Desperate Bicycles - The Medium Was Tedium

Artist: Desperate Bicycles

Song: The Medium Was Tedium (7”) (1977)

Formed in Dalston East London during March 1977, the Desperate Bicycles were one of the first bands to seriously aspire to the DIY recording ethic that punk had sent into overdrive. They took one stage further Mark Perry's 3 chord call to action and showed groups could have total artistic control. A concept later taken up by bands like Crass.

This is the second single.

The drummer and guitarist had left the band soon after the recording of the "Smokescreen" single, with the drummer being replaced by Dave Papworth, then aged 14 years. The new line-up went back to the studio in June 1977 and recorded another two songs, "The Medium was Tedium" and "Don't Back the Front". The second single was released in February 1978 in a pressing of 1,000 and sold out in a week. "The Medium was Tedium" incorporates "it was easy, it was cheap - go and do it!" as a refrain, urging others to follow the band’s example. "Don't Back the Front" contains the lines: "cut it, press it, distribute it / Xerox music's here at last". For the Desperate Bicycles 'do-it-yourself' "meant the overthrow of the establishment music industry through people seizing the means of production, making their own entertainment, and selling it to other creative and autonomous spirits". With the profit from their second single the group pressed a further 2,500 copies of each of their singles, and also purchased some more equipment

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