Blue Orchids,
The TVD First Date

“My dad got a record player in ’71, when I was fourteen.”

“I remember The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, and Buddy Holly. But with my pocket money I bought ‘Jeepster’ by T Rex, Sly & the Family Stone’s ‘Family Affair’ and others. As unhip as it was, the first piece of vinyl I remember was my dad’s copy of America’s attempt to write a Neil Young song, ‘A Horse With No Name.’ It was played a lot around the house.

Interestingly, it was a massive influence on Mark E Smith, the lead singer of my first real band, The Fall. You can hear its impact in the sprechstimme style of Mark’s voice. He doesn’t really sing or hold a melody. A lot of what he does comes out like that one long line—’in the desert you can remember your name, ‘cause they’re ain’t no one for to give you no pain,’ which barely has any melody. It’s perfect for the tone-deaf, I think that’s why it was a hit. I still hear America’s nearly tuneless ‘la la la la la la…’ in nearly every Fall song.

One day, Mark came to me with the lyrics for ‘Hilary’…’Hilary, where’s the sixty quid you borrowed off me?’ He asked me to turn what he was singing into music, so I gave it a bit more melody, but not too much.

I didn’t get writing credit for the tune, but that’s fair, because the whole thing is basically ripped off America!
Martin Bramah

Blue Orchids’ new ten-track LP, The Once And Future Thing is in stores on June 3 via Tiny Global Productions—on vinyl.

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PHOTO: JIM DONNELLY

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