Jul 19, 2021
By Caleb Campbell
Micko & The Mellotronics is the London-based art punk outfit fronted by actor and musician Micko Westmoreland. Already known for his acting and his music as The Bowling Green, The Mellotronics were formed initially as Mick’s live backing band but quickly took on creative new dimensions of their own. With Nick Mackay of Barricades on drums, Vicky Carroll of Owls of Now on bass, and Jon Klein of Siouxsie & The Banshees on guitar, their creative chemistry sparked post punk magic on their 2020 record 1/2 dove – 1/2 pigeon. Now the band are back, sharing the accompanying music videos for one of that record’s highlights, “Sick and Tired,” premiering with Under the Radar.
“Sick and Tired” plays knowingly with old school garage rock and post punk stylings, blending together a descending bassline courtesy of The Specials’ bassist Horace Panter and wiry guitar work straight from the Stranglers’ playbook. The result is lithe and playful instrumentally, but dense and thoughtful lyrically. Meanwhile, the accompanying video hits on a similar mix of playful humor and dark subject matter, acting out the song’s vignettes in a pop-up book style.
Micko says of the inspiration behind the track, “I gave some money to a homeless person and was criticised by a local resident for doing so. He thought I was colluding with his problem! Obviously, the plight of the homeless is not his responsibility. However, homelessness is a much bigger issue than just the inconvenience of having to walk past it. Somehow this perspective had been lost and the significance was the lack of compassion expressed for the guy at his feet.
Ashley Jones (www.thechaosengineers.com) and I developed the video, with Ashley coming up with the pop-up book theme. An old friend from school Peter W did the artwork. We had the 1975 Michael Bond Paddington TV show as an initial visual cue.
The song contains a different point of view in each of its five verses (We/He/She/They/You), this track was the first written for the 1/2 dove – 1/2 pigeon album, I felt it was an advancement on the drawing board. The overriding theme is the very human tendency to hone in on the often trivial details in life, whilst missing the elephant that remains prominently in the room.
I wanted the track to get progressively more serious with the last verse being the final pay off, so it starts with a ‘Viz’ like scene of a vicar scoffing too many biscuits at a village jumble and finishes with the one about the homeless. “Nothing seems to satisfy, finding fault in everything, happy to externalize than except what lies within’, the chorus states, this is a statement about loss of perspective and a reluctance to examine one’s own feelings before reacting and I think this often occurs.”
Check out the song and video below.