Turpentine TURP 1
Release date: 4th June 2012

‘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

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 Manila 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
4. Bitch
5. Marlene
6. Now That I Am Getting Old (Need Somebody)
7. Baby Man
8. Tramp’s Song (Uggy’s Song)
9. Mad Boy
10. Hypnotism
11. Georgia
12. Mean Molecatcher Man
13. Araby
14. Mandarin Mirror
15. Evil Island Home
16. I Love You Baby Baby
17. Sleepwalking
18. Night Man
19. Nobody Dies In Dreamland

Karl Bruckmaier: “Kevin Coyne he was, an eccentric from the province with a big head, sometimes with a big mouth, a big heart, and then with a great thirst”.  About "Nobody dies: “We listen to a totally complete artist. That’s really amazing. These demos are stuff for fans of course, no way to start with this because it’s partly too fragmentary. But there is the special tone of Kevin Coyne yet, the spontaneous art, the broken personalities in his songs.”

Review by Frank Bangay in Big Untidy

Early May 2012, Uncut on "Nobody Dies in Dreamland": ‎8 Out Of 10!!!! Uncut "Nobody Dies In Dreamlan (Turpentine) - Desolation Blues - This raw collection of 19 songs was recorded on a home tape recorder in Coyne's Clapham flat in December 1972,not long after the breakup of his primitive blues trio Siren, a group only John Peel would have signed to his non-commercial Dandelion label. Coyne remained a marginal figure throughout his life, pouring out funny, touching but fiercely uncompromising songs. At least half of the ones here will be familiar to Coyne's followers. Five appeared on Coyne's sole Dandelion album, Case History; "Marlene" surfaced on his Virgin debut Margory Razorblade and the vitriolic "Bitch" (retitled "Witch") on 1974's Blame It On The Night. These demos capture Coyne at his most primitive, thrashing the guitar with his thumb like a deranged Richie Havens, playing slapdash slide on the bleak " A Distant Desert" and wailing primordial harmonica on the brutal " Baby Man". Some of his later recordings were more artful but this is Coyne the impulsive bluesman, whose rasping vocals are part John Lee Hooker, part Beefheart. Among the unreleased songs, the abject lonliness of "Hypnotism is near unbearable while the characters in "Sleepwalking" could have stepped straight out of Syd Barrett's strange, isolated world. Uneasy listening that's hard to resist." - Mick Houghton

Daily express, June 2012:

Magic (France, July 2012)

Classic Prog Magazine (July 2012)

From : Nobody Dies, Rockpalast, Dandelion Years.