The Mechanisms

Storytelling Musical Cabaret

Category: Indiegogo

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.

Ulysses Dies at Dawn: Live Debut

by The Mechanisms

The debut of Ulysses Dies at Dawn was, by all accounts, a great success.* The Mechanisms are deeply involved with experiments in gratitude, that they might thank you as you deserve. This is proving trying, but headway has been reported.

In the meantime, for those of you who could not make it and would like to know what the fuss is about, or for those of you who foolishly could make it and wish, for some unknown reason, to relive the experience, we have good news. A long-term Archivist/Stalker of ours was generous enough to record the incident on video. This may be seen here. In addition, our soundman Jimmy Hetherington made a sound recording of the whole gig. It was taken directly through the sound desk, so it’s very good quality. You can stream it from our Bandcamp.

So: if you wanted to know what you were letting yourselves in for, you may now find out.

*The Blogbot has never been seen off-ship, and thus cannot present a first hand opinion.

Broadcast #2

by nastyarasputina

TRANSMISSION // 0002/02/00002012 // AURORA

之動得?違言語?何意味?待・之押that should fix it.

Aurora’s Broadcast #2 – The Mechanisms Update [02.2012 Terran Gregorian]

Greetings once again, stowaways. I’ll tell you now that the only reason we haven’t found you and thrown you out of the nearest airlock (or worse) is that we’ve been a wee bit busy. As follows:

Ulysses Dies at Dawn

We’ve been hard at work reminiscing over whisky and we reckon we’ve more or less got this tale down tap. There are a few hazy points left, and some of us are still a little rusty after an encounter with space whales last week. However, that shouldn’t stop us putting on a show for your delectation and delight. In fact, I think we shall do that very thing.

The First Showing

If you’re in Oxford, or can be in Oxford, or have an outside chance of being in Oxford if you start walking/planning to steal a spaceship now, on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 9TH, you could come and see the first complete debut of this new story! We’ll be playing at the CELLAR, where doors will open at 7PM for 5 of your English Pounds. As support, we are lucky enough to be joined by POLAR PATTERNS (who played with us at Port Mahon last time) and, from London, the clockwork intricacies of POCKETWATCH. Note that, to finish before the venue’s curfew, timing will be very tight – so DON’T BE LATE. We’re looking forward to seeing your faces, and hearing what you think of our tales of the City.


To tickle your fancy while you wait, we’ve found a couple of oddments on our data drives. The first is the Toy Soldier, in its disguise as Jessica Law, singing of the trials of Orpheus. The second is a completely irrelevant newspaper cutting that someone decided to archive. With Ivy lost somewhere in the bowels of the ship, the rest of the Mechanisms aren’t so good at accumulating information in an orderly and sensible fashion.*


As you may have heard, we’re looking to find some funds to record this new story and press it onto a CD. Last year we successfully funded our first album, Once Upon a Time in Space. This year we’d like to do the same for Ulysses Dies at Dawn – with your help. If you fancy you can assist by pre-ordering a copy of the CD for only 5 pounds – but there are also any number of interesting and unusual perks available, should you be willing to help us out still more! Want a pair of Jonny’s lucky dice to help you cheat your way to riches? How about reading Marius’s journals in which he attempts to psychoanalyse the crew? Or even, if you really want, the chance to create a small part of the Mechanisms universe and hear it immortalised in song…?

If any of this interests you, please shimmy over here and have a little look. We’re looking to raise £1,000 as a bare minimum, but anything over that will definitely help to shape the album into a more perfect beast – so anything you can do to help will be greatly appreciated.

We’ll be publicising this more widely after the gig, but for now we’re only mentioning it in whispers and mailing lists. Feel privileged.

Other Appearances

The Mechanisms will also be popping their heads over the parapets at the following events in the near future, so if you’re anywhere nearby at the time then do come and join us.

We will be playing at the 4th birthday of the VAUDEVILLE RAVE on SATURDAY FEBRUARY 16TH, at CARBON in OXFORD. We won’t be on the main stage, but keep an eye on the side stage alcoves and we should be there, telling stories. Like we do. The Vaudeville Rave is always a fascinating night, full of wondrous acts. If you like the Mechanisms, I can’t think of a night more suited for you – electro swing, live Orleans jazz, steampunk graffiti and fire art… For more information look here, and you can book tickets here.

On FRIDAY MARCH 22ND we’ll be playing at the TROUBADOURS acoustic night at the ISIS FARMHOUSE in OXFORD. We’ll let you know more nearer the time.

On SATURDAY APRIL 13TH we’ll be playing at a “Spring Folk Special”. More information nearer the time.

And we’ll hopefully be playing at the CHARLBURY RIVERSIDE FESTIVAL on the 27TH-28TH JULY. It’s a free festival with a great atmosphere, so when we’ve confirmed it and know when we’ll be on, we’ll let you know.

Finally, of course, we’ll be taking Ulysses Dies at Dawn to the EDINBURGH FRINGE this AUGUST.

So now you know all of our plans, you have no excuse. If you should happen to decide not to run away it is entirely not our fault if you happen to be in the way of our cannons. Or alternatively, if you end up in the way of our amplifiers and speakers. You have been warned.

Other Business

That’s pretty much all. The only other item of business is an odd message received from the planet of Cyberia, where, as some of you may know, our engineer Nastya Rasputina vanished a few months ago. The message seems to be a story with very little connection to anything and little to no explanation, so do with it as you will. And look out for asteroids.

That’s all for now. Watch the skies for plummeting Cyberian battleships and we hope to see you all soon.

(That was as much a threat as a pleasantry. Just so there’s no confusion.)

~The Mechanisms

*n.b. Nor is Ivy, but since she remembers pretty much every scrap of information she comes across the orderly and sensible information is in there, somewhere. The others just take completely random samples. In the final analysis no one actually researches these stories before we write them anyway. The Mechanisms are the epitome of the Unreliable Narrator.

Ulysses Dies at dawn.

by The Mechanisms

Greetings, stowaways!

We have been busy the last few months, and as so have a completely new story ready for you! If you want to hear its debut, come down to the Cellar in Oxford at 7:00.

In order to raise the money to record and print the album, we’ll be once again doing an Indiegogo fundraiser – you can get your hands on some nifty stuff at various amounts of contribution, including some limited edition, so head on over and see what takes your fancy!

Drumbot Brian.x


by duckwhatduck

We have some nice little (and not so little) treats in store for anyone willing to help us get the funds together to make an album.

(…and if you’re not so willing, well. We can always set Jonny on you.)

You wouldn’t want that, now, would you?

If you want to make a contribution, head over here. As for what you’ll get for your money:

£5 gets you a CD (that is what this is all about, after all)
£10 gets you that CD, signed
£15 gets you a personalized signed CD
£20 gets you a copy of the Toy Soldier’s story book
£25 gets you a copy of Jessica Law (the Soldier)’s solo CD
£30 gets you a Mechanisms poster
£35 gets you the poster, signed
£40 gets you a drawing by Gunpowder Tim
£45 gets you a set of prints of the characters
£55 gets you original artwork by Ruth Wilkinson or Claire Wilkinson (Ivy).
£75 gets you named as a contributor on the album
£100 gets you a hand-bound book containing the story and song lyrics from the album
£125 gets you lunch with the Mechanisms members
£150 gets you lunch with the Mechanisms, in character.
Any reward also includes every separate item cheaper than it, so £30 will get you a poster, a personalized signed CD, and the Soldier’s book and CD.

Also we will love you, which is a privilege not shared by many people in this galaxy…