King Rocker 2021
Cinema release & Sky Arts
A film about Robert Lloyd & The Nightingales. “Rapidly shaping up as one of my all-time favourite rock-docks” - Mark Kermode.
Comedian Stewart Lee and director Michael Cumming, investigate a missing piece of punk history: Robert Lloyd, best known for fronting cult Birmingham bands The Prefects and The Nightingales, has survived under the radar for over four decades.
But how, if at all, does Robert want to be remembered? The anti-rockumentary King Rocker weaves the story of Birmingham’s undervalued underdog autodidact into that of the city’s forgotten public sculpture of King Kong, eschewing the celebrity interview and archive-raid approach for a free- associating bricolage of Indian food, bewildered chefs, vegetable gardening, prescription medicines, pop stardom and pop art.
King Rocker’s broadcast premiere was on on Sky Arts. It was selected for the Sheffield Doc Fest and released in cinemas in November 2021. To find out more, visit the website and watch the trailer. Stewart & Michael chat about King Rocker on the Kermode on Film podcast, the Radcliffe & Maconie show, their Soho Radio show and an Adventures In Music special. Read Michael & Stewart on cult docs for Dazed and a Quietus article about the film. Michael also discusses the film & things in general, on GingerBeardMark’s YouTube show and the Last Line podcast and the Park Date Podcast.
The deluxe bookback DVD edition - with over 90 minutes of extras, alongside the soundtrack CD and liner notes from Michael and Stewart - is now available. The soundtrack LP and other King Rocker merch is available here.
“King Rocker finds beauty, heroism and even a whiff of transcendence in the most unlikely places. I loved it” Mark Kermode, BBC News
“Looking at my timeline has made me believe the whole country is watching King Rocker” Robin Ince
“The film is ace, the band are ace and Rob is a remarkable man” Marc Riley
“Unsurprisingly hilarious” David Baddiel
“It’s got great charm, it’s a lovely film”, “it’s just a great human story about the narrative arch of someone’s life”, “it’s warm, it’s funny, it’s fascinating” Radcliffe & Maconie, BBC 6 Music
“It’s a wonderful homage to and a portrait of a true outsider artist, and an inspiring comeback story that in the already boiling maelstrom of 2021 feels profoundly necessary” The Quietus
“The Jarvis Cocker that never happened” The Guardian, Pick Of The Day
“Ferociously Entertaining” MOJO. Voted #2 film of the year
“Lloyds chemistry with Lee is the cornerstone of its charm” Radio Times
“A charming and experimental documentary” The Observer, Pick Of The Day
“ A charming, amusing and creatively inspiring documentary” Chortle
“The best music documentary I’ve seen in ten years... I absolutely love King Rocker” John Doran, The Quietus
“Lee tells Lloyds story with skill, passion and verve” The Times
“A beautiful and fucking hilarious and moving film” Shaun Keaveny, BBC 6 Music