In the Nursery

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In the Nursery
In the Nursery, 2009
In the Nursery, 2009
Background information
OriginSheffield, England
GenresNeoclassical dark wave, martial industrial, electronica
Years active1981–present
Associated acts
  • Klive & Nigel Humberstone
  • Les Jumeaux
  • Klive Humberstone
  • Nigel Humberstone
  • Dolores Marguerite C
Past members
  • Anthony Bennett
  • Q

In the Nursery are an English neoclassical dark wave and martial industrial band, characterized by their cinematic sound. The duo has provided soundtracks to a variety of TV programmes and films, and is known for its rescoring of silent films.


Twin brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone were brought up in a small village west of London. After completing primary school, the twins relocate to Sheffield where they went to separate college campuses. Circa 1978, the twins frequented nearby Manchester to see bands and go to clubs. It was there that the twins caught a Joy Division show which inspired them to pick up guitars and experiment with making music. By 1981 they joined with guitar player Anthony Bennett to form In the Nursery.[1]

Influenced by Joy Division,[2] the trio emerged alongside the UK's industrial music scene. In June 1983 the band released the six-track When Cherished Dreams Come True followed by the "Witness (To a Scream)" single, both on Paragon Records, and the Sonority EP on New European Recordings.

In 1985 the band moved to the Sweatbox label Temper EP. Temper displayed a heavily industrial influenced sound, replete with screamed and shouted lyrics, grinding metal sounds, and metal percussion.[1]

The full-length Twins was recorded at Bradford's Flexible Response Studio without Bennett, who departed the band in 1986. The album adopted a more subtle approach by favouring theatrical atmospherics over industrial clatter. Multi-lingual vocalist Dolores Marguerite C made her debut on the Trinity EP adding French narration to "Elegy'. The piece took as its subject torture that occurred during the Algerian War which the band thought was most appropriately treated in French.[1]

Dolores and military-styled percussionist Q — a college friend of Klive's — were added to the line-up on the subsequent Stormhorse, the soundtrack to an imaginary film that provided the cinematic blueprint for all their future recordings. The quartet's final recording for Sweatbox, 1988's Köda, completed the transition to a classical instrumental sound and utilised computer sequencing in the recording process for the first time. Köda was the band's first licensed work with Wax Trax! Records in the US which lead to greater exposure and an increased fan base.[1]

Following the collapse of Sweatbox, the band moved to Third Mind Records to complete the album L'Esprit.[1] The album was recorded with engineer Steve Harris who had contributed to Köda and would feature on all the band's subsequent releases. Sense and Duality were followed by a logical progression to real soundtrack work on 1993's psychological drama An Ambush of Ghosts. Their music has also featured in Interview with the Vampire, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, and The Rainmaker. In the late 90s the band was commissioned, as part of the Optical Music Series, to provide new scores for the silent classics The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Asphalt, and Man with a Movie Camera. Anatomy of a Poet, a concept album about the creative psyche, featured author Colin Wilson reciting romantic poetry against a lush backdrop of strings, and also included a cover version of Scott Walker's "Seventh Seal".

A retrospective compilation of their work was the first release on their own ITN Corporation label. Further concept albums have included Deco (inspired by the Art Deco movement) and the ambitious Lingua, an exploration of language featuring vocal contributions from around the world. The Humberstones also record more dance-oriented material under the Les Jumeaux moniker, and as such were involved in pre-production work on Sabres of Paradise's classic techno anthem "Smokebelch".

The 2011 release Blind Sound was a more consistently dark album from the Humberstone brothers and featured more real percussion than previous releases.[2] In 2011, "White Robe" from An Ambush of Ghosts was used on a trailer for Game of Thrones.[2]

In 2011, head of Radio 1 Christopher Price highlighted the In the Nursery remix of Haunted Dancehall as the style of music that would be played on pop radio to prepare audiences before cutting to an announcement of tragic news such as the death of the Queen.[3][4]



  • When Cherished Dreams Come True (1983, mini-album)
  • Sonority (1985, EP)
  • Temper (1985, EP)
  • Twins (1986)
  • Trinity (1987, EP)
  • Stormhorse (1987)
  • Compulsion (1988, EP)
  • Prelude 1983–1985 (1988)
  • Köda (1988)
  • Counterpoint (1989)
  • L'esprit (1990)
  • Sesudient (1990, EP)
  • Sense (1991)
  • Duality (1992)
  • An Ambush of Ghosts (1993, soundtrack)
  • Anatomy of a Poet (1994)
  • Scatter (1995)
  • Deco (1996)
  • The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1996, soundtrack)
  • Asphalt (1997, soundtrack)
  • Lingua (1998)
  • Man with a Movie Camera (1999, soundtrack)
  • Groundloop (2000)
  • Exhibit (2000)
  • Hindle Wakes (2001, soundtrack)
  • Engel (2001)
  • Praxis (2003)
  • A Page of Madness (2004, soundtrack)
  • Electric Edwardians (2005, soundtrack)
  • Era (2007)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (2008, soundtrack)
  • Aubade (2010, a collection of recordings from 1983–1985)
  • Blind Sound (2011)
  • The Calling (2013)
  • The Fall of the House of Usher (2015, soundtrack)
  • 1961 (2017)
  • The Seashell and the Clergyman (2019, soundtrack)


  1. ^ a b c d e Shea, Mike (1990). "In the Nursery: For the Faithful". Alternative Press. Cleveland, OH: Alternative Press International Publications. 5 (32): 33–37.
  2. ^ a b c "In the Nursery interviews on Outsight Radio Hours : Outsight Radio Hours : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". 10 March 2001. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  3. ^ Knight, Sam (17 March 2017). "'London Bridge is down': the secret plan for the days after the Queen's death". Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  4. ^ Price, Christopher. "Soundtracking 9/11". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 27 August 2017.

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