Blue Orchids are a vintage Mancunian post-punk band (formed by Martin Bramah after he’d played on The Fall’s debut(!)) who’ve come back for more in recent years. New EP Skull Jam features a mixture of brand new songs, new versions of old songs, and a cover, and it bristles with energy and interest. 10” on Tiny Global Productions.
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Proud to be Britain’s millionth reformed band the Blue Orchids originally came out of early ‘80s Manchester when leader Martin Bramah was kicked out the Fall (not for the last time it turned out). Over the course of history Bramah must have been the Fall’s unluckiest man. Not only did he start the band with Mark Smith but was responsible for the nascent blueprint of their sound.
All of this is in evidence on the opening title track which combines slashing post punk guitars with a tune that sort of harks back to late ‘70s pub and power pop. it also sounds remarkably like the Fall. Most of the tracks here have some sort of history to them. ‘Hanging Man’ was originally attempted in ’82 and tweaked over the years, ‘The Devils Answer’ is a version of a hoary old track by the Angelic Upstarts but most interesting is ‘Work Before the Moon Falls’ which was originally written for the Fall. This is dirty and dingy music with an energy that belies the age of the band.
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