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T&M 044: 15.00 Euro
"Kevin Coyne: On Air" - 2008

Kevin Coyne (vocals, guitar); Zoot Money (electric piano, vocals); Andy Summers (guitar, vocals); Steve Thompson (bass), Pete Woolf (drums)

It’s been more than thirty years since British singer-songwriter Kevin Coyne took his band to Bremen to perform a Radio Bremen concert at the „Post-Aula“ – the site of many historic Radio Bremen concerts. This particular five-piece line-up existed for only a year, but with hindsight can be considered as one of the strongest units Kevin Coyne worked with in a career that lasted for three and a half decades. It was the third edition of the Coyne Band, a quintet that included guitarist Andy Summers and British R’n’B legend Zoot Money on electric piano, complemented by bass-player Steve Thompson (ex-Spooky Tooth, John Mayall, Stone The Crows) and drummer Peter Woolf. The live recording that resulted that night must be counted among the great moments of Kevin Coyne’s recorded legacy. Moreover, it is the only available live document of this particular band, playing classic repertoire: „Eastbourne Ladies“, „House On The Hill“, „Turpentine“, „Saviour“…. These are just some of the songs on the album. Songs that have held up perfectly for old fans and could be real discoveries for Coyne neophytes.

In the mid-seventies, Kevin Coyne was one of the most interesting rock artists emerging from England. He was authentic and direct, his performances were charged with emotion. Coyne was under contract with Virgin Records at the time, one of the most important labels of the British progressive rock scene - until the punk revolution radically changed things in 1977. Starting with „Marjorie Razor Blade“ (1973) Kevin Coyne had been able to distinguish himself in the contemporary rock music world, but his raw fervour was not made for the pop charts. Coyne stayed with Virgin for ten years, but his rough and controversial themes were not compatible with the musical choice of the masses. Coyne sang about mental illness and its effect on individual lives, domestic violence, the ambiguities of bourgeois lifestyles.

In all of his artistic endeavors, Kevin Coyne was passionate and brave, mixing his own sense of humour with a penchant for the theatric. He was an outsider singing about the lives of outsiders. He did it compassionately but not without anguish and anger. As a fan of classic rock’n’roll and blues, Coyne was emulating the spirit of his idols and influences: musical bookends of the Bremen recording are classic numbers by Howlin’ Wolf and Chuck Berry. Kevin Coyne also was a sort of exorcist, whose performances were driven by a self-therapeutic approach. To passionately confront one’s own demons in the songs and performances must have provided some sense of relief for the diminutive man with the big voice. A sense of alleviation that audiences felt as well.

The Bremen concert from August 1975 stands as an example for one of the best musical chapters in Kevin Coyne’s artistic life, a time when some dubbed him the „British Dylan“. For older fans, this live recording stands as a moving encounter with an dear old friend, while newbies may develope an interest to look further into the life’s work of a wonderful artist, a man who passed away much too soon - but should not be forgotten. Kevin Coyne was a true original and a one-of-a-kind multi-talent. His friend and mentor John Peel had this to say about him in his lifetime: „The thing about Kevin is that nothing in his voice is contrived. He hates the idea of ‚white blues’. But what he does seems to come straight from the soul. You could say the same of Elmore James, or Robert Johnson, or Howlin’ Wolf.“








CD 1

1  

Going Down Slow  

02:53

2  

Eastbourne Ladies  

05:01

3  

Sunday Morning Sunrise  

04:26

4  

Strange Locomotion  

03:49

5  

Nobody's Fault But Mine  

02:20

6  

Shangri-La  

05:15

7  

Poor Swine  

03:11

8  

Mummy  

05:33

9  

My Mother's Eyes  

04:28

10  

Saviour  

07:22

11  

House On The Hill  

07:13

12  

One Fine Day  

06:05

13  

Ad Lib  

02:15

14  

Turpentine  

03:33

15  

Knockin' On Heavens Door  

03:40

16  

Reelin' And Rocking  

03:02