Mis-typecast is the best way to describe Lloyd Cole, as he’s often perceived as dour, boring and doesn’t possess a sense of humour. You couldn’t be so far from the truth. Tonight in the picturesque Lincolnshire town of Stamford with just a couple of guitars as his tools, he produced an acoustic night of excellence. The Corn Exchange was almost to capacity with mostly 40 somethings’ seated in anticipation. The lights dimmed and then Lloyd ambled onto the stage holding a glass of water and his songbook. Sparse props but that’s all that is needed.
He launched straight into ‘Past Imperfect‘ and followed by ‘Rattlesnakes‘ to great acclaim. So the banter began as some stragglers arrived where Lloyd informed them of they’ve just missed ‘Rattlesnakes‘. He then mentioned this was the support acts’ set where he’d then leave and return as the main act to complete another set. This was greeted by warm applause. The sound in the room was pitch perfect. He proceeded to play songs from his solo albums supplemented by some Commotions tracks plus a wonderful cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Chelsea Hotel‘. These included ‘Cut Me Down‘, ‘Butterfly‘ (a personal favourite of mine) and ‘Baby‘. Unlike many of his peers his voice is still full and intact.
When he returned for what he described as his main set he interacted with the audience which included mentioning his new album ‘Standards‘ at times. This was plundered on a few occasions and these merged in with his other material seamlessly. ‘Diminished Ex‘, ‘Myrtle And Rose‘ and my new best friend ‘Blue Like Mars‘. Throughout the night we had more banter whilst Lloyd tuned his guitars, well worth the wait as I’ve previously mentioned the auditorium resonated an almost faultless sound. Audience participation was requested when he played ‘Jennifer Said‘, sadly most of our voices let him down, but nobody cared. Performing ‘Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken‘ and ‘Perfect Skin‘ reminded us of his legacy. All of which is still available.
The night rattled by quickly and soon we were at the encores where he delivered some of his hit songs including the finale of ‘Forest Fire‘. Somebody had left just prior to the song and buzzed the lift. Just as he was about to introduce the song, so the automatic lift voice spoke, much to Lloyd and the audiences amusement. He did mention in the new year he’d be touring with a band again, so like me you’d best pencil in the dates soon. After the show he stated he’d sign anything and it seemed the whole of the room was queuing for his autograph and a photograph with him. He didn’t seem worried how long it took and made time for every person. Tonight people who witnessed the show were shown a relaxed matured singer which resulted in a night to remember.
Please note the live performances and photos shown are from other shows on this tour. Thank you to these people, I was too busy enjoying the show to take any pictures.