When I was a teen, I was a huge Lloyd Cole Fan. Those first two albums, Rattlesnakes and Easy Pieces, I practically wore out. He was suave, had a great voice, and used fabulous pop-culture references in his songs that appealed to my precocious side.
Oh yeah, it was Lloyd Cole and the Commotions...but who cares about them. For me, it was all Lloyd!
So the years pass and Lloyd turns up on Spicks and Specks, still looking suave...this was about 4 years ago.
And then a few months back I noticed Lloyd was touring and he was coming to Newcastle. I was keen to go, a few people were interested but it all fizzled out, and to be honest I forgot about it.
When I was at Henry Wagons I was lamenting about not going. The following night my friend A passed on a link to the Lloyd Cole fanclub on Facebook. The fans sell his merchandise at the shows for him and they had no one lined up for Newcastle.
I gave it a little thought (why? who can know!?!) and immediately joined the club and sent the coordinator a message. Less than an hour later it was all sorted, I had the gig!!!
And so, on a cold rainy Friday night in June, I headed to Lizotte's to take up my position as door bitch...I mean Merch Chick! (I have always thought I would be great as a door bitch)
Part of the deal was I got 2 tickets to see the show, and of course asked A, since I would not be there without her. But she was sick, so J kindly stepped in.
Leading up to the show was quiet, didn't sell a lot. But I saw a lot, watching the fabulous staff at Lizotte's do their thing, and people arrive excited for the concert. I do love to people watch and that made the evening move fast.
The concert was wonderful. Just Lloyd and a couple of guitars. He sounded better than when I first listened to him. Men's voices do get richer with age, and he was no exception. He was funny and self deprecating, telling cute stories in between songs. It was what I would call a powerfully quiet performance. He played everything you wanted him to play in two sets with an encore. I was thrilled.
But now, the big moment.
J & I hightailed it back to our spot and sold heaps of CDs, and Lloyd came out to sign. He asked if I was Cathy, and I said yes, he said thank you and handed me a beer saying he hoped I drank beer (of course!), he then said he had one for my friend, and I introduced J. J & I exchanged looks that I think can only be translated as Yay (C) and Squee (J) Lloyd just bought us a beer!!!
I continued to sell CDs, and J took over official phone photography for those that wanted their photo taken with the man. And he was generous, kind, sweet, and funny to each and every fan. What a great thing it was to be on the other side of the table observing the punters gush or try not to gush meeting their musical hero. Some bought albums and posters from way back, others traded stories of seeing him at other concerts (Brixton came up a lot!), and some had poignant stories of what he and his music meant to their lives. And he loved every minute of it, not in a hey I'm a star kinda way, but in humble, interested way.
This went on for about 20mins, and then things quietened, I asked Lloyd to sign my disc and have a photo taken. He was just lovely, we chatted a little, and we were thrilled to be there.
We said out goodbyes, grinning from cheek to cheek, and floated out into the rain.