Orange Claw Hammer

OCH’s own website is now live:

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

After the death of the avant-rock genius Don Van Vliet, better known to the world as Captain Beefheart, in December 2010, the improvising quartet Ego Ergo Aggro decided to play a one-off tribute to the great man at the Click Clack Club in Edinburgh in January 2011. This was such a blast for audience and band alike that we decided to develop the repertoire further, and were transformed into Orange Claw Hammer. Not really a “tribute band” as there are only occasional vocals, tunes from most of the Captain’s albums are interpreted as instrumentals with room for improvisation. Not too many liberties are taken so as not to disappoint Beefheart aficionados!


“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 Festival Moo-ah, Corby, March 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.


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