The Mechanisms

Storytelling Musical Cabaret

The Bifrost Incident Blog 2 – The Difficult Fourth Album

by The Mechanisms


Second Coming. Pinkerton. The Bends. Call it the second year blues, the sophomore slump, whatever you like, but it can be really difficult to produce a second album in the wake of a project you’ve given your all to. When you nail it, though…

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The Bifrost Incident Blog 1: 2016 Game Plan

by The Mechanisms

So, The Bifrost Incident, then. We’re all very excited about this one – there’s a lot of work still to be done, but it’s finally on the horizon. Hope you’re all looking forward to a new full-length tale – if you managed to make it out to the Oxford show the other night and caught the first couple of new songs, thanks so much for supporting us; you made it a great evening, as you always do. And if you couldn’t make it, worry not – there’ll be plenty more chances to catch us as 2016 goes on, and we plan on doing a live recording once the new set’s taken on a firmer shape – that way you won’t miss out even if you live overseas or can’t attend our shows!

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Broadcast #9

by The Mechanisms


As the weather grows wilder and the winds blow away any further ideas I had for alliteration, we have several suggestions for how to keep warm. They do not for the most part involve being set alight by Ashes, so they should be relatively safe.


We have two gigs coming up before Christmas! One is this very Tuesday, tomorrow, October 29th, supporting our old friends Polar Patterns at their Hallowe’en party. It’ll be in the Cellar, Oxford, from 8pm, £5 on the door, and costume and the general ability to have silly fun is advised.

Now, we know that that’s fairly short notice. But don’t worry, we’ll be hosting our own nearly-Hallowe’en gig on Sunday November 10th! It’ll also be held at the Cellar, Oxford, with doors opening at 7pm (again £5 on the door). We’ll be supported by our very own Jessica Law and another local folk many-piece, The Oh So Many. We’ll be playing UDaD alongside a selection of new songs, that it is guaranteed you will not have heard before, so do come along.

And since I’ve mentioned Jessica Law, you should probably be aware that she will again be terrorising the vicinity with her evil folk on December 6th, at the QUILTBAG Cabaret in Oxford.


These won’t keep you warm, unless you print them out and then burn them. This is not a suggestion. At any rate, tales from the City continue to gather on our website. This month we’ve uploaded an account of how Ulysses was persuaded to join the war effort through the actions of their friend Palomedes.

And that’s all for November. We’re at work finishing off the perks for UDaD’s Indiegogo campaign — a quick reminder, the deadline for it being certain that we’ll despatch the perks of your choice, if you have a choice, is Hallowe’en — so look out for a few new singles that may turn up on our Bandcamp soon.

And as the curtain begins to close on the City, another begins to open on the wastelands of Fort Galfridian. Join us on November 10th, and we can tell you more…

Watch the Skies.

~The Mechanisms

Broadcast #8

by The Mechanisms

Dearest stowaways, less dear stowaways, and those of you we’d sooner shoot than look at;

We thought we’d get a break from everything as we left the burning rubble of the Edinburgh Fringe in our wake once more and set out for the wastes of September. Ha. We’d be so lucky. The unforeseen returns of Ivy and Nastya from the depths of Aurora and the depths of space respectively were just the tip of the iceberg. The rest of the iceberg was gigs, violence, stories, beginning to wrap up Ulysses Dies at Dawn and looking ahead to our next project – but strangely, no ice.


Thanks to all of you who came to see us either in London or the Asylum in Lincoln! We only have one gig coming up in the immediate future: we’ll be playing at the DOGSTAR in BRIXTON on THURSDAY OCTOBER 10TH. It’s the Flea Circus organised by Superbard, and we’ll be playing Once Upon a Time (in Space) alongside Superbard’s selection of some of the best acts of the Edinburgh Fringe this year. If that doesn’t entice you along then nothing will, you cold, uninterested zombie.

Also, heads up that we will be playing our usual Hallowe’en-ish gig in Oxford around November. (Someday we’ll actually hit Hallowe’en again. Someday.) We’ll announce dates, times, places and people when we know those kinds of niggly little details, but just so you know. You’ll want to be coming though. As ever, it’ll be the first chance to hear some new material – maybe a track or so from our next album…


The Littlest Libertine

In its normal (dis)guise of the Earthling, Jessica Law, the Toy Soldier has released its second EP, The Littlest Libertine, available on Bandcamp. As with its first EP, Rogue’s Gallery, it’s bizarre, and whimsical, probably hiding delightlfully unpleasant subject material under Jess’s ever-lovely vocals, and is rightfully described with the moniker “polite murder ballads”. Chances are that, if you’re the sort of person who’s reading this list, you’ll like Jess’s music too.

