CONCERT REPORT: Birmingham, November 22

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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phillip
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby phillip » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:25 pm

Well....What a night! this is my second time (third If your counting seeing him in 1993) I have seen Leonard this year, my first was in Manchester in June with my mother, my aunt and uncle also saw him then but on an different night, this time we were all together on the same night, what a great night it was, he sang marvellously his voice still as strong, clear and warm as Manchester, the songs similar except for Chelsea Hotel, The Partisan, Famous Blue Raincoat may of been a few others he did not sing at Manchester so it was great to hear him sing some different songs :D Having been a fan of Leonard for 20 years since 1988 the highlight for me well thats a difficult question as I loved the entire show just as Manchester and the RAH London in 1993 which was my first time seeing Leonard, this may be my last ever Leonard concert :( but you never know! I will cherish last night and seeing him at Manchester and 1993 forever he is the bussiness 8) long live Leonard. Thank you Leonard for a great night and for bringing me 20 years enjoyment to your poetry and songs:) my aunt who was there last night has been a fan for 40 years, my uncle and my mother similar about 40 years I guess! we had a great night and wish I could see you again, but I guess I will have to be grateful to seeing you 3 times in my lifetime, if I get another chance I'll be there but lets see... Anyway Thanks again Leonard and thank you Jarkko for everything and for your amazing website, with out your site we would never find out anything about Leonard so thanks :D

I got home last night at 2.15am we had a 100 mile journey tired but well well worth it, I will remember your 3 concerts for ever.

NOTE: I took some great photo's last night too 135 photos lol so if anyone is interested in seeing them let me know. Well am lost for words so I'll end here :D

PS:.... before the concert we were all in the bar and you could hear Leonard rehearsing I was in the toilet and could hear Democracy, it was a great night will never forget it Thank you Leonard:)
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I have been a Leonard Cohen fan for 28 years feel free to email me if you wish to keep in touch!
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Pete
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Pete » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:26 pm

honeyrose wrote:I am glad to hear someone else say he either forgot or changed around the lyrics to the first verse of Everybody Knows. My husband disagrees, or says he did it on purpose. Anyone else notice?
Was this a first??? Beginning a song with the wrong line?
He started 'Everybody Knows' with the line...
' Everybody knows that the fight was fixed' ( a line from later in the same verse) rather than ' Everybody knows that the dice are loaded'

My heart missed a beat... how's he going to get out of that??

I don't think it was on purpose because he ended up singing the same line again in the right place.

Does it matter anyway :) They're his lines and he can do anything he wants with them :)

What a great evening!!!

So pleased he did Famous Blue Raincoat. The intensity shown on his face as he sang it..... it wasn't just a song to sing... he related it as if he had only just written it..I had goosebumps on my goosebumps.

There's so much more I can write but I have to go get some shopping :)

Pete
1974: Brighton Dome 1976: Birmingham Town Hall 1993: London RAH 2008: Manchester Opera House, London O2, Matlock Bandstand, Birmingham NEC 2009: Liverpool Echo Arena 2013 Birmingham
Christopher B
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Christopher B » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:28 pm

A great night and terrific performance from everyone on stage, I thought that considering the venue was a glorified warehouse the sound was even better than at the RAH earlier in the week. Leonard and Co were obviously enjoying themselves and he was smiling more than even. I do love to see him happy. His rapport with the audience was very warm and more at ease than previous concerts as others have already described. As usual I left feeling exhilarated but emotionally drained.
Its been an amazing year from the announcement of the tour and four sublime concerts but I am left waiting for the tour DVD and new CD to light up my life again and hopefully, now that finance is no longer an issue, the odd tour and performance here and there to suit Leonard in the years to come.
I found a programme the other day from his concert at the Birmingham Hippodrome on 18 September 1974. It says "The name of Leonard Cohen evokes an unusual response in people; always emphatic, always respectful, yet somehow never controversial. It's as though it were generally accepted that his work is definitive." Twenty four years later that remains the case but the respect has grown into a deep affection for a remarkable and unique person.
Thanks Jarkko, the forum has made the experience all that greater knowing that so many people feel much the same as I do.
tigerlady
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COHEN WOWS BIRMINGHAM 22 NOV 008

