Lloyd Cole’s smoky solo debut is practically a cabaret album, but from the opening notes of the opening “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?” his Sunday Lisner Auditorium performance was a rock-and-roll show. Backed by a quintet that included not one but two lead guitarists, the more distinctive being ex-Voidoid, ex-Lou Reed slasher Robert Quine, Cole blazed through a set that built to the two brawniest songs on his new album, “I Hate to See You Baby Doing That Stuff” and “Sweetheart.”

The affable, gently sardonic Scottish singer-songwriter was generous with material from his career with the Commotions, including such favorites as “Perfect Skin” and “Rattlesnakes” (which he claimed not to have played in three years); the mix of old and new sounded natural, and worked to both the audience’s and the concert’s benefit. The show ended with two sets of encores, including (oddly) Reed’s “A Gift” and (logically) Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me,” the song that furnished the title for the new album’s first song, “Don’t Look Back.”

Shawn Colvin, a bland neo-folkie, opened.

Publication: The Washington Post

Publication date: 19/06/90