Formed in 1979, The Blue Orchids were yet another post-punk band from Manchester. Cut from the same cloth as The Fall, they enjoyed a stop-start career path eventually ending in 1992. There were two key members: Martin Bramah supplied guitar and atonal Mark E. Smith-style vocals whilst Una Baines's keyboard playing mimiced The Doors on a shoestring recording budget. Their early singles are an enjoyable enough racket and 'Disney Boys' and 'Work' remain angry and discordant enough to be worthy candidates on a congested music scene. Importantly they expanded their sound on 'Sun Connection' and 'Wait' as Baines became the key figure underpinning the tracks with the organ as centre stage. Still in 1981 the impressive 'No Looking Back' is as intense as 'Bad Education' is doleful and bitter. They probably reached their peak by 'The Long Night Out'; essentially Manchester's answer to Josef K's 'It's Kinda Funny'. Not everything was great though; some of their material struggles to rise above Fall-by-numbers standard and it was no surprise when Bramah joined The Fall for one of their best albums, 1989's 'Extricate'. The first comeback saw them return with noticeably more levity in their songwriting approach ('Sleepy Town') but the last two tracks - although pleasant enough - lack the urgency of yore. A decent enough - though derivate - inclusion in the history of Manchester's music.