Lloyd Cole – Vicar Street – 30/10/19 – Live Review
by Killian Laher
It’s interesting how Lloyd Cole, who had a modicum of success in the eighties and early nineties, has managed to maintain an appeal, so much so that he comfortably sells out a venue like Vicar Street. You have to put it down to the quality of the songwriting, songs which are well crafted, witty and most importantly, musical. This is evident from Cole’s performance, where he acted as support act to himself. Mixing songs from across his back catalogue with wry, self-deprecating humour, his opening set saw him play the likes of Rattlesnakes and Music In A Foreign Language alone on acoustic guitar. The Afterlife and Moments and Whatnot from most recent album Guesswork were reworked excellently as acoustic songs. After a slight misfire on Baby, the set recovered with some wonderful guitar work on Vin Ordinaire.
After a short intermission, Lloyd Cole returned with former Commotion Neil Clark and together the pair played a mixture of old favourites; Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken, Charlotte Street and Perfect Skin and lesser known songs Period Piece and Ice Cream Girl. Though Cole doesn’t manage the high notes he once did on Hey Rusty, the presence of Clark added great texture to the sound, even firing off an acoustic solo at the end of Forest Fire in the encore!
As well as some excellent music, a big influence on the night was Lloyd Cole’s dry sense of humour, where he succeeded for the most part in putting any over-eager members of the audience in their place. He was even laugh-out-loud funny at times, an unexpected accompaniment to his intelligent songs.