Dublin tribute reviews & photos

News about Leonard Cohen and his work, press, radio & TV programs etc.
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Postby tomsakic » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:39 am

Please, gimme audience recording. The news about show are so contradicted and MMOH rumours so awfull that I have to hear this.
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Postby Tim » Mon Oct 09, 2006 10:43 am

Shamelessly recycling a posting from my blog, so it's not pitched at an entirely cohen-fan audience, therefore apologies if some of it's a little too simple for this forum, but here are my thoughts on the first half of the set:
So, the Dublin shows were at The Point, a converted Train Shed in the middle of the docks on the north bank of the liffey, and about a mile's walk from the pub where we met up beforehand. I just looked up the capacity of the Point, and it's 'up to 8,500' - I suspect somewhat less than this in the all-seated configuration it was in, but certainly several thousand. Acoustics weren't too bad towards the back of the hall, where I was the first night, and definitely good towards the centre of the front section, where I was the second night. Two nights for basically the same show was definitely an indulgence, but since I was going to be in dublin both nights, and had nothing better to do, it didn't seem too extravagent. Maybe when I get my next credit-card bill...

So, the show. Which turned out to be over 3 hours of music, with an interval, and starting a bit after the scheduled start time of 8pm, and ending round about midnight. The exact performers shouldn't have been a suprise to me if I'd read the programme first (I hadn't!) but i knew roughly who was performing. The first night, being towards the back, it wasn't that clear who was coming on stage each time, but some performers were instantly recognisable, including the first one - Nick Cave. In his long, dark jacket, with flowing hair and a long moustache he looked like he could have been a preacher from the wild west. His first song was Avalanche, one of my more favourite of Cohen's earlier songs, and one he did justice too.

Next was Robin Holcomb, as I only knew by reference to the programme. One minor niggle was that none of the artists were introduced first - not a problem with Nick Cave or Lou Reed, say, but I didn't know whether that was Robin Holcomb, Mary Margaret O'Hara or whoever. She sang (Seems so long ago) Nancy , another song I like, but not sung by her, unfortunately, the warbly nature of her singing voice wasn't to my taste.

Then, Lou Reed, who like Nick Cave I was seeing live for the first time! He seems to have generate the most debate amongst those of us who have commented on the performances, with some loving him and some hating his performances. I veer towards the love side, although I acknowledge his shortcomings, like an inability to remember the words and needing to read them from a lyric sheet, which was itself a much larger sheet than anyone else needed. I suspect the latter has something to do with vanity and him needing and not wearing reading-glasses, and the former might have something to do with how fried his brain is. But that aside, I enjoyed the way he rocked-out, on his second song, Stranger Song anyway, if less so on his first song, One Of Us Cannot Be Wrong. I guess it's also fair to say he sounded exactly how you'd expect a parody of a leonard cohen song performed in the style of Lou Reed to sound. Whatever! I enjoyed his performances.

Next, yet another act I was seeing for the first time. In fact, I just noticed the only artists that I had seen before were Teddy and Kamila Thompson, so you can take that as read from now on. So, the Handsome family, who I've been hearing about for a while, but only actually heard their music since the Berlin event, when I was coincidentally given CDs of theirs by my friends Bobbie (Live at Schuba's Tavern) and Lizzie and Peter (Twilight). I've been playing their music quite a bit since I got those, and love them! So it was a treat to hear them live for the first time, and even more so to hear them sing A Thousand Kisses Deep, one of my more favourite of his recent songs, indeed one I've loved since I first heard it in Montreal in 2000, at the Cohen event of that year. His voice suits Cohen songs, and her backing vocals are similarly sympathetic to his, and to the songs.

Then it was Antony. His If It Be Your Will was the highlight of the 'I'm your man' film for me - this was the second song he played, and was even better in the flesh. The first song he sang though was The Guests, which was also good, but not as moving as If It Be Your Will, probably just because it's not a song that's really spoken to me before, and which I haven't listened to as much or as intently as that song.

Next Laurie Anderson - again, it wasn't entirely clear it was her, with no introduction, but it wasn't too difficult to guess, particularly when she started singing Dear Heather, which is in any case a song I don't like at all. I suppose that's a good thing because then I didn't feel it was ruined by the way she performed it, using a vocal effects mic' that made her sound like a man. Weird, or 'Avant Garde' if one wants to be more complimentary about it, I suppose.

She followed this up though with my most favourite song of his from his last two albums, In My Secret Life. I liked her version of it too, although I don't recall loving it, I did enjoy hearing it.

Gavin Friday was next, a name I vaguely recognised, but didn't really know who he was. He is a good singer, though, and a charismatic stage presence, and did a fine version of Who By Fire, one of the songs that makes 'New Skin for the Old Ceremony' one of my favourite Cohen albums.

He was then joined by Mary Margaret O'Hara, and together they sang Hallelujah. Now, I'd have expected to like pretty much any version of this song, one of my top five cohen songs. And I'm sure I would. Just not this version! There's obviously something I don't get about MMOH's singing style, and I have liked the odd song or two I've heard of her before. It just didn't work for me live, though, and to me she looked a bit like a maiden aunt who'd been at the sherry. Does that image work for anyone else? Not that I have any aunts, maiden or otherwise, I'm just guessing.

Then, Anjani sang 'Blue Alert', the title song from her recent album (whose name temporarily escapes me). I wasn't convinced when I heard she would be doing two songs from Blue Alert, although they are Cohen songs (lyrics, anyway) and they would be songs she's rehearsed, they're not songs that Cohen has sung himself. Not recorded, anyway, I suppose it's possible he's sung them in the bath, or shower, but I won't dwell on that image. She did sing this song (and the other she sang, Never Got To Love You), very well, and I was pleased to have heard her sing them live. Although, unlike some cohen fans it seems, I merely admire her singing, I'm not besotted with her...

Next up, Dress Rehearsal Rag, by Nick Cave again. Like Avalanche, from 'Songs Of Love And Hate', and not the most cheerful of Cohen songs, although it has flashes of humour in it. Perfectly suited to Nick Cave's delivery, too.

Then, Stranger Song by Lou Reed, as already mentioned, followed by So Long, Marianne by Beth Orton. Now, I've seen other people rave about her singing at this show, and while I thought it was good, it wasn't anything special to me.

Teddy Thompson then sang Tonight Will Be Fine. No suprise there, as it's on the 'I'm your man' soundtrack, and he'd also sung it two weeks previously when I saw him in Bristol - and I think, at all or most of the shows on his recent solo/acoustic tour. Is it sacrilegious to say I might prefer his version to Leonard's? probably just means I haven't heard the original recently enough, but Teddy's version, however faithful it is, stands out to me more than the original.

then, one last song before the intermission! I'm sure I wasn't the only person dying for a comfort break at this point. Jarvis Cocker and Beth Orton sang Death Of A Ladies Man. If I didn't properly appreciate Beth solo, I loved this collaboration with Jarvis! An unusual choice for a cover, perhaps, but they did it justice, not just aurally but physically. Sheesh, does that even make sense? I'm going to stop typing now before I become completely incoherent. Part Two to follow shortly...
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Postby Diane » Mon Oct 09, 2006 11:50 am

I like the Hallelujah bus, Wybe 8) .

I've not yet had a chance to read all the reviews on here, but here is my brief two-penneth:

The highlights for me were Antony's versions of The Guests and If it Be Your Will, both sung with great emotion, and what a unique voice that man has! Wonderful. I also loved Nick Cave; his voice and persona well-suit interpretations of Cohen. Lou Reed doing The Stranger Song with his electric guitar was stunning, as was Teddy Thompson's reggae version of Waiting for the Miracle. I also enjoyed the shared rendition of Memories, and Julie and Lou Reed's Joan of Arc. Jarvis Cocker and Beth Orton must also be mentioned.

