Starting this little story in a different way, it must be said that Blue Orchids only exists due to the unstable and homesick Mark E Smith. I explain: After forming the Fall and record an EP and the band’s first album, he fired guitarist Martin Bramah and keyboardist Una Baines – half the group – because (according to Markão himself) they both wanted to make more accessible music. They decided to call some friends and so, thanks to a kick in the ass from the eternal Mr. Pharmacist, the blue orchids were born.
Despite the ‘musical differences’, it is undeniable that the duo, now accompanied by Rick Goldstraw, Steve Toyne and Joe Kin remained, at least in the beginning, musically linked to their ‘fallian’ roots, but with the addition of THAT Hammond, which I will talk about again later.
Well, legend has it that John Cooper Clarke suggested that the new band be named Blessed Orchids, but due to some confusion by the guitarist (Goldstraw) ‘blessed’ was changed to ‘blue’ and in the end that was it. same. Prior to their first Rough Trade records as Blue Orchids, they served as a support band for the European tour of Nicowhich only reinforced – after the release of the group’s first single, The flood/Disney boysin 1980 – comparisons with the former Ice Woman band, some Velvet Underground.
The thing is that both these comparisons and my statement made in the second paragraph are true: when listening The greatest hit (Money mountain), the first full album by Orchids that is now circulating here, it is impossible not to draw a parallel with Fall and Velvet. Bramah’s vocals, for example, are a strange mix of Mark Smith and Lou Reed, both spoken and sloppy; the music is minimalist, dirty and psychedelic in a weird way, like Velvet taught everyone who came after. Including Fall, of course (go straight to “Hanging man” and get exactly what I mean).
A year after debuting, they released an EP (Agents of change) and separated for the first time. In 1984 they made peace, in 85 they divorced again, in 1991 Martin Bramah brought together other musicians and reformed the band, then went on hiatus again and since the beginning of the 2000s he has kept Blue Orchids active, recording (good) albums and doing shows. Ufa!
Ah, about THAT Hammond (laughs), just listen to it and understand where the steakhouse keyboard came from that is the trademark of another reference in Manchester music, the Inspiral Carpets.
PS: this version of The greatest hit is accompanied by the EP Agents of change and a cover of “All tomorrow parties”. Listen to the stalk!