Monday, September 18, 2006

nightingales - a lesson in lyricism

nightingales | urban ospreys

i came to the nightingales perhaps a little bit late.
i bought my first nightingales record in 1987 - it was the "urban ospreys" single and it's still one of my all time favourite records.

i loved the tangled guitars, how they bullied each other from seperate speakers but seemed to hang together just right.
and i loved the words.

nightingales | pigs on purpose

that summer i found a copy of the "pigs on purpose" LP in cob records, bangor.
it was a bit beaten up (i still have it and adore it - though nowadays i play the cherry red reissue) but it played OK and stayed on my turntable the whole of the rest of that year.

initially, i think, nightingales helped me see some kind of historical context into which my favourite bands of the time - the shrubs, bIG fLAME, you know the ron johnson lot - fitted.
i'd just started listening to beefheart, the incredible string band and red crayola and links were made in my head that made everything sit just so.

and it wasn't simply the jagged, nervey, broken music.
in fact more importantly than that it was the lyrics.
robert lloyd is superb with a pen.
he writes intelligent, clever, deadpan words that create worlds.
it's been said before (and i forget which journo it was) that lloyd is one of britain's greatest lost songwriters.
forget morrissey - he was good but surely he was far too interested in quoting literature to be truly great.
i love nick hobbs' otherworldly songwriting for the shrubs, i adore the dark americanisms of david thomas, the bruised romanticism of phil wilson.
for me robert lloyd is the truest of English writers.

it's not simply about singing in an accent - it's about a certain tone, like setting a scene in which you know it's raining without the song once saying "it was a rainy night".

you know?
sure you do.


  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    and you can hear the sweet sound of that fab. trademark Lloyd lyricism on the combo's new 'Out Of True' LP - available in all rockin' record store October 2nd pop fans!

    And don't forget to pop along to see them on this Autumn's hottest tour! myspace.com/nightingalesmusic for more

  • At 11:15 PM, Blogger crayola said…


    not so anonymous really.
    hullo mr. lloyd.



Post a Comment

<< Home