For what seems the first time in years, we went to a gig. Lloyd Cole, solo, at the Sheffield City Hall Ballroom. Last time I saw him play live, he was pushing the Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe album back in 1991ish. The t-shirt I bought after that gig lasted a good ten years before it finally gave up the ghost.
It was good. No, wait, it was much better than that. Lloyd Cole’s voice hasn’t changed for the worse over the years – it’s simply got more awesome. The newer songs might be less spiky, with fewer “babes” per verse, but the voice, the attitude… no, really, I wasn’t crying. Seriously. No.
I don’t think I’ve been inside Sheffield City Hall this decade either – it’s had quite a facelift and looks completely unlike anything I remember (although my memories are quite frankly unreliable, revolving as they do around dodgy club nights like Brighton Beach, Pop Tarts & Climax). The main bar area behind the subterranean Ballroom is particularly beautiful, though the intricately patterned ceiling of the Ballroom itself comes a close second.
My photo (courtesy of a poorly aimed Samsung Galaxy) hardly does justice to the brilliant blues of the pillars and the patterning between the arches of the ceiling. It’s a truly wonderful art deco installation – which would be horribly wasted on the denizens of the student club nights that I used to attend back in my wayward youth.
Meanwhile, here’s three and a half minutes of fun to whet yer whistle.