Lloyd Cole, Friday night, Whitehaven Civic Hall

COOL, calm, and the collected works.

At first it looked like a class of ‘86 reunion in the school hall with a crowd of earnest-looking thirty somethings skulking about, but as soon as Lloyd took to the stage with only his guitar, music stand and Jack Daniels for company it was clear that a top night of musical nostalgia was in store.

Okay, so Lloyd Cole is best known for his eighties jangly love songs full of tales of Lost Weekends and regretful encounters with girls with Perfect Skin called Jennifer and Jane that you needed A levels to appreciate, but Lloyd has been quietly producing solo albums since he split from the Commotions and moved to the States, and as the fan base here tonight knew, the quality of his song writing and musical craftsmanship has only strengthened.

He treated us to a chocolate box selection of those famous early tracks but also gave his latest album – Music in a Foreign Language – a fair airing along with lesser known tracks from albums “that were released in the nineties that no-one knew about”.

The crowd wouldn’t give up on their demands for an encore and he finished with Forest Fire – “it would be rude not to”. A top night with a perfect gent and a vastly underrated singer/songwriter.

Try and catch Lloyd Cole when he briefly reforms with the Commotions this September.

Publication: News and Star

Publication date: 29/01/04