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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Monday 25 April 2022

Unlikely Rockumentary Stars The Nightingales Surf Their Wave Of New Found Fame Onto Patterns Brighton Stage

The Nightingales who are the subject of documentary feature film, King Rocker – written and presented by comedian Stewart Lee, will be playing Patterns, Brighton, on 29th April.

Birmingham's original punk group The Prefects had been part of The Clash's White Riot Tour, recorded Peel sessions, released a 45 on Rough Trade and, years after splitting, had a retrospective released by Fire Records offshoot label Call Of The Void to glowing reviews.  

The Nightingales was formed by a few members of The Prefects following that band"s demise in 1979. 

Comprising an ever-fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, they enjoyed cult status in the early 80"s and were championed by John Peel, who said, 

"Their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980s to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans."


In the late Eighties the Nightingales stopped working but, following the occasional gig between times, they re-grouped in 2004, arriving at the current (and now long standing) line up, which features Lloyd, Andreas Schmid from Faust on bass, ex Violet Violet wonder drummer Fliss Kitson and on guitar James Smith, who Lloyd had spotted playing with Damo Suzuki. The latest album Four Against Fate is out now.

In the film, King Rocker, Comedian Stewart Lee and director Michael Cumming (Brass Eye, Toast of London), investigate a missing piece of punk history: Robert Lloyd, best known for fronting cult bands The Prefects and The Nightingales, has survived under the radar for over four decades. 

But how, if at all, does Robert want to be remembered? The anti-rockumentary King Rocker weaves the story of Birmingham's undervalued underdog autodidact into that of the city's forgotten public sculpture of King Kong, eschewing the celebrity interview and archive-raid approach for a free-associating bricolage of Indian food, bewildered chefs, vegetable gardening, prescription medicines, pop stardom and pop art.

The Nightingales play Patterns Brighton on 29th April 2022. CLICK HERE for tickets.

by: Mike Cobley




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