CONCERT REPORT: Hunter Valley, January 31

New Zealand and Australia (January 20 - February 10, 2009). Concert reports, set lists, photos, media coverage, multimedia links, recollections...
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CONCERT REPORT: Hunter Valley, January 31

Post by paavali » Mon Feb 02, 2009 7:31 am

Well what can one say!! AN amazing experience on a balmy evening in the Hunter. I don't think you could possibly fault the show....

Leonard was not as chatty as I thought he might be and I think I already knew everything he was going to say, but it did not matter. The performance was to die for.

The group I went with were all big Triffids and Pual Kelly fans as well.

Not too many people there for the Triffids, and not many people familiar with them. And unfortunately, they seemed a little under-rehearsed. Still, their songs are as strong and fresh as ever and it was a great lead-in. Paul Kelly - as the MC rightly stated - never disappoints. Again - a great set and a polished show. He must have been dying in that suit though!

Then Leonard - all the hyperbole and rave reviews are justified. I think I can die a happy man:)

But first.... on to Boondall tomorrow night - just enought time to recover from the 11hr drive down to Cessnock...

Happy Days :D :D
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen

Post by sandymason » Mon Feb 02, 2009 11:29 am

Oh my God - I am in heaven after having just been to Leonard Cohen's Hunter Valley Concert. Words cannot express what an amazing experience it was. His voice only improves and his humility is humbling - this man is a legend. I can only hope that I may be able to see him again before I die! :D
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by Frogmouth » Mon Feb 02, 2009 3:01 pm

Ditto to previous comments. I floated out of the Bimbadgen concert as if I had just had a 3 hour massage. I was lucky enough to be in the 3rd row in the middle. I am so thankful I made the decision to fly down from Cairns. A woman sitting nearby had driven from Katherine! I will never forget the experience. The man truly is a legend. The performance by all the musicians was beyond awesome! Fantastic venue.
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by rozzie » Mon Feb 02, 2009 4:30 pm

Sighssssssssss...what can I say??? I'm so glad he remains "yours faithfully L Cohen" I will never ever forget last Saturday night...I was captivated from the moment Mr Cohen walked out on stage...surrounded by such talented musicians and vocalists who obviously love and respect him as he does them. Thank you...thank you...thank you...
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by dce » Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:42 pm

Wow! This concert was an amazing experience -- one of the most intense performances of the tour to date. The winery shows seem to really bring out the best in LC: I don't know whether it's the setting, the informality of the format, or something else ... but somehow the intense emotion that the audience has for Leonard seems to get across that much better in the wineries. Clearly LC felt that the crowd was exceptionally warm at Bimbadgen -- maybe he was humbled by the fact that so many people would be willing to travel for a few hours (and a few hundred Kms) to be with him, maybe it was the reverent crowd singing along with a few of the songs. Whatever the cause, this strong bond between audience and performers lead to an incredible show ... and manifested as a few emotional moments for Leonard.

Some of the many things that made this a truly unique (and at times magical) show:

1. The venue for this show was truly gorgeous -- on a gentle natural slope, surrounded by vineyards. The natural amphitheatre-like shape of the seating area would have meant that the performers would have had a great view of the 4000-strong crowd throughout.

2. At many points throughout the show, LC could be seen to have a huge grin on his face -- like a little kid :-)

3. The weather on the day was very hot, around 36 centigrade during the day (although it cooled down nicely when the sun went down and a gentle breeze picked up). This occasioned a few changes in wardrobe. Everybody dispensed with their jackets -- most, including LC, came on stage in dark waistcoats and white shirts only. Interestingly Roscoe came on stage in a black shirt -- obviously he read my earlier post (about the Leconfield show) :-)

4. Both the first and second sets were extended: the first had BOTH "Hey, That's No Way" and "Sisters of Mercy" (previously had either one or the other). The second set had Democracy added to it just before the recitation of A Thousand Kisses Deep.

