It is to my eternal shame that I haven’t really featured The Orchids all that much on the blog.  As this bio demonstrates, they have much in common with musicians in whom I store a great deal:-

Acclaimed Glasgow band The Orchids recorded for cult independent label Sarah Records. Formed in 1987, this prolific yet overlooked five-piece recorded a string of singles as well as three excellent albums, Lyceum (1989), Unholy Soul (1991) and Striving For the Lazy Perfection (1994). Often compared to similarly cerebral pop operators such as Felt, Aztec Camera and Primal Scream, the band split in 1995 at the height of their powers. Most of their records were produced by Ian Carmichael of One Dove.

The band reformed in 2004, and have since released three more albums: Good to be a Stranger (2007), The Lost Star (2010) and Beatitude#9 (2014).

The band passed me by, entirely, back in the 90s. I can offer no explanation other than the first two albums coinciding with a turbulent period in my life and then feeling very old (at the age of 26/27) as the ‘kids’ lost their minds over Sarah Records and the new sound of indie-pop. I do now own all three of those albums, courtesy of them being reissued many years later on CD, complete with a plethora of bonus tracks of singles, b-sides and demo versions. There’s plenty of material to come up with at least two quality ICAs but I’ve just found the task to be beyond me, mainly as I feel something of a fraud having not invested, financially or emotionally, in the band back in the days. For now, here, picked at random, is one of the singles:-

mp3: The Orchids – Something For The Longing

Released with the catalogue number SARAH 29 back in 1990



  1. The Orchids were particularly significant as a truly Scottish voice on the indie-pop scene following the demise of the superb 53rd and 3rd record label.

    I didn’t dive in until Lyceum. Based on the encouraging hubbub from my growing circle of acquaintances and friends I had high expectations of the 10″ LP. I enjoyed the LP but didn’t get the fuss. I stayed loyal to the band though and bought subsequent LPs – I never sought out singles although I was aware of them.

    The Lost Star saw the band make a significant, confident LP and one that the indie-pop scene of the time embraced – fans turned up from far and wide to the Glasgow gigs in support of the LP : Indonesia, Japan, Brazil, USA, France, Sweden, Spain, Wales and England …. (please add a country I may have missed here …………………. ).

    I’m not knowledgeable enough about the band to collate an ICA but would certainly appreciate Vol. 1 or 2.

  2. A glorious band who have somehow perfected the each release better than the last trick . So much more than a Sarah label

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