The Lotus Eaters (band)

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This article is about the English new wave band. For the American experimental band, see Lotus Eaters (band). For the English band formerly called The Lotus Eaters, see Keane (band).
The Lotus Eaters
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres New wave, alternative rock, indie pop[1]
Years active 1981–1985
Labels Arista, Cherry Red
Associated acts The Jass Babies
The Wild Swans
The Pale Fountains
Members Peter Coyle
Jem Kelly
Stephen Emmer
Past members Ged Quinn
Alan Wills
Phil Lucking
Michael Dempsey
Stephen Creese

The Lotus Eaters is an English new wave/indie pop band formed in 1982 in Liverpool. Their debut single "The First Picture of You", from their first album, No Sense of Sin (1984), became a hit in the UK and Europe, notably France, Italy and Spain.[2]


In September 1981, Peter Coyle (born 25 October 1962) and Jeremy "Jem" Kelly (born in 1962) met for the first time. Kelly had been guitarist in The Systems and co-founded The Wild Swans in 1981.[3] Coyle had previously been in the Jass Babies, who had recorded a session for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show in 1981.[4]

After an invitation to record a Peel session, a number of new songs were created. Joined on keyboards by Kelly's fellow ex-Wild Swan Ged Quinn, and by Scottish drummer John Hendry and bassist Phil Lucking,[5] the session was recorded in October 1982 and included "The First Picture of You".[6] This led to the band being signed by Arista Records. Produced by Nigel Gray, "The First Picture of You" became an iconic song for The Lotus Eaters in 1983, giving them a UK hit single before the band had even played a live gig. The band recorded a second session for Peel in October 1983.[7]

After Quinn left, Coyle and Kelly recruited bassist Michael Dempsey (The Cure/Associates), keyboard player Stephen Emmer, and drummer Steve Crease. The Lotus Eaters toured extensively in the UK, France and Italy, before going on hiatus in 1985 when they were dropped by Arista.[3] "It Hurts", their final single, charted in the Italian Top 5 that year,[citation needed] but the band had already split up, leaving a promotional video to represent them.

Coyle recorded as a solo artist, releasing the albums A Slap in the Face for Public Taste and I'd Sacrifice Eight Orgasms with Shirley MacLaine Just to Be There, and went on to found dance company 8 Productions and the G-Love nightclub.[8] As a songwriter/producer, he had success with Marina Van-Rooy’s 1990 single "Sly One", and worked with a host of emerging artists on Liverpool's dance scene. Meanwhile, Kelly reformed The Wild Swans, releasing an album, Bringing Home the Ashes, on Sire in 1988,[3] before leaving to study for a PhD in Multimedia Theatre. Coyle later pursued academic interests at the University of Edinburgh.

A compilation album called The First Picture of You of the Lotus Eaters, consisting of sessions recorded at BBC Radio 1, was released in 1998. The album No Sense of Sin was reissued that same year.[1]


In 2001, the Lotus Eaters, comprising the duo of Coyle and Kelly, reformed after almost two decades, recording and releasing a new album titled Silentspace.[9]

In March 2009, the band announced a one-off concert to be held at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 25 July. The gig, a performance of the album No Sense of Sin, featured the trio accompanied by a string quartet from the University of Huddersfield.[10] In April 2009, composed of Coyle, Kelly and Stephen Emmer, the group announced on their Myspace page that they were working, with producer Steve Power, on material for a new album,[10] Differance, issued the following year as a limited release in Japan. The Lotus Eaters played their first London show in 10 years at the Camden Barfly on 11 June 2010, followed by a string of shows in the UK. The band also toured Italy in June 2010. According to their Myspace, in 2011 they were working on a new album called A Plug-In Called Nostalgia.[11]



  • No Sense of Sin (1984), Sylvan-Arista, UK #96
  • Silentspace (2002), Cherry Red[2]
  • Differance (2010), Sylvan
  • First Picture of You (1998), Vinyl Japan


  • "The First Picture of You" (1983), Sylvan-AristaUK #15[3]
  • "You Don't Need Someone New" (1983), Sylvan-Arista — UK No. 53,[3] NL No. 37
  • "Set Me Apart" (1984), Sylvan-Arista
  • "Out on Your Own" (1985), Sylvan-Arista
  • "It Hurts" (1985), Sylvan-Arista
  • Stay Free EP (2001), Vinyl Japan[2]


  1. ^ a b Sutton, Michael "Lotus Eaters Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-07-07
  2. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 330. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0, p. 571
  4. ^ "Jass Babies", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2011-07-07
  5. ^ "Lotus Eaters, The - First Picture Of You (CD) at Discogs". 1997-12-06. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  6. ^ "02/10/1982 - Lotus Eaters", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2011-07-07
  7. ^ "05/10/1983 - Lotus Eaters", Keeping It Peel, BBC, retrieved 2011-07-07
  8. ^ Sutton, Michael "Peter Coyle Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-07-07
  9. ^ Sutton, Michael "Silentspace Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2011-07-07
  10. ^ a b "Band's official Myspace page". Retrieved 2009-11-09. 
  11. ^ "News",, retrieved 2011-07-07

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