An integral part of the early electronic music scene, The Metronomes were formed by synthisizer pioneers Al Webb (Streetlife) and Andrew Picouleau (Secret Police, Popgun Men, Sacred Cowboys) in 1979. Al, who was then a rock journalist and part time studio producer, met Andrew at a party and between drinks tossed around the idea of a one-off single using a Metronome as a rhythm section. Both sides would be instrumentals, and have some sort of thematic connection. Ash Wednesday (JAB, Models) was hauled in to guest on one side, and in early 1980, 'Saturday Night'/'Sunday Morning' was released. 

During 1980 the position of Ash Wednesday with Metronomes was cemented and it was his ingenuity in creating something out of very little that was the key to the Metronomes sounding as ‘produced’ as they did. In July the second single 'A Circuit Like Me'/'Closed Circuit' was recorded with Ash as a permanent member and by this time the band had settled on what they were all about; they would remain a studio group, and artistic control for each track would be in the hands of whoever composed it, with all contributions welcome but with the composer having the right to refuse or ignore any and all suggestions or contributions.

The Metronomes were also determined to not fall into any one given sound or style, as most live performing acts can.  To ensure this they used anything and anyone at their disposal, generating whatever sound they wanted, crossing over between whatever styles of music they felt inclined to. With that in mind in 1981 they approached their first long—play album, 'Multiple Choice' (Cleopatra Records). With the total rehearsal time for the album being six hours, a hundred hours later the band emerged with the sort of album they wanted - an album with a heap of variety that's accessible but never quite predictable. 

The LP was greeted with mild enthusiasm by the alternative music pressThe group took a break but in 1985 recorded the album 'Regular Guys' (Cleopatra Records). This LP featured the next generation of synthesizers allowing the instrumental tracks to be recorded direct to tape, a process which almost entirely eliminated tape hiss. Today their releases have become a collector’s item in Europe, as they are mostly impossible to find. 

The Metronomes line-up included: Al Webb - Guitar/Synthesizer, Andrew Picouleau - Bass, Ash Wednesday - Synthesizer.

The Metronomes, 1985 - Source: Al Webb

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The Metronomes - A Circuit Like Me.mp3

  • Main Image - The Metronomes, 1980 - Source: Al Webb
  • Background Image - 'A Circuit Like Me' 1980, single cover - Source: Discogs
  • Virgin Press cover, 1981 - Source: Al Webb
  • The Metronomes gallery, 1980-1985 - Sources: Al Webb and Discogs