REVIEW: Astonishing musicianship and preposterous tales at Brighton’s Green Door Store

I, Ludicrous
I, Ludicrous

The Nightingales and I, Ludicrous, The Green Door Store, Brighton, May 12

I, Ludicrous are a bantering trio from South London who formed back in 1985.

The founder members are John Procter and David Rippingale (comedy stage name ‘Will Hung’) and in 2008 they were joined by the Voice Of The Beehive bassist Martin Brett.

They certainly brought a smile to the crowd during their set with witty themes based around football, social commentary and observations on how companies work.

They also performed songs from their recent Dull Is The New Interesting platter, as well as older tracks and the legendary ‘Preposterous Tales’.

In 1979, from the ashes of Birmingham punk band The Prefects, came The Nightingales who, in turn, called it a day in 1986.

But then they re-formed in 2004.

The sole surviving original member is singer Robert Lloyd but the current line-up includes the best female drummer I have ever seen – Fliss Kitson.

This super talent, who came from a band called Violet Violet, made the drums sound like they were being played by Joy Division’s Steve Morris meets glam rock. The bass player is Andreas Schmid and the new guitarist is James Smith.

The Nightingales in their 1979-1986 form were a hot favourite of the legendary John Peel and he asked them in on several occasions to play a session. Incidentally, the similar sounding off-beat, jerky, rock tones of The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit notched up even more Peel Sessions than The Nightingales. Now their banner is being flown by Marc Riley on Radio 6.

In recent years the band have been quite prolific with their releases and they are aiming to release a new album at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.

Tonight The Nightingales performed a selection of tracks from their 2015 album, Mind Over Matter, among other tracks. It’s fair to say that they are an acquired taste, but the current line-up are slick and well in tune with each other. The way their songs jump from one beat to another in a split-second with all four individuals being bang on the money is a credit to them. They were so much into their sound, that they didn’t even leave the audience a second to clap in between songs. In fact, it was quite hard to know if you were listening to the same track or a new one!

As I said earlier, Fliss was quite stupendous and carried the band along on their not-so-merry journey. I mean, looking at the band’s poster you would believe that they were four new car salespeople just waiting to get you to test drive their wares. Seeing them in concert, you would be test driving their sounds instead. Do you purchase or not? At the end of their set I actually asked my mate: “What exactly have we just witnessed?”.

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