Saturday, 22 January 2011

From the Top Drawer II - The Oroonies

In their early days, the very mention of the name of the Oroonies in polite company might have inspired a rolling of the eyes, maybe a nervous giggle or even a shrug of the shoulders. Amongst the burgeoning collective of bands who might perform at the odd squat party or festival, at the start they were the band that nobody took that seriously as a group to be reckoned with. They were the butt of obscure humour, the jokers in the pack, too 'out there' even for the hardcore psych-heads. Named after an utterance of invented language by jazz legend Slim Gaillard, and formed in Ireland until later relocation in England, they were pagan inspired Pan worshippers who took it to the edge of the cliffs of reality and invited you to jump into the void with them.

Early gigs could be shambolic and chaotic, but as time passed they became a serious force of weird nature to be reckoned with. Visually impressive, with masks often being worn, and their eerie folk melodies channelled through at times ferocious electric and acoustic instrumentation, they gradually drew an expanding audience who knew that was no other band around who were quite like them and were keen to celebrate the fact with ecstatic dancing and revelry.

Here's the Oroonies first cassette release from 1985.
It's called 'The Woods Are Alive With The Smell Of His Coming'.
Ripped from an original tape @320kbps, and split into two side-long tracks. Quite a lo-fi experience but an essential one.
Titles are -
Side One - Wild World/The Smell/Questions/Verging Outward/The Rocky Place
Side Two - Cloven Foot/Lord Of The Dance/Gruesome/Neither-Neither/Bees
(I'm not sure if Devo ever sued - listen and you'll hear what I mean...LOL)

Download HERE

Happily some video footage exists that shows them playing the title track live in the late 1980s at a Bacchanalian revel which entirely suited their music (thank you to the uploader). Invoke the Pan-ic.


  1. Seamus O'Blimey16 April 2011 at 06:37

    Thanks and Praises Gobbledygook

    I've been googling this kinda stuff for years and found very little until now

    Looking forward to more from your top drawer.. any Cheapsuits in there?

    Thanks again.. I'll be back

  2. Hi Seamus, I think I know what you're after but I don't have any Cheapsuit tapes myself. I'll ask around to see what I can come up with. Cheers.

  3. now that is Organik goodness

    Sean Organ

  4. Hello Sean, happily healthy head herbalism here.

  5. love this. cool, thanks.

  6. I 1st witnessed The Oroonies in The Crypt at a Club Dog all nighter. Those post Stonehenge free festivals days made me the man I am today. Very lucky to escape with the majority of my sanity in tact. In particular the Torpedo Town festivals were right on my doorstep. The Brambles Farm peace camp protesting the Marconi factory making trident cruise missiles components in Waterlooville. The next year the old bill got an injunction so the convoy of festival goers had to park up on Portsdown Hill, overlooking Portsmouth & the Isle of Wight for the night. Then moved to Wickham Common just off the A32. I could go on but I have some Oroonies to listen to. Cheers for invoking some great memories. Keep fighting the system.