The Orch. are Michael Conroy (lyrics and vocals), Phil Hayes (guitars, visuals and production) and Damian Ashcroft (keyboards, synths and production).
They played live together around Manchester a lot in the 90’s, earning regular regional radio play, pockets of critical acclaim and a release on Tony Wilson’s Factory Too (fac 2.12). Having gone their separate ways for over a decade (in which period Conroy released two albums ‘Cheap Shots and ‘Royal Shit’ under the moniker ‘superqueens’ with Salford electronica/beats composer Bruce Magill), they decided to start recording again, mixing the old (unreleased material) with the new. The result is ‘Small Times’ – nine tracks of spoken word and electronica, atmospherics and guitars.
‘fantastically sharp, if cynical brilliant, razor-sharp spoken word’ (city life)
‘some of the most beautifully poetic lyrics you’ll ever hear… a kind of verbal Banksy whose tales of underclass existence are brutally honest but never judgmental’ (songs from under the floorboards)
‘exudes a half-arsed charisma… take your time and there’s a beguiling mystery to The Orch.’s ambient atmospherics’ (NME)
‘powerful music evokes legendary names’ [like] Can and PiL infectious, groove minimalist keyboard strangeness achingly beautiful guitar lines The Orch’s singer/lyricist has a style and grace all his own’ (‘zine)
‘think Simon Armitage crossed with Pitman’ (Dreams That Money Can Buy)