THE NIGHTINGALES : Idiot Strength (Vindaloo / Rough Trade 7", 1981).

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I posted the 'Gales debut 7" a while back but the files vamoosed back up the digital wizard's sleeve when Hotfile finally waved its white flag & discharged itself from active duty.

Released in 1981 (with a little financial assistance from Rough Trade), "Idiot Strength" hasn't dated in the slightest - it's angular, it's contentious, it's got a bone to pick, & if it was released tomorrow you'd probably buy a copy. How sad is it then that it's music of this ilk - 35 years old, I might add - that remains the focal point of the Beeb's default substitute for John Peel, i.e. the lamentably half-baked Radio 6? You'd naturally assume that an entire station's worth of meticulously coached DJs would compensate for the absence of one tubby middle-aged baldie in a Kenny Dalglish T-shirt but, as a large percentage of its playlist still appears to be gleaned from repeats of sessions Peel commissioned or records he used to play, apparently not. The words "missed opportunity" spring to mind (as do "short" & "sighted").

Anyway... The Nightingales were made up entirely of ex-Prefects at this early juncture: Joe Crow (guitar), Eamonn Duffy (bass), Paul Apperley (drums) & Robert Lloyd (cakehole) - though half of them had departed before the year was out. Immediately hereafter, Cherry Red stepped in & began releasing a string of scrappily exceptional 45s, en route to the barbed & rambunctious Pigs On Purpose LP. Neither side of "Idiot Strength" was included on Cherry Red's otherwise comprehensive rash of Nightingales' CD reissues. Tsk.

Truculently provincial, The Nightingales remain one of the UK's finest live bands - establishing a revivified quinquagenarian vanguard alongside Vic Godard's Subway Sect, Davey Henderson's Sexual Objects, the intermittent Blue Orchids, & the perennial Monochrome Set - & have recently been confirmed as part of Stewart Lee's All Tomorrow's Parties line-up: slobbering broadsheet write-ups to follow, etc (providing ATP don't flick the "abort" switch at the eleventh hour again). Which is some sort of vindication I suppose?

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