Vinyl LP £15.49 016EGGSLP
LP on Bird / Finders Keepers - Legendary 80's private press witchy-folk side-project from Una Baines & Co. (The Fall/Blue Orchids).
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CD £9.99 016EGGSCD
CD on Bird / Finders Keepers - Legendary 80's private press witchy-folk side-project from Una Baines & Co. (The Fall/Blue Orchids).
One of the most obscure, rare and coveted records from the Manchester post-punk scene is actually a sweetly shambling DIY "pagan folk" album from Blue Orchids & Fall keyboardist Una Baines and a load of her (mostly female) cohorts. Numerous other B-Orchids/Mancs luminaries are involved. I read about this briefly years ago but thought it may be a bit of a long stretch to obtain a copy. Those Finders Keepers types have done it again, Ma.
Checking this out in the cold light of day rather than the "witching hour" that I'm normally listening to things I have a keen interest in, I'm struck by how intimate and charming this album actually is. There's a certain stoned campfire feel to proceedings with tom-toms and flute backdropping the sleepy acoustic dissonance and tentative stargazing vocal of opener 'Ceaseless Effort'. 'Bridget of Ireland' follows suit with its gorgeous Wicker Man lull and red-eyed rustic warmth. The track that floored me hook, line and sinker is 'Sheila/She Beats in my Heart' which flows like The Velvets and the Blue Orchids doing Fairport Convention by way of K records. It's a beautifully slow blissed-out lollop of a thing that brings to mind the criminally underrated Scots collective Lucky Luke.
My time/word-count allowance is a bit limited to break this baby down track-by-track. But I don't care. 'Furia' is a dusty, organic heartfelt transmission from the vaults from the early 80s that is quite unclassifiable in its scope. It offers up so much comfort and intimate lure that by the time we reach the gorgeous strolling whimsy of an acoustic pop gem 'No Romance' I'm nearly in tears. How have I lived my life for four decades without having heard this album? These Fates are naive, adorable and waywardly unpredictable. 'Holy Hymn' is a church service in Anton Le Vey's circus sideshow tent. 'What Am I' is a truly fascinating piece - superb dark ambient scare-scapery overlaid with female Lancastrian spoken-word surrealism. Endearing and terrifying simultaneously. I've not heard anything like it in my life! 'Ritual' and 'Strength' conclude this mysterious record and are two similar versions of the same tune; a beautifully rousing dose of female a cappella folk.
Get this, seriously.
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