The Nightingales

The Nightingales


Described in the definitive post punk biography 'Death To Trad Rock' as "the misfits' misfits" the Nightingales have stubbornly ploughed their own furrow in the field of alternative rock n roll for three decades, inventing and borrowing to create their own unabashed maverick take on rock.


Birmingham's original punk group The Prefects had been part of The Clash's 'White Riot Tour', recorded a couple of Peel sessions, released a 45 on Rough Trade and, years after splitting up, had a retrospective CD released by NY label Acute Records to all round glowing reviews - from Rolling Stone to webzines.

The Nightingales was formed by former members of The Prefects following that band's demise in 1979.

With an ever fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, the Nightingales enjoyed cult status in the early - mid '80's as darlings of the credible music scene and were championed by John Peel, who said of them - "Their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980's to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans".

The group recorded a bunch of critically acclaimed 45s (Almost always 'Single Of The Week' in the music press) and three albums, plus many radio sessions for their great supporter Peel - more than any other band bar The Fall. They also regularly toured the UK and Northern Europe, as headliners and supporting acts as diverse as Bo Diddley and Nico.

In the late Eighties the Nightingales stopped working but, following the occasional gig between times, they re-grouped in 2004, with Lloyd being joined by original Prefects guitarist Alan Apperley. After fucking about with various wastrels, precious sorts and mercenaries the group arrived at it's current line up - the best batch yet - which features Lloyd, Apperley, Andreas Schmid (Faust Studio engineer) on bass, ex Violet Violet drummer Fliss Kitson and guitarist Matt Wood.

Since restarting the group have been more productive than ever - releasing a 10" vinyl EP, five 7" singles and three studio albums (Plus two live 'bootleg' albums), touring England, mainland Europe and USA numerous times, recording many radio sessions along the way. They have been invited to play various festivals in Europe and the States, including Glastonbury (2009) and SXSW (2005). Their "Let's Think About Living" 45 was 'Single Of The Week' on BBC 6 Music and they have continued to receive regular rave reviews for their records and gigs.

In 2008 the band recorded "Insult to Injury" with Hans Joachim Irmler of krautrock legends Faust. This record was released in February 2009 on the Klangbad label and is largely considered the finest 'gales album yet. Another Irmler produced session was recorded in 2010 which resulted in the 10" vinyl EP "The Lost Plot".

In addition to the band's recorded output there has also been a book published of Lloyd's lyrics for the Nightingales' three most recent albums which sold out of it's first print run, plus there are currently two bootleg books of other Lloyd/'Gales lyrics on the market.

The group toured Austria, Germany and UK in May 2011 which culminated in a headline performance at the Southbank Centre in London as part of Stewart Lee's Austerity Binge and the Festival Of Britain (The only rock band invited to play). Mojo magazine said of the Southbank show - "Astonishing. Contender for gig of the year!".

The Nightingales are again touring the UK and parts of mainland Europe in October/November 11 prior to recording a new album for release by their new label Cooking Vinyl in April 2012. The group will also be playing more gigs than ever before in Europe and the U.S during the next year or so.

Next year, in addition to the 'Gales own new studio album, there is a 'tribute' album due for release featuring covers of Nightingales songs by various artists from Europe and USA -Including artists such as Freakwater, Pram and Luke Haines, post punk stars The Raincoats and the Mekons, young UK bands such as Art Brut and the Lovely Eggs, top UK stand up comedians Stewart Lee and Phill Jupitus plus author/academic Greil Marcus and many others.


