“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today it’s a box-set, anthology call it what you will, to celebrate the fact that a new and free  digital single by The Nightingales has dropped overnight (that’s the vernacular right?). It’s called “I ❤️ CCTV” and the 3d video starring Fliss Kitson on a roof is better than a night on the tiles!

Celebrating the continued success of the epochal “King Rocker” documentary by Stewart Lee & Michael Cumming and the adjacent soundtrack, the Gales recently released an ace remix record featuring re-workings by The Go! Team and SURGEON but this brand spanking new track is a welcome treat to say the least! And I for one, cannot wait to see the band live, actually LIVE, IRL, at the Garage in London early next month.

I’ve been a fan of the Gales for ages, and they’ve been great supporters of Velvet Sheep too, in fact they’ve chosen 22 songs for our “song for ewe”/”Lucky 7” series since 2015 – most of any band, and in fact Fliss has picked more “songs for ewe” that anyone else on the site (with Jim Smith not to far behind)…

I thought now would be a good time to compile them all, and implore you to go and download the new single – which you can get from Bandcamp below…hooray for The Nightingales!!

Watch Fliss drumming in 3D in the new video too!

(Video by Scott Johannsson of Haunted Screen – and the screen grab pic on top of this article too, cheers)
“Dig yer 3D glasses out for the full effect” says the band.

Here’s the “song for ewe” anthology from the Gales, starting with Robert Lloyd’s Lucky 7 picks circa “Mind Over Matter” (June 2015)

1. Nightingales – I Itch (Louder Than War)
My Nightingales choice is “I Itch” from our new LP “Mind Over Matter” (Louder Than War). It is roughly about artists who are not appreciated in their lifetimes &/or sheeplike trends. LOL.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOMWgllGv3E

2. Christy & Emily “Lovers Talk” from the album “Superstition” (Big Print)
C&E are simply wonderful. It’s been ages since we last played together but I remember them as one of my favourite live bands ever. The whole “Superstition” record is fab and any track would suffice but this one is a bit special.

3. Freakwater “Good For Nothing” from the album “End Time” (Thrill Jockey)

I love Freakwater and “Good For Nothing” is my favourite song off of my favourite of their albums. This is a contender for the ‘Song I wish I’d written’ award. I spent an afternoon drinking with Catherine and Janet once and came away an even bigger fan than I was before.

4. Hotpants Romance “Blow My Fuse” from the album “It’s A Heatwave” (Big Print)

I dunno if Hotpants are my favourite group of all time but certainly everytime I have seen them they have made me happy and that’s got to be good. Plus all three of them are super witty and wise and always a pleasure to be around.

5. Katherine Young “Terra Incognita” from the album “Further Secret Origins” (Porter Records)

Katie is a mighty talent and her “Further Secret Origins” is my favourite album of the last few years. Somehow in the days of myspace I discovered her and asked her to play on the ‘Gales upcoming (at the time) New York gigs. It turned out she is good friends with Christy & Emily and she has become a part time Nightingale ever since contributing some fab bassoon parts on most of our recent records.

6. The Lovely Eggs “Panic Plants” (Cherryade 45)

Holly and David are aces and together they are the best group in the country right now for my money. They’re fab off stage, they’re really tops live, their records are bostin’ and, quite rightly, everybody I know ‘king loves ’em. There are some great pieces to chose from but I think “Panic Plants” is my favourite Eggs number.

7. The Zincs “The Meagre Prick” from the album “Dimmer” (Thrill Jockey)

I met Jim Elkington and saw his ‘band’ by accident about ten years ago at SXSW. I thought his songs were very funny and told him so and we became chums. He really is a quality writer in my opinion and deserves all the plaudits he will surely get when the lazy world wakes up to his mega talent. Another ‘Song I wish I had written’.

Here’s another pick by Rob circa the “Become Not Becoming” EP in 2017:

“The Ugly’s – A Quiet Explosion

The Ugly’s were a band from Birmingham that, amongst other local luminaries, featured Brum legend Steve Gibbons. Unsurprisingly, they never really cracked it as most of their material is nothing special. But this song is.

‘A Quiet Explosion’ was the B side of their second single but I think it is now generally recognised as the group’s greatest moment. It is way ahead of it’s time and not only their best number but in my opinion one of the best UK pop songs from the Sixties.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JNyDUYp59I

and here’s Andi’s pick to coincide with the same EP, Jan ’17:

“Mac Demarco – “Viceroy”
Not particularly obscure or anything and I don’t really know much about the fella. A friend of me went up to see him Cologne, got pissed and made out with him after the gig so I thought he must be worth checking out. Got his album and it’s pretty much all I’ve been listening to since.”

