The 1980s were a glorious time for Scottish music and particularly the bands who jangled from the rehearsal rooms of Glasgow to the multi-coloured graphics and balloons of Top of the Pops.

The London-based A&R men of the time were filling the domestic flights, searching for the next Simple Minds or Aztec Camera.

Of course, there was a certain shimmering jangle to some of the singles but there was definitely an underlying intelligence to the Scottish invasion of the charts, from Deacon Blue to Orange Juice to Hue & Cry, there were no pop puppets.

These were articulate, well-read songwriters who took their songwriting more seriously than they took themselves.

Perhaps the most brooding of these was Lloyd Cole. And perhaps, out of all the bands, the Commotions summoned up the spirit of Byres Road and the polo-neck wearing, Gauloise-smoking students who shared a pint after lectures.

Lloyd studied Philosophy and English at the University of Glasgow, which clearly filtered through into thoughtful lyrics combined with radio-friendly melodies.

Running a hand through a fringe that was just floppy enough (think a young Alain Delon – look him up, you’ll thank me for it) he was also photogenic enough to bring in the teen fans.

It was a surprise to many then to hear him interviewed and hear (horror!) an English accent. “The Commotions were always a Scottish band,” says Lloyd. “We just happened to have an English singer. I lived in Glasgow for so long that it’s difficult not to think of it as home.

“There was a point where we had some success. I think we were C+ famous, B-list at best, but when I would go out in Glasgow people would either want to fight me or f*** me, so I moved to London, but it was a mistake. That really wasn’t for me.”

The day we talk on the phone – old school – Lloyd has just arrived in Glasgow to begin rehearsals for the upcoming tour.

The Herald:

It’s a full band tour, featuring Commotions Blair Cowan and Neil Clark, who have had a hand in the current album On Pain and the previous Guesswork.

The four will be completed by Scottish/Icelandic drummer Signy Jakobsdottir.

Now 63, Lloyd is just back from a cycle along the canal, getting tour fit for 22 UK and European dates in the space of a month, with three in Scotland. He sees changes in the city every time he comes back.

“I think it was about 15 years ago I came over for pre-production on a tour and I was so saddened by the bottom of Sauchiehall Street.

“But then the last time I was here it was the rebirth of Finnieston, which shocked me but made me happy at the same time.

“I’ve just arrived today so we’ll see what happens this time.”

The city that initially shaped his sound might have gone through a transformation, but so has the music business. Lloyd says that there seems to be a yawning chasm between the A-listers and those at the absolute opposite end.

“It would be difficult to come in at my level now,” he says. “That middle ground. Even though this is a twelfth solo album, the value given to recordings has been disappearing. For the past 30 years of my solo career, I have gone from larger halls to being almost invisible to this tour where I’m back in the larger venues.”

The current album On Pain has received universally positive reviews, particularly applauding Lloyd’s take on life. His songs have never been any less than astute, offering his own well-considered chronicle on the human condition.

When it comes to a current audience, there are obviously those who have been there since they bought Rattlesnakes from a student grant or a part-time job in Flip or the Rock Garden.

However, with a generation looking through parents’ record collections, there is another wave of fans coming through.

“My son William, who works in real estate, told me that he had seen a copy of Easy Pieces in a property. I said they must be a middle-aged couple, but no, the guy who owned it was 25.”

Since 1988, Lloyd has lived in the US and now lives in Massachusetts with his wife Elizabeth. William is nearly 30 and his younger son Frank is 24. He has a studio at home and has been an adopter of any technology that allows him to maintain a connection with his audience.

He crowdsourced a couple of albums and also has a Patreon page, which provides, for an extremely reasonable price, access to rarities and even the occasional basement mini concert. It’s a model that’s been successful for many artists, with a core following who are happy to support and invest.

“I’ve been on Twitter for a long time and until relatively recently it’s been, on the whole, positive,” he adds.

“I think people appreciate that it’s me rather than an agent and I’ve had some good fun on there. It’s connected me to people like the author John Niven.

“Of course, with Twitter you need to expect the other side as well. It’s just one of the things that’s required to maintain a presence now.”

Touring is the mainstay now, with physical sales for that middle ground that Lloyd inhabits usually coming at the merch stall.

“I’ve never been a person who goes out specifically to promote an album. Generally the sets have been drawn from the first two albums and the last two, but I’ve been looking at some songs that were maybe lost during my early to mid 2000s period of invisibility.

“The show is being built in an interesting way, and it’s been great seeing how Signy, who is new to playing with me has responded to it.”

Despite the fact that I started my writing life not too long after the Commotions appeared, I had never spoken to Lloyd before. There was nothing of the serious young thinker from those early video clips. He sounds relaxed, amusing and seems happy in his skin, but on how the music business has changed and his role in it, well he is still pretty philosophical.

Break out the beret and take the opportunity to see one of our finest songwriters!

Lloyd Cole plays Aberdeen Tivoli Theatre, October 12; Edinburgh Usher Hall, October 14; Glasgow Concert Hall, October 15.

The new album On Pain, left, is available now.