BAND OF HOLY JOY Margin walkers
BAND OF HOLY JOY
Margin walkers and midnight drifters, Band of Holy Joy have wandered liminal landscapes of their own making for 3 decades now. The weirdness and wildness of the landscape they stagger through, the askew vision like a crash between Coleridge, Brecht and David Peace, the literary allusions and poetry, the strangeness of it all. A cultural piracy raiding doomed melancholy and gentrified mediocrity.
Blue Orchids have just released their latest album, The Once And Future Thing, which shows Martin Bramah’s songwriting to be as strong and diverse as ever, from the powerful opener “Good Day to Live” to the delicate and sensitive “Rosy Hours” and the twisted English city blues of “Motorway.” Backing Bramah live is a new band comprising John Paul Moran (Monochrome Set/Rapid Pig) on keyboards and Vince Hunt (A Witnes/Inca Babiess) on bass. They’ll be performing a set filled with classics from the group’s entire catalogue. The current dates mark a long-overdue return to the stage for Bramah and his mesmerising, shamanic performances.
The Once And Future Thing confirm Bramah’s status as one of the Britain’s most inventive and original guitarists and a superbly measured, thoughtful lyricist. Perhaps that’s why Blue Orchids were chosen by Nico (Velvet Underground) to back her for several years; why his songs were covered by Aztec Camera, Sonic Youth, Dustdevils, Camper Van Beethoven, Crystal Stilts, Slovenly and many more; why he’s been acclaimed by successive generations of musicians and writers for “making music which is introspective yet exhilarating, sad but stirring.”
The founding guitarist of The Fall and its primary songwriter on early releases, Bramah formed the Blue Orchids with two other disillusioned Fall members after the release of the Live At The Witch Trials album – with almost instant success. John Peel championed the 7″ singles “Work” and “The Flood” and had them record two radio sessions. Soon after, a high-profile tour with Echo & the Bunnymen followed. Their debut album, The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain) topped the indie charts and delivered five classics still in the set today – “Sun Connection,” “Dumb Magician,” “A Year With No Head,” “Low Profile” and “Bad Education.”
Over the years, the members of Blue Orchids came to read like a Who’s Who of independent music, including members of Dislocation Dance, James, The Smiths, Primal Scream, Buzzcocks and more.
Ten years after his initial departure from The Fall, Bramah rejoined for the band’s Extricate album – to date, still the band’s biggest-selling album . . . and then departed again, with Mark E. Smith telling him, “You’re just too good for the band!” (likely the only time a Fall member left the band with actual praise from the irascible Smith!)
Having created one of early post-punk’s most distinctive sounds with their strung-out keyboards weaving around inventive, discordant guitar patterns — once described as “Phil Spector meets the Velvet Underground beneath the Blackpool illuminations” – the Blue Orchids now move on, determined to make the world a more colourful place. The Once And Future Thing will confirm Martin Bramah as an artist who has followed his muse and continues to write great and memorable songs.
THE BITTER SPRINGS
The Bitter Springs are an English rock group from the London suburb of Teddington. The band evolved from Last Party, who had formed in 1985, with the name changing in 1996. The band have released two albums as Last Party, and six as The Bitter Springs and also played with Vic Godard as Subway Sect, on and off for nine years.
8pm The Bitter Springs
8.45pm Blue Orchids
9.50pm The Band Of Holy Joy
(Sunday) 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
£12, adv £10