CONCERT REPORT: Bournemouth, November 11

September 21 - November 30, 2008. Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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CONCERT REPORT: Bournemouth, November 11

Post by hydriot » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:07 am

Leonard's recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep is back!

We also had The Partisan, with stunning fingerwork from Javier Mas, and Famous Blue Raincoat (with the stage bathed in blue), but lost Closing Time. Also no sign of Avalanche, one of my favourites, but hearing The Partisan made up for all that.

The audience was quite subdued and respectful: it felt like Manchester again ... except the seats vibrated in time to people beating time which was a real pain.

What was particularly noticeable was the filming for the screens was far more professional and helpful than ever before. As well as three cameramen in front of the stage, there were two remote-controlled cameras behind the band, which allowed us to see Neil Larson's playing in detail, and Roscoe Beck's wonderful glissando on the double bass at the end of Who By Fire ... and also Leonard's fingerwork on the organ during Tower of Song. The filming of the Webb Sisters' If It Be Your Will was particularly well executed with, for example, superimposition of Hattie's face and Charley's guitar side by side.

We also had new quips from Leonard, which was refreshing. After Leonard was applauded for his keyboard 'skills' on Tower of Song he said: "You should see what I can do with two fingers!" And his comment on the girls' Do-Dum-Dum was "optimistic soundtrack to my shabby life". He told us that he had had a dream of Robert Louis Stevenson and Henry James: "They told me to keep on working!"

In Hallelujah we also had an extremely erudite reference inserted by Leonard: "I didn't come all the way to Shelley's heart to fool ya". Bournemouth was Mary Shelley's home town and after her husband the poet Shelley was drowned off La Spezia in 1822, his heart was recovered and brought back to Britain, where it was entombed in Mary's family's Bournemouth vault.

Just before the mention of Charlie Manson, both Sisters took off their jackets and hung them on the mike stands, and of course I knew what was about to happen... "the white girls dancing" with two perfect cartwheels.

Also today for the first time Charley played most of the concert with her hat off, so we could see her charming face properly.

At the end of the concert, principal members of the crew were thanked, which was a very thoughtful touch. The concert ended with Leonard saying "Be well, be lucky, and God bless you all"
“If you do have love it's a kind of wound, and if you don't have it it's worse.” - Leonard, July 1988
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Helensj » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:14 am

I agree with all that Hydriot has said. The audience were quite quiet but I think this is because everyone was over awed and were there to appreciate the music. After all if you are listening to the Master singing, you don't need to join in and you just want to savour every note. Listening to the cmments of those around us, in the interval and on the way out, people felt the same way and were just wowed by the quality of the concert. Shame out of all the respectful people there we had to have the only two non-respectful drunk ones in front of us who talked loudly to each other all the way through and thought it funny when people 'shsshd' them!
We saw Leonard in the O2 in July and felt he was on better form tonight - his voice was great - and like Hydriot enjoyed the new comments and jokes. He didn't talk as much as in London, nor did he thank the band as much, but Bournemouth has a very strict 2300hr curfew and he couldn't afford to over-run and risk losing songs.
I was so pleased he included 'A Thousand Kisses Deep' as this was my favourite at the O2. 'Sisters of Mercy' and 'Closing Time' had both gone but it was good to hear 'Famous Blue Raincoat' and 'The Partisan'. Was 'That Don't Make It Junk' a new addition? We couldn't remember it at the O2 but perhaps that was just us. All in all a fantastic evening - can't beleive it is over. All those of you who are still to see Leonard both in Europe and during his spring tour, you are in for a wonderful treat.
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Scooby Doo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:06 pm

We were also at The O2 in July and Bournemouth last night was subdued if you ask me.

Being three rows from the front (hence a mere 20 feet from Leonard) I thought the acoustics for the first set were dire.

Leonard hardly talked in the first set, but the songs were the usual great standard as He went from one into the next with hardly a break inbetween and little dialogue compared to The O2.

The second set and encores were greatly improved as both Leonard and the crowd having seemed to have warmed up. It was ironic to hear loud cheers as " Democracy is coming .... to the U-S-A " was first belted out.

Did anyone see the person holding up the placard saying " I've been to Paris, Berlin and now Bournemouth, how about coming to Israel? ".

Having over 100 close up crystal clear digital photos to upload and excellent film of Suzanne and So Long Marianne when I work out how to get them off the video camera.

Looking forward to The O2 on Friday


London O2 - July 17
Bournemouth - Nov 11
London O2 - Nov 14
Birmingham - Nov 22
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Bandstand » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:44 pm

Just to add to Bournemouth’s wonderful show. I’d missed the Shelley’s heart reference (buried in Bournemouth). The reference to Robert Louis Stevenson was also a local one as he lived in Bournemouth for a while.

