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Meltdown for the Mindless - Peter Coyle

by Dave Wiggins


Many of you older SWINE readers will recall Peter Coyle as front man of wonderful 80's pop duo, 'The Lotus Eaters' (remember the timeless 'First Picture of You' that reached number 8 in the summer of '83'). Coylie, a lifelong Evertonian, was a goalscorer of some repute, in the 1970's, for both De La Salle school (alma mater, of course, of the odious Wayne Rooney, plus Franny Jeffers), and Granfield (in the Anfield Junior Soccer League), and his scouse songwriting peers include Mick Head, Ian Broudie, Ian McCulloch and Lee Mavers.

And here he is, 23 years on from that massive first hit, still Everton-mad, and still making some excellent music. There is a rub, though. No longer feted by the mainstream, and with Top of the Pops appearances, and radio play, long since disappeared, Peter's latest release has been a rather low-key affair, on the 'This is not Retro' label.

So low key, in fact, that each copy is individually packaged, and contains a Polaroid snap (not of Coylie) personally signed by the artiste. Also contained in the wrapping, is Peter's typed manifesto; a hard-hitting but controlled diatribe against the 'relentless cynicism, arrogance, manipulation and poison of the record industry'.

But what of the music' Well, this is a stunning record. From the opener 'American Beauty' ('I feel lonely, I feel lonely') through to the denouement of 'Blue Heart on the Motorway ('what was the last dream to materialise'), this is an album that aches with yearning, and is impossible to pigeonhole. To me, it stands alongside 'Closer' by Joy Division, 'Surf' by Roddy Frame, and 'Hats' by The Blue Nile'; music to be listened to alone, as the shadows lengthen and the darkness draws in.

If there was any justice in the world, and if the songs were allowed to speak up for themselves, then Coylie would be a superstar (Shack are also caught by the same strictures, in which Nigel, from the Artist and Repertoire department, is king, and in which the whole ethos is recoup the costs and then coin it in). Well bollocks to the industry wallahs. The mindless can, indeed, meltdown, leaving the rest of us to trust in the music.








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