I hope you're all well, wherever you are - it's been a little while since you've heard from me!
I'm in good form myself, and am very happy to say that 2014 is ending on an extremely positive note, with substantial exhibitions of Kevin's artwork taking place in both Germany and - for the first time - the UK.
From October 17th to 23rd November Kunstverein Weiden will mount the 'Strange Creatures' exhibition, featuring a selection of the many fantastical animals Kevin painted through the years - some comic, some frightening... some somewhere in-between! Animals were a favourite subject of Kevin's and make for a great theme for an exhibition, I feel. Great thanks must go to our friend Stefan Voit, who has been the driving force behind this event, which is a follow-up of sorts to the tremendous exhibition staged in Weiden back in 2012; one of the best of Kevin's art.
Stefan has also helped to arrange a Bavarian 'mini-tour' for Kevin's son Robert in October, with the last concert taking place in Weiden on the 16th, the night before the exhibition opens. Robert will also play in Regensburg at Buchhandlung Dombrowsky on the 14th of October, and will perform a few songs in Landshut at Bucher Pustet on the 15th, following a reading by Karl Bruckmaier (a long-time friend and supporter of Kevin's) from his new book 'The Story Of Pop'. Also, on November 2nd, Robert returns to Germany to play at a special concert at Theater Der Keller in Cologne.
Robert will be accompanied on all four of these German dates by Werner Steinhauser on drums; as most of you will know, Werner was Kevin's closest musical collaborator in the last years of his life, and a very good friend. Robert will be playing songs from his two new albums – 'Memory Deluxe: I Knew Buffalo Bill 2', with Jeremy Gluck, which is released by Flicknife Records on October 13th; and 'Golden Arc', a second collaboration with the great Jaki Liebezeit, which is released by Meyer Records on November 21st.
By coincidence, November 21st is also the date of the opening of the 'Happy Little Fat Man' exhibition in Kevin's home town, Derby. The exhibition will run until February 7th, 2015, and will be held at Deda, Derby's dance and arts centre, with an accompanying exhibition of work by Kevin, and associated with him, running from November 21st to December 19th at the University of Derby's Markeaton Campus. In addition to more than 50 paintings, the Deda exhibition will include screenings of rare films of Kevin, including one amazing unseen performance filmed by event organiser Doug Smith in 1975. On behalf of Kevin's family and friends I'd like to thank Doug, David Manley and Kevin's oldest friend Paul Warren, whose tireless efforts have made this possible.
To wrap up, I'd like to wish you all a wonderful Christmas, and thank you for continuing to keep Kevin in your hearts.
Newsletter December 2012
Christmas is upon us once again, and I thought I should bring you all up to date with the many things that have happened in the last year... it's been a busy and exciting one, and I'm happy to say that 2013 promises more of the same!
In April, Kevin's sons Eugene and Robert sang and played some of Kevin's songs to open the prestigious Weiden Literary Festival, where the centrepiece was a beautiful exhibition of Kevin's art (and bears!). It was a wonderful, happy occasion, attended by many friends and fans - old and new.
Soon after, the Turpentine Label - with Eugene and Robert's guidance - began a new relationship with Cherry Red Records in the UK, who had previously released several albums of Kevin's music in the 1980s. The first fruits were released in June: 'Nobody Dies In Dreamland', a collection of previously unheard home recordings that I believe many of you may by now be familiar with! The album's great reception by critics and fans alike has been truly heart-warming for us.
November saw the release of deluxe 2CD editions of Kevin's two albums with his first band, Siren, and we feel that 'Siren' and 'Strange Locomotion' finally have the sound and presentation the music deserves - hopefully you'll agree.
Preparations for the release of a new, expanded CD version of Kevin's debut solo LP, 'Case History', are also well underway, and with luck it will be available to buy on Kevin's birthday, January 27th. After that, we have an even more exciting project planned, which for the moment must remain a secret... watch this space!
The new Kevin Coyne Facebook page, which we put together just a few weeks ago, is thriving, and it's great that Kevin's friends and fans across the world are now able to communicate so easily!
On a different note, I should tell you that Kevin's grave here in Nuremberg looked beautiful on the anniversary of his death, two weeks ago, with a thick layer of snow covering it - the bears left by friends were a little chilly though! It is truly wonderful to know how well-loved Kevin and his music remains, eight years later, and it seems to us that the word is spreading faster now than for some time - myself and the whole family would like to thank you all for the continued support which has made this possible.
Wishing you all a Happy Christmas,
New CD release date: 4th June 2012
‘Nobody Dies In Dreamland’
(Home Recordings from 1972)
Cherry Red proudly announces the re-launch of Turpentine Records, devoted to the music of Kevin Coyne, kicking off with a fascinating album of never before heard material.
