Jon, awesome, on Coil. Like a lot more specific artifacts by them, without actually ever feeling like I'm a Coil fan. To be a fan, you need to love the "what they're about". So for instance I'm a Prodigy fan cos i love the what they're about (and the new one's pretty good I reckon, they've got a sound and they're sticking with it -- like AC/DC, say). The Coil "what they're about" is too bound up with esotericism. It's geared around the select few; initiates. Also, it's so fucking content-heavy and concept-laden. The classic industrial hallmark where it's almost like there's a reading list attached to the record.
I bet you I've shared a dancefloor with Coil at some point during the tail end of their E-maniac phase. Seems very likely given both their drug and sexual proclivities they'd have ended up at Trade, which started at 5-AM on Saturday nights and went through to the mid-afternoon on Sundays. Boys stripped to the waist; a naked barrister; clutch of lesbians fondling each others tits in the corner. The most mashed people I've ever seen EVER. And site of one true mystical experience of me life.
The intriguing question for me is why a group who came so close to the heart of visionary madness in rave culture, then veered away from it and didn't become "hardcore" (and indeed are now so sniffy re. machine rhythm). Given all their interests (the early Coil stuff was recorded in a state of "amphetamania" acc. John Balance), it would have been perfectly logical for them to join in the whole darkside speedfreak moment-- their preoccupations with skewed sounds and audio-hallucinations and twitchy peripheral phantasms in the corner of your ear and shivery subdermal E-sensations, would have make total sense there. They should have joined the Reinforced crew! In fact the logical thing for them do (if they had any interest in propagating ideas beyond a cult audience, that is) would have been to start their own pirate radio station (shades of the whole Psychic TV fantasy of counter-media). Them and the Black Dog.