Gig review: LLoyd Cole – Pleasance Theatre, Edinburgh

By David Pollock
Published on Saturday 12 November 2011 11:00

LLOYD Cole, his audience may or may not have been surprised to hear, often cries while he’s writing a new song. But then he cries “at a Bruce Willis movie,” so that doesn’t tell us a lot.

Perhaps only that a delicate, youthful poetic heart is at least as important to his music as the charges of world-weary “miserablism” which were always laid in his direction. Although those weren’t entirely unfounded. “Increasingly frequently I feel like I’m washed up and not going to be coming out (on tour) again,” he said bemoaning his back’s ability to keep withstanding transatlantic flights – he’s now 50 and based in Massachusetts – and floating the possibility this could be his last Edinburgh show. “I’m not feeling like that today,” he reassured his devout crowd, and we should hope he doesn’t for a long time.

Despite being a simple solo acoustic set, played by a man in slouchy black jeans and T-shirt who’s growing a moustache because “it might distract you from my gut”, this show was an emphatic reminder of Cole’s immense and often under-recognised talents as a singer of formidable quality and a songwriter with a gift for hypnotic, heart-filling lyricism.

A set in two parts, of almost 40 songs, could have afforded a lot of slack, but there was precious little here. Instead, a slew of acoustically repurposed hits (Rattlesnakes, Are You Ready to Be Heartbroken?, Perfect Skin) and unheralded classics (such as a chiming No More Love Songs) reinforced the enduring breadth and strength of his talent.

Rating: ****

Link to original article online

Publication: The Scotsman

Publication date: 12/11/11