‘It was the gift of a tape recorder which prompted him to creative action. “I’m not the world’s greatest guitarist,” he stresses, “But the tape recorder gave me the opportunity to get some songs down – about forty in one week. I just sat down and it all poured out.”’
From Kevin Coyne: Singing For Adults by Al Clark
For more information please contact Matt Ingham at Cherry Red Records.
Cherry Red Records, Power Road Studios, 114 Power Road, London, W4 5PY
020 8996 3120
Cherry Red is delighted to announce the first UK release of Turpentine Records, the label founded by and devoted to the work of the late singer-songwriter, author and artist Kevin Coyne.
Nobody Dies In Dreamland is a collection of songs recorded in 1972, prior to the release of Case History, Kevin’s solo debut album for John Peel’s Dandelion records. Stark yet soulful, naked and insightful, these 19 performances were discovered while sons Eugene and Robert were cataloguing Kevin’s extensive tape archive. Featuring Kevin on acoustic guitar and harmonica they offer a fascinating glimpse into an artist in his prime, who would inspire everyone from John Lydon and Sting to Ben Watt and Will Oldham and collaborate with the likes of Robert Wyatt, Andy Summers, Dagmar Krause, Brendan Croker, Gary Lucas and The Mekons’ Jon Langford.
A personal note from Kevin’s son Eugene
Recorded entirely live, the 19 songs on Nobody Dies In Dreamland were probably recorded at my Mum and Dad’s rented flat in Clapham ahead of the release of his first solo album, Case History, in December 1972. Listening to them, you’re hearing almost exactly what was on the single reel of tape: apart from one very brief edit, nothing has been changed.
While all the recordings are unreleased, some songs will be familiar. ‘Uggy’s Song’, ‘Need Somebody’, ‘Evil Island Home’, ‘Araby’ and ‘Mad Boy’ all appeared on Case History while ‘Marlene’ appeared on its 1973 follow-up, Marjory Razor Blade, and ‘Bitch’ (re-titled ‘Witch’) on Blame It On The Night in 1974. ‘Black Cloud’ finally surfaced on Legless In Manilla in 1984, while ‘One More Drink’ exists as a loose, horn-driven outtake from the Blame It On The Night sessions.
Of the remaining songs, ‘A Distant Desert’ features Kevin playing rare slide guitar, while my mother remembers ‘Georgia On My Mind’ (or simply ‘Georgia’, as it’s listed on the tape box) as a song that he would regularly perform at talent nights in the local pubs. ‘Mean Molecatcher Man’ name-checks the Northern Line, perhaps inspired by Kevin’s nearest Tube station, Clapham Common, while closing song ‘Nobody Dies In Dreamland’ features myself, then six years old, accompanied by Dad on harmonica.
A remarkable record of a unique artist, Nobody Dies In Dreamland features the 28-year-old Kevin at his most urgent, drawing on the Delta blues and Derby, George Formby and John Lee Hooker. Many albums would follow but few are this stark or this intimate. Later, he would record the bulk of Case History in three or four hours “at a little studio in Wimbledon, an old church or something” and later still, Marjory Razor Blade, his first (double) album for Virgin Records.
But this is where it all began. In a rented South London flat with Dad, his acoustic guitar and a reel-to-reel tape recorder.
Eugene Coyne, 2012
1. Black Cloud
2. A Distant Desert
3. One More Drink
6. Now That I Am Getting Old (Need Somebody)
7. Baby Man
8. Tramp’s Song (Uggy’s Song)
9. Mad Boy
12. Mean Molecatcher Man
14. Mandarin Mirror
15. Evil Island Home
16. I Love You Baby Baby
18. Night Man
19. Nobody Dies In Dreamland
Newsletter April 2012
I've recently returned from the opening of the exhibition of Kevin's work in Weiden that I mentioned the last time I wrote to you, and I'm delighted to say it was very well-attended and a huge success. Kevin's drawings and paintings looked wonderful - fresh, full of humour, timeless. The exhibition's organisers Stefan Voit and Sabine Guhl and their team had done a really great job. Long-time friend and journalist Karl Bruckmaier gave a witty and insightful speech, and Kevin's sons Eugene and Robert performed a moving set of Kevin's songs and poems in tribute to their father. It was in every way a warm, uplifting occasion - a true celebration of Kevin's life and work.
I'm also pleased and excited to announce that the release of 'Nobody Dies In Dreamland' is imminent. It's been a long time coming, but I feel sure you'll agree it's been worth the wait!
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