Incidentally, Jess will be launching her EP at the TRUCK STORE on COWLEY ROAD onOCTOBER 20TH at FIVE PM. Do join us (“us” being Jess and some other familiar miscreants) for a not illegal amount of pleasantly evil folk music.


Orpheus, Dionysus, Muriatic Acid and the Strange Whirring Thing

Lastly, we have some more information on the City and its unfortunate inhabitants to share with you. If you were at all intrigued by the sorry tale of the musician and addict Orpheus, then you can satisfy your own needs – for a while – with this short story.


That’s all for this month. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks to those who knew we’d rather shoot them and stayed out of sight. We appreciate the thought.

~The Mechanisms

Broadcast #7

by The Mechanisms


Aurora’s Broadcast #4 – The Mechanisms update [09.2013 Terran]

Wayward stowaways! It’s been too long.

Having once again been forced to leave the Edinburgh fringe without leaving it in ruins (a long story involving the Toy Soldier, a stowaway and a band of rogue space-auctioneers), we finally found some spare time to boot up the Blogbot and send out another message down the space-waves.

Stay tuned to hear about our new Story, planned landing sites for the next month or so [Stop showing everyone our nav files, Brian – JdV], and a little tale about our wayward mechanic.

Ulysses Dies at Dawn – Available from Some Earth-Stores

First and foremost, some of you may remember we promised you that we’d immortalise our tale of Ulysses’ life and death in The City on a shiny compact disc. Well if you haven’t been paying attention to the copies of it we’ve been plastering all over the internet, airwaves and sub-aether, we finished it! You can find the aforementioned plastering on the internet on our personal bandcamp page, and you can even buy a physical artefact of the story for a mere five earth pounds. We recommend you do so immediately. It’s for your own good.

Weekend at the Asylum – Lincoln’s Premier Steam-Party

Shore leave is scheduled for Saturday, 14th September at the UK’s premier Steampunk event, Weekend at the Asylum. Takes place from the 13th-15th in some quaint backwater system called Lincoln.

We’ll be presenting Ulysses Dies at Dawn in full for your delectation/horror (delete as applicable), accompanied by some choice selections from our armoury. Entry wristbands and tickets to all of Asylum’s fantastic events, shows and parties are available after the jump. Remember to get both – wristband gets you into the party, tickets get you into our… enclosure.

Looks to be a decent shindig. Come for the mechs, stay for the steam-themed misadventures. The cogs remind Tim of home, whenever that wasn’t.

Raising Steam in Reading

And for the second convention of the season, Raising Steam! This one much closer to the arbitrarily designated ‘South’ of the chunk of rock you call the United Kingdom.

Along with Metropolis, Miss von Trapp, Crimson Clocks and many more, we’ll be bringing our brand of bittersweet violence to Reading on the 22nd of September, with many other bands over the weekend on both the 21st and 22nd.

I’ve also been informed that it’s a charity, for “New Futures Nepal”. I’m not sure what new futures we can create, or how many paradoxes we’ll form in the process, but we’re told it’s a good cause and assured it doesn’t involve unauthorised time travel. Again, you need to purchase tickets in advance, but as anyone reading this is likely to have an internet connection, you can have a connection to the internet (store where you can buy tickets).

London, CN Lester and The Indelicates

For those of you based in the capital, or those who have more of a penchant for single night gigs than festivals, or just for those of you who want to see us as many times as humanly possible, we have another gig in London on September 6th (That’s this Friday) – with The Indelicates and CN Lester – tickets available here.

We’re on from 8:30 at a place called Power Lunches, address on the tickets page above. Be there or suffer a messy death at the hands of the space-ants. We’re not kidding. There’s a curfew for a reason.

Rumours of Nastya’s return have been greatly exaggerated

We’ve recently picked up a signal from the void, the contents of which seem to involve the missing-presumed-happy-about-it crew member Nastya Rasputina – you can find a copy of it here for your personal ingestion. Perhaps this means she’s on her way back to the ship, perhaps not. Either way, she won’t be pleased to see what Tim’s done to the Aurora’s arsenal…

So, to recap our upcoming events, so you don’t miss a thing:

Friday, September 6th – London with CN Lester and The Indelicates

Saturday, September 14th – Weekend At The Asylum (Lincoln)

Sunday, September 22nd – Raising Steam (Reading)

There’s your fill. See you in a month or so, if we don’t crash Aurora into a sun. Bye!

