Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Black Box, Belfast

More nouvelle vague than new wave, Lloyd Cole And The Commotions emerged in the slipstream of The Smiths on the literate, cerebral wing of 80s guitar pop.

Rattlesnakes, their debut album, was so perfectly realised that they were never really able to successfully follow it up, and from the early 90s onwards the singer has existed in a cult status.

But perhaps the renewed interest in all things 80s has had some effect, as Lloyd Cole managed to sell out the Black Box on Friday night for this appearance.

It was an all-singing, all-dancing affair. A gifted songwriter, Cole dipped into his considerable back catalogue, mixing early references to his salad days such as Rattlesnakes with lesser known gems like Tower Of Song.

Like most singer songwriters, his default position is lovelorn, and there are echoes of Leonard Cohen in songs like When You're Young and the mighty Heartbroken.

Keen students of the type that once made up a far higher proportion of Lloyd Cole's audience might wonder though what the reference to a “government grant” was.

The rest of us, as the airwaves howl with the clamorous reunion of 80s behemoths, might think the fate of Lloyd Cole to be infinitely more dignified.

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