Some of the performances were less-than-good. I have never heard Hallelujah being gargled before, and it is difficult when you get the impression that some are simply repeating Leonard's words without feeling them. But the good bits more than made up for the bad bits, and I greatly enjoyed the concerts.

Anjani's performances were of course Anjani singing Anjani, so one's brain changed track to listen. She did not do my favourite songs from her album, but she sung live beautifully. It was excellent to get the chance to speak to her at the end. (She said she had not visited Ireland outside of Dublin before, and I assured her that the Irish countryside is better than Hawaii (well, it is, isn't it).) She was glowing and gracious, just as you might expect.

Great stuff. Now, I need to get an Antony cd, immediately.


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Postby Diane » Mon Oct 09, 2006 1:39 pm

googling for Antony when I should be working I found a bit of IYM on youtube with A singing If it be Your Will. Unfortunately the audio is out of sych with the video...

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Postby Henning » Tue Oct 10, 2006 12:51 am

This is Cafe Kylemore in Dublin, close by the cities’s Millenium Spike. At 3 p.m. the window gives sight to a crowded shopping street on a busy Saturday afternoon. I love the minimum of choices you are offered at this cafe. There is strong and medium coffee, that’s all. What a delight compared to the multiple choice torture at a Starbucks.

My thoughts go back to the Hal Wilner tribute concert that I attented two days ago. Not the knowledge about what it is good but a sense of what is too much usually is the biggest trap in life. There’s a limit of songs you can swallow on one night before listening turns into work or sleep. So it’s the directors job to make the cut, win it or lose it.

It was a long evening and I had my list of songs I would have used to shorten the show for the sake of some more beers at the bar, but others had theirs for sure.

After the show, Anjani came to meet us in front of the stage. She delivered a bag of good vibrations with the effect, that we left the place with an idea of why Leonard is such a lucky dog right now. Anjani tributed two songs, which she performed in a beautiful way and I admire her for her courage to mix her babies in a set of evergreens.

The tribute ended with “Winter lady”. Unfortunately. As Anne already reported, I would have prefered “Death of a Ladies man” because it marks Leonard’s current state somehow.

“It’s like our visit to the moon or to that other star, I guess you go for nothing, if you really want to go that far.”

The Ladies Man is dead, long live the Man’s Lady !

Finally – I am glad I went to Dublin. I enjoyed the city, the Point, the friends, Gary, Esme their 5 month baby Ruby and the look of the blonde girl at Café Kylemore, who kept watching me while writing this down.

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Postby Joe Way » Tue Oct 10, 2006 1:30 am

Hello all,

Many thanks for all the reports...they are very enjoyable reading and help dispel the disappointed feelings of having missed it. To all of you who loved it, hated it or somewhere in between sharing your thoughts with us has been most enjoyable-please keep the impressions coming. And let me join Tom in hoping that somehow an audience recording will appear.

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Postby liverpoolken » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:33 am

[quote]It was a long evening and I had my list of songs I would have used to shorten the show for the sake of some more beers at the bar, but others had theirs for sure.

Henning if you had tagged along with us after the Thursday night concert you could have had plently more of those wished for beers in the Viper Room which was serving until 4am.

A group of us Beautiful Losers were strolling along Ashton Quay after the concert when we just happened to heard the strains of Hallelujah emitting from the aforementioned establishment. Needless to say we entered and a very long and wonderful evening ensued.

I don't want to mention any names, but you know who you are don't you Willy, Wijbe, Sinikka, Padma, Helen, Sheila and Joe.

I also know that there are photographs in existence of the evening/morning because I have already been posted a few. If anyone dares post up any of me I promise to post up mine:-)

As we emptied out of the bar a few hours later someone just happened to ask what time is was, and when the answer came that it was four in the morning.....well you can guess what song then rang out along the Liffey.

It's four in the morning, the end of December
I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening.

I think that Tim and Dick have just about nailed the concert down.

However I'm still baffled by the torrent of negative comments made about the Gavin Friday and Mary Magaret O'Hara take on Hallelujah.

Come on folks it was never going to be a LC karaoke night.

