The Siamese Monitors were a Dublin synth-band in the same vein as contemporary synth artists such as the Human League and OMD. They were formed in 1979 by Steve Rapid (ex Radiators, Modernaires), Paul Wynne and Dermott Gunn. Their first live performance(s) consisted of an improvised live soundtrack to F.W.Murnau's 1922 silent classic Nosferatu, performed with synth and percussion. Kathy Kryer AKA Kathy O'Donaghue (vocals/synth) joined in late 1979 or early 1980 after she left or was booted out of the Boyscoutz. A second singer Paula Dee (vocals/keys) joined sometime later. Mark Megaray and Pete Holidai, both (ex) Radiators, collaborated with the group at different times over the following years.
The band appeared on the Late Late Show on RTE performing an original song 'Waiting For The Weekend', with Mark Megaray guesting on bass. They supported the Zen Alligators on their debut gig at the National Ballroom in 1981. Apparently they also wrote a jingle in this period, and provided anonymous backing on TV, which helped raise funds for new equipment. I have no details of these recordings. Kathy left in 1981 and went into performance art. Dermot Gunn also left, and Tina O'Brien joined.
The Rapid/Wynne/O'Brien lineup recorded a demo tape Rehearsal For Life (circa 1982?) and reputedly released a limited edition cassette single 'Good To Be Alive' but I can find no further details of this release. Recordings from this period were eventually released as a single in 1986 (see below). This lineup also played a few live gigs, including the Methods Of Rhythm showcase also featuring The Fountainhead and Ambitions In Glass.
A single credited to The S.M. Corporation (Siamese Monitors Corporation) was released on Revolving Records with the lineup show above plus ex Radiators Pete Holidai. The recordings on this single date from 1983. In Dublin magazine thought they were a new band at the time, when reviewing the single in May 1986. The A-side is reputedly inspired by Anne Rice's "Interview With A Vampire". The B-side is a cover of the John Carpenter classic theme.
Then in 1988 two tracks appeared on one of the Comet samplers, indicating that Rapid was still dabbling in synth noises. These tracks are very similar to the early '80s synthpop material and sound quite dated for 1988. It's likely they date from the earlier period.
There was a third female vocalist, Karin Parkes, who replaced Tina before the band finally split in 1989.
Given the increased interest these days in synth pop (now re-named minimal synth -- it sounds cooler), its not surprising to find the band has a bandcamp site selling limited edition archive releases. See the External Links section below.
Produced by Pete Holidai (also credited with additional keyboards & guitar), Paul Thomas and Stephen Rapid. Confusingly, the label claims the single is REV16.
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