Leonard Cohen: “Live In London”

Fairly quick one today, as I’m trying to write a longish review of the new Leonard Cohen album, “Live In London”, for the next issue of Uncut and have a couple of old Cohen live albums here on my desk that need re-examining – once I get past the formidable distraction of the new Super Furry Animals album (more of that later in the week), that is.

Trending Now

Send us your questions for Peter Murphy

The Bauhaus frontman will field your enquiries in a future issue of Uncut

Introducing the new issue of Uncut

GETTING YOUR COPY OF THIS MONTH'S UNCUT DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOOR IS EASY AND HASSLE FREE - CLICK...

The 3rd Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2021

Ryley Walker, Rose City Band, Hand Habits, Esther Rose, Richard Barbieri and more

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Bob Marley

In-depths reviews and archive encounters with the reggae legend

Fairly quick one today, as I’m trying to write a longish review of the new Leonard Cohen album, “Live In London”, for the next issue of Uncut and have a couple of old Cohen live albums here on my desk that need re-examining – once I get past the formidable distraction of the new Super Furry Animals album (more of that later in the week), that is.



Anyway, the Cohen is a fine thing: two CDs that take in the entirety of his first London show at the O2 last July. For anyone who’s seen him over the past year – or at least on the European and Canadian legs, I haven’t studied what he’s been up to in Australia etc thus far – you’ll know what to expect. Most of the onstage pronouncements by Cohen (banter seems far too vulgar a way to describe such artfully turned phrases) are the same as they were at the show I reviewed in November, as precisely rehearsed as the songs they introduce.

As you might imagine, too, such a meticulous, controlled live show transfers unusually effectively to an album: every last exquisite Javier Mas solo comes over tremendously. And apart from a nice souvenir of some incredible shows, it’s important, I think, to have a record of Cohen performing some of his earlier songs in his latterday voice: “Who By Fire”, especially, is imbued with an even greater sepulchral gravity in this reading, part of a sequence of songs that close the first half of the show (with “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye” and “Anthem”) that’s possibly the highlight of the set.

No “The Partisan” or “Chelsea Hotel #2”, which I don’t think crept onto the setlists until nearer the end of the year. But still, 25 songs will do, sensibly including “If It Be Your Will”, where Cohen cedes lead vocals to the Webb sisters, which shows the full scope of the shows.

But I need to save some ideas, or at least adjectives, for my review for the mag. Sorry for being a tease. Before I go, though, anyone seen the show this year? Have there been any big new additions or radical changes? Let me know if you have a moment.

Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Who, New York Dolls, Fugazi, Peggy Seeger, Scritti Politti, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Serge Gainsbourg, Israel Nash and Valerie June
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement