The Party Dress
A collection of short stories published
by Serpents Tail in 1990.
"A dry, laconic humour...the voice of
urban debris."-City Limits

"A collection of short stories and
illustrations that might well amount to
the finest literary achievement yet by
a rock singer...Sad funny, horrific,
sexy, compassionate and absurd."-
Serpent's Tail did quite well publicising
Kevin's books. Two pieces from the
Party Dress - the Title piece and
Twilling's Tragic Affair - appeared in the
launch issue of Lime Lizard in March
The NME on 12 January 1991 carried this
review by Nicholas Wroe.
A collection of almost fragmentary stories,
The Party Dress is Kevin Coyne's first
book and makes for extraordinary reading.
As a musician he released 20 albums and
gave the rock 'n roll lifestyle all he'd got.
The rock n' roll lifestyle, of course,
casually took all he had and left him for
dead. He needed ten years and a move to
Germany, where he joined an Alcoholics
Anonymous (some anonymity) group, to
prompt him into rebuilding his artistic
career and the result has been a splurge of
creativity which has seen him exhibiting
his paintings in a Munich gallery and now
the publication of this book.
In many ways many ways the work
represented here is a follow-on from his
musical output. Quirky, highly
personalised, engaging even when
dealing with the bleakest of themes, he
turns his acute gaze onto the minutiae of
everyday life and starkly reveals his own
peculiar vision. The title story is typical in
that the apparently straightforward tale of
providing friendship to lonely pensioners
is sharply twisted into a mish-mash of
mistrust, perversion and family
recrimination within the two pages of its
The book is peppered with 22 of his own
drawings but the real invention comes
from the writing. There are passages that
have the self-conscious artistry of the
creative writing class about them, but the
essence of the man shines through. In this
humorous, perceptive and occasionally
painful book Coyne, like he always used
to, puts it on the line.