July 6, 2013 – 5:00 am

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Rockpalast 1979 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the WDR TV Studio L, Cologne, Germany; January 4, 1979. Ex FM stereo.

Kevin Coyne was arguably reaching his musical peak in the late 1970s… he was certainly approaching his cultural apex, as punk rock (and the vocal patronage of Johnny Rotten) gave final focus to what had hitherto been a voice in the wilderness, and a new deal with Virgin Records breathed fresh life into his songwriting. That year’s Millionaires & Teddy Bears album remains one of his finest, and the accompanying tour - Coyne alone on stage to begin with, with Zoot Money arriving about midway through - saw him deliver some of his most powerful live performances in years. Certainly this recording of a “typical” show (as if anything Coyne ever did could be so described) ranks alongside any of his conventional releases, and knocks the then still-recent In Living Black and White live album out of contention altogether.

Flitting across his entire career-to-date, Coyne is spectacular. So what if his frequently self-deprecating between-songs chatter is all but lost on the German audience? The tone of his voice tells them what they need to know, while a set that opens with “Araby” and progresses on through “Right On Her Side” and “Amsterdam” is defiantly not setting out to merely entertain.

“Having A Party,” however, is where the first blade slips in, as a curse upon the music industry in general is given scalpel-sharp acidity by the recent misadventures of Sid Vicious - freshly out on bail, Vicious was still living when this show was recorded. But Coyne’s mid-song cry of “poor Sid” nevertheless reminds us of the real-life tragedy that lay beneath the Machiavellian drama that was playing out on the streets of Manhattan, and sets the scene for the remainder of the set, a seething, burning program that doesn’t allow the audience to sit comfortably for a moment. When Coyne introduces “Brother Of Mine” with a dedication to Johnny Rotten, you can feel the audience’s awkwardness.

The arrival of Zoot Money (at the start of Disc Two) does introduce some levity to the proceedings, and also allows Coyne to stretch out a little - they execute a punchy “Dynamite Daze,” a frothy “Pretty Park,” a spectral “Don’t Blame Mandy,” and a positively futurist “Eastbourne Ladies,” rendered all the more electric by the moody soundscapes with which Money prefaces it, and the staccato space-rock organ that drives it. But you simply cannot play favorites with this performance. Two CDs and not a wasted moment between them, the only thing that could be better than listening to it would be to catch the original television broadcast that spawned it. It’s out there some place, after all. - Dave Thompson

Note: Music writer Dave Thompson has a new book out. On June 1st 1974, the Rainbow Theatre in London hosted the first ever performance by what was (at least by those folk who’d heard of the artists) described as the greatest supergroup of the era. Thompson’s book, June 1st 1974: Kevin Ayers, John Cale, Nico, Eno, Mike Oldfield and Robert Wyatt: The Greatest Supergroup of the Seventies, is about the historic gig on the day and its ramifications. Click here to order the book from Amazon.

Thanks to the person who shared these tracks on the net in 2006.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (224 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1 (Kevin Coyne solo)
Track 101. Introduction by Alan Bangs (1.4MB)
Track 102. Araby (6.4MB)
Track 103. Right On Her Side (9.5MB)
Track 104. Amsterdam (8.9MB)
Track 105. Having A Party (9.1MB)
Track 106. Saviour (5.8MB)
Track 107. Uggy’s Song (8.7MB)
Track 108. Majory Razorblade (3.6MB)
Track 109. Brother of Mine/Pretty Vacant/God Save the Queen (9.8MB)
Track 110. Dance Of The Bourgeoisie (10.9MB)

Disc 2 (Kevin Coyne and Zoot Money)
Track 201. Introduction (1.7MB)
Track 202. That Girl Of Mine (1.5MB)
Track 203. Dynamite Days (6.1MB)
Track 204. Are We Dreaming (6.1MB)
Track 205. Pretty Park (10.6MB)
Track 206. Don’t Blame Mandy (6.9MB)
207. Burning Head Suite - Omitted*
Track 208. This World Is Full Of Fools (7.5MB)
Track 209. Eastbourne Ladies (12.8MB)
Track 210. Roses In Your Room (9.6MB)
Track 211. Strange Locomotion/Oh Happy Day (10.5MB)

* Available on I Want My Crown: The Anthology 1973-1980.

Kevin Coyne - vocals, guitar
Zoot Money - keyboards, vocals

Click here to order Kevin Coyne’s I Want My Crown: The Anthology 1973-1980.

Click here to order the deluxe two-CD edition of Kevin Coyne’s Blame It On The Night (Cherry Red Records, release July 29, 2013). First time out on CD.

+ + + + +
+ + + + +

Click here for more shows that are still open for sharing.

Click here for closed shows.
(Readers can email us a request to reopen closed shows.)


  2. who needs another Rolling Stones set when there’s Kevin Coyne in the world?

    By Diamond Doug on Jul 6, 2013

  3. I was there in 79. Between 1977 and 1979 I saw some of the best concerts in my life at WDR Studio. It was a shame when they stopped it. Kevin Coyne was the absoute highlight and we laughed a lot. Great musician and storyteller!!

    By grafreak on Jul 6, 2013

  4. Wow ! Fantastic post people…thank you so much ! Mr Coyne …Troubador, wit and social commentator….and one of the finest musicians to ever come from our little island (!)A true tunesmiths hero !!!

    By grunt on Jul 6, 2013

  5. still wonderful
    beautiful voice
    missing his live acts
    thanks BigO for this gift

    By fruchtas on Jul 7, 2013

  6. Saw Kevin a couple of times during this period, always a deep sadness in the songs coupled with hilariously funny acidic anecdotes and delivery.

    Last saw him in a small cafe in Morecambe (look it up!) in about 1993 ; I took a mate along, we were half the audience and all outnumbered by the band. Ever the professional, Kevin delivered a brilliantly funny, poignant and emotional unforgettable set.

    By robbie on Jul 8, 2013

  7. Why is the Burning Head Suite omitted?

    By Mooneyrooney on Jul 10, 2013

  1. 1 Trackback(s)

  2. Aug 9, 2013: WDR Rockpalast: Highlights vom Serengeti Festival | RADIOTOP100

Post a Comment