~The Mechanisms

WhyNot?, Edinburgh, 03-24.08.2013

by The Mechanisms

The BlogBot is not entirely sure what is so attractive about this planet that you call Earth, but the Mechanisms seem to end up there rather a lot. More specifically, at a certain (bizarre) festival known as the “Edinburgh Fringe”, a gathering for cultish rituals and unusual drama and the like. Then again, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they fit right in.

In other words, the Mechanisms will once again be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year. Every evening (but not Wednesdays) at 17:30, at Venue 327 WhyNot? (down the same creepy alley as last year — look for the declaiming space pirate and it’s unlikely you’re in the wrong place) the band will be performing their latest complete story, Ulysses Dies at Dawn.

What’s better, it’s free! For a given definition of “free” where they will ask you for money afterwards and offer to sell you CDs (but without any obligation to do so if, somehow — foolishly — you should dislike them that much).

What’s even better is that on Mondays, from the earlier hour of 16:15, there will be a Double Bill — Once Upon a Time (in Space) followed by Ulysses at the usual time. For the same price as above, i.e. free with a hint of menace.

Do join us. The first night has already seen a large audience, much fun and only a little violence — all of which so far has been confined to those on the stage. Come one, come all — if you want to come multiple times, it’s free, so don’t hold back — dance and sing along and heckle, if you dare — and it should be a fantastic month. You have been warned.

p.s. If, for whatever reason, you can’t make it over August, we can tell you now that there’s already a few gigs lined up for the Autumn. The Mechanisms will be playing with old friends CN Lester and The Indelicates on September 6th in London, as well as headlining Raising Steam in Reading and possibly even playing at Asylum in Lincoln later in the month. And, of course, something will happen around Hallowe’en — so keep your eyes open and your trigger fingers twitchy! See you around, we trust.

Broadcast #6

by The Mechanisms

Descending on the Fringe! Gig with the Indelicates! Blogbot exposition!

Aurora’s Broadcast #3 – The Mechanisms update [06.2013 Terran]

To all you stowaways!
A short one for you this month, what with the crew busy patching up the Aurora to prepare it to sit in low orbit over Earth for the next couple of months, a fact which I assure you should definitely not cause mass panic.

Ulysses Dies at Dawn at the Edinburgh Fringe

Looks like the Edinburgh Fringe is already warning its citizens of our impeding arrival — handily, along with the times, dates and locations of our regularly scheduled descents into the city proper. Hopefully those of you willing to look past the official warnings will find the information useful.

They also handily inform you that our shows are free of charge. What they won’t be telling you is that, on Mondays, we’ll be starting an hour earlier in the same location with a rendition of “Once Upon a Time in Space”, the tale we told during our last visit. All are welcome, whether you’re coming because you missed it last year, or because of the subliminal hypnosis we worked into some of the lyrics.

The Mechanisms and the Indelicates

To those of you who find themselves in Oxford this Tuesday (18th June), you should make your way across to the Cellar, were we will be playing alongside our friends The Indelicates in a night of what I’m going to choose to describe as a non-stop train of exciting avant-garde mayhem, but will probably be called “a national tragedy” the the morning papers.

At any rate, if you’re free on Tuesday, feel free to pop along for a while and say hello. We don’t bite. Other forms of assault are fair game, though.

Metropolitan Fiction

In an act of fully-precedented vainglory, the Blogbot has put together an article detailing popular theories on its own nature, and refuses to function until we broadcast the damned thing. As we have just about zero idea how to actually threaten the pile of space-junk, it looks like were posting an article detailing popular theories on… you get the picture. Enjoy!

So there’s your fill. See you next month, moon beasts not-withstanding.

~The Mechanisms

Broadcast #5

by The Mechanisms



We’ve got a couple of nice goodies for y’all this month, so finish off your hostages, evade the authorities and relax.

Fan-made Old King Cole Music Video

A while ago we were contacted by a particularly fanciful rogue by the name of Emily, who asked to cut a deal. After the bullets and explosions subsided, it became apparent she was interested in using our music as the basis of a documentation of the life of Old King Cole for some academic course (Mad Science 101 or somesuch). As our philosophy is very much “Here are the stories, do with them as thou wilt”, we naturally said yes.

