Lloyd Cole - From Rattlesnakes to Guesswork Tour

Lloyd Cole - From Rattlesnakes to Guesswork Tour


Posted 2022-03-06 by David Keyworthfollow

Fri 18 Mar 2022 - Wed 11 May 2022

Lloyd Cole, whose life journey has taken him from Buxton to Glasgow to New York and Massachusetts, is back in Europe, to promote his 2019 album Guesswork. He will also pull a few old classics out of his bag, perhaps including Perfect Skin, Lost Weekend and Brand New Friend.

After gigs in Portugal and France, from 18th March, the UK tour kicks off at Manchester's Albert Hall on 19 April and ends at the Floral Pavilion New Brighton, The Wirral on 11 May. The tour, due to start two years ago, was twice rescheduled, due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

On 25 April, the singer will play Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Lloyd was born in Derbyshire in 1961 but it was at Glasgow University in the early 1980s, that he met Neil Clark and Blair Cowan and formed his band the Commotions.

They released their debut album Rattlesnakes in 1984. The songs told tales of teenage infatuations, fleeting love affairs in rented rooms and a woman called Jodie who insisted that "a girl needs a gun these days, hey, on account of all the rattlesnakes."

Cole's lyrics were shamelessly sprinkled with references to twentieth-century American cultural icons - Truman Capote, Leonard Cohen, Eve Marie Saint, Norman Mailer et al.

Rattlesnake's closing track - Are You Ready to be Heartbroken? was covered by Eurovision winner Sandie Shaw, who also hit the 1980's charts with her version of The Smith's Hand in Glove.

The American Cultural references continued with the title of the next album - Easy Pieces. Two songs from it reached the UK charts top twenty. Brand New Friend told of "Walking through the pouring rain, walking with Jesus and Jane." Lost Weekend was an infectiously catchy number about double pneumonia in a single room in Amsterdam.

His most recent album - Guesswork, employed more of the synth-pop of Cole's 1980s contemporaries, than the guitar and strings soundscape of Rattlesnakes. Songs like When I came down from the Mountain and The Afterlife placed its narrators in a limbo-like or virtual life, removed from the bustle of city life. It was eerily appropriate for the months of COVID-19 and the suspension of normal life.

Speaking on BBC2's Later .. . in 2013, Lloyd told Jools Holland how Bob Dylan had inspired him to throw off self-consciousness about ageing and loosen up his sound for his album Standards. On the programme, Lloyd performed Perfect Skin (from Rattlesnakes) and from Standards Myrtle and Rose and Women's Studies, a song about an eternal student preoccupied with Franz Kafka and thoughts about the women he didn't marry.

Cole himself married Elizabeth Lewis in 1989. One of his sons, William, has joined his Dad on stage, playing guitar.

The singer has dipped in and out of the spotlight but has never spent too long in obscurity. Margo's Waltz (from Don't Get Weird on Me, Babe, 1991) was on the soundtrack of the 1998 film Something About Mary, starring Cameron Diaz.

Glasgow band Camera Obscura included a number called Lloyd, I'm Ready to be Heartbroken on their 2006 album Let's Get Out of This Country.

Given the literary allusions in Cole's lyrics, it's fitting that Pulitzer prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon referenced Easy Pieces in his sequence of album-inspired verses in his collection Hay. "The in-crowd/on the outs with the likes of Milton/ and Spenser while Cromwell/ still walked through the pouring rain." (Paul Muldoon, Hay Faber and Faber, 1998.)

Cole's visit to Manchester may remind Lloyd of how he unwittingly gave a break to the Happy Mondays. Shaun Ryder relates in his autobiography (Bantam Press, 2011) how The Madchester band played the Gallery (corner of Peter Street and Deansgate, near the Albert Hall) because "Lloyd Cole and the Commotions were supposed to be playing that night but they'd just had a hit, so cancelled."

Perhaps a joint Lloyd Cole and Happy Mondays gig would be a suitable payback ...

Tour dates and tickets link


19 April: Albert Hall Manchester

21-22 April: Cadogan Hall London

23 April: Palace Theatre Southend-on-Sea

25 April: Royal Concert Hall Glasgow

27 April: Albert Hall Conference Centre Nottingham

28 April: De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill

30 April: The Assembly Leamington Spa

1 May: The Brook Southampton

2 May: Theatre Severn Shrewsbury

4 May: Tramshed Cardiff

7 May: SJE Arts Oxford

8 May: The Drill Lincoln

9 May: The Apex Bury St Edmunds

11 May: Floral Pavilion New Brighton, The Wirral

!date 18/03/2022 -- 11/05/2022
71430 - 2023-01-26 01:53:38


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