Also I'm more angered than baffled about the sniffy 'Las Vegas' put down of Perla's peformance.

Hopefully I shall post up my comments on the shows in the next day or so.

Ta Ken
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:55 am

I've only been reading here because I thought it was intended for comments by only those who attended. However, since you've entered in, Tom and Joe, I want to join you in saying thank you to everyone who's commenting... and I, too, sure would love to hear this for myself.

I don't go to Starbucks for coffee, Henning... and I can sure share your sentiments on the simplicity of the choices in that charming little place ~ and Thank You for your additional comments on Anjani and her performance. She's not being spoken of enough to suit me.

Couldn't ask for a better ending to a great evening, Ken... reminds me of listening to "Hallelujah" outside of the Pirate's Bar on Hydra. It's like the magician just pulled the white rabbit out of the black hat with great flourish. Then, for you to met with the real time being 4 in the morning :shock: ... well, this night was made for you... and you... and you... and all the others in your after-show group 8) . I, too, loved your bus shot, Wijbe ~ ha! What a find on the apparently narrow streets of Dublin :D !

Perla Batalla and Las Vegas don't even belong in the same sentence... and Julie, I know, was as glorious as ever. This Antony performance seems to be a must see... such consistent reports on him 8)

Looking forward to the rest of your comments, Ken.

~ Lizzy
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Postby Diane » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:22 am

You Jammy lot, Ken; sounds like Berlin all over again.

btw I thought Antony's rendition of The Guests was equally as good as If it be Your Will. Recordings don't do him justice. Live he sings like a male angel.
However I'm still baffled by the torrent of negative comments made about the Gavin Friday and Mary Magaret O'Hara take on Hallelujah.
Hallelujah is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and it really didn't suit the shrill ad-libbing by O'Hara. But it's good that somebody liked it :wink: .

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Photographs from Dublin

Postby Born With The Gift Of A G » Tue Oct 10, 2006 3:01 pm

Whilst browsing a Nick Cave website forum, I came across these photographs of the second performance of Came So Far For Beauty in Dublin:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/evav/sets/ ... 320383420/

Just look at how Lou Reed is gazing at the radiant Anjani!
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Postby dick » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:24 pm

Thanks for the link to the Cave site photos.

I am also interested in seeing photos of the city and fans, as well as the concert. Here is link to Linda's slide show. You have to use DublinMore to get me with Kami Thompson.

http://s29.photobucket.com/albums/c281/ ... ?start=all

You are in one at least Ken! So make yours available. Also Tim and Willy and Wijbe can post more. Jarkko and Eija too. Those not interested can just skip the links.

Another I wrote Joe:
Mentioned at dinner Friday that I was sorry that I didn't approach Nick, who was at table with Antony and Beth -- and probably he wondered what was up. Henning said ... "It was good for him. Teach him a lesson." When I asked what lesson that would be, he said "I don't know... keep him angry maybe." Our Henning could have comedy career :D

Still higher than a kite here in New Jersey!

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Postby kieron » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:41 pm

I am having great fun reading all your posts. It certainly seems as Dublin was a big success and not just for the shows. It was really great to see you all in the city for the event and can see from the wonderful photos everyone is posting that everyone got around quite a bit. Nice to see you all put Kilmainham Gaol on your itinery. Until we meet again, Slan go foil.
"A terrible beauty is born" WB Yeats.
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Postby jarkko » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:22 pm

More than 20 photos of our members in Dublin now posted at
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Postby lizzytysh » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:41 pm

[The only one of the recent links that wasn't blocked by Barracuda.]

What a wonderful display of fun :D .

~ Lizzy
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Thanks for ...

Postby andrea » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:11 am

Thank you guys very much for the memories and photos of the beautiful time in Dublin.
We (Andrea, Marco and Luca ) could only stay for two days , but we had a really GREAT time together with all of you and those special concert evenings, we will never ever forget . It was worth "going so far for beauty" ....
I can still hear the beautiful versions of the cohen songs in my ears ...


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