I’d disagree on the sound. I thought it was impeccable (sixth row, very central). The BIC is a notoriously difficult hall that was described for years as having the worst acoustics in Britain. Victoria Wood said it was the first time she’d performed in a Tesco Loading Bay. They pulled it apart and rebuilt the interior a couple of years ago, and it’s now much better, but still not naturally easy. I thought the sound mixer had done the best job I’ve ever heard there. It is possible with effort … both Paul Simon and James Taylor got a great sound balance there (Dylan’s sound was about the worst I’ve heard there). Even Paul Simon’s sound mixer had slightly indistinct bass guitar, but last night everything was crystal clear from where we were. The balconies are usually worse at the BIC. We once went to an Eddie Izzard show, sat in the balcony, watched people crying with laughter in the stalls, but couldn’t hear a word.

Last night’s concert was different to the O2 in several ways, not just songs. The band had gelled even more which I would have thought impossible. The Webb Sisters had worked on their choreography. There was almost no chat in the first half. I don’t recall ‘That Don’t Make it Junk’ from the O2 either.

I saw the placard on the TV monitor, so if they ever do a DVD we might see it. It was great to get new songs (though I missed both the dropped ones). Strangely, on the way out, we heard exactly the same as the O2. People were ecstatic about the show, and the people next to us said ‘If only he’d done Alexandra Leaving!’ And everyone around agreed. Same thing last night. Has it been done at all this year?
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Womanfromaroom » Wed Nov 12, 2008 1:59 pm

Bandstand wrote:J We once went to an Eddie Izzard show, sat in the balcony, watched people crying with laughter in the stalls, but couldn’t hear a word.
:D That must have been a strange, unsatisfactory and somewhat surreal experience, like having been forgotten in some kind of parallel universe... But knowing you British guys, you were probably still having a good time, making your characteristically dry remarks!
But of course, that could not have happened with Leonard, given that his impeccable sound crew has evidently managed a sound quality as good as possible at all at every single venue so far. I am curious, however, what things are going to be like at the RAH next week, it is quite the opposite of a "Tesco loading bay" after all and might be a challenge exactly for this reason...
"You thought that it could never happen / to all the people that you became"...
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by dancinginthedark » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:15 pm

I've been reading this for ages but never registered before - but I just had to so as I could reply.

We were sitting next to the two ladies with the placard, who were lovely - apparently Leonard was meant to go to Israel but didn't - they had travelled over from Israel especially to see him!

I had never seen Leonard live before but I have been loving him a long time - I thought last night in Bournemouth was amazing - everything I could have hoped for and more. The audience was quiet during the songs but it wasn't a rock concert!! - everyone around me had a wonderful time. My husband wasn't a fan before, but he is now

I thought the sound was fine last night (10 rows back- central) - I too saw Paul Simon (who was really good) and Bob Dylan (who wasn't) and would agree about the sound for those gigs too

I am sat here with Leonards songs in my ears and wonderful pictures in my mind - a night to remember
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Famous face

Post by Scooby Doo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:16 pm

For those of you who know English football (soccer) I was suprised to see six spare seats to the right of me given that it was right at the front of the stage. Just as Leonard was about to come on the stage, Harry Redknapp (Tottenham Hotspur and ex-Portsmouth, West Ham and Bournemouth) Manager whizzed past me with five guests in tow.

Ironically, He disappeared at the 50 minute interval and never re-appeared!


London O2 - July 17
Bournemouth - Nov 11
London O2 - Nov 14
Birmingham - Nov 22
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Macgrief » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:21 pm

I saw the Bournemouth show last night and can honestly say it was the best performance
I have seen by any act.I was seated just to the right of the mixing desk and have to
disagree with an earlier post about the sound.I have seen many shows in the Windsor
Hall over the years and the sound quality can be poor depending on where you are seated.
I thought the sound production last night was superb.

Possibly the audience were subdued,but feel people were just stunned to be seeing such
an artist performing in little old Bournemouth.I certainly was!! The whole band were a
class act and it was lovely to see the range in ages from the Webb sisters through to
Leonard performing together.

I saw the little placard that somebody held up at various times asking Leonard to
come and play in Israel.Roscoe spotted it but I don't think he could clearly see what
it said.He asked Sharon but I don't think she did either!

Anyway I just feel lucky to have been there last night.It will live long in the memory.
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Sunil » Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:27 pm

First of all a HUGE thanks for Leonard, his management, AEG, Jarkko and anyone else arranged the ticket allocation - I was in the eighth row and just to the side of Sharon Robinson and the Webb Sisters! I met a few nice people at the show, several of whom had also gotten their tickets via the forum.

The show itself was very good. Like most of the other comments, it seemed a little subdued and was more gentle than the celebratory show I saw at the O2 in July.

