Lloyd Cole came to town on Monday night and played some Lloyd Cole songs. With two excellent musicians (Americans Matt Cullen and Mark Schwaber) by his side, Cole gave us a few stripped down versions of his 80s hits but the focus was on more recent material, heavily skewed towards his latest album, Broken Record. The result was more like a recital for plucked string instruments (music stands even) than a traditional gig.
I’d heard that Cole was a funny guy and so it proved — dry, wry and self-deprecating — but the voice is better than ever and the songwriting chops are still in evidence, swapping youthful yearning for more adult regrets.
Despite his amusing protestations to the contrary, he has always dealt in angst. He’s a troubadour, specialising in that awkward moment between realising a relationship is doomed and, you know, it actually being over.
The Paramount remains a lovely venue for this sort of grown-up show but would it really kill them to hide the big ladder in the wings or build the artist a small stage?
If “My Bag” was your bag you should check out Cole next time he comes to town.
Printed in Wellington’s Capital Times on Wednesday 9 February, 2011