A few days ago we received this message:

To The Mechanisms, Control deck, The Aurora, A star system, A galaxy, The universe.
I am sending this message to the crew though a small and rather ancient computer system I have located within the depths of your ship, a part which I think has probably been forgotten about for many a century. By the majority of you at least, though it is still functional enough for me to be able to send this. I appear to have found myself stuck in this labyrinth of old wires and technology, with enough space to stand at intervals. I never intended to stay but, uh. Well. I never intended to enter either, but I shan’t bore you with the details of that… Embarrassing event.
The humming lights of the electronics are not the only things blinking at me in the dark here. There are things mewling and bubbling in the shadows, and one or two has occasionally found its way onto my legs or shoulder when they drop from pipes. I cannot tell if they are sweet or horrific but I’m not dead yet.
Whilst being stuck in this labyrinth, I have overheard a few things by chance, and discovered others. I now know where the Tin Soldier put all those cakes for starters. It is in fact MORE than four tens. (And now less as they are all I have had to live off.) For another, I discovered old logs, old parts of the Aurora’s memory on cracked screens in rooms which I wonder if you have built over.
To keep myself sane whilst failing to be able to contact you despite best efforts, I listened to your tales and drew for a time. I used the remaining paper I had within my possession. When I ran out this, I moved the images to the old computers and began to compose more images within them, occasionally stopping to venture further and find an old system able to contact your current ones. After about six weeks and over a thousand pictures later, I had composed a visual accompaniment and imagining to your tale of the infamous Old King Cole.
And now, I have managed to reach you. I ask of you not to shoot me on the spot when I’m found, nor disintegrate me, or stab me or – Alright. Just please don’t kill me. I shall leave my artwork with you. Though it can hardly replace stale cake hoards, it may amuse you. Would be much obliged and forever indebted to you if you would eject me upon the next planet with an atmosphere preferably containing oxygen.
My fellow crew-mate should be able to locate me from there.
I thank you for the stories, and here is my gift to you.
From Emily Leistiko, of The Stoppable Unforce

It seems only fitting that we share this gift with you all:

Old King Cole (Animated Music Video by Emily Leistiko)

If anyone’s interested, we ejected her on a planet somewhere around the Jehosephat Sector. Who knows, there might have been some oxygen, we didn’t check.

One-Eyed Jacks

We’ve decided that the live recordings of some of the band’s songs, recorded well over a year ago now, no longer really pass muster. We have therefore undertaken to begin recording some of the songs that are separate from our album story-cycles. While we hope to eventually record them in full studio quality, we are for now limited to what is available onboard ship, but we hope you will agree it doesn’t sound to bad.

First up is the origin story of our erstwhile First Mate – Jonny d’Ville – and it’s available for listening and download.


We have two gigs coming up in the next couple of months. The first is this Saturday (11th May) and is a very informal performance at Merton College in Oxford. It’ll be a free semi-acoustic show, with the Mechanisms doing about a half-hour sans Mssr. d’Ville. Feel free to join us if you’re in the area.

And come the 18th of June, also in Oxford, we are supporting our as-yet-unmurdered friends The Indelicates at the Cellar. It should be a good time for all save those that look at us funny, so keep your weather eye open for tickets when they go on sale.

That’s your portion for this month! Go in peace, before we change our minds.

~The Mechanisms

Broadcast #4

by nastyarasputina


Dear Stowaways,

We have big and exciting news this month! We also have medium-sized news and some slightly less news-like news, which has tentacles and whiskers. They appear in the above order. You have been advised.


The Indiegogo Campaign for Ulysses Dies at Dawn has finally drawn to a close. We’re slightly overwhelmed by the amazing support we received. To put “slightly overwhelmed” in context: the news stopped Jonny in his tracks long enough for his opponent to put a bullet through his chest, breaking a millennium of never losing a duel. Ashes burned their finger when they clean forgot about the match in their hand, and the Toy Soldier dropped a biscuit in its tea. If you were wanting to catch the Mechanisms off guard, you just missed the perfect opportunity. Which is good, really. It means they can get to work producing that album without any hindrances.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed. There’ll be an update going out from the Indiegogo page explaining how we’ll be using the funds, and when you can expect to receive the CD and various perks. We’re currently looking at recording in mid-July, so with luck everything will be done and dusted perfectly in time for Edinburgh. So, provisionally, we can say that our second album, Ulysses Dies at Dawn, will be released on AUGUST 3RD — just as our Edinburgh Fringe run begins.

(You didn’t know about that? Continue reading, and watch this space…)

We may have said it before, but we honestly couldn’t have done it without you lot. You are the best random band of stowaways that any ship in the known universe has ever had. You’re still stowaways, though, so we’re going to start counting to a hundred. And when we get there — we’d like to see you at one of our upcoming shows. (They play Hide and Seek a little different where the Mechs come from.)


