In every collection there are records that get played all the time, many of them for years, decades even. Then there are those that, while no less treasured, somehow fall by the wayside to lie in wait, ripe for rediscovery. This occasional series chronicles some of those nuggets as they resurface from my own back pages. So, put the needle on the record, put the needle on the record, put the needle on the record and it sounds like this…
Robert Lloyd & the New Four Seasons – Something Nice (In-Tape, 1988)
A souvenir from a brief but formative sojourn at Rough Trade Distribution, this 12-inch white label of former Nightingales/Prefects singer Robert Lloyd’s debut solo single still sounds fresh, just as those in the know around the Collier Street HQ said it would all those years ago.
Propelled by a Motown pound and swirling organ motif, Lloyd tells all who’ll listen about his fear that ‘something nice will fly by’ as strings sparkle and a nagging synthetic brass line punctuates the hook. It’s enormously catchy fare and even in this full fat form – a shade under nine (count ’em!) minutes – you’re left wanting with every play.
Indeed, John Peel so loved he bestowed upon it the number 21 in his Festive Fifty and helped hoik it up to number five in the indie chart in June 1988, but the world at large turned a deaf ear and the record subsequently sank without trace. Nevertheless, Lloyd signed to Virgin and dropped a better than decent album called ‘Me and My Mouth’ having enlisted the services of Attractions’ keys and sticks men Steve Nieve and Pete Thomas, former Smiths second guitarist Craig Gannon, BJ Cole, Geraint Watkins and, most strangely, Andy Scott of The Sweet.
These days Mr Lloyd runs a record label called Big Print and participates in sporadic recording and touring activities with The Nightingales.