Leonard Cohen

Posted on 05/09/2013



Tuesday 4th September

Dear Leonard,

I have a sincere apology to make . . . I was late for your gig and I made someone else late for your gig and I am truly sorry. I arrived in the beginning of the first half somewhere between 8pm and half past (you had well and truly started) and I now realise that a Leonard Cohen gig isn’t the sort of gig you can slip into late, unnoticed and guilt free. The CIA (ahem pointless name change ‘Motorpoint Arena’) was packed and we had to disrupt a whole row of people to get to our seat. They weren’t too impressed really and I have now felt guilty for days. Also the tickets cost quite a lot. Never again when it says doors at 6.30pm will I sneer and say ‘they won’t be on ’til at least 9 o clock’.

Anyway, the good news is that I am reliably informed (overheard a man on the way out) that your second half was even better than your second half in London but your first half wasn’t quite as good (!). I’m sure he has his reasons. So, I do feel slightly better knowing that at least I stayed to the end and saw the whole of the half that was even better than the half in London.

IMAG1043On the night, when you introduced your band members, you also thanked your lighting director and before I discuss the music, I’d like to thank him too. I thought the lighting was very classy. Not too showy but not boring either. I have no knowledge of lights really but I guess you only notice something like that when it’s either really rubbish or really good and it was most definitely the latter.

IMAG1042 (1)Leonard I could listen to your voice all night long. I once met a woman whose favourite band was A-ha and when she played me one of their lesser known album tracks from her iPod it became apparent that the only band on her iPod was A-ha. I asked her why and she shrugged and said she didn’t need to listen to anyone else. That’s a bit mental, but I think if I could have just one voice on my theoretically iPod it would be yours because it is like drinking a soothing tonic.

IMAG1045 (1)Despite the fact I could listen to your voice all night long, I did appreciate the break at half time. As you know, we had arrived late and therefore not had chance to buy an overpriced drink yet. Word of advice; go for cider in the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena. It is the same price as bitter but you get more!

By the second half and a full pint of cider, I felt much more relaxed and really drifted away with the music. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the first half. I LOVE your new album ‘Old Ideas’ and was delighted to hear you play quite a few numbers from it. As a newbie to one of your concerts, it made me feel quite knowledgeable  because even some of your die hard fans (sat all around me) didn’t seem to recognise them like I did. I suspect many of them might have stopped purchasing music a while back. How presumptuous of me! Anyway, by the time you launched into the old faithful ‘So Long Marianne’, I was in tears! Floods of tears! The only other concert I have cried at is Bruce Springsteen, oh yeah and the opening sequence to The Lion King (does that count?!) and with Bruce that wasn’t because of the music, it was more to do with an audience member getting up on stage and what a nice bloke Bruce seems to be. With you it was definitely the music. The culmination of a beautiful song and how wonderful you and your band are (musicians of the highest quality from all over the world!). I found the whole concert moving, meaningful and very humbling.

So there you go, I think that’s quite a testament to you, your voice, your stagecraft, musicianship, band members and not forgetting your lighting director. If I were to sum it all up in three words: Beautiful, Classy, Reverent. In fact, I think the Reverent Leonard Cohen has quite a ring to it.

Thank you Leonard. You somehow made the Cardiff Motorpoint Arena a beautiful place to be on a Tuesday night, when really it is just a badly designed concrete box.

Yours Sincerely,

Riffs In The Diff

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