LLOYD COLE “BIO” 2002
I’m afraid the idea of a bio after almost 20 years seems a little ludicrous. Sorry.
Im working on a new album for summer 2003 release. I intend to tour the world (solo acoustic show) to promote this and my so called career.
2000 the negatives N. America – WAR? Records / March Records.
Europe XIII Bis Records.
2001 – ‘etc’ – XIII Bis Records – Europe Only
‘plastic wood’ – instrumental pieces – XIII Bis Records – Europe Only
‘Rattlesnakes’ was 1984
Tori Amos just covered the title song.
I no longer have the floppy hair.
Here are some recent press clippings which are complimentary, and an old one
from Tony Parsons which may or may not be pertinent to my forthcoming acoustic
From – New York Times Dec 29 2001
Songwriter With an Eye for Detail
By JON PARELES
Playing a solo show at Joe’s Pub on Thursday night, Lloyd Cole let the
audience in on the interior monologue that goes on inside a performer’s
head when he plays songs written years earlier. After singing “Hey
Rusty,” from 1987, he chided his grandiose 26-year-old self for writing
about “the boulevards” instead of simple streets.
That kind of detail matters to a songwriter like Mr. Cole, an unabashed
admirer of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and other songwriters who delineate
closely observed characters with a few verses and a handful of chords.
On albums, Mr. Cole is a folk- rocker who is fond of 1960’s pop,
threading his songs with guitar lines and countermelodies. Onstage, the
songs needed only his acoustic guitar, lightly picked or firmly
strummed, and his unforced voice. Playing songs by Mr. Dylan, Mr. Cohen
and Nick Cave among his own, he tactfully demonstrated that his work
could stand alongside theirs.
Mr. Cole, who was born in Scotland but now lives in the United States,
specializes in songs about the wreckage left by love. Though things do
occasionally work out in his songs and he has been married for 12 years,
his repertory is filled with alluring but elusive women, from the girl
in 1984’s “Rattlesnakes” whose “heart is like crazy paving/Upside down
and back to front,” to “The Impossible Girl” on his most recent American
album, “The Negatives” (March Records), his first since 1995.
Through the years, Mr. Cole has pared away the book and film name-
dropping and the movie-script touches in his songs, zeroing in on the
enduring subjects of longing and disillusionment. He puts as much regret
into his songs as romance, but he’s still as susceptible as ever to a
glimmer of hope or the pleasure of a well- turned melody.
From the Guardian (UK) the following day
Lloyd Cole Dingwalls, London Thursday January 27, 2000
by Michael Billington
About 15 minutes before Lloyd Cole is due on, a floppy-haired, bashful
man in white shirt and chinos sidles through the velvet curtain and
starts tuning guitars. We pretend he’s not there. Bloopy ambient noise
continues to spill from the PA and the crowd chats on. It is hot and
densely packed: Cole is evidently still widely admired, to the extent of
attracting a man who looks disturbingly like Roger Scruton. A while
later the guitar tuner reappears to deafening hoots and cheers. It is
Lloyd Cole. Such is the consensual magic of pop.
Easing on to a stool, Cole apologises wryly: “I feel bad sitting down
when you’re all standing up. But I’m very, very, very old these days.”
Yet age has not withered him: he looks the same as ever. For this solo
tour, his roadie is his dad, and the stage is dressed with bohemian
simplicity: two mic stands, a rickety wooden side-table for whisky and
guitar gadgets, and a music-stand.
Cole is in splendid vocal form, that swooping baritone flirting at the
edge of crackly dissolution. He happily delivers the oldies: Brand New
Friend, Cut Me Down, Undressed and Lost Weekend, during which he stops
comically to complain: “It’s that bloody piano solo now – I always hated
this song.” His guitar-playing is deceptively deft, picking out pellucid
treble drone notes in arpeggios or sliding around lugubriously on the
Cole has also been learning other people’s songs: Lou Reed’s Patience,
Leonard Cohen’s Famous Blue Raincoat. Nick Cave’s People Ain’t no Good
is beautifully modulated by the swapping of Cave’s sodden growl for
Cole’s bittersweet tunefulness. His own new material is soaked in
beatnik imagery and Dylanesque wails: “Traded my holy water for cheap
wine”. It is a cunning solution to the problem of what to do when you
are most famous for jangly youth: you reinvent yourself as an artist in
a serious singer-songwriter tradition. Of course, Cole spent most of the
80s with a tattered copy of Kerouac stuffed down his trousers, but his
looks and amiability might mitigate his intellectual ambitions. Cole
will never be as iconically ugly or majestically rude as Lou Reed. But
maybe that’s a good thing.
Independent Newspaper review of same show
HeadLinePop & Jazz: Live:
Lloyd Cole’s still causing a commotion after all these years
By James McNair
MY SISTER once claimed that Lloyd Cole’s backing-band were the Coconuts,
only realising her mistake when her annoying little brother pointed out
that this would have left a bemused Kid Creole fronting The Commotions.
Back in the real world, the surly son of Derbyshire who brought us songs
about girls who read French feminist writer, Simone De Beauvoir,
remained oblivious to this, and saved my sister further embarrassment by
deciding to go solo in 1987. Though he is currently without a record
deal, Lloyd’s fan-base remains loyal. Tonight’s acoustic performance had
sold-out well in advance. Cole is pushing 40 now, but he looks much the
same as he always did. A little more grey in that foppish fringe,
perhaps, but the usual attire of khaki strides and suede shoes still
conjured an air of the Geography- teacher-on-sabbatical. Initially, he
was nervous. So much so, in fact, that he left his bottle of Evian
mineral water backstage and had to get his dad to retrieve it. Two or
three songs into their set, he seemed much more relaxed. By the end he
had smiled more times than he did during the whole of the Eighties.
