Sunday, 14 October 2012

Robert Lloyd & The New Four Seasons - Peel Sessions 1987-1990


Along with Ivor Cutler, The Fall and Half Man Half Biscuit, Robert Lloyd is one of the most recorded artists by the BBC. Criminally, he remains the least known and popular (in commercial terms) than the aforementioned three.

He clocked in 15 sessions in as many years for John Peel: two with The Prefects, eight with The Nightingales (who continue to feature as Marc Riley's session guests on average once a year), and five for arguably his least acclaimed period as frontman of The New Four Seasons.

After the dissolution of the 'Gales as Lloyd attended affairs of the Fuzzbox kind, he formed the Seasons with Peter Byrchmore in tow. Peel was quick to champion them, offering two sessions in 1987 alone, and before they'd even released a single.

Potentially at his most commercial, the aural trademarks of Beefheartian guitar weaving weened on anti-blues punk energy intertwined with a Black Country take on country and lyrically framed by a narrative poet with a journalistic pespective were still evident, but now with a more melodic vocal structure and driven by a steadier, more conventional beat.

Relinquishing his market trader in a sharp suit entrepreneurial skills the band signed to In Tape, releasing two singles in 1988 before later signing to Virgin. Two singles and three more Peel sessions would ensue before an album, Me And My Mouth (minus the band monicker), eventually surfaced in 1990. Sadly, the album didn't live up to the promise delivered on the BBC recordings: while the quality of the songwriting is unreservedly top notch, the album is perhaps marred by an unimpressive production, with some dated baggy-esque keyboard sounds, and an array of guest musicians for different songs giving the album a lack of coherence that a more stable band set up would have brought.

Apart from What A Scream, a cd compilation of Nightingales odds 'n sods released by Demon in 1991, this would be Lloyd's final mouthing off for the 20th century until reactivating The Nightingales in 2004.

There's more than enough goodies here to sate the ardent and new fan alike: obscure classics like Of Course You Can't and The Part Of The Anchor (still sometimes featured in The Nightingales live set); curios like Tocatta and Fatigue, a short instrumental that wouldn't sound out of place as the intro music to a Black Sabbath concert; and lost gems like Here Comes Mimi (truly an A side that never was), plseveral other exclusive tracks that never made it on to wax. The fouth sesh is made up entirely of covers of songs by George Jones, John Cale, Kevin Coyne and Captain Befheart. Interestingly, Good Boy would be re-recorded for the comeback album Out Of True.


1. Something Nice/Tocatta and Fatigue  2. Of Course You Can't  3. The Part Of The Anchor

1. Top Floor To Let  2. Sweet Georgia Black  3. Half A Heart

1. Funeral Stomp  2. Mama Nature's Skin  3. Ta Love  4. Nothing Matters
  
4th Peel Session 4/3/1990
1. The Race Is On  2. The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy 3. Good Boy  4. Grown So Ugly
  
1. Here Comes Mimi  2. Go Forth and Multiply  3. Kiss Me Stupid  4. Slags and Angels

The Nightingales appear in session once more on Marc Riley's 6 Music show tomorrow night @ 7pm.

11 comments:

  1. Saw The Nightingales last Saturday. Complete shambles (second guitarist missing for some reason) and Lloyd was completely pissed. Still the best band on the planet right now though! 'No Love Lost' is an amazing album. I'm also responsible for the Lloyd approved lyric books. I have the 4th session: The Race Is On/The Man Who Couldn't Afford To Orgy (John Cale cover)/Good Boy/Grown So Ugly (Beefheart cover). Email me: leethacker66@yahoo.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for all the Lloyd and Gales sessions, really appreciate it

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fantastic, many thanks. Been looking for a clear version of 5th session (his best, I think) since it was broadcast.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anyone have a copy of this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/sessions/1990s/1991/Dec22terminalhoedown/ Came across it by accident while researching the next lyrics book.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fantastic. Thanks so much. Filled a couple of gaps and I've never even heard the fifth session until now.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I can help out here.
    I have the 3rd session version of "Nothing Matters".
    Feel free to grab it, retag it, and reshare, whatever you want.
    https://www.mediafire.com/?wwez005cs29pmp0
    There you go!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the file, Beefhound - much appreciated!
      I'll add it to the folder at a later date - you've made several people's day!

      Delete
  7. I saw Robert Lloyd and the New Four Seasons at The Borderline in 1990. It was one of those gigs. I've never forgotten it, though, as you mentioned, the LP production hasn't stood the test of time so well. The Peel sessions are far better. Thank you for gathering them together and putting them up here - you've made my day.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yeah! Found the 'Terminal Hoedown' sesh tonight https://www.dropbox.com/s/tespv3vofnm21ek/John%20Peel%27s%20Terminal%20Hoedown%20%28Peel%20Session%29.mp3?dl=0t! Wow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks, Mr, T.

      This group somehow bypassed me in the day; I was probably enveloped too deep in the grunge years.

      Just this minute found it youtube, posted only last month.

      Delete