Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

L Cole
For the second time in a forthnight I saw a member of an eighties band who’s been solo for three decades. Lloyd Cole may not have the same stage presence and energy as Morrissey, but he played a fine show at Dolans on Saturday. Lloyd started out with the Commotions and he released three albums with them before going solo in the late 80s. Like The Smiths, The Commotions played melodic indie pop combined with witty albeit melancholic lyrics. His solo work continued in this vein and he has amassed seven albums, two live sets and a box set since going out on his own. As he told us from the stage he now lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two kids. He has become an enthusiastic golfer as well and has a 5.3 handicap (apparently this is good)

I saw him play a solo gig at Dolans about eight years ago. Not much has changed except that he’s a bit older and his hair is grey. Fittingly, one of only two covers he sang was Tower of Song by Leonard Cohen (the other was Bacharach & David’s I Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself). The show was divided into two 45 minute sets with a 15 minute break at half time, presumably for oranges. He needed the vitamin C as he admitted he had a bit of a cold. On top of this he had lost four pounds thanks to the Belfast Diet. Apparently, he had some fish up the north that didn’t agree with him. Consequently, he was a bit low on energy. Nevertheless, the only energy he expends is to get up from his seat after every few songs to swap his guitar for his other one. He doesn’t seem to have a roadie, but he left with a guy who was carrying his bags. Perhaps it was his caddie

This lack of energy might impair the performance of some musicians, but in Mr Cole’s case it simply added to his act. He’s quite a dry individual who never smiles and seems quite miserable. In fact, he is quite funny and the audience was just as interested in his stories and humour as in the songs. The average age of the audience has also increased since I saw him previously. Towards the end, he reassured them that he was nearly done and that they would be able to get to get home to let their babysitters go home! There were a number of shouts for favourite songs from the audience throughout the gig, including one latecomer who shouted out for Rattlesnakes. Lloyd was taken aback and pointed out that he had played it earlier. “I’m my own support act,” he quipped. He played many of the Commotions’ hits, although he left out Forest Fire and played nothing from Mainstream. One of the highlights was Lost Weekend and everybody sang along with him on this one. He’s got a new four-cd, 59-track box set out called Cleaning Out the Ashtrays. He must have played a good few tracks from this set as I didn’t recognise a lot of them. Even so, they sounded good and contained the type of lyrics that we’ve become accustomed to. All in all, it was a relaxed and delightful gig. I’d certainly recommend going to see him if he’s in these neck of the woods again

Lost Weekend – Lloyd Cole

Why I Love Country Music – Lloyd Cole

Unhappy Song – Lloyd Cole

Music In A Foreign Language – Lloyd Cole

Rattlesnakes (L Cole cover) – Tori Amos

Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken? (L Cole cover) – Sandie Shaw

Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken – Camera Obscura

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2 thoughts on “Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken

  1. I saw hime live and acoustic a few years ago and he puts on a good show. Very dry, as you say. W.

  2. Pingback: Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken « All Music News

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