Pleasingly, the “unplugged” format opened-up communication lines, which
Cole exploited to the full. He told us how a chance meeting at a Belgian
folk festival had led him to conclude that Joan Baez was much friendlier
than Oasis. We learned that the open-tuning he’d nicked from Kieth
Richards was particularly useful on 1995’s “Love Story”. Further,
“Because two hours of my songs would be a bit dull for you and even for
me”, he elected to play a number of cover-versions. The first of theses
was “Femme Fatale”, tipping the hat to his hero Lou Reed, and later he
tackled Nick Cave’s “People Ain’t No Good” and Leonard Cohen’s “Chelsea
Hotel”. Like Cole himself, each of these artists has compensated for a
lack of vocal agility with masterful songwriting. And this is what
matters, of course, because the song will always outlive the singer.
Until tonight, I’d forgotten quite how good, perspicacious and prolific
a writer Lloyd Cole is. Reduced to melody, chords and sentiment, songs
like “Trigger Happy” and “Like Lovers Do” were potent and even magical.
With it’s sweet, Byrdsian (sic) guitar-picking, the latter was
beautifully understated, and as Cole met a nearby couple’s gaze to sing
“and I’m looking at you and your boyfriend, too”, there was a sense of
an old Lothario passing the baton on to a younger buck. Soon, someone
will have the good sense to sign Cole and put out his new album, but you
can hear excerpts from it on the net at LloydCole.com from mid-February.
Point. Click. Swoon.
In the July 2000 issue of “Q”, under “The Best Male Angst Albums Of All
Time” ( and amongst Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul Weller, Neil Young, The Who,
“Lloyd Cole and the Commotions/Easy Pieces:
When Lloyd Cole decamped to New York to hang out with Mickey Rourke and
talk about ‘broads’, it wasn’t that much of a surprise: he had always
sung about male disquiet in the manner of a slightly macho, stubbly
intellectual. On this, his second album, are a wealth of superbly
written songs about booze (Rich), incurable restlessness (Brand New
Friend), the kind of relationships that are simultaneously dead-end and
inescapably addictive (Why I Love Country Music) and some even contain
humour (Lost Weekend). Best Tracks: Rich, Why I Love Country Music,
Brand New Friend Most Angsty Moment: The warmth and bleakness in the
bridge of Why I Love Country Music: ‘So we drink Spanish wine/We tell
lies most of the time….'”
Daily Telegraph, February 17, 1990
ROCK: Tony Parsons is fired by Cole
The magic depressive
History books first mention Lloyd Cole as the most nervous person ever
to appear on “Top of the Pops”. Backed by his band , the Commotions, he
performed his debut single “Perfect Skin” on the show in 1984, and
thought the lyrics were knowing -“She’s been sexually enlightened by
Cosmopolitan” -the boy was scared, his sallow Young Elvis flesh quaking
with first-night nerves. Here was a “Top of the Pops” watcher from way
back and it clearly meant a lot for him to be there. it was a good sign.
Little Lloyd has come a long way, like George Michael, with whom he
now shares some designer stubble, Cole’s maturing process has all been
done in public. Just as George used Wham! as a musical apprenticeship,
so Cole has now ditched his Commotions, and gone grown-up and solo. His
eponymous album sees him coming of age quite gloriously. ” This record
is a lot more first person than the previous ones,” he has said. “These
songs have got beards.”
“Lloyd Cole” is a record of hirsute brilliance. Lloyd has always
been a bookworm in black, but now his lyrics are funnier, crueller, more
capable of being hurt and of lashing out. Over riffs that are often
straight from the Velvet Underground School of Charm -spartan mantras of
Lou Reed’s guitar -Cole broods on the cheating essence of women, the
temporal nature of love, passion’s cruelly fading flame. “Go out and
find your body someone else,” he sneers.
“Gotcha letter baby, the one where you said you’ve been loving me
too long and we should kick it in the head -well, right on.” Being
bitter suits him. “I’m looking for a religious girl with child-bearing
hips.” Aren’t we all, dear.
Cole is currently living in New York and the sound of downtown
permeates this record. It is direct, often funny, rarely polite,
pulsating with a grubby, urban glamour. Even when his music gets a
little lush, it is too firmly rooted in dirty five-chord rock and roll
to ever stray across the border into Adult Orientated Rock.
There are two truly great songs here, songs that will still sound
great early in the next century – “Ice Cream Girl” and “Sweetheart” -but
nowhere in the album is there a truly duff moment. It could be Elvis
Costello with compassion, Morrissey without the provincial weirdness,
and the line, “Your heart’s in the right place, despite what you’re
doing to mine,” recalls Bryan Ferry’s classic “You’re dressed to kill
and guess who’s dying”. But ultimately this is Lloyd Cole all grown up
And very much his own man. From blancmange in his belly to ice in his
veins in six short years.
Cole is currently advertising an almond liqueur with other cult
heroes like Tama “Slaves Of New York” Janowitz and Kid “Coconuts” Creole
and he is probably never going to be big enough to advertise Pepsi or
Diet Coke. But this record establishes him as a singer-songwriter for
the millennium, though he is still a couple of heartbreaks away from
being a genius. As the man sings himself, “You look so good when you’re
Photo caption: No Commotions: the grown-up Lloyd Cole broods brilliantly
Publication date: 31/12/02