Sunday, 13 April 2014

Live in 2014: Lloyd Cole at The Globe, Cardiff - Saturday April 12th 2014

I've always found it amazing when singers battle through illness to put on an amazing performance.

It was such a night at The Globe where Lloyd Cole battles through a heavy cold to give a beautiful solo performance. Minus his band and guitar in hand, Lloyd shows us why he is still one of the best songwriters in the UK today.

Only one song in and we get the truly great Rattlesnakes.

And it was an evening of surprises as he picked from his now 18 album career.

Perhaps The Globe wasn't the perfect place to give the public the show that Lloyd wanted to give. Some of the songs were presented with such delicate beauty I think it should have been a seated occasion. Although several of the songs were accompanied by the vocal talents of the Cardiff crowd.

As seems to be the fashion these days, the set was broken into two halves.

The first set included such gems as Rattlesnakes, Cut Me Down, Why I Love Country Music & No More Love Songs.

The songs sound so much more intimate and fragile stripped of their studio clothing. I love the fact I'm hearing these songs more or less as they must have been written with just an acoustic guitar. And that you have even more reason to listen to the lyrics by one of our finest wordsmiths.

Part two kicks off with my favourite Lloyd Cole song - Are You Ready To Be Heatbroken? - pure gorgeousness.

Part Two included beauties such as Broken Record, Jennifer She Said, Hey Rusty & Butterfly

Indeed, the set list from Brighton a couple of nights before seems to be almost spot on as far as I can recollect.

Lloyd played quite a few songs from his excellent latest release Standards, which is his first 'band' album in quite a while.

As the evening went on, it was obvious Lloyd was finding the show tough going but the audience were on his side and every song was greeted with great applause of appreciation both for the songs and his performance.

Usually Lloyd likes a bit of between song banter but tonight he kept it to a minimum, trying to conserve his voice no doubt for singing the songs.

As the gig entered it's closing section, the biggest hits made an appearance. 

The crowd sang along to Perfect Skin & Lost Weekend.

The last song Lloyd gave us tonight was a lovely version of Forest Fire. 

The crowd enjoyed the show, even though later on social media Lloyd apologised for not being on top form.
But I hope the love in the room convinced Lloyd that the crowd left happy and that Wales does appreciate a great performer & songwriter when we see one.

Twitter - @Lloyd_Cole 


  1. Envious. I haven't seen Lloyd live since the early Rattlesnake days...

  2. Nice piece Nick. I'm kinda envious too, given a decent concert setting. I admire the number of gigs you manage to attend; wish I had the patience and fortitude to tolerate the atmosphere & unruly audiences of the clubs.

    I've told this story before, but it's good reminder of the drudgery of "the road..."

    Being a big fan, I've seen Lloyd live several times. Unfortunately, I also witnessed LC play a show whilst terribly ill... I'll first preface by saying that many of the music venues here in Toronto are shit-holes. "The Horseshoe Tavern" is like playing in a dark concrete alley. "Lee's Palace" has to be seen to be believed. Pitch black & everything is smelly and sticky... the floor, the chairs, ugh. The dressing-room looks like a cardboard out-house. The "Palace" indeed...

    Anyway, a few years ago ("Foreign Language" tour), Lloyd crawled out of Lee's Palace previously mentioned out-house, looking like a cranky professor and grunted, "I'm fucking sick." (Later on his Weblog he reported he was diagnosed with double-pneumonia). It was a painful show to watch, with thick smoke burning the eyes, morons in the audience chattering incessantly, and shouting "Next time bring the Commotions!" Seated, with a large bottle of some type of yellow grog nearby, Lloyd struggled valiantly through the show, croaking and straining & obviously dreadfully ill. However, he still managed to rise from his stool for a brave and touching finale of 'Hey Rusty', 'Heartbroken' and 'Unhappy Song'. Later, my pal Eric and I had a long discussion about how harrowing the gig was, and how being a rock-star ain't as glamorous as it's cracked up to be... Lloyd's been back to play "The Palace" a few times since, and I'd like to see him play again, but I'm getting too old for shit-holes...

    Not sure how musician's tolerate the grind of touring. I've heard Lloyd grumble on his weblog about the necessity of touring to pay the mortgage and put the kids through school. The show must go on I guess, but a classy artist like Lloyd deserves better...

    Someday you must have Trev relate a few of his tales of doing gigs way back when... I like the one about performing in places where bathrooms served as "dressing-rooms", having to stand on bricks whilst changing to avoid dipping trousers into pools of pee...

    PS: Congrats Nick on hitting 10,000 views on your blog... There are a lot of us sitting in the weeds, enjoying your posts. You're doing a great job!