Fliss Kitson with her first “song for ewe” pick to coincide with VS naming “Mind Over Matter” our album of the year (December 2015)

“In the Nightingales we occasionally like to pay homage to those tunes that resonate with you, that niggle away in the back of your head all day, but you may not know who the artist or the song is. An ear worm.

For example we have previously pillaged from In The Night Garden, music we heard in an ice cream parlour in Manchester and most recently lift muzak from a hotel in Prague.

My favourite, however, is the theme of the Tokyo Olympics 1964 by Helmut Zacharias Orchestra (Tokyo Melody). Cowbell action, spaghetti western vibes and harmonies… what’s not to love? I happened to stumble upon the 7″ in LA when we were over there.

It features on For Fuck’s Sake (our 2014 self released LP, now sold out) – can you spot it?”

Here’s Fliss’s at the time unprecedented second “song for ewe”… (picked Jan, 2017 for “Become Not Becoming” EP)

“Toxic Shock – Remote Control
I’ve been trying to collect the ‘Vindaloo Records’ catalogue for a fair few years now but only just got my hands on a decent copy of Toxic Shock EP…. I’d never heard of them before, only Robert raving about them. Two girls with a saxophone and bass… a whirlwind of sound fluttering around with the most haunting voices. I am hooked.”

Fliss’s third “song for ewe” pick (to coincide with VS naming “Perish The Thought” our album of the year in Dec 2018), it’s Fliss’ own fav of that year:

“2018 has been a whirlwind. We’ve had a real busy year, I’ve hardly stopped, meaning I’ve really not listened to as much new music this year.

There’s been a lot of hyped up bands and albums, none of which have done it for me to be honest. As I’m typing this I’ve finally got round to playing the new Blue Orchids record and my first impressions are it’s a cracker, ‘Get Bramah’ being my initial fave.

However, one record I bought straight away and played for weeks after unwrapping it is Courtney Barnett’s ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’. Love me a pop song with top guitar licks, wit galore, bostin’ hooks and backing vocals from The Breeders to boot! Bloody brilliant.”

Fliss also picked one as part of a Lucky 7 with the band in 2018…

“Doop – “Doop”

I recently stumbled upon a VHS of 9 year old me competing in a community hall talent show. Singing into a lollipop, dancing so proudly and passionately along to this very track. Embarrassment aside, hearing this song again really made me smile…. and for that, it’s my pick.”

and, technically Fliss’s sixth pick in 2020

“Japanese Television – Crocodile Dentist

This is by far my favourite track from the last year. I was so bored of the same old boy bands and the hype around them and I actually stopped listening to new music for a bit.

I hadn’t been to see a new band for a while but was out to support a friends band and last minute addition to the bill was Japanese Television… they were an instrumental, psychedelic, angular revelation. Gave me a kick up the arse and some inspiration again… comes in waves dunnit, but JTV perked me right up.”

and her record seventh pick for the site to coincide with VS song of the year 2020 for “The Top Shelf” (Fliss was invited to pick her own fav of the year for this one)

“I have probably listened to less new music this year than any other year. I spent most of my time listening to bands of the past that I’ve never got round to before…. Big Star, Elevators, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band… it’s been psychedelic baby! But I suppose, and it’s kind of awful to admit, I just didn’t have the urge to listen to other musicians being productive and doing really well this year. I wasn’t mentally there for it. Even though we had an album out in May, it was recorded in Oct 2019 and I haven’t played a gig since May 2019. I’m pining for productivity and being on stage. It’s been tough and not a nice feeling to have.

However, there was a day where I was about to take a long walk to meet a friend at a boozer. I had just seen that The Wolfhounds had a new record out so thought I’d put my walk to good use and listen to their new record! I really did smile the whole walk, it was and is a brilliant record. Sounds totally different to what I’ve heard of them before.. one track actually remind me of early ‘Gales with a Lloyd twang in his voice… but this one song ‘….and Electric Music’ is a stand out for me. A throbbing, grinding repetitive guitar riff with synths kicking in and out with this fantastic ear worm melody. It inspired me, which was a nice feeling to have again.

