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Machinations - 40th Anniversary "No Say In It" || Also starring: Caligula

The Harbour Agency

Machinations - 40th Anniversary "No Say In It" || Also starring: Caligula

7:45pm, Fri 8 March, 2024
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Event Details

Machinations are at The Bridge Hotel celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their emblematic and best-known single, "No Say In It"!

Machinations formed in 1980 in Sydney with the line up of Tim Doyle on guitar; Fred Loneragan on lead vocals; and Tony Starr on keyboards, vocals, and drum machine. Doyle and Starr had started song writing together at the end of 1979 using electronic instruments. Their school friend, Loneragan, joined, and in early 1980 Machinations played their first show at Garibaldi's in Darlinghurst. Another school friend, Nero (Nick) Swan, soon joined on bass guitar.

The band's debut single, "Average Inadequacy",was released on 26 August 1981. In April 1983 Machinations released their debut album, Esteem, The single, ‘Pressure Sway’was released in June and became an immediate smash hit. 

It was described as "probably [the band's] piece de resistance, In the United States it reached No. 40 on the Billboard chart. Live, the band was becoming a major force on the Australian music scene. Shelley Dempsey of The Canberra Times wrote “Loneragan gives a high-powered performance which is probably rivalled only by Midnight Oil's Peter Garrett".

In 1984 Machinations added Warren McLean on drums. Previously they had used a drum machine, The band recorded their second album, Big Music, at Rhinoceros Studios using Julian Mendelsohn as producer.

Big Music provided three charting singles. The lead single, "No Say in It", preceded the album by nine months – it was released in September 1984. "No Say in It" is the band’s highest charting single, it peaked at No. 14. The second single, "My Heart's on Fire" followed, The third single,”You Got Me Going Again" also charted well and was one of the most played songs on radio that year (1985)

On 13 July 1985 Machinations performed three tracks, "Pressure Sway", "My Heart's on Fire", and "No Say in it", for the Oz for Africa concert (part of the global Live Aidprogram). It was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US

Reporter Andrew Ferrington felt they "have to be one of the best dance bands in the country at present. And Big Music is one of the best Australian dance albums about. It captures beat, depth and harmony that could well have eluded the Macho’s. The second side is by far the better. Led by 'No Say In It’, the four other songs combine to give an exhausting record of the band at its best"

In 1986 White Label issued a mini-album, The Big Beat, a collection of dance remixes of previous singles including, "No Say in It", "Execution of Love", "Pressure Sway" and "You Got Me Going Again"

That year McLean left to join Melbourne funk-pop outfit, I'm Talking. He was replaced on drums by John MacKay (ex-Sea Monsters) in early 1987.

Their third album, Uptown, was released in October 1988 and reached No. 46. It provided four singles over eighteen months. The lead single, "Do to You” reached No 15, ” Intimacy" , "Do It to Me" followed , while the fourth, "Cars and Planes" remains one of their best loved songs.

Their activities were curtailed in April 1989 when a hit-and-run car accident left Loneragan with a broken neck, multiple cuts, bruises and concussion. He spent several months recuperating in hospital. Initially fellow band members intended to continue whilst Loneragan recovered, however the group disbanded as various members left to join other local groups. Swan joined James Freud's band while MacKay performed in Absent Friends.

The band reconvened occasionally during the 90’s. 

Machinations reformed in 2012 by which time they hadn’t performed for 12 years. Since then they have played a limited amount of shows each year. In 2017 they played the ‘A Day on The Green’ shows around the country with Simple Minds, B-52’s and Models. 

3 of the 4 original members remain - Tim Doyle, Fred Loneragan and Nick (Nero) Swan. On drums is Adrian Cannon - on board since 2017. 

The band toured with Boom Crash Opera in 2019 before Covid brought a halt. And now Covid lockdowns are becoming a memory, and the band is open for business again. Return shows have been booked for March 8 and 9 2024 at the Bridge Rozelle. The band still consists of three of the four original members, Fred, Loneragan, Tim Doyle, and Nick Swan. It will have been more than four years since their last show on New Year’s Eve 2019/20 so to say that the band is keen to storm the stage again is an understatement.

2024 also happens to be the 40th anniversary of the release of their emblematic and best known single No Say in It. Machinations will be performing this and the album Big Music in its entirety along with their best known songs like Average Inadequacy, Precious Way, Cars and Planes, Do To You, My Hearts on Fire, You Got Me Going Again 

See you at the Bridge!