Today’s words are courtesy of Whippet at The Wheel, a wonderful former blog dedicated to the life and work of Billy Mackenzie:-

The guitarist Steve Reid was a long time friend of Billy’s.

“Orbidoig” had been a name used by Mr Reid and Christine Beveridge for their musical project formed some time after Christine had taken on vocal duties with Strange News in 1980. Billy had managed to help get Orbidoig a deal with Situation Two back in 1981, which had resulted in a single “Nocturnal Operations”/ “Up Periscopes”. Billy MacKenzie is credited with playing tubular bells on “Nocturnal Operations”. It was recorded around the time Christine Beveridge briefly joined Billy and Alan to form 39 Lyon Street and record one track “Kites”. The Orbidoig single sleeve photo is actually a publicity photo of 39 Lyon Street which has been severely cropped – leaving only Christine.

In the wake of the Rankine split, 1982 saw Billy team up with old pal and fellow Dundonian Mr Reid once more for a one-off single “Ice Cream Factory” released neither as a Billy MacKenzie solo single nor as an Orbidoig release… but as “MacKenzie Sings Orbidoig”! A rich musical creation spawned under the watchful eye of producer Mark Arthurworrey and written by Stevie Reid, the outcome made for a spot of uneasy, easy-listening. Released in 12″ and 7″ versions, the single received scant airplay and bombed. The B-sides were a dub version of the A side called “Cream Of Ice Cream Factory” and another track “Excursion Ecosse En Route Koblenz Via Hawkhill” a melodic but rather twisted, gnashing bit of guitar wrangling from Mr Reid. Hawkhill, for those who have no experience of Dundee is a pleasant cosmopolitan road which stretches from the big roundabout at The Marketgait, past the end of Blackness Road and down onto the Perth Road.

The 7″ has a place in the cupboard and is the 77th alphabetical single in this long running series:-

mp3 : Mackenzie Sings Orbidoig – Ice Cream Factory
mp3 : Mackenzie Sings Orbidoig – Excursion Ecosse En Route Koblenz Via Hawkhill



A reader kindly pointed out the the b-side ‘skipped’ a bit early on in the recording.

I’ve re-done the track and the problem is now resolved……

7 thoughts on “SATURDAY’S SCOTTISH SINGLE (Part 77)

  1. This was sadly, the only 1982 release from Mr. MacKenzie, but it’s a delightful step sideways from the art bomb that was “Sulk.” Reid’s guitar on the B-side was fiery, indeed. But the real prize is the “Nocturnal Operations” 12″ by The Sensational Creed [a.k.a. Orbidoig]. If you lack that one, do seek it out. You won’t miss MacKenzie, who only co-produces, and plays tubular bells on the B-side, the brilliantly titled “Down Pericomoscopes.” It’s that good! Vocalist Christine Beveridge was also the lead voice on the “Kites” single by another Associates spinoff, 39 Lyon Street, in 1981.

  2. Yep, one of Billy’s finest singles. I have the 12″ (somewhere) still. One of those that I could never part with.

  3. My 12″ copy doesn’t have ‘Excusions…’ on it. Oh…your copy jumps between 30 and 35 seconds

  4. I sent the mp3 to you a while back of Club Country to replace yours…’cos that jumped n’all!!! Hope you’re well.

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