Tuesday 22 October 2013

Kevin Coyne

Kevin Coyne is the most intense and troubling performer I've ever seen. Here he is performing House on the Hill on The Old Grey Whistle Test in 1973, with guitarist Gordon Smith and percussionist Chilli Charles. Such a voice.

His British career was erratic and blighted by drink and mental illness until a move to Nuremberg in 1985 led to a wonderful creative and personal recovery - his late recordings are slowly being released. 

My favourite Coyne song is the grim two-minute epic Marjory Razorblade - you won't have heard anything like this before so keep the lights on. 

Marjory Razorblade has haunted me for forty years and there was a time when, in my cups and unhappy, I'd sing along like there was no tomorrow. If he has any counterparts they wouldn't be singers at all but Weimar-era actors such as Peter Lorre and Conrad Veidt. 

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