Saturday Deluxe / 5 November 2016

Lloyd Cole finished three months on the road last night (his ‘Classic Songbook Tour’) with an intimate, acoustic set at London’s Union Chapel, where he played “just old songs” including virtually everything from the 1984’s Rattlesnakes

The 55-year old singer-songwriter was on fine form with his dry wit entertaining the audience between songs. During the two separate hour-long sets (he was joined by his son William after the interval) Cole delivered the all the Commotions hits (Forest Fire, Are You Ready To Be Heartbroken, My Bag, Cut Me Down, Brand New Friend, Lost Weekend, Jennifer She Said etc.) and more, along with some choice cuts from his solo career including No Blue Skies, a fantastic So You’d Like To Save The World (from 1993’s Bad Vibes) and Like Lovers Do.

I saw Lloyd a few years ago at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in ‘full band’ guise with The Leopards, but whether it was because he concentrated on just his early material for this acoustic set (nothing post-1996), the quality and clarity of his voice and the superb setting of the Union Chapel, or perhaps because I’m getting old and like sitting down (!), but for me this ‘solo’ show was by far the more enjoyable of the two gigs and one of the best shows I’ve seen for a while.

Lloyd Cole played solo last night at London’s Union Chapel

One highlight was Cole’s plaintive cover of Prince‘s Sometimes It Snows In April which he segued seamlessly with his own Loveless (from his self-titled 1990 debut solo album). The relative limitations of the one-man-and-an-acoustic-guitar approach were overcome in the second set when Cole’s son William joined him on stage. Cole Jnr largely played lead on a Spanish guitar, replicating the intricacy of the original arrangements on many of the Commotions songs, leaving his father to take care of rhythm duties. Will acquitted himself admirably, even during an awkward moment when his Dad was late on for the encore (turns out he was preparing a couple of end-of-tour glasses of whiskey) and William had to contend with a friendly but encouraging audience (“say a few words!”).

Lloyd Cole did mention that the Polydor solo years box set should have been out “about now”. He said it was basically done, but gave no reason for the delays. As well as remastered versions of the released solo long-players (Lloyd Cole; Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe; Bad Vibes and Love Story) this set will include two unreleased albums and demos. It is expected in February 2017.

Read the SDE interview with Lloyd last year when he talked about the Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989 box set.

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Matthew north

the Box set really should have a CD and DVD of the 1990 Wakefield ‘Rock Stedy’ show.

Mark Story

Wow, Paul , lucky you! I’ve been a huge fan of Mr Cole since 1985. Saw him in Buffalo,NY, December 16, 1991 with his band. Commotions or solo , he’s one of my favs!


Thanks for the heads up about the live recordings! Ordered!!!

Bruce nicholson

Its always a treat to be a Lloyd Cole fan and he definitely looks after the fans. Pleased to be part of the many fans who contributed financially to the Standards album a few years back and he’s always good with signing stuff bought from his store. I like the fact he is treating his back catalogue with a fans type reverance and he listens to his fans on this type of thing. All round a good man.

Lee Carson

If you missed him this time around then he is back in the UK in March and April next year


Thanks for that Lee, I`ve never seen seen LC with or without the Commotions. I will definitely be going in the spring, I`ve always been been a fan. LC is another true writer and musician from the 80`s & the UK, along with The Waterboys, Karl Wallinger, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, Talk Talk and err my minds reverted to it`s normal state – blank!


The Union Chapel is a great venue for this type of gig, and conveniently on my doorstep. It never disappoints.


I saw Lloyd earlier in the tour at Harpenden. He said the delay to the box set had been caused by “not realising there would be a lot more lawyers involved than the Lloyd Cole and the Commotions one”. He said he thought it would be out by Spring

Melanie Hancox

How nice to read a review that so accurately sums up the gig I was at. Yes, it was wonderful. There are also CDs from earlier full band & acoustic gigs on this tour soon to be available from Live Here Now. http://www.liveherenow.com/lloyd-cole


Saw Lloyd and the Commotion at the Hammersmith Odeon for the Rattlesnakes anniversary, acoustic in Bristol and supporting his first solo album in Cardiff in 90…all just amazing and so varied…he is just brilliant. Wish I’d known about last night’s gig.

Lee Carson

I saw Lloyd in Leeds last month and he was brilliant. That evening he also confirmed that the new box set would be out early next year.

There are also a couple of live CDs, one solo the other with the Leopards, due to be released via Pledge later this mont

Jon Ashelford

The following is from the pledge music.com website:-

Live Here Now
Pre-order the new Lloyd Cole Live Albums, playing the Lloyd Cole songbook 1983 – 1996, recorded by Live Here Now.

Two new Lloyd Cole live albums have been captured by Live Here Now and are ready for pre-order on PledgeMusic.

Lloyd Cole Live At Union Chapel, will be recorded live from Lloyd’s intimate shows on Monday 3rd October 2016 and Friday 4th November 2016 at the Union Chapel, Islington.

Live At Brooklyn Bowl, was captured by Live Here Now from Lloyd Cole and The Leopard’s show on Friday, 19th August 2016.

“Playing the Lloyd Cole songbook 1983 – 1996. To celebrate the release of the Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings box set and the forthcoming Solo anthology, Lloyd will perform songs exclusively from this classic period.”

Download and CD Estimated 11.11.16
LP Estimated Dispatch Jan 2017


Sounds like a great show. I initially dismissed much of Cole’s early solo material but have done some catching up in the past couple of years. btw, you better start writing your weekly “Out this week” post in preparation for the mother of all release days, Friday 11 November!

Charles K

Nice review, I was chuckling when you mentioned being able to sit down! I love those types of shows more the older I get. But this show reminds me of how many I miss being in the States, or not living in New York or LA.

Really looking forward to the new box set, the first was so well done. That one and the Simple Minds New Gold Dream SDE box are my absolute favorite releases of the year or so.


Nice review Paul.
Saw Lloyd a few months ago in Dublin. He’s on form at the minute.