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lloyd cole

Review: The Lloyd Cole Small Ensemble at the Paramount

By Music, Reviews

Lloyd Cole tour poster

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