Not everyone has heard of Nightingales, but the people who have tend to be fans... rabid fans.
Nightingales + The Victoria LucasCity: Somerville, MA
Venue: The Abbey Lounge
Not everyone has heard of Nightingales, but the people who have tend to be fans...rabid fans. Founded in the early ‘80s out of the ashes of the Prefects (another band that shoulda, coulda, woulda, but mostly didn't), the Nightingales made four remarkable albums in the decade of greed: Pigs on Purpose in 1982, Hysterics in 1983, Just the Job in 1984, and In a Good Old Country Way in 1986. Frontman Robert Lloyd had a more or less standing invitation to record with John Peel anytime he had a handful of new songs, and there was a period when the Nightingales (and other Lloyd projects) had been on the legendary BBC show more times than anyone except Kevin Coyne. (Both were subsequently lapped by the indefatigable Mark E. Smith.) It was after one of these sessions that Peel said, "The Nightingales turned in a performance of the type that will serve to confirm their excellence when other infinitely better known bands stand revealed as Charlatans." The band never really broke up but rather entered a long dormant period that encompassed the late ‘80s and most of the ‘90s, a time during which Lloyd produced girl group We've Got a Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It. In 2005 the band reemerged, CPR'd to life by a well-received Acute Records reissue of old Prefects Material (The Prefects... Are Amateur Wankers), and played its first American shows ever. A year later, the Nightingales released their first album in ten years, the brash, sardonic, and wonderful Out of True. Lloyd, who pulled his first US tour band together with just enough time to leave for America, had a seasoned outfit to play with him this time. Alan Apperly from the Prefects and (much younger) Matt Wood played guitar; Daren Garratt from Pram held manic sway over the drum set; and Ste Lowe played the bass. A tour seemed in order. They turned up on the schedule at the Abbey Lounge in Somerville, MA. I cashed in all my remaining brownie points (sorry, no more Boston shows this year) and headed out. I arrived late, finding Lloyd and his crew out on the sidewalk having a smoke. Opening act the Victoria Lucas, a Brooklyn band that had connected with the Nightingales on their last UK tour, were setting up. It was then that a series of weird coincidences unfolded: it turned out that Nate Knaebel -- the bass player for the Victoria Lucas -- and I both write for the same website (not this one). I met Chuck Warner, who runs the excellent Hyped2Death web site and discovered that we lived on the same street in Fort Wayne, Indiana, though not at the same time. "Whoa..." seemed like the only reasonable response. With all this in mind, we went inside to see the Victoria Lucas, whom nobody seemed to know much about.
The Victoria Lucas