The Nightingales was formed from the ashes of the Prefects (The Clash’s ‘White Riot Tour’, John Peel sessions, Rough Trade records) and enjoyed cult status in the ’80’s as darlings of the credible music scene and being continually championed by Peel. Described in John Robb’s definitive book on post punk (“Death To Trad Rock”) as “The misfits’ misfits”, the band re-grouped in 2004 and have since released a dozen critically acclaimed albums and regularly toured the USA and Europe, from Scotland to Serbia. In 2021 a full length documentary about the band – “King Rocker”, written by Stewart Lee – received rave reviews (“Best rockumentary ever”, etc) following it’s premiere on Sky TV, before getting cinema screenings in the UK and Australia. All of the group’s original albums have recently been reissued as deluxe double vinyl LPs and in 2022 the band’s original soundtrack album to “King Rocker” was released alongside a DVD of the movie featuring assorted extras. The Nightingales’ most recent studio album “The Last Laugh” is generally considered to be their best yet and following a support tour with The Damned in 2023 interest in the group continues to be on the rise and their gigs are legendary. In September the Gales release their first live album and they are touring mainland Europe in October. They continue to operate with no actual manager, booking agent, publisher, et al, remaining defiantly independent and truly maverick. One of England’s great originals, they work equally well with pop musicians, rock n rollers and the avant garde.
Chippington avoids observational comedy in favour of anti-humour and jokes which are mostly variations on the same theme, delivered in a West Midlands monotone. He also frequently performs his own versions of well-known songs in a similarly listless style. His act has left audiences bemused or hostile, with heckling a frequent occurrence during his performances.
His deadpan style has won him a small number of devoted followers. Stewart Lee has often cited Chippington as the reason he began stand-up comedy, describing Chippington’s act as “a mixture of surrealism and insolent provocation and uncompromising boredom” and citing him as “the first post-alternative comedian”. Another admirer, Richard Herring, talks of Chippington’s “contempt for the very idea of jokes”.