“SONG FOR EWE”
with UNA BAINES of
THE FALL, BLUE ORCHIDS, THE FATES & POPPYCOCK
“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day.
Today it’s a founder member of The Fall, and one of the very few of it’s many since to have contributed lyrics to the band, other than Mark E Smith. She went onto form the Blue Orchids with fellow Fall founder Martin Bramah, where she played as part of Nico’s backing band. Next up came The Fates and most recently she has been working with an 8 piece all female band called Poppycock, it’s the irrepressible and brilliant Una Baines…
(seen above in a picture described thus as “a very recent one of meself which was taken last Saturday outside a shop ‘Punk ‘N’ Disorderly in Chorlton (The owner had just won a small business award and we were celebrating) I was the only member of Poppycock who could do it and I had 5 mins to show members of one of the bands that were playing a riff to one of my songs and we performed it. Very exhilarating and a bit scary!”)
A member of The Fall from 1976 – 1978 legend has it that Una was going to be the drummer but ended up as keyboardist being unable to afford the kit. She then missed the band’s first gig while waiting for a loan to come through for the keyboard too. The first Fall record she ended up on was 10″ “Short Circuit: Live At The Electric Circus” and she was part of their first ever studio session with three songs going onto become their first proper EP “Bingo Master’s Breakout!”, released after she had left the band, and the fourth song being an early version of “Frightened”, a later version of which was the opener on first Fall album “Live At The Witch Trials” (a track recently chosen by Gary Walker of Wiiija Records as his song for ewe…)
After The Fall, Una’s minimal Seeds inspired keyboard styling added a beautiful haunting quality that underpinned the blur collar brilliance of Blue Orchids with her former Fall partner in crime Martin Bramah, who chose a cracking “song for ewe” for VS recently…
After Blue Orchids, Una’s strongly feminist views which had earlier helped shape Mark E Smith and The Fall’s sometimes acerbic socio-political commentary manifested in her forming the predominantly female band The Fates.
Their 1985 album “Furia” was critically acclaimed but under the radar…until recently when Una’s new 8 piece all female band Poppycock were asked to play it live in Manchester.
They also have a couple of songs out on German Shepherd Records “Mexico” and “Cleaning Woman” available here
Poppycock are made up of members who met through volunteering at Seed Studio, a community centre located in Trafford, Manchester and is the culmination of an ambition long held by Una Baines to form a collective of strong female players.
They’ve recently received airplay from another former Fall stalwart Marc Riley on his ace 6 Music show (the playlist for which often makes me think i’m playing my iPod), with “Cleaning Woman” getting a spin here…
As a self-confessed and documented big fan of The Fall (and admirer of Blue Orchids) it’s a thrill that Una agreed to choose her “song for ewe”… so with no further ado, it’s…
OVER TO UNA BAINES:
“Hi Nick, a song I’ve been rather obsessed with for a while now is ‘Chicken In The Corn’ by ‘Brushy One String.’ He has the most beautiful voice and his ‘wicked’ ‘sick’ or as I would say bloomin’ marvelous catchy riff is infectious. It’s his voice and spirit shining through the poverty of his surroundings that is so humbling and inspiring.”
THANKS SO MUCH TO UNA. PLEASE LEND YOUR SHELL LIKES TO POPPYCOCK WHEN YOU GET A MO, IT’LL BE WORTH IT.