Tim Doyle and Tony Starr first started writing together at the end of 79. Using varied ‘electronic gadgetry’, ie drum machines, synths, their initial musical ideas were realised. Upon the return of old school friend Fred Loneragan from o.s lyrics were soon written, and they had a singer. This original nucleus of the band played their first gigs in the inner city of Sydney in early 1980. The band were not so concerned with commercial aspirations but with the desire to perform for an audience. Their first show was at Garibaldis, a punk venue disguised as a restaurant in Darlinghurst. This was followed by residencies at the Heritage Hotel in King’s Cross and at the Rock Gardens down the road in William St They had played only a few shows in all before they were joined onstage by another enlisted schoolmate, Nero Swan on bass guitar, although their drummer remained a Roland CR-78 for the next couple of years * With the support of the then 2JJ radio station *, the band recorded some of their songs at Annandale’s Trafalger Studios with Lobby Loyde at the helm in November 1980. These sessions produced the single Average Inadequacy and their debut self-titled EP They were recorded essentially live in the studio with little production and released on the Phantom label, headed by Jules Normington (soon to become a trusted friend) Again with the support of 2JJJ both releases received plenty of airplay and dramatically increased the bands following.
Big Music provided three charting singles. The lead single, “No Say in It” was released in September 1984. The group found Mendelsohn “was really great to work with” on the single. They postponed working on the rest of the album until the producer was once again available. “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 in May 1985 and reached No. 27. “You Got Me Going Again” was released in August and made No. 39. The album’s fourth single, “Execution of Love”, released in December failed to chart. Naomi Star provided backing vocals on most of the album,] although Inez Lawson and Anne Redmond were featured on “No Say in It”.
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 Aid program). It was broadcast in Australia (on both Seven Network and Nine Network) and on MTV in the US. The group developed a cult following in dance clubs during the mid-1980s. The Canberra Times‘ 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 Machis. The second side is by far the better. Led by ‘No Say’, the four other songs combine to give an exhausting record of the band at its best”.
In September 2006 US label, Almacantar Records, reissued the band’s original 1981 EP with one additional track, “Average Inadequacy“.
In February 2012, Machinations reformed and performed some club shows in their home town of Sydney to capacity crowds. Shows were interlaced with the faces of Die-hard fans of an era & music fans of a new generation. MACHINATIONS joined GANGgajang in 2018 for selected events nationally. Watch out for iconic 80’s legends MACHINATIONS coming to a town near you.