. : : March 9th, 2012 : : .
This is the blog entry I’ve been dreading writing for some time (and perhaps the reason for it’s delay). As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my lower back problem was causing me a bit of pain, and the unique stage set-up for Andrew Cole and Friends at the Drake Underground meant drastically decreased sight lines from my usual taping position.
Prior to the evening in question, I couldn’t tell Andrew Cole from a hole in the wall. So, resigned from the lack of invested interest and physical limitations, I decided to take my seat on the far end of a bench, resting my back against the wall. This put me a few feet away from the direction the speakers were pointed, and further reduced my sight lines to nil. This is why writing this review has seemed to be such a chore.
After all, isn’t the point of live music the unique combination of the audible and visual? When one of those senses is lobotomized, I become antsy and restless. But, in spite of my unrest and a consistently blinking low-battery notification (I’d brought previously used batteries in my Edirol recorder, and forgot to bring back-ups!), Andrew lulled me into staying for the entirety of his set.
A little background is necessary, perhaps? Andrew Cole is a Toronto-born, Liverpool-raised (well, amongst other places, including Miami and Las Vegas) singer-songwriter. It’s not only the note-worthy accent, but also the smart, strong songwriting that justifies the natural comparisons to another certain boy from Liverpool who has a few hits in his day. You know, a little-known performer by the name of John Lennon?
Before the show, there were rumours swirling as to what “friends” might be joining Andrew on stage, if any. Justin Beiber didn’t end up making the gig (har har!) but Andrew was joined on stage mid-set by Alan Frew of Glass Tiger fame for a handful of songs.
Don’t remember Glass Tiger? Youtube the mullet-tastic video for Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone. But it was their early-90’s single (that only managed to chart in Canada and the UK, despite featuring vocals by the legendary Rod Stewart), My Town, that the duo covered together.
Perhaps the real highlight of the night was seeing the Liverpudlian and Scot bicker back-and-forth between songs and share stories. More than ever, it was these moments that felt like the audience was given a voyeuristic peek into Andrew Cole’s living room — and a great view it was.
In spite of my unusual position, the recording still sounds wonderful — the only flaw to speak of was I turned the recording off between the third- and second-last songs while Andrew re-positioned himself standing at the typical front lip of the stage for the last couple of songs. No music was missed, only a lot of dead air, and perhaps one or two quips. Andrew Cole fans will love this set of hits and rarely (never) played deep cuts, and new fans might just find something to love here, too.
(PS. Many blog fans will be excited to learn that Kathleen Edwards is featured on two tracks on Andrew’s debut LP, Why We Wonder!)
02. We Must Win
04. A Matter Of Time
07. Up To You
11. Our Town [Glass Tiger]*
13. Dead Roses
15. Superstar [Delaney and Bonnie]
17. Out Of Time
* With Alan Frew
# To-be-released song by Michael Hanson
Thanks to Andrew Cole and Alan Frew.