Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Lotus Eaters- First Picture of You: BBC Recordings (1998) MP3 & FLAC

"She is the hunger artist, alone of all her sex."

Liverpool's The Lotus Eaters were a band who did not fit comfortably into any of the various subdivisions of the Post-Punk movement. Their roots lay in lead singer Peter Coyle's earlier band Jass Babies, whose sound had much in common with the raw melodic approach of Joy Division, and guitarist Jem Kelly's The Wild Swans, a Jangle-Pop band he formed with ex-Teardrop Explodes keyboardist Paul Simpson. While The Lotus Eaters were typically grouped with New Romantics such as Visage and Japan, their sound, if not their image, suggested they were very much out of step with the trendy theatricality of the genre; rather, their music combined romantically-obsessed lyrics with more organic, Folk-inspired guitar-based textures, which, in some ways, prefigured the Sarah Records sound that bloomed at the close of the eighties. First Picture of You: BBC Recordings collects several John Peel sessions and few other radio recordings that predate the band's debut long-player, the brilliant and under-appreciated No Sense of Sin. While these albums have a number of songs in common, with a few exceptions (such as the title track), the earlier BBC versions employ sparer arrangements, thus allowing Coyle's fragile, unaffected vocals more space in the mix. However, the true star here is Kelly's luminous guitar-work, which ranges from lovely Felt-like arpeggios to some fine, dynamic acoustic strumming. A gorgeous example of this is "When You Look at Boys," which begins as a wistful ballad, but halfway through, Kelly dials up the dynamics several notches, and in doing so, makes it one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Another standout is "German Girl," a catchy sophisto-pop gem that again features some lovely contributions from Kelly. The Lotus Eaters' taste for sixties baroque-pop and its ornate instrumental tendencies certainly set them at odds with the prevailing trends of Post-Punk in the early eighties, and as a result, they quickly disintegrated after releasing the one album. Nevertheless, they are well-deserving of rediscovery.

First Picture of You: BBC Recordings
 1. The First Picture of You (John Peel Session- Oct. 18, 1982)  (4:30)
 2. German Girl (John Peel Session- Oct. 10, 1983)  (2:45)
 3. Alone of All Her Sex (John Peel Session- Oct. 10, 1983)  (2:56)
 4. When You Look at Boys (John Peel Session- Oct. 18, 1982)  (4:01)
 5. Out on Your Own (In Concert- May 23, 1984)  (4:14)
 6. Love Still Flows (John Peel Session- Oct. 10, 1983)  (3:47)
 7. You Fill Me with Need (John Peel Session- Oct. 10, 1983)  (3:38)
 8. Stranger So Far (John Peel Session- Oct. 18, 1982)  (2:17)
 9. Two Virgins Tender (Saturday Live- Sept. 24, 1983)  (3:29)
10. Put Your Touch on Love (In Concert- May 23, 1984)  (4:52)
11. Can You Keep a Secret? (John Peel Session- Oct. 18, 1982)  (2:57)
12. Start of the Search (In Concert- May 23, 1984)  (3:19)
13. Signature Tune (John Peel Session- Oct. 10, 1983)  (2:30)


  1. Well, this is a first...never heard of them. Sadly I blew out an amp today (while listening to Live at McCabe's) so I'll have to check this out after I figure out the problem. Looking forward to it. By the way, I liked your Gun Club write up. I had no idea what they had to do with the Paisley Underground but you summed it up nicely.

  2. I know their name, but I never looked up their number - when you drop names like Joy Division, Teardrop Explodes & The Wild Swans, I'll have to hear this in earnest. Thanks Voixautre!

  3. Ol' Foggy, sorry to hear about your amp, and thanks for the compliment on The Gun Club post. I really wanted to do justice to what a great band they were. I plan to post more soon

  4. cudawaver, they are more Wild Swans than the other two, but a very interesting band. I have a few more from them to post


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