5. LC said several times that he didn't want to keep people up, and that the crowd must really be music lovers. I think this was due to his recognition that most of the 4000-strong crowd had driven 2 hours to see him (and would be driving 2 hours back home afterwards). "At least", he said, "it's not a school night!"

6. Audience was very engaged and also quite keen to sing along to songs (particularly in Hallelujah, but also in the chorus of "First We Take Manhattan"). There was also a lot of dancing (again, particularly in "First We Take Manhattan").

7. Anthem: during the intro, when LC was talking about being in "this peaceful country", a bit of aggro erupted in the crowd off to one side. There was a short shouting match between two couples, one in the GA area the other in the Reserved Seating (maybe over the fact that one of the folks in the GA was shouting out to LC). Security was quickly there, then the police -- both spent some time talking to one of the parties (who calmed down a bit, but later apparently reoffended and was escorted away by security during one of the encores). Neil could see the activity from on-stage and seemed quite interested. I thought it was sadly ironic that this ugly audience spectacle broke out while LC was talking about how everyone should celebrate the peacefulness of our circumstances.

8. Anthem: lyrics were back to "birth betrayed" after having been changed for several preceding shows

9. Tower of Song: The "doo dum dum" routine at the end was similar to previous nights, but LC made a bit of a joke about telling the Webb sisters how many more "doo dums" there were going to be. I assume this is a reference back to Thursday night when one of them over-doo-d. The fact that LC felt comfortable with doing this kind of clownery on stage says a lot to me ... mainly that he is starting to feel very comforable (at least in front of Australian audiences).

10. Hallelujah: the lyrics got changed to "I didn't come all this way to this beautiful vineyard to fool you". Big standing ovation at the end.

11. While LC was singing "I'm Your Man", a couple got up not far from where I was sitting and started waltzing in one of the aisles!

12. A Thousand Kisses Deep: during this recitation, the crowd was literally in the palm of LC's hand -- they were laughing and cheering. Watching LC on the screen, it could be seen that he was getting a little emotional. After the line "been working out, but it's too late, it's been too late for years" got a big and loving cheer from the big crowd, LC choked up a little and had to pause a moment before continuing (with a little laugh). It was actually very touching, and a very genuine moment..

13. Take This Waltz: straight after the emotion of Thousand Kisses, LC still seemed emotionally affected -- he didn't sing most of the first verse. One of the Webb sisters tried to prompt him, but he didn't sing at all for the verse. For the rest of the song he was fine..

14. At the very end of the concert, after Whither Thou Goest, LC gave a particularly genuine blessing to the crowd, speaking about blessings finding everyone in their solitude, or with their friends and family. It was actually quite touching.
(For most of November 2010, I followed Leonard and the band as they toured around Australia and New Zealand. You can read about my wanderings on the blog I created to collect them all in one place:
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CONCERT REPORT: Hunter Valley, January 31

Post by pointofviewpoint1983 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:25 pm

Saturday the 31st of January 2009
Bimbadgen Vineyard in the Hunter Valley

Let me start by saying, I did not step on a bindi in the week leading up to the concert.
An anvil didn’t drop on my head from a terrible height above either. Nothing happened which would stop me from attending the night. I didn’t get an ear infection, or go blind before hand, by means of an awkwardly placed eyelash, that had fallen into annoyance.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sub-titled: the long way around.

It was a pure coincidence…
Coming across some information about Leonard Cohen touring the Pacific.
I mean, sure marketing devils have their claws into my back, like everyone else’s…
but they never actually send me want I want, only the finest crap for my spam email folder. So good old ticketmaster sends me an update of events (like pink!). In some poor design,
there I see it. Leonard Cohen. Small print. Right up until that point, not only did I never think id see the guy live, no thought at all entered my mind – not even to deny a possibility.

Just never thunk it!

From the link, I found that I had missed the start of a pre-sale by a good two days.
Went to the promoters website, registered, and awaited my password. Half an hour later it arrives via email. Three hundred bucks a pop. Damn that’s not cheap. By pure chance I have just over six hundred in my bank account. Tried to call my brother’s mobile…just to be sure he’d buy the other ticket from me. No answer. They don’t give one long to accept a seat offering. I take what I can get, for the Bowral gig, as I live an hour north of the site.
Row F or G…front and centre. Not too bad really.

