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Nightingales - Good Old Country Way

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 20 / 11 / 2005

Nightingales - Good Old Country Way
Label: Caroline True
Format: CD


Excellent and remarkably fresh-sounding reprisal with extra tracks of post punk act the Nightingales 1986 third album 'In the Good Old Country Way'

As my head filled with medium wave interferences, I first heard of the Prefects on a John Peel Show around 1979. Now, thère was another gem on the Rough Trade label. Rough Trade wasn't always like today's crap, and 'Going Through The Motions' introduced this Robert Lloyd chap whose slightly plaintive voice fought its way over a meat grinding layer of guitar noise. For his next release Lloyd founded the Nightingales. This re-issue on compact disc features the Nightingales' third album from April 1986 plus the Vindaloo Records single and EP releases from the same time. 'In The Good Old Country Way' marked a turn in Lloyd's 'career'. Nightingales vinyl was, before, re-issued in a brown carton package. On to this 2005 re-issue CD we go though. I put on the old LP just to be special before laying the final touches on this write-up. Right, evidently this is reproduced from either the LP or acetate. Nice bit of pre-echo and surface noise there. Don't let this stop you though ! You do get a highlight from the Thatcher era as, apart from the original twangy 'In The Good Old Country Way' album, the CD also includes The Nightingales happy-go-lucky try at surf from a seven inch single they shared with Ted Chippington! On hearing back after almost twenty years, the Nightingales prove to have predated Pulp and Inspiral Carpets in a way neither of them would admit to. 'In The Good Old Country Way' however was their tour de force and the Mekons, for example, later learned from these flaws when they went on their own country ride. All of those bands learnt from the fawlty politico and socio critical Nightingales hick-ups. By 1986 the Nightingales had become great observants yet not greatly outstanding balladeers. Genuinely attesting to despair and demise, the blues from 'I Spit On Your Gravy' is more than one could bear with in today's Britain. Unrelated to Boris Vian's 'J'irai cracher sur vos tombes' nonetheless The Nightingales yet endorsed themselves with equal agony. Was life that desperate then? Think it was, yes. While 'I Spit On Your Gravy' had its momentum when around the first time, the other bonanza tracks still sound fresh twenty years onwards. The unrivalled highpoint on this album was and remains 'How To Age', which wasn't even the best the Nightingales did during the 1985/6 Season. 'It's A Cracker' was the single to go ahead of the album. And you get both, with a few extras, on this CD. Around 1985, 1986, the LP, EP and 2 singles cost quite a bit more than this re-issue CD. Nightingales and country values, that's what nobody can argue against.

Track Listing:-
1 The Headache Collector
2 Down In The Dumps
3 Leave It Out
4 Comfort And Joy
5 Coincidence
6 I Spit In Your Gravy
7 Square Circle
8 Part Time Moral England
9 How To Age
10 No Can Do
11 It's A Cracker
12 Here We Go Now
13 Crafty Fag

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