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The Orchids - Who Needs Tomorrow

posted 8 Jan 2018, 03:40 by Scene Alba Magazine

4 Stars

Ah, Sarah Records, the label that was the patron saint of wistful, delicate, playful indie sounds from 1987 until they inked their own sudden full stop in 1995. Sarah produced a slew of lo-fi bands like Blueboy, Heavenly, Another Sunny Day and quiet legends The Field Mice. Also included in the roster of artists were Glasgow’s The Orchids.

Sunny yet melancholic quite like Glasgow’s one day of summer a year. At first The Orchids produced quality guitar driven songs, slightly rough around their delicate edges.
Sometimes the guitars are slightly out of time and the vocals stay just on the right side of being in tune but as the recordings went on the band become noticeably tighter, the songwriting grows and they expand their sound to include more elements like keyboards or backing vocalists. The Orchids moved from the standard white guitar band formation into a looser more dance flavoured proposition much like label mates The Field Mice, both bands baring the influence of Manchester legends New Order.

This compilation (all hail Cherry Red once more!) has 38 of the band’s tracks over two discs (including recordings from the early Sarah Records releases through subsequent labels), the first being a retrospective showing the band as they grow from shambling jangle-merchants to indie pop experts and it’s a wonderful affair, the sheer joy from songs like the effortlessly summery ‘Bemused, Confused and Bedraggled’ or the baggy shuffle of ‘Peaches’ is pleasingly infectious.

It’s not all whimsy of course, the bite on ‘Obsession #1’ could break the skin while the heartbreak on ‘The Girl and the Soldier’ is palpable and closing track of disc one ‘We Made a Mess’ is the recognisable sound of frustrated regret etched in music with vocalist James Hackett lamenting “Why do we still fuck up now we’re old?”.

The second disc in this set is made up of rarities, demos and alternative versions which in itself is a lucky bag of great songs by a great band that has never really had the recognition they deserve and if this compilation goes even a little way in ushering a couple of minutes more for The Orchids in the limelight then it’s absolutely worth the love and dedication that’s been put into this package