I’m going to see Leonard Cohen.

My brother calls back after the missed call and I let him know that all is cool.
Later that night he says it first. ‘Pity you didn’t get a ticket for dad.’
‘I know, I know’, I say. I only had enough for 2 tickets! But what a shame hey.

It must be around the start of December.

I notice that David Byrne is coming out. He plays the Opera House the night of Bowral.
What a damn shame, despite a lack in funds. Another guy who never had one thought of my own…when it comes down to seeing someone live.

By mid December I start to think a little. Just a little. But make a big move,
I decide to throw my absolute disgust for scalpers aside, and buy my dad a ticket to the Hunter concert. Front row. When I thought about my dad, I wasn’t exactly going to send him along alone. The first person to come to mind was his partner. I get her a ticket as well. Fucking scalpers. I know I shouldn’t deal with them. If I’m honest, the tickets cost four hundred bucks a pop. I borrowed money from a friend to make it happen and I still feel a shame for dealing with a scalper! Profiting from a fan. What is lower? Yay Capitalism. ‘You stole my virginity!’ So it goes.

Then a couple of days pass by. I can’t help but think about shifting things around. I could sell my tickets for face value…and cop the extra two hundred for buying two more tickets in the front row. To be with my dad and co. I do it…

Around Christmas time, I call my dad for holiday wishes and a happy birthday. It will be a late present, you see. My family has never been big on gifts. I felt nervous about telling him, ‘hey can you and Kimberly keep the 31st of January open?’ Such mystery, he asks why. Until then I was thinking of keeping the event away from him, till the actual day, not sure why…maybe for an element of total surprise. But instead I tell him. Tickets for you and Kimberly to see Leonard Cohen, Jerome and I are coming too. ‘Are you serious?’ Sure I am…oh and here’s the cherry on top…front row dad!

Also, in buying the best for him, it reminded me of when he last saw Leonard Cohen, back in the 80’s. I remembered him saying he had awful seats, with my mum. And the guy barely behind him was drunk and vomited. It ran down under my parent’s seats. Oh terrible shit, to be blunt. So after telling him of the tickets, we go on to talking about some things, and he mentions that vomit incident. ‘Yeah, we were seeing Neil Young at the Entertainment Centre.’ Ohhhhh Neil Young! When did you see Leonard last? ’78.’

Or was it 79…I can’t recall. Possibly at the Capital, or State theatre.

The tickets arrive mid January. I look up the PDF file of the seating plan.
Fuck me…front row centre. As long as these aren’t dummy tickets…

Around mid January still, I notice some David Byrne tickets on Ebay. I put in an offer for something less than face value. The gig is so close, the seller accepts. Saved about sixty bucks. What a weekend, it’s going to be! Psyched. Seventh row stalls. Satisfied.
My brother also picked up a big day out ticket below cost. Probably the ONE positive when it comes to scalpers…who are so greedy they buy more than they should, and are forced to sell low, or lose it all.

I did end up selling my Bowral tickets. Bloody Ebay fees and Paypal fees! I lost around 22 bucks. So off they went to a guy in Canberra. Hope it went off! I couldn’t afford to go to both concerts. In the end, I couldn’t imagine going to the Hunter with the best seat in the house, to only be demoted the next night. I could do it the other way around, where id constantly get closer and closer. So kept an eye out for any tickets for Sydney, but nothing took my fancy. Plus I ain’t made of money!

I was curious as to the sound of the winery gig. No walls to have sound bounce off of.

The Friday before the gig arrives. My brother who works for the RTA (road works) tells me, he has a shift on Saturday morning. We live in South Western Sydney by the way. He’ll start at 5am and it’ll be for a couple of hours, then we’ll head up to Newcastle, where my dad and partner live, pick them up, and head out to the winery. Easy right. Right! Saturday morning my brother gets home. ‘What time does Leonard go on?’
Why, I ask. ‘I’m really tired, I’m going to have to lie down for a few hours.’

