The Plan - Nervous Energy


  • £13.99

The Plan has been described as ‘Talking Heads meets the Breeders,’ but debut album Nervous Energy takes the band in a more progressive and experimental direction. Post-punk in origin but with overtones of no wave, psych and garage rock, the record flaunts its flexibility with a mismatch of emotions; nihilism, humour and pure joy compete and collude with an overriding positivity

The snappy single ‘Annotate The Text’ is a repetitive, tumbling post-punk call-and-response coming in at just over one-and-a-half minutes. Guitarist/vocalist Rebecca Gillieron says of it: “I used to be an editor, so this was probably written whilst I was meant to be working, and it’s about taking control of reality, embellishing the best features of your existence, deleting negative factors, shaping the positive elements.”

Nervous Energy showcases The Plan’s love of straightforward good tunes that get screwed-up by degrees. Fierce beats, unruly guitars and barely suppressed mania from the keys and homemade-cello underlay soaring harmonies delivered by well-matched female vocals. ‘You can dance to it too’, they claim.

Originally the side project of Rebecca Gillieron from Wetdog (Angular Records, Upset The Rhythm), The Plan has become a force of its own. Forming last summer, this definitive line-up includes previous members of Vic Godard’s Subway Sect, Private Trousers and The Ghosts and keeps itself close to home: half the members live together, some are married, many are related.

Song themes shape-shift across the record; subjects range from childhood memories (“’The Wall’ was triggered by the memory of throwing a tennis ball against a brick wall at primary school for hours”), romanticising about natural, local luxuries (‘Abbey Wood’), abandoning inhibitions and jumping straight into the unknown (‘Pier Party Nerves’), “the conflicting desires of wanting a nice, quiet, controlled and peaceful life but at the same time harbouring after extreme chaos and instability” (‘Bright Lights’), and the simple joys of being a parent (‘Chorus’). The band has varied tastes but share a love of post-punk greats like Talking Heads, This Heat, Wire, The Fall, as well as slightly lesser-known punk/post-punk/alternative classics like The Prats, Country Teasers, Male Nurse, Yummy Fur, Fire Engines, mixed with a desire to throw in big ESG-style dance beats and pop hooks like genius Kim Deal.

The Plan all live in Southend-on-Sea, flourishing on its beach life and doing their bit to secure its reputation as the ‘cultural capital’ of Essex.

Southend Records is a new label set up in 2016 to promote imaginative bands from the Estuary area.

‘Immediately hooked’ – Everett True

‘The perceptiveness of Ray Davies meets the eerie folk of Shirley Collins meets the unstoppability of the Fall meets the combustibility of the Raincoats’ – Tim Burrows, journalist (TheQuietus, The Guardian)

‘The Plan are as compelling as they are inventive, reminiscent of some of the more inventive post-punkers but with a power and creativity that is very much their own’ – Zoë Howe, author (Typical Girls – Story of the Slits, Jesus and Mary Chain: Barbed Wire Kisses)


  1. Annotate the Text
  2. Bright Lights
  3. Waiting For You
  4. Tower Block
  5. Dust
  6. Chorus
  7. Pier Party Nerves
  8. Chambers
  9. Landline
  10. Arithmetic
  11. Abbey Wood
  12. The Wall


For fans of: Off-kilter post-punk no-wave pop, Raincoats, Talking Heads, Shopping, Yummy Fur, Wetdog…

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