Lloyd Cole





LLOYD COLE AND The Commotions are enjoying success. But Lloyd Cole isn't. In 1984 the group released three singles: the gorgeous 'Perfect Skin', the widely acclaimed 'Forest Fire' (Lloyd admits it surprised even him) and my favourite, 'Rattlesnakes'.

The sweeping jangle of guitars topped with lyrics ostensibly about gurls tended to evoke a picture of singer and lyricist Lloyd as a love sick but over-aged adolescent with a band heading for the innocuous soft-pop option. But it was not so. Their album (also called Rattlesnakes) which appeared at the end of the year was roundly impressive, its songs alive with dark wit and mischievous irony. I was charmed!

Lloyd is now having to endure a weird kind of agony. He harbours a lurking fear of himself and his work being misconstrued, something that. many in his position would by now have accepted as an occupational hazard. While the Commotions success in real (i.e. sales) terms has been modest (only 'Forest Fire' dented the British Top 30), he sits pensively as if the whole world is already awaiting his next move and the media his next remark. He deliberates over his replies and his fingers tremble perceptibly as he periodically raises a glass of water to his lips.

He confesses: "My reaction to the press has been anger and sorrow over the number of assumptions that have been made about me which have been unfounded. The assumptions are made on the basis of the records but I should have thought all one could tell from a record was that I had a sense of irony. I don't think there's much else you could glean from a record about me."

To continue reading this article and to discover many more (over 140,000 words-worth!), purchase Mick Sinclair’s Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London. 



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