Rewind Festival warm up show a rare full band date by Lloyd Cole. People of my age will know Cole from his days with The Commotions, but he’s hopped around quite a bit over the years in terms of musical companionship and styles. He seems most recently to have settled on what we would class as rock, and will be featured on the upcoming Rewind Festival. Even the best acts need to warm up for big shows like that and Holmfirth will pay host to one such performance on August 18th.
‘Burst on to the scene’ is a horribly overused phrase but it’s exactly what Lloyd Cole and the Commotions did in 1984 with ‘Perfect Skin’, ‘Forest Fire’ and their era-defining album Rattlesnakes. They went from Glasgow clubs to stadiums in 18 months. Hits ‘Lost Weekend’ and ‘Brand New Friend’ propelled LP2 Easy Pieces to the upper reaches of the album charts all over the world. One last album, Mainstream, and one last hit ‘Jennifer She Said’, and by 1989 they were gone.
In 1990, Lloyd Cole launched a solo career and has been making albums ever since. In the early 2000’s, Cole retreated somewhat from rock/pop, performing mostly acoustically, but his 2013 album Standards took fans, critics, and maybe even the artist himself, aback with its brash electric rock ‘n’ roll sound. It was universally acclaimed, Cole was back on TV, and there was an undeniable demand for some electric band shows. But there was no band. Cole contacted old Glasgow pals The Leopards (Mick Slaven and Campbell Owens) and asked if they might like to play some shows… supplemented by ex-Commotion Blair Cowan on keyboards, Lloyd Cole and the Leopards was born.
A headline slot on Later with Jools Holland was followed by a handful of early 2014 UK shows culminating in a sold out Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Cole’s 53rd birthday.
In 2015 a box set Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-89 was released to huge acclaim and sold out rather more quickly than anticipated. In 2016 a second box of Lloyd Cole solo material is planned. When the promoters of Rewind wondered if Cole might be available to perform at their 2016 festivals… finally the time was right.