Postby tigerlady » Sun Nov 23, 2008 7:45 pm

wow---what a man--magician, genius, genie, charming, charismatic, so modest, the concert totally blew me away--had me in tears, in giggles, in a trance, wanting to dance---leonard you were outstanding. I was SO glad to be there--it will be something i can remember until my dying day!
Fantastic---and your advice about what to do as you grow older--'DUCK' is spot on.
LC rocks----he is beyond all others--!!!
thank you!
all good things,
tigerlady---paul darby
http://www.fengshuidoctor.co.uk
John Etherington
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby John Etherington » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:58 pm

Glad to hear that "Duck" is back! As best I remember, Leonard used to say in the Nineties "young people come to me for advice, and I tell them one word - DUCK!".

All good things, John E
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mydoglorca
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby mydoglorca » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:36 pm

After yesterday I felt a need to write but all I wanted to say has already been said.
By the way, Christopher B above, its actually 34 years not 24 so its even more remarkable.
If someone had said to me a year ago I would be seeing Leonard Cohen this year I would have just laughed. I have to keep pinching myself to check I'm not dreaming that it is 7 times I will be seeing him this year - which is also the same number of times as during the period 1976 to 1993.
I thought the atmosphere in Cardiff & Bournemouth was a little subdued but Birmingham was excellent. Yesterday was probably the concert I was looking forward to the least because of the venue. Leonard seemed more relaxed (perhaps his 3 days off did him good) he was smiling more. From where we were sitting the sound wasn't quite as good. I'm very pleased that Leonard's bank balance must now be very healthy whereas mine is now very sick, but no regrets. Next Sunday in Manchester will probably be the last time I see him (but not definately, never say never!). The tears have held off so far but next week will be unavoidable!

J

ps The difference between 1993 & these concerts have been this wonderful website. So thanks Jarkko for the 'special tickets', the information & the opportunity to express our opinions.
1976 Bristol 1979 Birmingham 1988 RAH x 2, 1993 RAH x 2 & Madrid, 2008 Edinburgh, London O2, Cardiff, Bournemouth, RAH 17 Nov, Birmingham, Manchester 30 Nov, 2009 Weybridge, Liverpool, Dublin 19 & 20th,2010 September -Marseille, Tours, Lille, 2012 12 & 14 Aug Ghent,Wembley x22013 O2, Antwerp, Bournemouth, Manchester
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mirrormist
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby mirrormist » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:41 pm

A privilege... I can’t remember experiencing the man when he visited freshwater... I won’t forget experiencing the man when he visited Birmingham nearly forty years on.

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in”.

the light got in for me

best wishes

http://www.mirrormist.com
"Wearing dark glasses protects my blindness from the dangers of enlightenment"
douglass
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby douglass » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:54 pm

Leonard was amazing - every song had you spellbound. I think the atmosphere in Amsterdam was better, as people were singing along - so Long Marianne, etc. We were in Block C and there were 5 of us and all of us said you felt as though you weren't allowed to sing when it was appropriate. We got told to "Calm it down a little" when we whispered how we loved the harmonica pieces and my husband hadnt even got to his seat when a woman behind told him to sit down (He had another 3 to pass before he got there) I don't think Leonard would want people to be on tentahooks and to0 scared to breathe. Of course you need to be respectful but some members of the audience near us took themselves too serious. We paid a lot of money and I have to say it was those people near us made the night slightly disappointing. :cry:


Leonard moved me to tears again. He is just perfect and just seems to be one of the nicest people around. His smile lights up the room! you feel like he is just singing to you
brokenhill
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby brokenhill » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:23 pm

I'm glad others noticed the "variation" on the start of Everybody Knows. I was beginning to think I'd imagined it.

But to me the point was just how masterful was the recovery, slipping seamlessly into the "right" order of things.

With a similar variation (in Cardiff I think) there was a lovely glance between some band members as if to say "we'll tease him about that one later". But last night I only noticed the look of calm concern on Sharon Robinson's face, as if knowing Leonard would just deal with it. It all adds to my tremendous sense of the band enjoying themselves and supporting each other.

Thanks to Tom Sakic for his lesson on the male vocals after the Bournemouth gig. I was paying attention last night, (and about a mile nearer the stage) and can confirm that Roscoe Beck is a major contributor. I was sad that the huge cry of "please!" in I'm Your Man" was a bit more muted last night, where in Bournemouth it had been the full-blooded wail of a man who had been there, and done that (and probably lost the t-shirt off his back in the process :D)

To Roscoe I would just say give it all you''ve got, although sadly I won't be there any more, last night was the end of my particular epic journey.

Enjoy those last few concerts everyone, and keep posting those You Tubes folks!
Still reliving every second of:1970 Isle of Wight, 1985 Birmingham, 2008 Manchester OH , Edinburgh, Cardiff, Bournemouth, Birmingham, 2009 Liverpool and ................ :o)
Scooby Doo
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Scooby Doo » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:18 am

Great concert, crap venue and Gestapo Security Staff. We were front row centre and "warned" the Security staff that my Wife planned on presenting Leonard with a flower.

They told us it was not going to happen and we could not approach the stage or throw anything on it. She done it anyway and went beyond the sacred "black curtains" LOL

Leonard seemed very much at ease and made Sharon laugh at the end of Tower of Song. I tried to Leave you improves with each viewing. We thought we were fans, but a Lady two seats down was on Her 16th concert this Year!

Venue absolutely stinks. I tried to go to toilet just before concert starts and it was totally jam packed around the entrances. Very disorganised, poor signs after a 20 minute hike from the car park. O2 and BIC puts this dive to shame!

:?

S
London O2 - July 17
Bournemouth - Nov 11
London O2 - Nov 14
Birmingham - Nov 22
Scooby Doo
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Scooby Doo » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:26 am

Some photos I took from front row.

Have 100 overall + 100 from Bournemouth.

Need to spend some time shrinking them to meet 256 upload size limit

Enjoy
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London O2 - July 17
Bournemouth - Nov 11
London O2 - Nov 14
Birmingham - Nov 22
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Pete
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Pete » Mon Nov 24, 2008 1:34 am

Scooby Doo wrote:Venue absolutely stinks. I tried to go to toilet just before concert starts and it was totally jam packed around the entrances. Very disorganised, poor signs after a 20 minute hike from the car park. O2 and BIC puts this dive to shame!

:?

S
I was talking to one of the stewards at the end who told me that there are plans to bring the NEC into the 21st century.
After now experiencing the O2 I must say that the NEC is very dated....and as for the toilets!!!!!


Pete
1974: Brighton Dome 1976: Birmingham Town Hall 1993: London RAH 2008: Manchester Opera House, London O2, Matlock Bandstand, Birmingham NEC 2009: Liverpool Echo Arena 2013 Birmingham
Habie
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby Habie » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:05 am

Thanks for your greetings, Diana. Namaste to you too.

I'm so glad the Birmingham concert has been so ecstatically reviewed on here!

Tonight I went to a party in London; met a Polish woman who had been to Leonard's Bournemouth concert (she doesn't speak much English, but was overwhelmed anyway).
I ended up feeling sorry for the other people at the party, who hadn't been to any of LC's concerts. They had seen other performers no doubt, but what's the point of that??

(Seriously, can anyone point me in the direction of ANY other performer in music today who creates something like the atmosphere Leonard does)?

(No, I didn't think so...)

(And Liverpool Ken, if you're reading this, His Bobness must NOT be mentioned on this ecstasy-thread, or it'll be WW3, as you know).

Seems there were/are quite a few of us in that state described by Ophelia in 'Hamlet', when she tells us he has gone mad - as she puts it, in my favourite three words in all of theatre, 'blasted with ecstasy'.

It's heroic how many of us have tried to find words to express that ecstasy. Hurrah for fans (and even, in the murky corridors + toilet-queues of the horrible NEC Arena, fan jams!)
paddieu
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby paddieu » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:13 am

Matlock Bandstand ?!
purplesimand
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Re: Birmingham NEC, 22 November 2008

Postby purplesimand » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:16 am

This was by far the best concert I have ever been too although I was very surprised that we all sat for the entire concert. I would very much have liked to stand, dance and sing along.

Despite this Leonard is the most beautiful, sensual man I have ever watched. I suspect that like me many of you would have loved to have taken him home!

Beautiful music, lyrics and a presence that remains even after he had left the stage. Thank you Leonard for last night and the effect it will have on the rest of my life.

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