In 1976 singer Robert Lloyd and guitarist Alan Apperley formed The Prefects, Birmingham's first punk group. The band were part of The Clash's 'White Riot' tour, championed by John Peel and aquired legendary status, partly because they never released a record until they had split up. Since then interest has been of such that Rough Trade Records released a single, Peel's Strange Fruit label a 12' EP, Acute Records of NYC a retrospective compilation plus there has been a 'Live In 1978' CD. Twenty five years after the group's demise these releases have garned praise all over - from webzines to Rolling Stone magazine. The Prefects' final line up transformed in to The Nightingales.
With an ever fluctuating line up, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, The Nightingales helped bring much needed experimentation and iconclasm to the indulgent '80s. Based around Lloyd they regularly toured their eclectic and unpredictable rock music around Europe as headliners, supporting acts as diverse as Bo Diddley and Nico and appearing at various European festivals including Glastonbury. The band also recorded many critically acclaimed singles (six consecutive NME and/or Melody Maker 'Singles Of The Week') and three albums, plus many radio sessions for John Peel. Gleeful audiences and rave reviews were standard and while the 'Gales remained fiercely independent outsiders they nevertheless inspired some of the music scene's 'big players' and have been name dropped by many including Alan McGee (founder of Creation Records, manager of Oasis and Glasvegas) and John Taylor of Duran Duran.
Since the group split up in the late ’80s there have been compilation CDs released by Cherry Red Records and Elvis Costello's Demon Records, again to glowing press. During this time Lloyd was signed up by Virgin Records and continued to record sessions for his big fan John Peel, for whom, in various incarnations, he has recorded more sessions than any other artist except The Fall.
The Nightingales reformed infrequently before starting again in earnest in Spring 2004, with Lloyd being joined by original Prefect Alan Apperley and, after trying out various other members (including percussionist Aaron Moore of avant garde combo Volcano The Bear and teen guitar sensation Matt Wood), the group’s current line up features Lloyd, Apperley, ex Pram drummer Daren Garratt, guitarist Christine Edwards (from Christy & Emily) and Andreas Schmid (from Faust Studio) on bass.
Continuing to play intelligent, unclassifiable rock music around Lloyd's unique lyrics the group have been more productive than ever - releasing five 7' vinyl singles and three albums, touring their oddly dynamic live show in the UK, mainland Europe and USA several times and recording numerous radio sessions in England and America. Their U.S shows have included the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, and performances in Chicago and New York which were 'Pick Of The Week' in the Chicago Reader and Village Voice respectively.
In March 08 the group recorded a new album 'Insult To Injury' with Jochen Irmler of legendary German art rock innovators Faust. This record, the ’Gales best yet, will be released in January 2009 and will be their fourth album in the last two years. The band will be playing more American shows in November (including the West coast for the first time), and following the album's release in early 09 they will be touring Germany, Switzerland and Austria.