Orange Claw Hammer

OCH’s own website is now live:

CDs “New Beef Dreams!” & “Cooks the Beef” available to buy or download on Bandcamp:

Orange Claw Hammer take the music of Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band and bend it into shape for the twentieth first century. Founded in 2011 by musician & composer Steve Kettley (Cauld Blast Orchestra, Salsa Celtica, Odd Times), the band’s sax driven, mostly instrumental,  reworkings of Don Van Vliet’s back catalogue highlight the blues, jazz and experimental roots of this music. A million miles from being a tribute act, Orange Claw Hammer take classics of avant- rock from the 60s through to the 80s and use them as vehicles for improvisation and re-invention for contemporary sensibilities – and Beefheart fanatics!


“OCH are fabulous! Of all the things I saw in the Edinburgh festival the stand out performance was OCH in a cellar bar, the band is tight. OCH are a brilliant set of musicians with a love of Beefheart and a desire to enjoy and play with his work rather than try and recreate it. It is part homage part wild eyed evening of grand riffs and virtuoso playing.”

Mark Thomas, comedian/activist.

“Deeply rhythmic and rooted in the blues before spiralling off into free association, their music is a wondrous cacophony of finely tuned chaos. Even though the vast majority of the music is instrumental, much like Beefheart’s contemporary Frank Zappa, there’s a humour at play, a desire to stimulate and titillate through complex offbeat grooves and a clatter of noise. It’s a wonderful, exhilarating recreation of Beefheart’s experimentations, improvised and reinterpreted by Kettley and his quartet including the Hammer’s live debut of the growling punk funk of ‘Ant Man Bee’.”

Henry Northmore, The List (review of OCH at Henry’s Cellar Bar, 3rd August 2014).

Steve Kettley – Tenor & soprano saxophones, vocal, flute, jaw harp; Stuart Allardyce – Guitar; Dave Beards – Electric bass; Des Travis – Drums

Enthusiastic endorsement from comedian/political commentator Mark Thomas, on Mark Radcliffe’s BBC Radio 6 show, after catching us live at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015:


Live at Henry’s Cellar Bar, August 2017.


A track from OCH’s CD, “Cooks the Beef”:

Fantastic photos by Colin Black!

Steve Kettley at Clark’s on Lindsay Street, Dundee, 7 March 2019.

Stuart Allaryce at Clark’s on Lindsay Street, Dundee, 7 March 2019.

Dave Beards at Clark’s on Lindsay Street, Dundee, 7 March 2019.

Des Travis at Clark’s on Lindsay Street, Dundee, 7 March 2019.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *