Nizlopi

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Nizlopi
Origin Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England
Genres Folk, hip hop
Years active 2003–2010, 2011–2015
Labels FDM Records[1]
Website Nizlopi.com
Members Luke Concannon
John Parker

Nizlopi /nɪzˈlɒpi/ were an English folk and alternative duo formed in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire by Luke Concannon on vocals, guitar[1] and bodhrán and John Parker on double bass, human beatbox[1] and backing vocals.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

The duo grew up in Royal Leamington Spa, England[2] and attended Trinity Catholic School together.[3] They formed a band and named it after a Hungarian girl on whom Luke had a crush at school.[4] They started out performing throughout England, building a small but loyal fan base. Future musical artist and performer Ed Sheeran was their guitar technician at many of their early shows and has stated they were a major influence on his musical style, favouring an acoustic guitar to more lush efforts.[5]

Half These Songs Are About You (2003–2006)[edit]

In early 2004, they released their first album Half These Songs Are About You with FDM Records. In 2007, they received an Impala Platinum award recognizing sales of the album in Europe. It was produced by Gavin Monaghan, also known for his work with Scott Matthews and Robert Plant. Their first release, "JCB", is their most successful song.[citation needed] The song is about Luke's dyslexia at school, from which he sought escape by accompanying his father to work. Released as a single in June 2005, it reached number 160 in the UK Singles Chart. The single was re-released in the UK in December that year. It reached number one on 18 December 2005, selling more than double the copies of their closest competitor, Westlife. It eventually won the duo an Impala Platinum award recognizing sales of over 500,000 copies of the song across Europe in 2007.[6] Dermot O'Leary gave the track extensive airplay on his BBC Radio 2 show. Some bookmakers put it in the running for Christmas number one but the winner of The X Factor, Shayne Ward's début single, "That's My Goal" won that honour.[citation needed] The music video received widespread airplay, mainly on the VH1 music television channel, and was an animated video,[5] made by Laith Bahrani (aka Monkeehub), who also animated an unofficial video for an acoustic version of "Creep" by Radiohead.[citation needed]

Their follow-up single, "Girls," was released on 3 April 2006. The band have described the song's music video on radio interviews as "Tim Burton-esque." Karni & Saul of Flynn Productions directed the video, which was the first video in which the band appeared. Like "JCB", it was first released on the Internet. Limited radio play meant the song did not chart in the UK top 40.[citation needed]

The ExtraOrdinary EP (2006)[edit]

An EP containing six songs and titled ExtraOrdinary, was released on 4 September 2006. The six tracks included two that had been released before — "Helen" and "Yesterday" - which were previously released on the "JCB" and "Girls" EPs respectively. The record is an attempt to strip down the orchestral production of their early work to represent the duo's vibrant live sound.[citation needed]

The EP contained the track "Homage To Young Men," a spoken-word piece written and performed by Alastair McIntosh. McIntosh was inspired to write this piece after working with Concannon and performed live twice with the band. The band have likened Alastair's performances to "..the howlings of a wild animal". McIntosh is well known for his contributions to the Scottish version of 'Thought for the Day' and has been dubbed "The Rapping Reverend".[citation needed]

Make It Happen (2007–2010)[edit]

The second album, titled "Make It Happen," was released on 31 March 2008. The album was recorded with producer Phil Brown who had formerly produced artists such as Bob Marley. The album was recorded on 2-inch tape, a traditional style of recording said to create a more 'raw' sound that is popular with musicians preceding the era of digital recording technology. The album included guest appearances by Martyn Barker (percussion/drums), Andy Simms (piano), Jonnie Fielding (violin), Jack Hobbs (vocal/scratching), Rory Simmons (trumpet), Kadially Kouyaté (kora & Senegalese vocals), Rory McLeod (harmonica), The Individuals Dedicated to the Ministry of Christ choir and a contribution by the poet Benjamin Zephaniah.[7]

The release was preceded on 17 March 2008 by a digital single, "Start Beginning". In November of that year they completed a tour entitled "Last Nights on Tour." Afterwards they announced using both their official website and on social media website Myspace that they would be taking the year 2009 off and would meet while travelling in Cuba to discuss the band's future.[citation needed]

