CONCERT REPORTS: Manchester, UK (June 17, 18, 19 and 20)

Canada and Europe (May 11 - August 3, 2008). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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Byron
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby Byron » Thu Jun 19, 2008 10:51 am

Good to meet you Hydriot, thanks to Ernie! (it's a UK thing)
We've chatted for years on the Forum and at last we got to meet, if only for a brief moment.

It was a pleasure to meet Sue Merlin, Lilly and others too.

The show? I still prefer Jeff Buckley's version of 'H,' but last night I sang my head off with Leonard through the song....wonderful.

Every song was masterfully performed.
For me, the best minutes were to sit in tears listening to Leonard and 'A Thousands Kisses Deep.'

Leonard thank you so much and please accept my gratitude for bringing such joy into a wet Manchester evening.

I'll leave the full reviews to others.
"Bipolar is a roller-coaster ride without a seat belt. One day you're flying with the fireworks; for the next month you're being scraped off the trolley" I said that.
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Jonnie Falafel
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby Jonnie Falafel » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:30 pm

Overall the reviews have been positive, but why do journalists almost universally refer to performaners over 60 as frail? It's a minor point but it's irksome! The performances are robust and LC looks fit, well and is certainly enjoying himself. My sister and I had the great good fortune to meet the great man on Tuesday in Manchester and he was charming & gracious. We were part of a small group of supporters (don't like term fan) and he actively went out of his way to meet us - getting out of the car and striding straight towards us all smiles and greetings!
brokenhill
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby brokenhill » Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:52 pm

Tonight's the night, and amazingly I've made it this far without reading all the reviews and setlists and video clips. but thanks to everyone, I get the impression good things can be expected! I'll enjoy catching up after I've been pleasantly surprised by everything tonight, and go to Edinburgh fully briefed. The contrast should be really interesting

See you there, good people. ( Do say hi, I'm the bearded one in the red wheelchair!)
Still reliving every second of:1970 Isle of Wight, 1985 Birmingham, 2008 Manchester OH , Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham, 2009 Liverpool and ................ :o)
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dharma
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby dharma » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:17 pm

having attended friday's dublin concert, it was really nice to have sisters of mercy, famous blue raincoat, hey that's no way to say goodbye and so long marianne included in last night's concert (wednesday). the gypsy wife was my favourite though, one of leonard's underrated songs methinks

comparing the dublin to manchester gigs is a bit chalk and cheese - i loved the noisy atmosphere of dublin, but prefer the intimacy and church-like reverence of last night's concert. you could have heard a pin drop when the webb sisters sang if it be your will :D
London 1985 / London 1988 / London 1992 / Dublin, Manchester, London, Paris, 2008 / Weybridge, Venice 2009
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martisan
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby martisan » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:22 pm

What can I say about last night's concert?
It was exquisite;
Musically sublime, and leonard was so gracious. There was an extraordinary and quite wonderful intimacy between him, the rest of the band, and the audience.
And I kind of lost count, but I think there were actually 4 encores!

Thought of noting down the setlist, but was too enraptured to bother - sorry. I see others have dutifully done so though - thanks. And what a treat those extra songs.
Was that Adam Cohen in the front row? Or not?

The meet-up at the Deansgate was fun. Nice to meet you Sue, Stan, Sheila, Margaret, Jondi, David, Lilly et al. And LiverpoolKen, hitherto known only as the source of so many images and answers in the picture game, hale fellow well met in the flesh.

Didn't feel like the post-concert meet in the Grapes, instead savouring the drive home basking in the aferglow of a superlative, epiphanous evening.

Leonard was magnificent. The band were wondrous. Sharon and the web sisters absolutely divine. Best ever rendition of Hallelujah, among so many. Sharon's angelic opening lines of Boogie Street, the Webb sisters' haunting rendition of If It Be Your Will, Leonard's recital of A Thousand Kisses Deep, and on and on. So many gems. Dino Soldo - you da man! The harmonica, the sax, the passion and enthusiasm.

I'll leave you friends, though I could go on and on. A rare treat. Roll on Lyon in a few weeks...
James T
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby James T » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:14 pm

Any spare tickets for Friday or tonight? Ticketmaster sent me the wrong date tuicket and now I have missed the conert :(:(:(:(

I cannot miss this concert, please help out. Stalls would be ideal as I need glasses but dont have any :(:(:(
Born With The Gift Of A G
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Am I the only one....

Postby Born With The Gift Of A G » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:29 pm

....who laments the absence of a mirrorball during Take This Waltz?!