Sadly all the tickets for our gig at the Pitt Rivers Museum sold out before we even noticed they were on sale — our apologies to anyone who couldn’t get hold of one. Still, for those who might find some consolation in footage of various Mechanisms exploring what the Museum has to offer, such footage will soon be available on the Museum website (sadly it wasn’t up in time for this Broadcast, but we’ll be sure to share it when we see it). The BlogBot can’t believe they managed to restrain themselves from stripping the building clean while they were inside.

Finally, plans for our second run at the Edinburgh Fringe are being crystallised (in crystals from the Venusian Maze for extra solidity). Our venue will be WHYNOT? on GEORGE STREET (same as last year), our theme (of course) ULYSSES DIES AT DAWN, the times and days to be confirmed soon. But we will be there. So you should be planning to be there as well.


If you don’t know what these are, look here and here and here. If you like what you see, you should get your brain tested and then ask the Toy Soldier nicely if they can hunt one down and bundle it off to you by Royal Mail. You can contact it through its Earthly alter ego’s Etsy store, via the band e-mail, or in person. If you can find it.

While we’re on the topic of the Toy Soldier’s sidequests, we should probably warn you that they have both written a book of dieselpunk darkness and recorded an EP of evil folk. They’re even intending to record a second one. Something should probably be done about this. We suspect that anyone who’s subscribed to this list will come to the conclusion that they should alternately read and listen to the above.

And that’s the lot! It’s been a pleasure, in a sense. Watch the skies.

~The Mechanisms

(…21, 22, 23…)

Broadcast #3

by The Mechanisms

TRANSMISSION // 052::9JU324::00005 // AURORA

Greetings, stowaways!

If you’re recieving this, then you’ve either signed up for the Mechanisms monthly mailing list, or have been automatically signed up by bandcamp after buying one of our CDs. As usual, if you unwisely fail to care, feel free to unsubscribe. We’ve got a lot on our hands and it will most likely be some time before we get around to hunting y’all down.

This month:

Ulysses Dies at Dawn

As we have been endlessly plugging already, we’re about a month into our crowdsource fundraising for our second album, the accurately titled Ulysses Dies at Dawn. We’re doing super well, having surpassed our “bare minimum” goal of £1000 a while back, and are almost up to our “super awesome” goal of £2500. If you haven’t donated yet, don’t worry: there’s still plenty of time, plenty of perks, and even beyond our original goal, every bit of money you donate will go towards making this next CD the most excellent it can be.

We’ve recorded a live version of the story-cycle, performed at its debut a few weeks back. It’s still in its first iteration, and the final set as put on CD will likely have more than a few changes, especially to the narrative, but this should give you an idea of what we’re raising money for.

At the moment you can only listen online, those of you who have donated should be getting a download code to put the live version on your media device. As for the rest of you, well, we can hardly take issue with a little piracy.

Metropolitan Fiction

The City can be a grim place, what with the murder, decay and endless servitude in the Acheron. Some of the best journalistic work on the subject was done by the brash young writer Herodotus, as can be seen in his special report, as well as the official surveillance records:

How Not to Die
FAO: Hermes – not urgent

Next Gigs

We’ve got a short-but-sweet 20 minute slot with The Equinox Troubadours & Trobairitz on the 22nd March (that’s a week on Friday, folks) at the Isis Farmhouse in Oxford. Doors open at 8:30 and we should be right at the end, around 10:35. We’ll be doing some of our shorter character songs, which we’ve been neglecting for awhile, so if you fancy some of that, do come along. Tickets are £6/£4 and available here.

Still in Oxford, on the 25th April, we’re playing at the Pitt Rivers Museum, due to a lost bet and some broken/eaten artifacts. More details will be forthcoming during the next list, but it’ll be fun, even if we’ve been told to lay off the swearing in case there are children present. We’ll do our fucking best.


The lyrics to Ulysses Dies at Dawn should be live now, typos notwithstanding – the blogbot is willing to regale you with tales of the tech-woes that led to such sloppiness, but you’ll need to buy it a pint of oil first. You may notice that the words for the narrative sections are significantly different from those on the live recording, this is because the lyrics up on the site are the ones that will be going on the album (and thus may be occasionally updated until the release of the album itself), while in the live gig was recorded before much of it was finished, such as the dialogue sections.

That’s all for this month. Tune in next time – same Mech-time, same Mech-channel.