Blue Orchids emerged from the rich post-punk scene of Manchester in 1979. Their second single, titled “Work,” was given plenty of airtime by the famed DJ John Peel and, in ’80 and ’82, they visited his BBC studio twice to record career-boosting “Peel Sessions.” They also supported both Echo and the Bunnymen and Nico on tour and later acquired ex-Smiths guitarist Craig Gannon. In other words, Blue Orchids had everything they needed to expect commercial success, but instead they have largely fallen into obscurity.
In many ways, Blue Orchids embody the same sound that many of their Manchester post-punk contemporaries were producing; they have the simple guitar-and-drums setup backing a vocalist with a strained but not unpleasing voice. What sets Blue Orchids apart from the others, though, is Una Baines’ keyboard which infuses their music with a pipe organ quality. Thanks to Baines, Blue Orchids were a fresh addition to the post-punk sound, drawing as much from the music of the Doors as they did from the Sex Pistols.
Article by Weston Clay