The image of it from the Royal Albert Hall in 1993 has always haunted me when I hear that song.
"Little lady.....I AM Kris Kristofferson....."
London: 10 & 11 May 1993; Manchester: 17, 18, 19 & 20 June 2008; Vienna: 25 September 2008; London: 17 November 2008; Paris: 26 November 2008; Manchester: 30 November 2008; Liverpool: 14 July 2009; Paris: 28 September 2012; Manchester: 31 August 2013; Leeds: 7 September 2013.
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Neville 45
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Wednesday's Concert

Postby Neville 45 » Thu Jun 19, 2008 3:42 pm

Last night just blew me away! Simple as......nothing gets this good!
Love is the Law
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dynamiksdreamdebased
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby dynamiksdreamdebased » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:16 pm

Had a wonderful time at first 2 nights of Manchester residency, exceeded all expectations :)

I managed to get a very good recording of the Wednesday concert, which I'll add to the Dimeadozen torrent site within the next couple of days.

I'm more than happy to distribute it amongst other LC fans without torrent expertise, gratis naturally, largely as a thank-you for the excellent information service this site provided in the lead up to the tour announcement :D

For a copy of the gig, go to: viewtopic.php?f=12&t=11407&p=125423#p125423
Last edited by dynamiksdreamdebased on Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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jpmcgrath
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby jpmcgrath » Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:20 pm

James T wrote:Any spare tickets for Friday or tonight? Ticketmaster sent me the wrong date tuicket and now I have missed the conert :(:(:(:(

I cannot miss this concert, please help out. Stalls would be ideal as I need glasses but dont have any :(:(:(
Yes, I have one Gallery ticket for Thursday night and Two for Friday night at face value. Please phone 00 353 86 2488198. I am at the Midland Hotel and will provide tickets at face value obviously !

Joe ( from Dublin)
James T
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby James T » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:21 pm

Hi. Thanks for the ticket I will be in town for it shortly.
James T
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby James T » Thu Jun 19, 2008 6:22 pm

Just in case oyu hadn't realised I rang you earlier and took one of the gallery tickets for tonight :P
commonweal
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby commonweal » Thu Jun 19, 2008 7:49 pm

Manchester, 17 June - a personal impression.

A day and a half is hardly enough time to let an experience such as Tuesday night's even begin to sink in or take hold, but here are some first impressions. What is still resonating most in my mind's ear is the sheer quality of the sound. The musicians that have "gathered round these songs" (as LC put it) are extraordinary, and the mix is perfect. As has been noted elsewhere, the audience behaved itself, by and large, very well. And the venue was excellent (in all the important respects - others' gripes about the corridors and foyer space are correct, but none of this matters much in comparison with the theatre itself). The sound was utterly luxurious. And so generous. I've been thinking about how to try and describe it, and this is the best I've come up with so far: it was lush without being at all soggy, and it was crisp without being at all brittle. It was smooth without being rounded down. It was as clear and as clean as anything I've ever heard at any sort of live concert, amplified or not. It was outstanding. My only gripe is that I could have taken it 10 per cent louder, but I like my music loud and if turning it up would compromise the quality of the sound I would keep the volume right where it was.

Much has been written elsewhere about Leonard himself. His look, his energy, his voice, his generosity to and evident admiration and respect for his band members and fellow singers, and his deeply enchanting affection for and appreciation of the audience. It was humbling to see such genuine humility in one so so great at what he does. What a rarity that is!

I am an information junkie, so any attempt I might have made at the beginning of the tour to restrain myself from pouring over set lists failed within an hour or two of the opening night. So there were few surprises. The two unexpected additions, or re-additions, of Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye, and of So Long, Marianne, were both delights. Of the two, That's No Way to Say Goodbye was performed with particular power, I thought.

The highlights for me were, in the first set, Ain't No Cure for Love, Who by Fire? and That's No Way to Say Goodbye. And, in the second set, The Gipsy's Wife, Boogie Street, Hallelujah and Democracy. Among the encores, First We Take Manhattan and If it Be Your Will stood out.

I thought that it took everyone, Leonard included, a couple of songs to hit top gear. Dance Me to the End of Love was a great opening, and the band's brilliant solution to the problem I thought they'd posed for themselves by not having a violinist was revealed about a minute and a half into the song. (Dino Soldo was exceptional all night, wasn't he?) But The Future I thought was a tad shaky -- nerves, perhaps? Ain't No Cure for Love, however, was knock-out and was made so, particularly, by the Angels and by the band. I think somebody remarked similarly about this song at one of the Toronto concerts. The rest of the first set, until Who by Fire?, was very good. But then things went stratospheric. Javier Mas' long and quite breathtaking introduction was followed by an immense performance. Leonard had strapped a guitar onto himself for the first time in the evening and he and the band stood almost perfectly still as they sang and played a beautifully, harmonic, arrangement with, even by the standards of this evening, extraordinary power and stunning, controlled passion. It was magnificent. And it was followed, in very similar mood, by That's No Way to Say Goodbye. Anthem rounded off the first set but I have little recollection of it, I'm afraid. I adore it, but I think I was still thinking about the previous two songs to pay it enough attention. There is only so much I can take in at once and this concert was already enormously generous. It just kept coming.

The second set opened with the stripped down Tower of Song and Suzanne that others have written about here. Both were superb, with Leonard on great form. But when the full band came back for The Gipsy's Wife the sound, or so it seemed to me, reached an even more intense level of depth and polish. I absolutely adore this song. I absolutely adore more or less everything on the album it comes from, and as I knew that it was likely to be the only representative from Recent Songs, it was always going to have a special place. But Jesus did it knock my socks off. Someone said early on in this tour that Gipsy's Wife had been included to give Javier Mas a showpiece. Well, for sure, but it was so, so much more than that. After Who by Fire? it was the second moment of sheer wonder and joy for me. And, as in the first set, this moment was doubled when it was followed by Boogie Street. It took me a very long time really to get into this song. In fact, it was not until I heard the cover version on A Feast of Cohen that I really began to see and hear the song's character. But on Tuesday in Manchester it was unashamedly, nakedly awesome. Sharon Robinson was outstanding, and boy could you tell she knew it and was revelling in every note. But, talking of it just keeping coming... this was followed by Hallelujah. In one of the newspapers yesterday it was written that Leonard sang this song like he was trying to reclaim it from Cale, Buckley and the rest. That was precisely what I thought. The energy and now not fully controlled passion that Leonard poured into this song was simply devastating. It wasn't there only in the chorus. It wasn't there only in the chorus and the crescendo. It was there in every beat and in every syllable. His voice was clear, hugely powerful, and, as I say, devastating. A more captivating moment I doubt I will ever see again on a stage. Leonard was extraordinary in this song, as was Neil Larson on the Hammond organ. I have never heard anyone get the sounds out of that instrument that Neil Larson produced during this song. This was followed by a performance of Democracy that, again, I thought was utterly compelling. The whole band was mesmerising, and the slight staccato, or pause, that was added to the "U.S.A." in the chorus added even more power to the song. I'm Your Man followed but, as with Anthem in the first set, I was not fully there to hear it, although I was not fully there to realise that either. I came round in time to tune fully into the recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep. Contrary to my expectation, this was not simply Leonard speaking into his microphone, but Leonard almost chanting the song -- okay, not quite chanting, but not just speaking, either -- accompanied in a quiet and utterly unobtrusive way by Neil Larson on the keyboards. I can understand why many people report it as being one of the great highlights of this tour.

As for the encores, I enjoyed having So Long, Marianne back in the set but it was First We Take Manhattan that really shone. At that point the band really was happening, Angels included. Two of the Angels, as has been widely reported, saved their best for If It Be Your Will. With Leonard reciting it, and the Webb sisters singing it to their own accompaniment on the harp and guitar (with Neil Larson, yet again, doing a great job in the background), this was one of the most magical moments of the night and could have gone on for an hour or more, as far as I was concerned. Everybody knows that they should record it and release it as a single as soon as this tour is over. Everybody knows they really should. Closing Time, which followed, was about the only song that I didn't particularly enjoy. I adore it on The Future -- indeed, for years it was (with Famous Blue Raincoat) my favourite Leonard Cohen song -- but on Tuesday it was rushed and it seemed to be Leonard who was doing the rushing. He also fluffed his lines at one point, but we all pretended not to notice. I'm glad things didn't end this way, and I Tried to Leave You was far better executed, with every person on the stage having another moment of their own. Sharon Robinson once again proving what an immensely talented singer she is.

This has been a long post, but I've said here only a fraction of what could be said. Every single person on the stage impressed me hugely. It was a sublime night, and I hope my memory manages to hold onto it for a long time. I'm a lucky boy, and will be seeing Leonard twice more on this tour, but Edinburgh Castle and the Big Chill festival are entirely different venues and I anticipate very different experiences at these concerts. Not worse, I hope, but not the same.

I hope everybody who sees Leonard Cohen and his exquisite band on this tour has at least one moment in the concert that makes you think, if you never heard another note, that would be ok, because it quite probably doesn't get any better than this.
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dynamiksdreamdebased
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby dynamiksdreamdebased » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:07 pm

dynamiksdreamdebased wrote:Had a wonderful time at first 2 nights of Manchester residency, exceeded all expectations :)

I managed to get a very good recording of the Wednesday concert, which I'll add to the Dimeadozen torrent site within the next couple of days.

I'm more than happy to distribute it amongst other LC fans without torrent expertise, gratis naturally, largely as a thank-you for the excellent information service this site provided in the lead up to the tour announcement :D

PM me if you'd like a copy.
I've set up a thread for this now, see here:

here
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romalorient
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Re: Manchester, UK (June 17-20)

Postby romalorient » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:37 pm

hi
i'll be in manchester tomorrow for the show of 20th june...as you can see i'm not english....if someone speak french and go to the show....i will be glad to meet you!
thanks

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