Monday, 21 November 2011

Lloyd Cole at The Sage, Gateshead

Lloyd Cole
The Sage, Gateshead

SINGER-songwriter Lloyd Cole may have a grey beard and a bit of a paunch, but he seems to almost revel in his middle-age status.

Accompanied by just two acoustic guitars, Cole ranged far and wide within his extensive catalogue of bitter-sweet love songs before an appreciative audience in the intimate setting of Hall Two at The Sage.

That audience was often more word-perfect than the songs' author, prompting him when the lyrics to this or that song occasionally eluded him.

There were whoops of delight from some female fans when he revived tracks from his bestselling 1984 album, Rattlesnakes, with his old band the Commotions - Perfect Skin, Forest Fire and Charlotte Street included - but his work has continued to mature since those chart-hot days.

Highlights included Late Night, Early Town, Undressed, Like Lovers Do, What's Wrong With This Picture? and Broken Record, the title track of his latest album.

Proving the timely quality of his irony-heavy songs, he revealed that The Young Idealists will feature on a compilation album in support of the anti-capitalist group, Occupy Wall Street.

With a lovely version of Kris Kristofferson's Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends thrown in for good measure, this was yet another Lloyd Cole Tyneside gig to cherish.

TERRY KELLY

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