Split (2010–2011)[edit]

The band members confirmed that they split on 10 February 2010,[8] when an e-mail was sent out to all mailing list subscribers confirming that the band had split up after being together for 7 years, with Concannon stating:

"And that after many wild meanderings and much confusion I feel I must go on, on my own from here. That my dream is now to do another project, not Nizlopi, and to build a new life. So, this is good bye from Nizlopi. We are no more! Wow, there you go I said it. Scary as it is." –Luke Concannon[9]

Concannon announced that he was working on a solo album and had planned to set up his own website by 2011 via the band's mailing list and previewed new material on Touch FM's 'First Break Show'.[10][11][12] He had also been taking part in song-writing workshops.[13]

Reformation (2011–2015)[edit]

The split ended with an announcement on their website in late 2011 "Luke and John got back together" to headline a one-off charity concert at the Union Chapel in London on 22 November 2011.[citation needed] They have since been playing live shows sporadically.[citation needed]

Split (2015–present)[edit]

The band members split again in 2015. John is now working as a session double-bassist. Luke is travelling and writing. The duo are not currently working on an album or planning to tour.[8]

Live shows[edit]

In between recording albums, they have aggressively toured since early 2000. They are known for crowd involvement at their gigs, giving an energetic performance. They often improvised, even going so far as to invite people up on stage to sing and dance or unplugging and going into the crowd themselves. They took part in 'Healthy Concerts' or 'gigs in digs' where artists play in someone's house. On 14 October 2008, Nizlopi played an intimate version of "Answers" on a balcony overlooking Camden Lock for the music viral show BalconyTV.[14]

They have toured with and shared gigs and stages with a diverse range of artists, touring the UK and Europe with Jamie Cullum, joined Christina Aguilera for two nights at Wembley Arena, toured Ireland with Damien Dempsey, opened Gigbeth festival with Mr Hudson and The Library, duetted with Billy Bragg at the Hackney Empire, and been supported at headline shows by Newton Faulkner and Duke Special amongst others.[citation needed]

The band had been able to take in a great number of venues of note, headlining shows at the Shepherd's Bush Empire and at Indigo2 at the O2 Arena (formerly the Millennium Dome). They were also popular regulars on the festival circuit, having performed to crowds for years at Glastonbury Festival, Wireless Festival, Ireland's Fleadh, Cambridge Folk Festival and Solfest.[15]

The duo also appeared at 'Lainfest'[16] in August 2013 and 'Barn On The Farm' in July 2013.[17]

Discography[edit]

Albums and EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "JCB" #160 (6 June 2005)
  • "JCB" (re-release) #1 (12 December 2005)
  • "Girls" #91 (3 April 2006)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Nizlopi Discography at Discogs", Discogs.com, 2009, web: dcogs-Nizlopi.
  2. ^ "Nizlopi – Free listening", Last.FM, 2011, web: Last-Nizlopi.
  3. ^ "Nizlopi's new sound". Leamington Courier. 4 September 2006. 
  4. ^ Nizlopi - O2 Wireless Interview Retrieved 14 August 2009
  5. ^ a b Producer: Tamsin Curry (17 April 2015). "One-Hit Wonders at the BBC". One-Hit Wonders at the BBC. BBC. BBC Four. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "IMPALA Announces New Award Winners For Independent Music Companies". www.mi2n.com. Music Industry News Network (MI2N). 17 June 2007. Retrieved 29 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "Nizlopi – Make It Happen". www.discogs.com. Discogs. Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Nizlopi official website, retrieved 16 September 2011.[non-primary source needed]
  9. ^ Nizlopi official website Retrieved 10 February 2010[non-primary source needed]
  10. ^ First Break Show on YouTube. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  11. ^ First Break Show on YouTube. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  12. ^ First Break Show on YouTube. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  13. ^ Warwick Records. Accessed 2 October 2010.
  14. ^ "NIZLOPI - Video Archive". Balcony TV. Archived from the original on 28 October 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-18. 
  15. ^ "Solfest 2008". Retrieved 26 June 2017. 
  16. ^ [1]. Accessed 30 March 2013.
  17. ^ [2]. Accessed 30 March 2013.[unreliable source?]

External links[edit]