Saturday, November 4, 2023

Lloyd Cole @ Trianon, Paris - November 4th, 2023

Living in a bustling city like Paris poses tough choices for a rock fan. While ex-nineties kids packed the Bataclan for a surprise club show by Green Day, their older siblings, who came of age in the preceding decade, were at the Trianon for a fantastic concert by Lloyd Cole. It was like a musical generation gap, and I found myself on the side of timeless melodies and insightful lyrics. The evening was promoted as having two sets: a solo acoustic set followed by a performance with a full band. However, it didn't unfold precisely as planned. The first set (playfully dubbed the "support act" by Cole) began with the singer performing "Don't Look Back," the opening track from his debut solo record. Shortly after, he was joined by ex-Commotions members Neil Clark on guitar and Blair Cowan on keys, along with Signy Jacobsdottir on drums and percussion. This may well be the closest we'll ever come to a Commotions reunion...

If you're a fan of the English songwriter, this was an unmissable show: 29 songs spanning his entire career, each one delivered with the same wit and charm that define Cole's music. Among the numerous highlights were the classic Commotions songs "Forest Fire" and "Brand New Friend" as well as some of his early solo songs like "Trigger Happy". These songs have aged like fine wine, their relevance undiminished by the years.

Cole's music is a blend of poetic lyricism and infectious melodies, a kind of alchemy that's all too rare in rock music. His voice still carries the same raw emotion that first captivated audiences decades ago, and his stage presence was a delightful mix of self-deprecating humor and sly observations about life, delivered with a twinkle in his eye. It was like spending an evening with an old friend who hasn't lost a step in the art of conversation.

The Trianon, with its ornate architecture and intimate setting, provided the perfect backdrop for Cole's performance. The audience hung on every word, every chord change, creating a palpable connection between artist and fans. It was a night of music that transcended time and space, reminding us all that great songs have the power to transport us to another era while still speaking to our present.

Experience or re-live the concert by playing the setlist in the embedded Apple Music player below
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