"He can write a song can't he?"

An understated little remark overheard in the interval but one which perhaps summed up this night to savour.

It is 30 years since Lloyd Cole first showcased his ability to write songs which are like mini movies exploring love, loss and human relationships. The trademark quiff may be more well managed and tinged with grey and the on-stage attire now that of a trendy college lecturer but the soul of a poet remains.

Earlier this year I was fortunate enough to see the great man performing with a band for the first time in nine years. But last night he was out on his own with two acoustic guitars for company.

This stripped down show gives the audience a real chance to take in those oh so clever lyrics and even old faithfuls from The Commotions' days can be seen in a new light.

The voice too has matured and is both rich and alluring.

Cole's most recent album Standards featured prominently in the set and proves that the man is at the top of his game.

For the diehards there was also an impressive selection from the past 30 years including Lost Weekend and Forest Fire.

Mr Cole is an unassuming solo performer with a neat line in understated between-song repartee.

But when your songs are this good and you have a voice that's so compelling he has no need to be flamboyant.