It wasn’t as easy as Lloyd Cole And The Commotions may have hoped tonight, for despite being proven as one of Glasgow’s most promising new bands, such an accolade doesn’t cut ice in the remote outpost of industrially bleak Dundee. Renowned for it’s misguidedly cool audiences this city was virgin territory for Cole and Co. and as such, a test of quality and endurance.
Cole is the latter day Presley (circa ’56, of course) due to his mannerisms and style, from his manic and dangerous fringe that defies gravity, right down to the suede shoes that get carried away by the equally attractive “Perfect Skin” and “Have Feet Will Travel”.
His almost Quinnesque vocals become apparent on “Forest Fire” and were justifiably reduced to a whisper for the effectively melancholy “Patience” – a song which successfully outlined both Cole’s quietly versatile vocalising and powerfully evident songwriting talents with lyrics such as: “Patience is a girl that I hate to love the way I do… but I do… She wakes me up in the morning through screaming in my dreams… She took her bags but left all her clothes… She took her keys but left me out in the cold.”
On the unusual Fat Sam’s stage, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions looked suitably fresh and undoubtedly inspired. Their refreshing blend of post Postcardian pop, 60s soul and American gospel influence shone through on “Down At The Mission” (the b-side of their forthcoming “Welcome To Las Vegas” release) and caught the frenzied imagination of both Cole and backing vocalist, Marwenna laidlaw. The audience would have been crying in the chapel, had they not been too busy dancing.
But the highlight of tonight’s performance was the a-side – “Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken” – is such a great title for a song – which in it’s beautifully simplistic fashion is testimony of an acoustic passion that encapsulates a sound from Friends Again to Cockney Rebel. And to misquote George Harrison a little …”It’ll be a long, cold, lonely winter, but here comes the sun.”
Publication date: 01/01/83