The late great John Peel said their performances “will confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980s to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better know, bands stand revealed as charlatans”.
Quite an endorsement. He was talking about Nightingales (they’ve dropped the The now) a band formed out of Birmingham’s original punk band The Prefects back in 1979 and who on February 15 line up at Arden Road for what looks like another extraordinary Doghouse night of brilliant music with another Peel favourite Blue Orchids.
Nightingales were described in John Robb’s definitive book on ‘post punk’ Death To Trad Rock as “The misfits’ misfits” with an ever-fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd.
The current line up features Lloyd, Alan Apperley, Andreas Schmid on bass and ex-Violet Violet drummer Fliss Kitson.
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 and they have continued to receive regular rave reviews for their records and live shows.
Also on the bill are Blue Orchids who have just released their latest album, The Once And Future Thing, which shows Martin Bramah’s songwriting to be as strong and diverse as ever.
Backing Bramah live is a new band comprising Chris Connolly on drums (Glitter Band, Jah Wobble), John Paul Moran (Monochrome Set) on keyboards and Vince Hunt (A Witness) on bass.
They’ll be performing a set filled with classics from the group’s entire catalogue. The Once And Future Thing confirm Bramah’s status as one of the Britain’s most inventive and original guitarists and a superbly measured, thoughtful lyricist.
Perhaps that’s why Blue Orchids were chosen by Nico (Velvet Underground) to back her for several years; why his songs were covered by Aztec Camera, Sonic Youth, Dustdevils, Camper Van Beethoven, Crystal Stilts, Slovenly and many more; why he’s been acclaimed by successive generations of musicians and writers for “making music which is introspective yet exhilarating, sad but stirring.”
Tickets for all shows are available from Revo Records, The Grayston Unity or via ticketmaster.