The ex-Lotus Eaters frontman now turned solo artist did a short nationwide solo tour celebrating 40 years of the band’s 1984 debut album, ‘No Sense of Sin’, which he performed in full with a backing band on acoustic guitar and keyboard. The decision to play the tracks acoustically was brave considering the full instrumentation of the ‘new wave’ Liverpool band.

Peter Coyle opened his set on the band’s 1984 single, ‘German Girl’, then after introducing the show he continued the tracklist in order with ‘Love Still Flows’; a fluttery song with guitarist Roger Cartwright also providing backing vocals. ‘Can You Keep a Secret’ highlighted Coyle’s vocal range accompanied by Joe Orban’s high pitched tumbling keys and Cartwright’s brisk acoustic guitar strokes. They went on to play the band’s ghostly 1984 single ‘Out on Your Own’, with Coyle scat singing and dancing about the stage at the end. Whist the acoustic interpretations of the band’s songs lacked the post-punk instrumentation of their recorded versions, this worked favourably to enhance Coyle’s great songmanship and intimate connection to the audience.

Moving onto side B of the album, Coyle sang the band’s third single ‘Set Me Apart’, with piano parts; like many of these stripped back, live renditions, it was surprisingly improved from the recorded versions. ‘You Fill Me with Your Need’ was performed with smacking acoustic guitar and pressured keys, Coyle once again doing his frenzied dancing and scat singing, filling the space well on what was otherwise a vacuous stage.

And then they performed the Lotus Eater’s debut 1983 single, ‘First Picture of You’; although without its magical, chiming electric guitar, the pastel post-punk song had the audience singing along to its memorable chorus even after the song had ended. ‘When You Look at Boys’ had a pendulum sway and dreamy synth, with the trio finishing the album tracklist on ‘Start of the Search’, with a more tense ending than the recorded version produced by twinkling piano keys. Coyle also included other songs not on the release such as their monumental standalone single, ‘It Hurts’, which was released after the band’s debut album in 1985.

01/02/24: Peter Coyle @ The Forge, London.

Photo © Simon Green.

© Ayisha Khan.