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The Blue Orchids Album Reviews 3out of 5
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A Darker Bloom - The Blue Orchids Collection

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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.
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  Track Listing
01 Disney Boys
02 The Flood
03 Work
04 The House That Faded Out
05 Sun Connection
06 Wait
07 Dumb Magician
08 Low Profile
09 No Looking Back
10 Bad Education
11 A Year With No Head
12 Tighten My Belt
13 Agents Of Change
14 Conscience
15 Release
Standout Track The Long Night Out
17 Sleepy Town
18 Diamond Age
19 Out Of Sight

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
Blue Orchids, The - The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain), The Sleeper, From Severe To Serene (Peel Sessions Plus), Mystic Bud, Slum-Cavern-Jest!
Department S - Sub-Stance
Doors, The - The Doors
Fall, The - The Light User Syndrome
The Nightingales - Pissed & Potless - The Definitive Nightingales Collection, What's Not To Love?
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