Stewart Lee is filming a new post-punk documentary alongside director Michael Cumming called King Rocker.
The documentary details Birmingham post-punk band The Nightingales and the band’s ever-present frontman Robert Lloyd. Like Lee himself, The Nightingales enjoyed cult status among a loyal fanbase. Radio royalty John Peel once said that “their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980s to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans”
Not only the unnering singer and songwriter, frontman Lloyd enjoyed a colourful career that has taken him down a number of paths which, in essence, is what Lee is hoping to depict in his film: “The film is partly about other lives Rob could have had, alternate realities, one where he ends up winning Bafta,” he told the Chortle.
At one point, Lloyd created a a comedy sitcom titled ‘Normal’ and, according to Lee, was commissioned by BBC head of comedy Geoffrey Perkins as a BBC Two pilot in 1995 but unforseen circumstances resulted in the deal collapsing.
“Perkins apparently gave the go-ahead for a pilot, rewrites pending, but the trio of writers fell out in the pub after the meeting where this was agreed,” Lee added. “According to Rob, all the bits Perkins liked best were by Swells. We need to talk to those responsible, and their estates, but the idea would be to shoot a scene or two in the style of, and with the casting of, a 1995 BBC alterno-sitcom. There appears to be only one hard copy of the script, which I am currently guarding like a sacred text.
King Rocker will also feature an appearance from Frank Skinner who himself enjoyed a musical collaboration with Lloyd in the 1970s.