Blue Orchids tonight. One of the more highly regarded and critically acclaimed bands of the Post-Punk/Indie period. Begun in 1979 as the result of Martin Bramah, Una Baines and Rick Goldstraw leaving The Fall after recording their debut album, Blue Orchids was established – getting their name from poet John Cooper Clarke, and beginning a career which saw many members drop in and drop out over a long and celebrated tenure.
Grabbing the attention of John Peel, who recorded their first session in 1980, shortly after the release of their second single Work. Work also caught the ear of Echo & The Bunnymen who invited them to open for them during their 1981 UK tour. Around this time a personnel change brought in a new drummer and they began work on their debut album, The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain), released later on that year. A critically acclaimed band, almost from the get-go, The Greatest Hit was hailed by The Chicago Reader as “One Of British post-punk’s greatest moments”, one of many superlatives the band was given during their career, and justifiably so.
It was also around this time they embarked on a tour with Velvet Underground’s Nico, serving as backing band for the singer as well as support group. Nick Goldstraw decided to leave the band and continue on with Nico, so former Buzzcocks bassist Steve Garvey was recruited before he left and migrated to the U.S. It would probably be safe to say all the comings and goings of band members put stress on the founding members, so that by the time they released their follow-up record, Agents of Change ep in 1982, the band would split up, resurfacing on and off up until 1991 when a new incarnation of Blue Orchids appeared. As of 2016, the band was still together – recording and touring.
This session, their second and last before the split up in 1982 comes around the time of the release of Agents Of Change. The band would stay together for another six months before calling it a day.
Here’s a reminder of what you might have missed the first time around.