A night to remember was on the cards – Friday 20th May 2011, two Legends take to the stage.

It is only fitting that 2 legendary acts should play at the legendary venue that is the Thunderbolt in Bristol.  It used to be called the Turnpike and has a rich history, being an original 1830’s toll house, it has been lovingly cared for and restored into a superb public house and arts and music venue in the heart of South Bristol.

With a capacity of 150, whoever you get to see here becomes a truly intimate experience.  So to see the likes of the Nightingales here was to be a real treat.

First up was the never to be copied Ted Chippington, a man who’s every bone in his body endorses a real “alternative” humour, unlike the popularised humour of the 1980’s that became mainstream.  Far be it from me to explain the great man’s style instead watch this BBC2 rendition of his talents by Stewart Lee which explains all you need to know about the type of humour.

The evening started well as Ted began his set and went through some of his old favourites like “how far is the train station” and my personal favourite “I was at a festival and a man with long hair asked “do you want some grass”, and I replied, “no thanks I have loads of Crazy Paving”.  .  .  .  .Perhaps you just need to be there.

With some of the crowd stunned into silence and the other half rolling around laughing, the set soon ended with a rollicking round of applause.  To be honest I was in the latter character and my partner in the former. Oh hum!

Next up, the Nightingales.

Now this is a band I have to confess that I had heard of and heard some of their stuff, but was always on the periphery of my musical tastes.  Of course, most of us of a certain generation, have heard of the Fall, and listened to John Peel.  The Nightingales are a legend in their own time having the accolade of having done the most Peel Sessions other than the Fall.  Not a bad one to have.

A Brummy band (from Birmingham) circa 1979 and splitting up in 1986, there is now only one surviving original member, namely Robert Lloyd (vocals).  Having split after 3 well received albums, a few years ago they reformed and have started producing new material, by all accounts some of the best music of their career.  The band now consists of Lloyd, Apperley, Andreas Schmid (from Faust Studio) on bass, ex Violet Violet drummer Fliss Kitson and guitarist Matt Wood, plus on occasion bassoonist Katherine Young &/or guitarist Christine Edwards and Emily Manzo on keyboards (Christy & Emily).

The band came on stage to a rapturous applause and the set began.

I have seen a number of “reformed” bands over the last few years, some excellent, while others badly disappointed. However, this was a case of the former rather than the latter.

Robert Lloyd was both charismatic and humorous as the front man and principle songwriter.  The set lasted for about and hour and 10 minutes and got better and better with each song.

The quality of the musicianship was superb.  The interplay of the guitars were excellent driving along the songs and the drummer – Fliss Kitson was superb.  For a band who’s rough around the edges indie/rock and roll tracks can be fairly simple in construction, the musicianship was excellent.  The raw sound really came across and the songs sounded fresh and the band tight.

Although the crowd was perhaps past it’s “moshing” years on the whole, there were a few dancing at the front staring into Robert lloyds largely closed eyes.  Perhaps this was more to do with the beer and the music though??

As the band left the stage the applause continued and they came back for their encore. “Who would have thought it”, Robert pronounced before leading into their final song.

The crowd, gave them a fantastic send off, willing them for more, but the end was nigh.  An excellent night’s entertainment and a really excellent nights music.

My partner this time was with me in her enjoyment of the band (unlike Ted!), and of course I had to pick up a copy of the exclusive 10″ EP they were selling, which incidentally I also fully recommend.

Superb music, in a superb venue, could you ask for more??

New EP – “The Lost Plot”
The Dishwater Kid
Don’t Harsh my Buzz
Rocket Pool #2




  1. hey, I was at this gig too. Thought Ted Chippington was terrible, loved The Nightingales…

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