BLUE ORCHIDS & Velvet Sheep Song of the Year for “Get Bramah”

Blue Orchids photo by Jim Donnelly

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 has an acerbic wit and takes no shit, both national treasure and absolute terror, a songwriter and guitarist for the generations. His distinctive guitar playing has seen him picked as a “song for ewe” himself (The Fall “Frightened” chosen by Gary Walker of Wiiija Records) and he’s graced these pages himself before picking “I’ve Got A Dollar” by Jimmy Dell. Much like label-mates The Nightingales on the brilliant Tiny Global Productions, his band Blue Orchids are in the absolute form of their long career and much as I never thought he’d top incredible songs like “Work”, “Disney Boys” and “Sun Connection”, he’s an absolute fount of modern classics, with last year’s “Skull Jam” and now one of our favourite albums in 2018 “Righteous Harmony Fist”, that’s not to mention a killer 7″ with Mekons’ Jon Langford.

“Righteous Harmony Fist” is a righteous mix of erudite garage (“Get Bramah”), post-punk poetry (“Incandescent Artillery”), tongue-in-cheek psych (“In The Acid Garden”), socio-political rumination (“Deep State”) and should-be latest craze dance instruction (“The Art Of Falling”) and it’s the aforementioned “Get Bramah” and it’s quicksilver lyrics with the bitter humour of Half Man Half Biscuit and the vitriol that’s uniquely himself, that’s Velvet Sheep fanzine’s “song of the year”. That’s why we just had to get the lad that time couldn’t forget back to these pages to choose another “song for ewe”…welcome back to VS, Martin Bramah!

Here is said tune…buckle up and “Get Bramah”

Yesterday, Fliss Kitson of the Nightingales mentioned “Get Bramah” as one of her favs for the year too (only beaten by Courtney Barnett’s “Nameless Faceless”) and it’s little wonder with crackingly self-effacing writing like this:

He’s hiding out on the moors
In a stone shield with no doors
He gets all his warmth from sheep
He knows his life is cheap
Get Bramah
Before he escapes to the Bahamas
Get Bramah!

But what gem did the titular Mr. Bramah choose? Evocatively described in eviscerating detail, this is Martin’s “song for ewe”…

“It’s hard to choose one track by The Growlers, but it has to be The Growlers because that’s all we listen to in our house. So I’ve chosen ‘Sea Lion Goth Blues’ by The Growlers.

I chose this song because I saw a dead sea lion on the beach this morning. It’s throat had been pecked open to reveal the red cavern of it’s heart; it’s face now picked clean a grinning white skull… and so the tide did the choosing for me. Life can be so simple sometimes.

The thing about this band is, like all great bands, they create a universe of their own with sound alone (plus the odd vidi).

I love their song writing, they make it seem so effortless and natural.

They’re the only contemporary band that I can stomach that can write about love and relationships in a convincing and intriguing way. But really you have to slap an album on and let them just wash over you.

The Growlers care about YOU and once you get hooked your world will never be the same… richer, stranger, cooler – can you handle the love?

So if you haven’t heard them before let this song be your introduction to the weird and wonderful world of tham thar Los Growlers!”


if you haven’t yet got “Righteous Harmony Fist” I strongly recommend you do….check out the link-age below.


And if you’d like to know more about Martin Bramah & Jon Langford’s 7″ “Worm In Your Ear”/”Stone Tumbling Stream (fast version)” here’s Jon’s “song for ewe” choice…