Born Again In Birmingham

Written By: Robert Lloyd


As luck would have it, the ungracious greeting that awaited
was quite reminiscent of previous welcomes brought on by losing bets
It may have been that the majority of women were yet to embrace their hip bones
and that cheap wraps of coke were yet to hit Nuneaton
but still the bluff and bravado baloney begrudingly saying "Hi"
to this imagined Northerner was like a red rag to a robin, yeah it was
To this pseudo literate bumptious man it was like a red rag to a robin
'cos he was
born and bred in Birmingham

Arriving with the best breasts in the business at his side
and a personally political income based on shortish priced each way doubles
he could only re-imagine the dancing of Mills Lane, the great smell of Brut
but all that was in his mind's ear now was the grinning buffoons awaiting battle
"Let's get ready to rumble" they'd say, yeah let's get ready to rumble
It was base and it was based
on being
born and bred in Birmingham

Cock eyed, his wooly backed missus, well she suggested it was the actual sensation of losing
which had actually helped him become interested in bear baiting and made him a verbal cripple
Her eyes were a blue million miles away and his brief recollections were sketchy at best
At worst, the lily livered, dandelion and burdock beaked bloke,
jumped up and down in the mouth, he was off on one
like a fluttering phantom of his pretended former self
then he was
born again in Birmingham

His mother, all Iceland and British Legion prize bingo,
who once took an iron (a spare no less) when there were Quality Street on the table,
well she had her views and they ran something along the lines of,
"Son if you invested in cemetaries, well, people would stop dying"
And his lack of shame was unrelenting
Lit up like a Blackpool tram it took a third Christmas divorce, to enforce
that the law of averages, percentage based, was to do or die
A preposterous lie, but it was one he'd get used to
when he got
born again in Birmingham

Little Lambs

Written By: Robert Lloyd


The Caucasian angel's baby in the mud
waved his lust at some modern day James Last -
A hammy shyster from the memory bank,
who knew not whether to shit or shave
as messianic schoolboys flicked the V's
at his natural imbecilic charm

The Dog's Dinner and the Big Girl's Blouse,
with their souls enfeebled by love,
scanned 'Don't deprive the depraved'
daubed in faeces on their son's cell wall
but stayed in hock to the roasted duck;
After all it is nice to be nice
and bid thee feed by the stream & o'er the mead

"The 14 - 26 demographic
that would not give you the steam from it's piss
now wants a beginning, a middle and an end",
said some nonce to a Sir Anthony Blunt,
winnowing the new age of desire,
as he showed him the spit 'o' his hand.
His far from staunch deviant peer rejoined,
"Pass the bromide on the left hand side.
Aching knackers are no use at the bank
and I'm not out for chocolate, just for grapes"

Dost thou know who made thee?
Little lamb I'll tell thee
Dost thou know who made thee?
Little lamb, God bless thee

Bang Out Of Order

Written By: Robert Lloyd


After the volcano the animals and the birds
with no found fear of man yet, full of glee, overheard
an invisible mystic say, "Watch your feathers and fur,
the ship on the horizon's cargo is a non sequitur
and Darwin's crew are not reading 'I, Ecotourist'
but enthralled by the epic 'This Happened, Then This'"
And the effing and jeffing as the ship came to dock
confirmed the prediction, as we forward the clock...

... to the glitz of the ghettos, kneep deep in four letter words
he takes delight in knocking down pretty birds
She falls in love in the libary full of Andy McNabb,
the scent of the bullets, the gift of the gab
And with a lazy lob on, he lies biting his lip
and she dropped a sprog on a sinking ship

Now, when you're aiming your gun at a man pleading for his kids
and you hated your father, sympathy is limited
Ideological trousers begin to chafe
Have fun fumbling with fables and frottage with faith
With the wit of a jobsworth, the charm of Marquis de Sade,
he took Viagra for the eyes so he could look hard
"Cheer up it might never happen", loving the benefits
Power's paws ever welcome on her threepenny bits
He said, "Assume position" and with not a hair out of place
the mobile nail technician sat on his face

Marriage and family - words redefined
Ever the liberal, he's changed his mind
Smelling salts for the goddess; Yesterday sterilise
Bang out of order, a word to the wise
Fortune and it's daughter Confidence
is being put through college, all apple fresh innocence
But bred from slaughter and a bit of fluff
the diamond daughter gets up the duff


2011 Release:

10" Vinyl on Big Print Records

Recent CD Albums:



OUT OF TRUE (2006)

CD Reissues: