http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/ ... pera_house
P.S. Have you noticed that Mister Cohen's age seems to be causing confusion amongst all these reviewers?
I believe that he is 73....but some of them seem to think he is 74 or even 75!
Leonard Cohen @ Opera House
GRACIOUS and humble are not words one often sees in the context of popular music.
But, along with a host of superlatives, they could appropriately be used of 75-year-old Leonard Cohen’s astonishing and moving return to the British stage after an absence of 15 years or so – since, as he quipped, he was “just a 60-year-old with a crazy dream”!
Many of the audience can’t have expected to ever see Cohen live again, let alone in such spry and wry form as he seeems to be these days.
Surrounded by a team of crack musicians and singers, to whom he often deferred, Cohen magisterially delivered a career-spanning set that seemed to be one highlight after another.
What was particularly striking to this long-time fan was how Cohen’s voice – never as “golden” as he ironically observed on Tower Of Song – has matured into an instrument that’s wholly appropriate for these songs.
Whilst the same could be said of some of the great bluesmen, it’s not a commonplace development in the white musical tradition.
Just about the only criticism that could feasibly be levelled against the song selection was that even in a set that, remarkably, lasted the better part of three hours, there were some classics that were missed out.
But who could quibble with a set-list that boasted such astonishing creations as The Future, Anthem, So Long Marianne and Hallejulah? I don’t mind admitting that I was close to blubbing when Cohen delivered a spoken-word version of A Thousand Kisses Deep and the version of If It Be Your Will, sung by two of his backing vocalists the Webb sisters, was simply astonishing in a night full of wonderful surprises.
These shows, trailblazers for next year’s Manchester International Festival, sold out virtually instantaneously.
But if you can possibly manage to acquire a ticket, you’d be foolish not to give yourself the chance to witness such a unique, soul-stirring event, surely destined to be remembered as one of the great shows of the year.