I went to see Neema at the Bush Hall on July 7th. Although the tickets said "standing", there were in fact seats for this, as I thought might be the case. I was at the front of the queue, and managed to get a seat at the front on the centre aisle. The front was probably a bit too close, but rather that than have people holding up mobiles in front of me! The Bush Hall is not the greatest venue (it seems like a slightly run down ballroom). I don't dislike it, and it does have a certain character, but the concerts there don't seem to have such a sense of occasion as they might elsewhere.
The support band were the Robbie Boyd Band, and they played an enjoyable set. Their music was particularly ehhanced by their attractive young female violinist. The band seemed to have quite a supportive fan following, and that is probably why a significant number of seats near the front were vacated by the time that Neema came on (I guess the RB fans had retreated to the bar).
Neema played a long set, which must have lasted a full two hours. She's a lovely lady and very natural. She certainly has an extensive repertoire, and played much of her album, and a few covers ("Romeo and Juliet", "Life in a Northern Town", "Ghost of Tom Joad" and "Avalanche"). She was very well-received, and played not one, but three encores. The only songs of hers that I had had heard before were "Elsa" and "Masi", both of which were included in the set. Although I managed to get a set-list, I've temporarily mislaid it, so will add that to this post as and when I find it.
After the concert, Neema signed CDs and chatted with people at the merchandise desk. Naturally, I bought a CD, and Neema went to great trouble writing a neat and thoughtful message on it. There was a new song that she played live for the first time ever on Thursday, and I thought that it had a distinctively Cohenesque sound. When I told her this, she said that she had been listening to Leonard play guitar before she wrote it. I was also able to tell her that "Life in a Northern Town" has connections with Nick Drake.
In conclusion, this was a thoroughly enjoyable way to spend my 60th birthday. Strangely many of my birthdays (and the days after) seem to be linked with Leonard and his lady friends!. On my 25th birthday, I met Leonard for the first time. On my 50th birthday, Felicity Buirski sang "Happy Birthday" to me (Marilyn Monroe style) at a concert in Holmfirth. On July 8th 2007 (the day after my 56th birthday), I met Leonard and Anjani with Julie Felix in Manchester. Then, on July 8th this year, I went to see the Webb Sisters at Hastings.
Finally, I was very surprised to see no-one that I knew from the Forum, at the concert. However it was good to meet two new friends, Ramas (from Lithuania) and his English wife Gaila.
All good things, John E
Last edited by John Etherington
on Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:11 am, edited 2 times in total.