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“New Chemical Light” is a song from one of the finest albums you’ve never heard by a band with a name you won’t recognise although you will most likely be familiar with its leader.

The album the track is from is called “Enter Castle Perilous” – a raw, clattering, fractious and brilliant collection of songs. The band is called Factory Star. The album was released in 2011.

The songwriter, guitarist and vocalist in Factory Star is Martin Bramah. Bramah was was a founding member of The Fall in 1976, co-writing and playing on The Fall’s debut album “Live at The Witch Trails” before leaving the band in 1979 as a result of Mark E. Smith’s treatment of band members.

After The Fall Bramah went on to form the great cult UK post-punk psych-rock bands Blue Orchids, along with original keyboard player in The Fall, Una Baines. Blue Orchids released “The Greatest Hit (Money Mountain” on Rough Trade in 1982 along with several singles and EPs.

Bramah was the only former member of The Fall to be re-hired (in 1990 for the “Extricate” album and tour). And, predictably, sacked again.

“I got back to my hotel after our last date in Oz, to discover that the band had been moved to another hotel – and there was a letter waiting for me at the reception desk, from Mr Smith, telling me I was too good to be wasted in The Fall, and my services were no longer required.”

[Read the full interview in the Spinoff]

Blue Orchids became Nico’s backing band for a few years in the 1980s, broke up, reformed, continuing on and off through various line-up changes into the 1990s and 2000s, when their first album and compilations of the singles, EPs, and radio sessions were released.

“Enter Castle Perilous” could have been released as a Blue Orchids album. If it had, it would have been heard by many more people than it did being released under the Factory Star name.

“As for Factory Star – I wanted a fairly plain sounding name that I could make my own – something that would give me room to move, musically speaking.”

Read more about “Enter Castle Perilous” and a subsequent 10″ mini-album called “New Sacral” along with the background of Factory Star in this great interview at The Spinoff with Martin Bramah.

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