Bill's Pigeon News  

Back issues
2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014  2015  2016  2017  2018  2019  2020 

Product Sales - SALES (click here)

Autumn 2023
Well, as promised,here's the next installment of my story on the different names the boys used to release records under over the years. This time I'll tell you about "Heavy Cochran".

Back in the late 1970s, when Rob and Nigel were setting up their own "Comet" record label, they were introduced to an Irish chap called Des Dolan. Des already had his own record label which he ran with another Irish chap called Gerry McCabe. This was called Unigram Records.

Des was a great help to the boys as they set up Comet and he gave them valuable advice about the complicated issue of distribution. (Getting the records onto the shelves of retailers).

However, I'm going off on a bit of a tangent as none of this affected or included Heavy Cochran. In fact it was another friend of Des's who ran Psycho Records who wanted an outrageous record to rival the punk which was current flavour of the month.

Des introduced Nigel and Rob to Psycho and the result was a record, (made by the boys), called, "I've got big balls (of resentment)".

It was an outrageous track but in no way did Rob and Nigel want the names of either Stavely Makepeace or Lieutenant Pigeon associated with it. Hence the birth of this imaginary character Heavy Cochran. (A bit of a pun on Eddie Cochran) Oddly enough this single did well in the clubs even without ever actually appearing in the charts. However, the follow up, "I've got a little prick (of conscience)" fared much worse and so 'Heavy Cochran' went into permanent retirement!

Years later both Rob and Nigel confided in me that they hoped none of the Heavy Cochran vinyl survived!!

I will be giving you another story in the' "Other names", series before 2023 is out. Meanwhile keep on rocking!

The very best, Bill Boswell.

Summer 2023
After all the excitement of 2022 with the 50th anniversary thing and all its spin offs, 2023 has not surprisingly been a much quieter year. Consequently I took the advantage last week of speaking to both Nigel and Rob about a subject they have never really gone into before, the usage of so many different outlet names for their recordings. We all know the reason for them starting the offshoot band Lieutenant Pigeon from the main 5 piece Stavely Makepeace group. This was because the image of the "Pigeon" style of music didn't sit well with with image they were trying to create for Stavely. However, why did they use so many other different names over the years? Well, I do have some answers but for this newsletter I will start by revealing how the "Binj'd Rinkas" came into being.

One day, probably around 2002/3, the boys were working in the studio when they stumbled across a weird phenomena. They'd been using the "gate" on previous recordings but found out that day that by swelling a "slap back" echo whilst gating the track it produced the weirdest of effects. Any track could be treated this way. With some it sounded great whereas with others it didn't work at all. They christened this new sound "The Chop"

Because this new sound was different to anything they'd created before they decided to try it out under the spoof name of "The Binj'd Rinkas". The first release using the chop sound was, "The Ghost Express". This came out in 2005 and was a great success. In fact it is one of our biggest download tracks to this day!

Next time I will explore another of their adventurous 'off the beaten track' names, Heavy Cochran so don't go away!

Best wishes, Bill Boswell.

Spring 2023
Yes I know we're barely out of winter but looking out of the window at present it seems that spring has come early this year!

First bit of news for 2023 is that renown film producer and archive transport historian John K Wells will shortly be taking control of the Lieutenant Pigeon Facebook page. This is a welcome development for us all as it has fallen into 'disrepair' of late and badly needs attention. Fingers crossed that Facebook will now provide regular updates and will give a platform for those of you who send in many questions about the two bands.

Secondly, for those of you who have yet to discover it, there is a TV Channel out there for all of us "older" ones called, Talking Pictures TV". It is a truly magnificent TV channel and not only does it show many old films but it also has a weekly show called, The Footage Detectives, in which it shows archive home movies and amateur films from the past. Recently it has shown some of our affiliated company's films of archive transport. (This company is called Ranwell Video and we run it in tandem with the Lt Pigeon website.)

Through this new contact we have managed to get touch with one of the presenters, Mike Read. Mike was a radio One DJ back in the day so the boys had already met him. He very kindly gave a good plug to the new Lt Pigeon Album, "The Decca Years", (now out on Cherry Red Records), on the February 5th edition of his show. Look out for the repeat which should go out on Monday March 6th at 5pm.

Well, that's about it for now. Let's hope this mild spell of weather continues!

Best, Bill B.

New Year 2023
Normally I wouldn't write another newsletter so close to the Christmas one but this is something of a "Special". Of all the spin offs from last year's Music Museum Lieutenant Pigeon exhibition, none can be more significant than the planned release of the Lt Pigeon "Decca Years" double CD. The actual release date will be Jan 20th but already advanced copies are in circulation and are receiving great acclaim.

