The Magical Record of Blue Orchids
While recording of last year’s Righteous Harmony Fist, Blue Orchids messed about with a few covers of insanely obscure low-fi garage / psych tunes. The influence of drug-addled oddities from the previous generation’s underground has been apparent in the work of Martin Bramah since the start of The Fall, due in part to the influence of the real-life subject of No Xmas For John Quays, whose record collection was so packed with US garage classics that the song about him was borne of a sort of jealousy on Mark E. Smith’s part - with a collection like that, every day’s Christmas! Few casual aficionados of rock music will know more than a song or two from this set - the likes of The Penny Saints and The Aardvarks and their kin not exactly being household names. In fact, of the seven ‘60s acts with songs coveredhere, none lasted more than a handful of singles. Complementing those songs are covers of songs by two more recent groups. The swirling keyboards of The Growlers’ Pavement And The Boot is distilled back to its fundamental garage essence, while Crystal Stilts’two-minute original, Love Is A Wave, is slowed down and channelled back to the melodic pop wonder lingering beneath its Reid brothers buzzsaw and pays respect to the band, who’d themselves covered Blue Orchids’ Low Profile a few years back. Of special interest will be Addicted To The Day, the album’s key song, the words for which were recently found in a 1977 notebook of Bramah’s which at Mark E. Smith had borrowed and then scribbled down the ‘poem’ in thanks, to which Bramah added music. The haunting lines, “How could I have suspected my abysmal future / A doom which has haunted me / And turned me into a wreck and a parody”, are the centrepiece of the album, a concept compiled of bits and pieces of esoteric tunes, telling a tale of Faustian doom in a pact with forces of evil. The Magical Record Of Blue Orchids is released in a strictly limited edition while the band works on their next album of originals.