|Origin||Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, England|
|Genres||Folk, hip hop|
|Years active||2003–2010, 2011–2015|
Nizlopi // were an English folk and alternative duo formed in Royal Leamington Spa, Warwickshire by Luke Concannon on vocals, guitar and bodhrán and John Parker on double bass, human beatbox and backing vocals.
The duo grew up in Royal Leamington Spa, England and attended Trinity Catholic School together. They formed a band and named it after a Hungarian girl on whom Luke had a crush at school. 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.
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. 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. 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. The music video received widespread airplay, mainly on the VH1 music television channel, and was an animated video, made by Laith Bahrani (aka Monkeehub), who also animated an unofficial video for an acoustic version of "Creep" by Radiohead.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
The band members confirmed that they split on 10 February 2010, 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:
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'. He had also been taking part in song-writing workshops.
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. They have since been playing live shows sporadically.
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. Luke has since released new music as a solo artist, in 2017.
The band played at Solfest in 2008.
|Title||Details||Peak chart positions|
|Half These Songs Are About You||
|Make it Happen||
|"—" denotes an album that did not chart or was not released.|
|Looking for Answers||
|Ltd Edition UpRise||
|Year||Title||Peak chart positions||Album|
|2005||"Fine Story"||—||—||—||Half These Songs Are About You|
|"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released.|
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