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.
Described in John Robb's definitive book on ‘post punk' (Death To Trad Rock) as "The misfits' misfits" and comprising an ever fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, the Nightingales enjoyed cult status in the early '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 singles (Almost always ‘Single Of The Week' in the music press) and three albums, plus many radio sessions for their great supporter Peel. 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. After fucking about with various part time or starry eyed wastrels, precious sorts and mercenaries the group arrived at it's current line up, which features Lloyd, Andreas Schmid from Faust on bass, ex Violet Violet drummer Fliss Kitson and James Smith on guitar.
Since restarting the group have been more productive than ever - releasing five 7″ vinyl singles, a 10″ EP and six studio albums (Plus two live 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 and SXSW. 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 live shows.
The group's "No Love Lost" album was released by Cooking Vinyl in 2012. Described by Mojo as "Brilliant. One of the fiercest and most exhilarating rock records in ages" the record features guests, U.S avant-garde composer, Katherine Young on bassoon and Hans-Joachim Irmler, founder of krautrock legends Faust, on keyboards.
The Nightingales recorded their next album at Faust Studio in September 2013. "For Fuck's Sake" was a self released, limited edition vinyl LP available on no label, with no barcode, with no distribution and only at the bands gigs. The record quickly sold out.
The group's headline tour of UK and Ireland in April/May 2014 was their most successful so far and following a few shows in Germany later that year the ‘Gales returned to Faust Studio once again and recorded their new album "Mind Over Matter" for May '15 release on the Louder Than War label.
The Nightingales will be playing live shows in Europe and USA over the coming year with a new album to be recorded for 2016 release prior to their first shows in Japan. Further dates in UK and beyond will follow.
"The Nightingales play a uniquely indigenous, all-encompassing brand of working class rock ‘n' roll. Beneath the Beefheart lurch and the Stooges stomp you can hear football chants and northern soul, blues and bluebeat, folk song and country and western; even music hall and Frank Sinatra. Filter this through mainman Robert Lloyd's own experiences, observations, temperament and talent and you've got music that is as original as it is uncompromising." - BEN GRAHAM/STOOL PIGEON, UK
"Yet nothing in Subway Sect's admittedly excellent return could have prepared for the astonishing revelation of Robert Lloyd's Nightingales. Feeding off the hard-drilled energy of the junior initiates, Apperley spins frayed Bo Diddley riffs around Lloyd's tumbling psychedelic eavesdroppings, allowing the singer to recycle, reinvent and repurpose thirty years of vituperative notebook aphorisms, constructing an intense, breathless narrative from the recycled past to the scorched present. The cumulative effect is one of euphoric delight, of old knowledge in the hands of new disciples. Contender for gig of the year!" - ANDREW MALE/MOJO, UK