Song about backhoe loader tops music charts

|  November 16, 2007 |

A song about a boy riding on a JCB backhoe loader with his dad topped the singles charts in the United Kingdom and Ireland in December. Breakthrough pop duo Nizlopi — comprised of Luke Concannon and John Parker, both 27 — wrote and performed the “JCB Song.”

The hit single entered the U.K. music chart at No. 1 on Dec. 18 and is about how Concannon, who is dyslexic, would escape from bullies and frustration at school by going to work with his dad, a self-employed backhoe loader owner-operator. Concannon’s father, Ciaran, would take him to work on days he thought his son needed a break from school. The song tells of 5-year-old Concannon sitting on a toolbox in the backhoe loader, talking with his father and imagining the machines around him morphing into monsters or giant Transformer toys that would vanquish his school yard tormentors.

Paul Keough, vice president of marketing for JCB, said reaction to the song from JCB customers in the United Kingdom and Ireland is one of pride. “Their children now sing the song and are even prouder than ever that their own dads drive a JCB [generic for backhoe in Great Britain],” he said. “It has made being a operator ‘cool’ again.”

Keough, who used to run Polygram Records, a major label recording company now part of Universal Music Group, said he has had a lot of contact with Nizlopi and is helping the band in any way he can.

Nizlopi’s debut album, “Half These Songs are About You,” included the “JCB Song” and has spent 10 weeks atop the U.K.’s National Unsigned Network Chart. Concannon and Parker release their music through their own record label, FDM Records. The album will most likely be released in the United States during the second half of 2006, Keough said, as the band is currently looking at a number of U.S. record contract offers.

As of Jan. 10, the “JCB Song” has been No. 2 on the U.K. singles chart since losing the top slot Dec. 25. The song was No.1 on the Irish chart for three weeks in December and was No. 2 the week of Jan. 9.

To listen to the song and watch the video, go to www.jcbsong.co.uk.

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