Oct 5th 2003, The Dandelion Reunion

Kevin Coyne and Siren meet again after 30 years

Ok so I'm back from Shrewsbury and Paul and Tony from the Kevin Coyne Group told me I had to write a review and quickly please! Where to begin... Paul picked me up at London-Luton airport and that was already fun to meet him after all this time. We drove up north, spending 2 full hours talking of music and... you know who...

Shresbury is a very nice little old town, so british you can't believe it. We went to the Butter Market which is a nice theatre on 2 levels and we met Tony there. Tony had driven from home with EVERY press cutting, article, letter EVER written about Coyne since 1969... a tremendous work! and all for me to scan and put on this site. Thanks Tony. Now, I know what I'll be doing for the last 6 months...

OK then we got to meet other guys from the Kevin Coyne Group: Russ and Ivan and Rob and it was great fun!

Ivan was in charge of selling Kevin's cds and T shirts and stuff, so I helped a little and met some great fans and, you know, sold them the stuff: "Oh you should get Life is almost beautiful! Have you heard about our group, and site?, etc". Great fun!
Oh I had put these Kevin Coyne group and site flyers on the tables and everyone took them. May I recommend you use them in the next shows. Very good results.

I met a very nice girl called Julie who goes to every Coyne show in the UK (and tapes every one); I hope she'll join us soon on the Group

Then - ta da!! - I got to meet the man himself, introduced by Mr. Ivan.
Very nice, we talked a few, of many different things. I had brought a layout for a Coyne cd that may be released one day and he said he liked it a lot (man, was I proud!) etc. He told me he was to play again with Brendan Croker. That's good news.

We listened to the shows by Guitar George, John Fiddler of Medicine Head and Tractor (which has the stangest drummer) then the Siren show. It was very good. I was kind of fearing that that would just be loose blues jam and covers but it was not. I'm not sure they actually rehearsed but they had agreed on a list and Kevin had learned all those old lyrics. It was the actual Siren Members who had not played (and probaly met) since 1971: Dave Clague played acoustic (not very impressive but well), Nick Cudworth played the piano (and that was one of the highlights of the show: the man is still playing like in the early 70s! You felt like you hear the old Siren albums! what a great musician!) and Kevin's new bass player Harri Hirschamnn was there too.

The set list was (yes, I did put it down during the show...):
Strange locomotion
16 women
First time I saw your face
Gardener man
Ze ze ze
Cheat me
Then the band left and Kev played solo: Witch, Miner Song and Marlene, but he got the chords wrong and said "I can't play solo, too much concentration on the Siren stuff, so let's bring on the band again" so Clague and Hirschmann (on acoustic bass) came back and they played Saviour and Baby Blue.

Kevin did not want to stay on this solo failure so he gave us Blame it on the night, solo, and that was awsome.

The four of them came back for the Stride (first time on stage since ages, Kev amost danced!) and Relaxing with Bonnie Lou for an encore

Kevin seems to be in good health (he climbed the stairs several times with no effort). It's fascinating to see how he comes to life the moment he is on stage. He is a different man really. I had not seen him since 1995, that was very moving.

We got to speak with Cudworth and Harry Hirschamn who is a really nice guy who is enjoying a lot playing with Kev, although he never really knows what's gonna happen ("I have no idea what we're going to do tonight" he told me before the show).

Last but not least good news: the whole show was professionally filmed (with 3 cameras) and will one day be issued as a DVD! Yes, the first Coyne DVD! *

Good music, good friends, good beer, I mean, what more do you want?

And then in the morning, it was beans and sausage for breakfast and back to the airport!

(originally posted on the Kevin Coyne Group)

(all photos by Pascal REGIS)


* in November 2008, Ozit-Morpheus Records issued this DVD: "John Peel's Dandelion Records" featuring the complete Siren reunion show + an interview of Dave Clague reminiscing abut the Siren years. Read more
Says director Chris Hewitt: "The dvd contains some of the best film and still photos ever of Kevin and Siren plus extensive film interview about Siren and Kevin with Siren's Dave Clague. Also in the film John Fiddler, Medicine Head, Tractor, Bridget St John, Stackwaddy and a host of other Dandelion related artists".
Order info: the dvd will be ready for despatch direct on Saturday 15th november- visitors saying they come from Pascal's Kevin Coyne website can obtain a special signed directors copy of the dvd (6 hours with 16 page dvd booklet in total) for a special initial purchase price of £12-50 plus £2 postage inside uk £2-75 outside uk (regular price of the six hour film is £19-99). You can paypal funds to or send credit card details by e mail to or phone 01565 734066 or 07970 219701.