with the arrangements at the moment.