On the first date of his mini-residency in Oran Mor’s cosy basement, Lloyd Cole was nursing a cold which, he noted, was robbing him of the extremities of an already limited range. Scrutinising his song selection with a furrowed brow, he shuffled a few numbers to the back of the pile. Who knows what Cole favourites were casualties? But these solo acoustic gigs were never promoted as a foray into the greatest hits: Cole was reluctant enough to revisit the Commotions’ debut album Rattlesnakes for its 20th anniversary tour a few years back.

While those gigs were events, this show was relaxed and informal. Covers were sprinkled throughout the set, including Kris Kristofferson’s Please Don’t Tell Me How The Story Ends and M Ward’s Chinese Translation, the latter being Cole’s idea of a familiar mainstream number.

Without disturbing the flow, he segued a beautifully understated take on Tim Hardin’s If I Were A Carpenter into Perfect Skin, happily received by the audience even if the absence of its hip band arrangement was felt.

Publication: The Scotsman

Publication date: 11/04/08