I'd seen Lloyd Cole and the Commotions live in the death throws of the band when it felt like Lloyd was wishing he was anywhere but on a stage in Bradford. I'd seen him solo as well with just a chunky sweater , acoustic guitar and book of song lyrics for company.
To celebrate some anniversary or something the band had announced a one off reunion tour, I put my black crew neck on and rushed to get some tickets straight away.
The night got off the an unusual start in that the bar was thronged and ahead of us was a short good looking bloke with pop star hair. At one point he turned round and nice as pie said , its crazy here do you want me to get your round in. It was Mark Owen in the days before the Lazarus return of Take That. I said no as I was getting a big round in (the sales of his solo lp I don't think had done that well). When I eventually got the beers in and got back to my friends I pointed out Mark Owen who was quietly sipping his beer on his own. Any chance of a "didn't know you liked Lloyd" conversation went up in smoke as my wife big on Take That and big on the wine that night started going on in the drunken quiet / loud voice that everyone has about how tiny he was. For this alone I was secretly pleased as punch when Take That took off again
The last time I'd seen Lloyd live he was shall we say a tad fuller in face and body than I remembered . Well he must of put in the gym hours in preparation because dressed in back he came bounding on looking like he hadn't aged a bit. The band rattled through a great set with Lloyd giving it his all. Only at one point after a manic mix of My Bag and Mr Malcontent did he gasp for breath and admit he was probably too old for this.
It was a fantastic gig with all the band looking like they were loving every minute and genuinely moved by the reception they got . As much as I love Lloyd's solo lps the night made me feel sad that they split when they did and hoped it would lead to a hey lets all make a new record moment. However they were true to their word it was a one off and I was so glad to be there
They did a great version of this form the third lp with its traditional jangle and smart lyrics but without Robbie Coltrane mumbling in the background
Here is a more refined version of Mr Malcontent to a much bigger audience
and here is a couple of my favourite songs from the 2nd lp Easy Pieces, both as featured on the Tube (takes me right back to getting ready to go out on a Friday night)
And finally the wonders of youtube here he is being too cool for school