“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest landed at my door in a rather fortuitous set of circumstances in a shining beacon of indie hope and light at the beginning of a grey month in an uncertain time. My new friends & VS regulars Rob Pursey and Amelia Fletcher of Swansea Sound (whose “Live At The Rum Puncheon” was our album of the year 2021), as well as a storied musical history have a brilliant new-ish label called Skep Wax. Thus far it’s been mostly to release their own projects but it’s branching out, and how. Having been a part of the story of the now sadly defunct, but very much re-appraised Sarah Records themselves (the indie’s indie label) Rob & Amelia have announced a comp called “Under The Bridge” featuring all new music by all the old Sarah Records bands, ranging from stalwards like The Orchids, The Wake, Even As We Speak, Secret Shine, Boyracer, St. Christopher through to more recent contribs like Jetstream Pony (ex-Aberdeen), Sepiasound (ex-Blueboy) and Useless Users (ex-Action Painting) as well as music from our heroes Rob & Amelia as The Catenary Wires. All these bands are still very much ploughing the DIY path and since here at VS we’re all about brand new music by killer old bands (let’s face it people like the Nightingales, Wolfhounds, Blue Orchids, BOHJ and Monochrome Set are making the music of their lives), we are totally down for “Under The Bridge”.

The two tracks that have been released as a teaser so far are as joyous as that prospect sounds. Truly soaring is “I Don’t Mean To Stare” by The Orchids, a Glasgow band so intrinsically linked to Sarah they had a track on proto Sarah flexi label Sha-La-La. Perhaps the reason the track is so uplifting is because it’s coarsed through with inspiration from guitarist John Scally’s life being saved through vital heart surgery (in the period between the band’s original hiatus in 1995 and reformation in 2004). Having originally been called “Heartvalves” the song has evolved over several years and was finally recorded in its latest incarnation during sessions for a new album due later this year, by long-time producer Ian Carmichael at the frankly stunning Watercolour Studios in Ardgour in the West Highlands of Scotland (see video for evidence!). Rob put me in touch with John a couple of weeks back, and as you may have heard me play on a recent radio show, he’s been very true to the obscure brief with some Russian shoegaze. And here’s the piece and his words landing on these here digital pages, with a warm welcome to John Scally of The Orchids!

It’s a refreshing sound, and that might be helped with the vibraslap round the chops in the middle. The Orchids have never been mega prolific with gigs but there’s a couple of crackers coming to promote the Under The Bridge comp (flyers below) and there’s also the promise of a first new album for aeons, six years in the making, and about to make your 2022 with its positive Highland air and grace.

But enough of all that, what of John’s juicy choice of tune…without further ado, here’s John Scally’s “song for ewe”…

“”I Live a Dream” – Secrets of the Third Planet

Was listening to DKFM one night in late 2020 and this song just grabbed my attention.  It evokes memories of summer and better times.

Secrets of the Third planet are a Russian band that write and produce ambient-shoegaze , that push the boundaries of sonic bliss.

They have a new album set for release in 2022 and “ I Live a Dream” is included.”

https://s3pmusic.bandcamp.com/music

THANKS TO JOHN AND TO ROB PURSEY AT SKEP WAX RECORDS

You can purchase the “Under The Bridge” comp on Bandcamp below…

check out the latest episode of Velvet Sheep radio where I played The Orchids “I Don’t Mean To Stare” and John’s “song for ewe” pick…

and I’m hoping to get to this special event not far from my doorstep:

here’s deets for the Bristol event (home of the original Sarah Records natch) with a slightly different line up the night before: