Professor Singleton Purblind formed The Gaslight Troubadours in 2013 with Lon Lippincott; a modern day Burke and Hare of sample reconstruction, citing their influences as scratchy old cylinder recordings, risqué Music Hall, 221b Baker Street, old radio show thrillers and Hammer Horror. It was ‘Carry On Screaming’ starring Vivian Stanshall, with a dose of The League Of Gentlemen thrown in for good measure. Mock horror with glitchy beats could be one, slightly loose description.
Their debut album was entitled Clockwork Curiosities and released on ECC Records. Asked to describe it, the Professor said “imagine yourself rummaging through boxes of dusty Victorian stage props in the attic of a haunted mansion whilst the wind whistles through gnarled window frames, and something ungodly howls in a nearby forest. The distant sounds of a gramophone reverberates up the staircase, combining with the eerie tap, tap, tapping on a window pane nearby. It could well sound like that, or maybe not…”
Festival appearances at Latitude and Wychwood and a headline slot at the Exeter Steampunk Ball followed, with the band picking up fans wherever they played. The line-up was extended to scratch DJ Victor Vector, VJ Miki Shaw, and Tribal fusion dancer Merrion Spreadbury.
In June of that year they were invited on the Tom Robinson Show on BBC 6 Music to curate an hour’s worth of Steampunk tunes. Tracks from the album were played by Gideon Coe, Fiona Talkington and Max Reinhardt (The Late Junction on BBC Radio 3), John Kennedy (XFM), Stuart Maconie, and Huey Morgan (for his BBC Radio 2 show). The album also got a 4 Star review in Mojo magazine.
2015 saw the release of their 5-track EP with chap hop legend (the other one…) Professor Elemental. Entitled The Nanty Narking EP it was released via Green Queen Music and saw the good professor teaming up with the Gaslights for a number of festival shows including Larmer Tree and Boomtown Fair. In that same year the Gaslights also played Womad to a very enthusiastic crowd. Joining them for these dates was swing dancer Raggy Doll, reflecting the dark swing sound of the EP.
At the end of 2015 due to personal reasons Lon Lippincott became increasingly less involved, so Professor Purblind decided to make his solo album The Spectropic Illusions Of Professor Purblind and released it in August 2016. Featuring legendary Soft Cell front man Marc Almond on two tracks, and guitarist Neal X (Marc Almond Band, The Montecristos and Sigue Sigue Sputnik), it was released on a limited 200 CD run, and also digitally. The CDs sold out and it has now become something of a collector’s item. The fabulous artwork, like the Gaslight’s debut album, was by David Owen.
Towards the end of the year an exclusive Gaslight track with Marc Almond entitled Eros & Eye was released on Marc’s 10 CD retrospective Trials Of Eyeliner.
In 2017 Lon Lippincott announced that he was leaving the band. Professor Purblind has taken on full production duties since then.
Their second LP entitled Stranger Swings was released on Halloween (31st October) 2018, featured the likes of Tom Robinson, Professor Elemental, Neal X, Rachael Roberts, and Fey Pink. It received great radio support from Gideon Coe and Tom Robinson at BBC 6Music, and others. In particular ‘Yes I Do Declare’ feat. Rachael Roberts proved to be one of their most popular songs after being played by Tom Robinson on Cerys Matthew’s popular Sunday morning show on 6Music.
Their third album Curse Of The Gaslights was released on Halloween of 2021. It received strong BBC Radio 6Music support from the likes of Gideon Coe, Tom Robinson, Shaun Keaveny and Don Letts. It features guest appearances by Marc Almond (Soft Cell), Eliza Carthy, acclaimed Bay area rapper Lateef The Truthspeaker (DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Latyrx, etc), Martin “Youth” Glover (Killing Joke bassist, award winning producer of The Verve’s Urban Hymns and many more), famous French/Tunisian singer Amina Annabi, Tom Robinson, Professor Elemental, Hempolics singer Dandelion, ex-Sigue Sigue Sputnik guitarist Neal X, New Zealand rapper Kurnel MC, Bay area scratch DJ and singer Lady Fingaz, regular Gaslight’s live singer Fey Pink, and regular Gaslight’s scratch DJ Victor Vector. Also on backing vocals on The Real Thing feat. Tom Robinson is The Gravity Drive’s singer Ava Wolf.
Marc Almond also did the artwork for the album (front cover and inner cover collages) and Guy Sexty designed the CD sleeve. The limited edition (200 copies) CD sold out in just over a week, making Curse Of The Gaslights and is proving to be one of the band’s most popular releases to date.