Bravo the Wolfhounds, you picked me out of my slump!”

here’s the other tunes picked for the Lucky 7 selection from May 2018 circa “Commercial Suicide Man”…

Rob’s pick…

Jake Thackray – “The Hair of the Widow of Bridlington”

As you all know, in the early 80’s there was tons of crap music around. Most groups at the time were chronic and the majority of the 60s and 70s acts had died or gone rotten. However the wonderful (and so underrated) Jake Thackray was still great, as seen here. I think he’s really terrific and – for reasons I can’t go into here – he was the first thing that sprang to mind for this Lucky 7.

Andi Schmid’s pick:

Scorpions – “Wind of Change”

Here is why:
It practically took down the Berlin Wall, hand in hand with the Hoff!
Just the right amount of whistling. Not too much and not too little!

Jim Smith’s pick:

The Calico Wall – “I’m A Living Sickness”

This song made a massive impression on me when i heard it aged 17 on the “Best of Pebbles” L.P. Really eerie atmosphere, killer fuzz/tremolo action and the ultimate in teen angst lyrics. Made me want to pick up a guitar and make a noise as horrible as that!

and a collective pick from all the band:

“One of the b-sides of the Commercial Suicide Man 7” was a song was discovered by Jim. “Son Of My Father” was a big hit for Chicory Tip, but it’s a cover of a Giorgio Moroder song. On the b-side of Giorgio’s original version of it was an obscure song called “Underdog.” This is that version. The protagonist ends up just fine in Giorgio’s version, but not in ours . . . there’s no redemption in The Nightingales! The idea for the single was a duet, and Vic and Robert each singing one of the b-sides. Vic’s was “Ace Of Hearts,” but Vic was into our version of this, so if you get the single, you can hear him on it, too.”

Jim also picked a “song for ewe” in 2017:

“Janitor by The Suburban Lawns

I only discovered this track recently but have been playing it nearly everyday since mainly due to the incredible, unique vocals of Su Tissue.

This live version is better than the record, way faster and more over the top. She only made one more album of impossible to find solo piano music, appeared in the Jonathan Demme cult classic film “Something Wild” and then disappeared from view.”

watch?v=7RBRJVUsI48&feature=youtu.be

here’s a fourth pick by Jim in 2020 to coincide with the release of “Four Against Fate”…

“Heldon – Stand By

Heldon were a French band active mid-late seventies, led by guitarist Richard Pinhas. He was an interesting character, a philosophy teacher who studied under Gilles Deleuze he was also influenced by the albums Fripp and Eno made together around the same time.

This track from the last Heldon album in 1979 still sounds futuristic to me. I love the way it goes through different phases from doomy sludge rock to intricate electronic passages, somehow sounding improvised and tight at the same time.”

and, this is Jim’s fifth “song for ewe” pick for the site (fast on the heels of Fliss), to coincide with us calling “Neverender” our inaugural xmas song of the year, 2020…

“I’m a massive fan of the Xmas song and obviously being a Midlander love that golden year of 1973 when Slade and Wizzard released the two classic Christmas songs in one year! But for this year I thought what better song than Johnny Dowd with “Christmas Is Just Another Day.”

Johnny Dowd is a prolific twisted Americana songwriter from Ithaca NY. His albums veer from straight country to weird funk and residents style weirdness. His main lyrical obsessions are the usual country subjects divorce, booze and Jesus but also at least one song an album about his dislike for Christmas. (See also his mangling of Jingle Bells!) This song hits the nail on the head for Christmas haters in the way it can just remind you of missing loved ones, in this case his mum. Merry Christmas!”

THANKS TO THE NIGHTINGALES!

Here’s the website:
https://thenightingales.org.uk/

Get the new single here:

 

and watch the Gales on tour:
Apr 19
Cathouse Rock Club
Glasgow, UK

Apr 20
Cavern Club
Liverpool, UK

Apr 22
The Forum Music Centre
Darlington, UK

Apr 23
The Deaf Institute
Manchester, UK

Apr 24
The Key Club
Leeds, UK

Apr 26
Epic Studios
Norwich, UK

Apr 27
O2 Academy2 Oxford
Oxford, UK

Apr 29
Patterns
Brighton, UK

Apr 30
O2 Academy2 Birmingham
Birmingham, UK

May 02
Thekla
Bristol, UK

May 03
The Garage
London, UK

May 05
Foxlowe Arts Centre
Leek, UK

May 06
The Trades Club
Hebden Bridge, UK

May 07
The Bodega
Nottingham, UK