Nikki Nightingale & Co


Our Backing Tracks.

This story includes sound editing history and a weird coincidence…!

Bruce helped us with the intros for Nikki Nightingale & Co, before I was around, and before the advent of MP3, the backing tracks were recorded at Bruce‘s work, which bizarrely was where I (Co) went for my work experience a few years earlier, where I learned how to video edit. I learned how to edit video using analogue technology, which included 3 broadcast quality VCRs, the wipes were created by analogue means too, and I also learned how to do rudimentary computer animation I am possibly one of those few lucky people that learned something on work experience that I still do today!

Nikki would go and see Bruce, and the backing tracks took HOURS to do, I am assuming that these were recorded from audio tape/CD. Nikki would go over around 7 pm and arrive home around 4 am! There are some songs where we do have our edits, so cut the track down to fit the 45-minute timing of the show. Nikki would then come home with a tape and CD – the reason for both was that some venues didn’t upgrade to CD for quite a while – or worse still couldn’t play back CD-R’s.

Once the commercial web and mp3s became a thing, as I already knew how to video edit, I of course knew how to sound edit, (sound editing is video editing without moving pictures!) This meant that I could edit some tracks, ones that I remember I did was Cellblock Tango and Singular Sensation, I also edited a three-track finale if my memory serves me right. This made things a lot easier for both Bruce and Nikki Nightingale & Co, as I was able to get the track in such a position where we could rehearse right away, and I sent a list of intros we needed, which was basically, ‘this is the running order – we need intros for these tracks, this is what we have done to those’.

Bruce could then do the intros in his own time, and send them as attachments, which I was suitably impressed by what I put on our original site which can be found here! – Also Bruce sent us the outtakes – which as I was in charge of the website even back then, I dutifully added them onto an updated version of the site! – again Bruce’s fault, – he got us the domain name, and the web hosting space, gave Nikki the CD with the software on and went ‘there you go, you can have a website’ – Nikki then gave the CD to me, and here I am with loads of dead websites on and still hosting a few even to this day!

One interesting thing to note about our intros, we performed at a charity gig, and we were performing with Topping and Butch, a comedy male act taking off several parodies, Topping was backstage and said to me, ‘Oh – that’s a great idea, let the backing track introduce you’, as they had the issue of DJ’s introducing them as Butch and Topping! – And yes, we saw them live a couple of months after, and sure enough, they updated their backing track!

Oh – and if you reading this Bruce – yes we may need you to do more soon!

On the subject of backing tracks – on the circuit, the drag queens are the ones that usually have the PA system, so we have got one, back in the day we were taking parts of our HiFi system and connecting them to the PA, as again singers and strippers backing tracks were also on tape/CD. Nowadays, thanks to smartphones and laptops we can now simply hook a phone or laptop, or even a USB stick into a media player we can elevate these issues. And yes, of course, if an act/stripper or singer was using tape – as these tapes were played on a weekly basis and used as well during rehearsals, I do remember a couple of times the tape getting chewed by the player – something else modern acts don’t have issues with!

So, if you want to book us, either via a friend or via finding us somewhere and we have given you a business card we still come with a PA system.