Lloyd Cole, wunderkind of the mid-80s with his band The Commotions, may now have reached 50, but for one serene evening that voice cast a spell over Darwen.

Cole is not the most dynamic of stage personalities. He’s a little reserved, almost shy, preferring to go from one song to another with minimum preamble. But when your songs are this good, who needs a barrage of jokes.

From the opening chords of Rattlesnakes which started the show, the audience was taken on a journey through his career.

Songs from the Commotions days featured prominently and were easily the best received. And all of them – Forest Fire, Perfect Skin, Lost Weekend – sound as fresh today as when they were first released.

Cole has been quietly recording songs over the years and they all have that uncanny ability to draw in the listener creating three minute vignettes in the mind like mini movies.

For those expecting a raucous evening, they were always going to be disappointed. For those hoping for some genuine quality, it was a night which exceeded expectations.

Publication: This Is Lancashire

Publication date: 06/03/12