The fact that I have the long-running Saturday series focusing exclusively on music from Scottish singers or bands means I often neglect to feature some decent stuff in the midweek slots.

For instance, back in October 2013, I mentioned the fact that I had VERY belatedly discovered The Orchids some 25 years after they were at their peak and releasing all sorts of great songs on Sarah Records; it had always been my intention to follow-up that particular post with some more from the band but I never seemed to get round to it.

But here’s an effort to rectify that by showcasing the three songs that made up SARAH 23, a three-song EP from September 1989.

mp3 : The Orchids – What Will We Do Next?
mp3 : The Orchids – As Time Goes By
mp3 : The Orchids – Yawn

These really are three very fine slabs of music. Obviously had no chance of finding a big audience with the youth of the day immersed in and obsessed with baggy/Madchester. The first two tracks are along the lines of what you’d expect with As Time Goes By in particular feeling as if it would still get folk up on the indie-disco/twee dance floor. But the third is much more experimental and nature and not remotely anything you’d expect to find on the label the band were attached too. It’s also a mind-boggling seven and a bit minutes in length….which is longer than a number of four-track EPs that were being issued by a number of their contemporaries.




The front and back of the three-track 7″ debut single for Sarah Records by The Orchids.  Worth well over £100 if you’ve still got a half-decent copy.  Released in January 1988 and has the catalogue number of SARAH 2.

Being lazy, let me just lift from wiki:-

The Orchids are a Scottish band that achieved success with Sarah Records. Formed near Glasgow in 1986, the Orchids released a series of underground singles on the influential Sarah Records . The group’s line-up comprised James Hackett (vocals), John Scally (guitar), Chris Quinn (drums), Matthew Drummond (guitar) and James Moody (bass). Their producer, Ian Carmichael, often played keyboards on their records. The group split up in 1995, playing their final gig at the Sarah Records farewell party.

The Orchids were musically one of the most interesting Sarah bands and certainly developed far more on that label than any band except, perhaps, The Field Mice. Starting with a fairly conventional melancholy guitar pop sound on Lyceum and contemporaneous singles, they moved on to become more keyboard and sample/effects-based for their second and third albums, Unholy Soul and Striving For the Lazy Perfection, developing a more electronic sound, possibly as a result of their producer, Ian Carmichael, who was a member of dance band One Dove.

Their entire back catalogue was re-released on CD on LTM in 2005. The band had already reformed in 2004 with new bassist Ronnie Borland, and released their fourth album Good to Be a Stranger in February 2007. The album was issued on Madrid based label Siesta, with the band playing live gigs for the first time in twelve years. In 2010 the group released a fifth album, The Lost Star through Pebble Records, mixed by a returning Ian Carmichael.

A few friends over the years had mentioned The Orchids to me, but having completely missed out on them in their day, and not willing to pay the really silly money that come with any material released on Sarah Records, I never chased things up. A while back tough I stumbled across a posting about them elsewhere and that’s when I found out about the re-releases on LTM so I promptly sent off for all three of the LPs.

The great thing is that they also include the very hard to find 45s that weren’t ever made available on the original LPs meaning I’ve had almost 60 songs to learn and love.  Not surprisingly I suppose, I’m finding myself much more attracted to the earlier material – the stuff described as having a fairly conventional melancholy guitar pop sound, and have certainly fallen for the charms of SARAH2:-

mp3 : The Orchids – I’ve Got A Habit

mp3 : The Orchids – Give Me Some Peppermint Freedom

mp3 : The Orchids – Apologies

Great mention of Irn Bru in the lyric of the lead track…….

All of this leads me to announce that as of tomorrow, the Saturday Scottish single returns, with more re-posts from the old blog until I catch up with things again later this year