I spoke to both Nigel and Rob about the forthcoming release and both were quick to welcome the issue of this album but weren't so happy with some of the early titles that Cherry Red Records had selected. Titles like, "The Monkey Song" and "You're getting too old for Toys". They told me these titles should be quietly retired from the public domain!! However, as the old saying goes, "The good the bad and the ugly". They all are part of history and therefore have a part to play.

As a link with today Cherry Red have included last year's single release, "Home on the Rage". This is great news as the song has great potential and both Rob and Nigel feel that given the right exposure this track could be massive. Let's hope they're right!!

Happy New Year, Bill Boswell.

Christmas 2022
Well, it's been our busiest year since the, "Good old days!" The video to promote "Home on the Rage" is now available on Youtube,, and is well worth a watch! The "Decca Years" Lieutenant Pigeon album, (which also features "Home on the Rage"), will be released by Cherry Red Records on January 23rd 2023, and speaking of "Home on the Rage", it too is now available as a download.

The spin offs from the publicity given to the band by the '50 years of Lt Pigeon' exhibition at the Coventry Music Museum have been many and varied. Many national newspapers have covered the anniversary of 'Mouldy Old Dough' getting to number one, including both the Guardian and the Times, and, possibly it's a coincidence, but New Zealand TV have been using our biggest hit in a programme called, "Kura Season 3". Lieutenant Pigeon have always had a bond with Australia and New Zealand and some records that didn't make it over here were big hits 'down under'. Biggest of these of course was, "I'll take you home again Kathleen".

Lastly some late, and very welcome news from DJ Nick Prince. Nick tells us that "Home on the Rage"has just made it to number 12 in the CBUK Airplay charts! This bodes well for the new year, which we are now all looking forward to.

The very best Bill Boswell.

Autumn 2022
Big news for this newsletter is the finalising of a deal with Cherry Red Records to release the entire Decca Records catalogue of Lieutenant Pigeon tracks! This is scheduled for later this year. It will contain the vast majority of tracks made by the band during their time with Decca Records and will be entitled, "Lieutenant Pigeon The Decca Years".
Bitter sweet for Rob and Nigel who both tell me there are tracks on there they'd rather forget! However, they accept that it's all part of history -- which can never be rewritten -- and it will be a legacy for posterity of those 1970 years. As a bonus Cherry Red have agreed to include the boys' latest single which is called, "Home on the Rage". This is a tongue in cheek portrayal of the rigours a learner driver faces in today's mad world of driving. John K Wells is also going to produce a madcap video using this track which he will put on YouTube. Watch this space!

As previously mentioned, Will Hodgkinson's magnificent book, "In Perfect Harmony", is to be released with a bang at the Temple of Arts and Music in London on Sept 15th. He is even launching it with one of the Lieutenant Pigeon tracks, "Perfect Harmony".
The guest list for this reception includes many of the stars of the 'Glam Rock Era', including our Rob and Nige. Sadly he fears that many will cry off if the rail strike planned for that day isn't cancelled. So it's fingers crossed on that one!

Both the new Stavely Makepeace single, ("The Truth is in there Somewhere"), and, the Lieutenant Pigeon one, ("Home on the Rage"), will be available as download through all the big streaming companies very soon. As regards CD copies, we may produce them on request but CD sales in general of late have been so low that it may not be viable to do a production run on them.

More soon. The very best Bill Boswell.

PS... We have just been told that the Stavely M single is now available as a download!

Summer 2022
Well, after all the excitement of the Blue Plaque and the opening of the Lieutenant Pigeon exhibition at Coventry's Music Museum, things have quietened down a little. That's not to say things aren't happening! The exhibition has been a huge success so far and with the big Radio One Weekend coming to Coventry very soon, there will doubtless be many more visitors.

Also, Will Hodgkinson, the famous journalist, has this book coming out in September in which we have helped fill in some past details for him. It should be a good read, especially for those of us who remember the 1970s!

Lastly there's another Stavely Makepeace single in the pipeline. The boys have broken away from their usual style somewhat for this track which is a mild protest song about the brainwashing and propaganda we all suffer from our media and government. The title is "The Truth is in there Somewhere", and we hope it will make people think.

Incidentally, viewing figures for the "Mouldy Old Dough 50 years" video on YouTube have now topped 80,000. Not bad for something so far in the past eh!

The very best Bill Boswell.

Easter 2022
It's a little early for our Easter Newsletter but so much has been afoot lately that it warrants an early issue this time.

Firstly our good friend Pete Chambers, curator of the Coventry Music Museum, has decided to devote the rest of 2022 to a Lieutenant Pigeon exhibition in his museum in honour of the 50th anniversary of the big hit, "Mouldy Old Dough". This has already opened and the press reception took place on February 18th, (exactly 50 years to the day since "Mouldy Old Dough" was released). The exhibition opened to the public the following day.

Not only this but Pete has managed to get a blue heritage plaque placed on the building where "Mouldy" was recorded! The unveiling ceremony, with Rob and Nigel carrying out the unveiling, also took place on February 18th. Both the BBC and ITV local news bulletins covered the event. Some of the filming, by kind permission of the current owners, was actually done inside the old Woodward family home at 25 Kingsway where they had their recording studio all those years ago!

ITV Central News               BBC Midland News

As promised the celebratory Lieutenant Pigeon CD single, "All for one and one for all", is now ready for release and will come up on the Sales Page any time now. Let's hope the rest of the year is as busy as these first 2 months have been!

The very best Bill Boswell.

Winter 2021
The City of Coventry year of Culture celebrations are in full swing and our song, "Back Home in Coventry" has played its part in a big way. It's time now to concentrate on next year's big Lieutenant Pigeon celebration single. This will be "All for one and one for all" which is to be launched on February 18th 2022 -- exactly fifty years to the day since "Mouldy Old Dough" was released.

Talking of "Mouldy Old Dough", tune into Channel 5 on November 5th and you might have a surprise. You will be transported back in time to those heady Glam Rock days, when Lieutenant Pigeon ruled the roost, in a series about 1970s hit records. Click on this link "" and you will see listings of the first two episodes of this musical extravaganza.

Talking of which, this Lt Pigeon track singing the praises of the city of Coventry, has been widely accepted as one of the main tunes to promote the City of Culture 2021 year. If you've yet to hear it it is available as a download via all the major download sites

And, whilst we are on the subject of links, have a peep at this one. "FaceBook Interview" Don Powell, drummer with Slade, and an old pal of Rob and Nigel's, is currently recording a series of Zoom chats with many of the stars stars of yesteryear. Recently he reminisced with 'our Nige'.

Not too long to go 'til Christmas!!
Cheers.  Bill B

Autumn 2021
Firstly let me apologise to you all for the web site being off line for a month. This came suddenly and surprised us all! However, at last we are up and running again and hopefully all will be back to normal now.

As regular visitors to our site will have noticed we have tweaked a few things and updated the group biogs whilst the site was off line. As for other news, thanks to Fab Radio UK's plugging of "Back Home in Coventry" by Lieutenant Pigeon, the single has made it into several 'on line' radio station's chart listings. It's nice to see the song doing so well outside the limits of Coventry!

Talking of which, this Lt Pigeon track singing the praises of the city of Coventry, has been widely accepted as one of the main tunes to promote the City of Culture 2021 year. If you've yet to hear it it is available as a download via all the major download sites

Lastly the boys have been working on the new single to celebrate next year's 50th anniversary of the 1972 No1 hit "Mouldy Old Dough". This will be called, "All For One and One For All", and will feature the same raucous sound as the number one hit all those years ago. Look out for further news of this great track!

All for now.  Bill B

Summer 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our great friend and former Stavely Makepeace member Don Ker. He was 79. He hadn't enjoyed the best of health for some time but when we last spoke to him he was in good spirits and humour and still the Don we all loved and remembered. R.I.P Don, a fine musician and a fine friend!!

On a brighter note, at last the Coventry City of Culture 2021 has arrived. Pete Chambers, the Curator of the Coventry Music museum, has submitted the Lieutenant Pigeon CD, "Back Home in Coventry" to the official committee as a possible contender for the official theme for the year. Fingers crossed they adopt it!

The CD will be released on June 4th and has three other tracks, all based on a very local theme. One of these tracks, "Gosford Street Rag", was recorded by the group nearly 40 years ago! Let's hope that this culture year will highlight many aspects of the plethora of local talent, both musical and otherwise.

More soon! Bill Boswell

Easter 2021
Well, the Easter Newsletter would probably have been packed with items normally but with this pandemic lingering on there’s very little to write about. Rob has taken advantage of the studio being quiet and has given everything a thorough service – something long overdue! Nige has been working on two huge data bases trying to catalogue all the Makepeace Music tracks into a much simpler form.

There’s publicity in the pipeline too. Big MG Radio wish to feature an interview very soon and Colin Surey, who runs the Cozooks of Brixham Blog, has dug deep into the archives whilst researching the “Decca World Of” series of vinyl LPs to discover more about the LP that never was. Namely “The World of Lieutenant Pigeon”. This blog makes a very interesting read. Link to "LP excerpt"

There’s been no more CD releases in 2021 but we’ve experienced a welcome surge of downloads during this current lock down and there are still plans to issue, “Back Home in Coventry”, as a CD on May 1st to coincide with the launch of the “Coventry City of Culture” year. So it’s all fingers crossed that this wretched pandemic will be over by then and we don’t slip into an Italian style “3rd wave”!

The very best Bill B.

Return to top

Designed by Bill Boswell & Nigel Fletcher
© Ranwell Video 2021