Lloyd Cole at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
What is better than to celebrate your own birthday with a packed Shepherd’s Bush Empire screaming your name and wishing you many happy returns? For the ego and self-esteem this is a nice present indeed. This might have been in Lloyd Cole’s mind during his brilliant gig, matching the day of his 53rd year.
The gig was divided conceptually into three parts: the first part where Cole and The Leopards – a bunch of talented musicians who are following him on stage – entertained with songs from the past, taken from records with The Commotions, and from Cole’s early solo albums (Rattlesnakes from 1984; Weeping Wine from 1991; Sweetheart of 1990; Perfect Blue from 1985; and Easy Pieces among others). The second part saw Cole and The Leopards play songs from the last album Standards and from 2010 album Broken Record (songs like Period Piece; Women’s Studies; Myrtle & Rose). Finally a third part, the encore, with the most famous sing-along, singles and hits such as the excellent tracks: Lost Weekend; No Blue Skies; Jennifer She Said; Like Lovers Do and Forest Fire.
Watching the performance of Cole, the audience could truly understand how important this artist was for the Britpop of the second half of the 90s. Musicians from bands like (early) Blur, Pulp or even Suede, and other popular groups from those years, have certainly studied with dedication this music and songwriting. A never-ending search for the perfect melody, a gentle way of singing, a particular taste in arrangement and musical instruments, and great songs with unforgettable choruses are only few of Cole’s skills that have been perpetuated by these bands.
The audience, not so young actually, were entranced by the music and amused by the several sarcastic jokes from Cole himself (“I’m afraid I have to play songs from the new album. Sorry”). The mood, the feeling of the gig was very relaxed and polite – certainly thanks to this perfect pop-rock.
Photos: Alejo Garcia
For further information and future events visit Lloyd Cole’s website here.
Watch the video for Period Place here: