MonMon was born in Leeds in 2004 as an instrumental trio to guitarist David Nolan, drummer Phil Leigh and bassist "Midi".
Monmon are named after a spider in a Studio Ghibli anime. You knew that.
They wrote some songs - Number 1, Number 2 and Aussie, unfortunately
Midi emigrated to Sweden immediately and was replaced by ex-The Ukranians Alan Dawson in early 2004, and
Paul Hazelgrave joined on guitar shortly afterwards.
In 2006 Paul asked
Andrew Mills ex-La Costa Rasa and Sneetches(UK) to join as vocalist
under the simple proviso of "No Love Songs". Easy enough.
They wrote Ouija-Board, Ninety-Nine and The Surprising Arm (NOT about a one-handed artist), amongst others.
Phil didn't like having a singer and left to build a record shop (Norman Records). Reuben Holmes joined as drummer. Nine of MonMon's guitars were stolen from Paul's house whilst the band were enjoying a slap-up Chinese feast.
We gigged a few gigs but the sound wasn't really what we were after. Subsequently Paul also left and Andrew took over rhythm guitar playing.
In 2006, inspired and influenced, or merely sedated, by the colourful environs of Leeds Six, Monmon rehearsed in the back of the now defunct Primrose pub and then, through Reuben, in a series of squats around the University.
In the misty autumnal morning light of 2006 this line-up recorded the EP "Repetition with Variation", at Mike Thrussel's Hoolamusic studio in Leeds.
The following summer in 2007 MonMon performed at the Leeds Unity Day Festival, an independently organised event celebrating the cultural diversity of the Hyde Park Area.
Unity was set up in response to some rather nasty riots around Leeds in 1995, when cars and a pub were set ablaze. you can read about that here (independent newspaper) and the unity day festival as response here (youcando.org). Members of monmon were living in LS6 at the time. It wasn't nice.
Nothing lasts forever. Squats are repossessed. Daggers are twisted, wiped and secreted.
At least a few photographs remain.
Reuben left to concentrate on his other band, multi-national ska-punk-reggae-agits Navigantes and Matt Hayward joined as drummer.
MonMon wrote songs with unusual structures and lyrical angles inspired by cut-ups, stream of conciousness writing and randomisation. Dawson and Mills both worked within Contemporary Dance at the time, which opened access to a lot of experimental composers such as Terry Riley, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Steve Riech.
Many of these songs are unreleased, but a few are bound with unbleached hemp in the cellar, where they are watered with the sweat from the necks of homesick tourists and fed with coconuts stolen from the last Pennines-born cargo cultists.
Some surviving songs include John Frum, Haircut, B-Sides and Hell to Pay.
Monmon became a trio. Alan now plays banjo and mandola for The Happy Red Tractors, an eight-piece musical collective specialising in blue-grass, European and American folk music. Thus he is not in this picture.
This version of Monmon recorded the EP "Monkey Fist" in 2009, engineered by Ed at The Soundmill, Leeds.
So. 2010 was spent gigging and writing, while recording an LP a few days a month. A long process...Garage Rock was released in 2011 to much acclaim and we're very proud of it. But then, Matt decided to relocate from the area in his new Mini and once again MonMon begain scouring the sky and seas for the elusive rare migrating drummers. Summat like that anyway.
Now, it's 2013. Mike Quarry has been with us just over a year and already there's two EPs out - Sheep Hanger Blues and Pop Disaster Noise. We're even in the studio again in April - wowsers. That's like fucking incredible - as you can see below.