He introduced the Webb Sisters as ‘vocals and acrobatics...’ At the very end, he wished us all well, saying he hoped that we don’t get winter colds. What a decent fellow!

Sharon sang all of Boogie Street, without Leonard joining in. I love that song and it really worked well.

The musicians were excellent OBVIOUSLY. My favourite last night was the saxophone player. Accuse me of heresy, but his solos were more under-stated this time around and I thought it worked a lot better for it.
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by spamthecan » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:54 pm

Hi, I just signed up to say (a) that the gig was amazing (the tickets were an early Christmas present for my Dad - he's been a big fan since the beginning, but had never seen LC live), and (b) that the sound was incredible where we were sat (row BB, slightly to the right of the stage); I've been to a dozen gigs there and it's always sounded awful before.
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by j9sunny » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:13 pm

I was at Bournemouth last night to see Leonard live for the first time. Thought it was magical from start to finish and can't wait for Birmingham now!

One gripe - I bought the ticket through this forum thinking it would be well-placed but I was way out on the right wing. Two women sitting next to me had done the same and were equally peeved. What made it worse was the ticket office told me that the promoter had returned a whole load of tickets yesterday afternoon - including some of the best seats.

Still, a minor complaint about a great evening's entertainment.

Incidentally, When Leonard sang 'if you want a doctor, I'll examine every inch of you' from 'I'm YOur Man' there was a VERY vocal female pod somwhere in the middle of the room who seemed to be volunteering ;-)
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Scooby Doo » Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:16 pm

"Incidentally, When Leonard sang 'if you want a doctor, I'll examine every inch of you' from 'I'm YOur Man' there was a VERY vocal female pod somwhere in the middle of the room who seemed to be volunteering "

LOL, but what a great response of " I'll wear this old mask " for you whilst lifting up the trade mark hat.

London O2 - July 17
Bournemouth - Nov 11
London O2 - Nov 14
Birmingham - Nov 22
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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by mydoglorca » Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:07 pm

I haven't alot to add that hasn't already been said. I was immensely pleased to hear A Thousand Kisses Deep again. It would have been perfect if Closing Time had made an upbeat return to the encore set.
I was at the O2 on 17 July. Yesterday in Bournemouth & Saturday in Cardiff were definately more subdued especially the 1st half. I will probably be shouted down but dare I say the O2 crowd seemed younger. It will be interesting to hear what the O2 shows this week will be like (sadly I won't be there) & also the RAH shows next week.
The music gets better & better so the 'fault' must lie with the audience. Excellent reviews in the local press for these areas though & overheard comments from people around & on the way out were extremely positive. I heard a regular concert goer saying that it was the best concert he had attended for years & years.

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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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Melvyn » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:46 pm

We've been fans of Leonard Cohen from the 60s but really don't know much after the LP "Songs of Leonard Cohen". Nevertheless we were keen to see him and so travelled down to B'mouth last night. We'd seen Dylan in the same place in June 06 and it wasn't very good - we were in the standing area with the result that all my wife saw of him was his hat! I made sure this time we had seats, in the upper balcony. As it turned out it was all seated - why couldn't Dylan have been like that? Presumably to pull in more punters. Anyway, I've seen Dylan a couple more times in recent years & Joan Baez twice. I thought the latter was even better than she was in the 60s.

Anyway......neither compared to Leonard Cohen last night, he was superb, fantastic! His voice was perfect, his diction was utter clarity, the sound was perfect (at least where we were), the video screens were spot on (another thing Dylan skimped on), the band were ace, his comments were articulate, even amusing. I liked the way he introduced the band members, even if he did do it twice. Definitely one of the best, if not the best, concerts I've ever been to. He looked so stylish, with impeccable manners - the way he stood holding his hat, looking at the girls as they sang a couple of songs on their own.

And it was three hours worth! Another poster commented about the BIC having to stop at 11pm but surely you couldn't expect it to go on any longer? He's not Ken Dodd after all. As it was many people were having to leave before the end presumably to catch trains etc.

There were some comment about the age of the audience; well, as I expected they were all about our age, ie 60+ which I would have thought reflects the demographics of when the man was at the height of his popularity.

I'm surprised some comments said the crowd were subdued; not sure really what they wanted. Certainly upstairs we had to stand up to applaud about six times, but I did see the downstairs remained seated, possibly because they weren't in tip-up seats.

So, an amazing concert, now to go & buy The Essential Leonard Cohen cd.


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Re: Bournemouth 11 November

Post by Midnight Choir » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:27 pm

I'll second/ third that:

If Leonard sings Alexandra Leaving in one of the London concerts I will be very happy.
2008: O2 London - July 17 | O2 London - November 13 | O2 London - November 14 | RAH London - November 17 | 2009: Antwerp - July 4 | Weybridge - July 11
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