GOLF fanatic Lloyd Cole plans to switch from pop to swing on his return to Scotland for a tour of his favourite courses.
The former Commotions frontman once lived on the grounds of Glasgow Golf Club, where his parents looked after the clubhouse and catering.
Now the Derbyshire born singer has set up an unusual set of live dates in an attempt to realise his ambition to become an amateur golfer.
Lloyd, 37, said: “I’ve decided to go on a golfing holiday because I never got around to playing any of the courses when I lived in Scotland – despite the fact that I lived on a golf course.
“When The Commotions took off I moved to London and I felt an idiot not playing all those fantastic courses.
“Now I’ve been working on my golf and I want to be good.
“I only want to compete in amateur golf tournaments because I detest professional golf. It’s full of sponsorship and is far too corporate these days.
“I’ve even read up on the courses to help me bring down my handicap. It used to be six, but I haven’t played for years and I’ll be surprised if I manage to play at that level.”
Lloyd’s tour dates include Inverness Eden Court Theatre tonight, Dornoch Royal Dornoch Hotel (Saturday), Aberdeen Lemon Tree (Monday), Dundee West Port Bar (Tuesday) and St Andrews Golf Hotel (Thursday).
He will play reworked versions of his old favourites and will include folk and blues favourites by Hank Williams, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan.
Lloyd said: “I’ve maybe got more in common with Kris Kristofferson than people would think.
“I’m a balladeer who aspires to making records like The Byrds or Television who aren’t really rock.
“I’m going to be giving all the songs the folk treatment because you can’t make a commercial sound with one guitar.
“I’ll be stripping them down and I’m trying to improve my harmonica playing. Some of the old songs simply don’t translate to a 37 year old’s voice. I would like to think I sound like an old fogey.
“I like The Spice Girls, Blur and Pavement but Britain’s music scene is mainly dull rock with layers and layers of loud guitars. That doesn’t do much for me.
“If that is the sound of young Britain these days I’m glad I’m not part of it.
“I look at bands like Embrace and think about how self-righteous they look, then I look back at some of my old songs and think the same thing.
“I’m embarrassed by some of the earlier songs. I look back at Down On Mission Street and think what the hell was I thinking of trying to tell people about Christianity?”
Lloyd now lives with his wife Elizabeth and five-year-old son William, in the trendy Chelsea district of New York.
He had a recording studio built in his home and has already started recording his next batch of songs with a newly formed band called The Negatives.
They’ll join Lloyd when he returns to the UK to promote The Best Of Lloyd Cole & The Commotions album and a new selection of songs in October.
But Lloyd fears he may not be able to stand the demands of a full-scale tour after being in the wars on the football pitch.
Lloyd said: “I had to have cartilage surgery last year. My knee is never going to be perfect again.
“Then I was playing football and was fouled by some moron defender.
“I crashed into a plexiglass wall and didn’t realise I had broken ribs until days later when I couldn’t breathe and eventually collapsed.”
But Lloyd has no intentions of taking his eye off the golf ball.
He added: “This trip is very much about me being excited about going to the east coast of Scotland.
“I’ve been getting more hysterically excited about it with every day.
“My golf clubs are sitting in front of me and I’m staring at them. I’m excited about playing town halls and wee hotels and having some really great games of golf.”
Publication: Scottish Daily Record
Publication date: 03/07/98