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Skull Jam

by Blue Orchids

  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    A brilliant and underrated interlude in the Blue Orchids' catalogue. Two outtakes from the sessions which gave birth to "The Once And Future Thing" and were intended as a 7" single (a new track, "Skull Jam" and a re-recording of "Hanging Man", from 1981) until the band recorded two more songs - an unexpected cover of Atomic Rooster's "The Devil's Answer" and "Work Before The Moon Falls", a re-creation of the song which gave birth to The Fall's "Before The Moon Falls" and Blue Orchids' own classic 7", "Work".

    Includes unlimited streaming of Skull Jam via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £4 GBP  or more


Skull Jam 02:27


Tracks 1 and 2 were recorded at the sessions for the Blue Orchids' "The Once And Future Thing" album, originally for a 7" single.

Tracks 3 & 4 were recorded after a line-up shift that introduced Vince Hunt (formerly of Inca Babies and A Witness) on bass.

It seemed to make more sense to create an EP from these two sessions, and this alleviated the problem of the "Hanging Man" being a bit too long to fit on one side of a 7" 45 without a severe loss of sound quality.

"Skull Jam" felt like a classic 7" garage song - short and to the point, nearly, but not quite, careening out of control.

"Hanging Man" was originally recorded for the debut Blue Orchids album, "The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain)" and has remained a staple of the live set, undergoing several mutations. Chris "Clunk" Connolly's motorik intro renewed the song. This version was recorded in a single take.

"The Devil's Answer" was a UK #4 hit for the somewhat-forgotten Atomic Rooster back in 1971, visited here by the band solely for your entertainment!

"Work Before The Moon Falls" is an oddity. When Martin Bramah left The Fall in 1979, much of "Dragnet" had already been written (he did not receive credit for his notable contributions) and there were several songs that were altered heavily by the band after his departure. Among these was "Before The Moon Falls," which had as its musical backing a tune which later became the basis for The Blue Orchids' "Work." If you know both songs, it's hard to imagine them being the basis for those two very different pieces . . . they don't even share a primary riff in the way that The Buzzcocks' "Lipstick" does with Magazine's "Shot By Both Sides" (which were similarly parts of the same song originally.) So to vaguely demonstrate the connection, Martin and the boys cooked up this new version.


released March 17, 2017

Martin Bramah (vocals, guitars, mandolin, banjo), Ann Matthews (wah guitar), John Paul Moran (keyboards, vocals), Chris Dutton (bass on 1 & 2), Vince Hunt (bass, vocals on 3 & 4), Chris Connolly (drums, vocals).

Tracks 1 & 2 recorded, mixed and mastered by Richard Trubridge at TruStudios, produced by Martin Bramah.

Tracks 3 & 4 recorded and mixed by Simon Ding Archer at 6dB, mastered by Stuart Moxham, produced by Martin Bramah.


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Blue Orchids Manchester, UK

Continuing the mystical thread and acid explorations which were a hallmark of The Fall's initial line-up, Martin Bramah has quietly crafted a trove of psychedelic visions unparalleled among musicians of his generation.

Despite never quite cracking mainstream public consciousness, Blue Orchids endure as a living treasures of head music for post-punks, with a series of deeply-magical recordings.
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