Mississippi goddamn!

Time rolls on and on…
oh and of course
my mum finally decides
it’s time this shoebox house
had an air conditioner,
so my brother did some extra
running around that morning.

Again, time rolls on and on…

I know roughly how long it takes to get to Newcastle from my home.
I’m starting to get rather pissed off and annoyed and sad.
My family always runs late…and as one can say with black humour,
at least we are consistent! I still don't have my license, that's also me being consistent!

There go the Triffids!
my dads calling up…
wondering where we are…
But a tired driver is a no go situation.
If I had of known, id have jumped on a train the previous day
and one of us could have jumped out of our seat
and met my brother at the gates, most likely with a smile.

In the car on the way up, it looked like Paul Kelly was disappearing.
I was yet to see him live. Thought the supports sounded great (in theory:)

Finally get to Newcastle. We might catch the last of the Paul Kelly set.

Ate some pizza in the back seat of the car.

I love Newcastle. It looks like a memory of say,
one of my parents. The old houses…auto-shops,
corner shops…

The Hunter Valley is beautiful isn’t it?

Go past some vineyards,
that one there has Eric Clapton coming up…
that one over there has Simply Red…

or something.

Do the locals in run down houses realise
what’s going on here?

Later, the Cohen gang will drive their bus past said houses…
perhaps while infomercials run on the tubes, or while
an old couple sit on their front veranda…in silence.

Ahhh who knows.

We get to the makeshift car park.
We are very late.
I can hear Cohen and the music and the women singing,
I can’t believe I’m missing that!
My brother mentions something about maybe its
just the loudspeakers playing Cohen before Cohen goes on.

Yeah real funny! Though yes. From the other side of the hill,
it all sounded pitch perfect.

A little golf buggy driven by a young man comes along,
and we get a lift to the top of the hill. Handy.
‘Take us to our seats!’ Which would be very comical,
though impractical. My brother jokes about how we look like those damn idiots who turn up late, to a gig…missing out on the support, likes that’s the thing to do.
We laughed and he said… ‘I’ve seen Paul Kelly twice before.’
You bastard I thought. I wanted value for money, and my ears to hear
the Kelly sound live, my brother it seems was slightly indifferent.

Lots and lots of people around

We have turned up…roughly in the first song. Or was it the second?

Down we go. My brother takes a trip to the bar. Yeah, I could do with some wine.
Though all I’m thinking is…get me to my seat. I can miss no more.

I was somewhat amazed that the workers there where sort of blasé about seating.
Once you get through the reserved seating gate…it becomes an honesty kind of trip.

Funnily enough, as I shuffled past people and their legs in our row…there were some people in my dads & partners seats. Thankfully! So glad someone ANYONE used them while we were running very late. Not sure where that couple disappeared to, but again, can’t stress enough, how good it is to see someone taking advantage of empty space, in a positive way. I still can't beleieve i turned up late for a Cohen gig hey...crazy.

Deary me. This is amazing. Emotional strings playing one huge chord now.

AND like that, the thought of being pissed off about arriving late disappeared. Gone.
Later on, I found that to be quite amazing.

My dad and co. didn’t know just how good the seats where until they sat down. Front row is good enough. But centre! They were stoked. I knew how they felt. Brother gets down with the wine, and he’s stoked. We’re all stoked, and there is a fire. It is right in front of us, and all around.

Out of curiosity. Some of the best gigs I’ve been to have been in places where there are no barriers. What was with a huge lump of steel down in front? Would someone really rush the stage? I mean, maybe I did have a bouzouki in my back pocket, but I wasn’t about to pull it out, and attack anyone. :)

I drunk some wine, but not too much, as I hate nothing more that a full bladder at a gig.
I hate missing any one song, and once you break that seal…it’s a slippery slope.

I check the whole band out, and what I notice first,
are the women singing. Truly amazing. The presence of their sounds,
the depth, delivery and the pitches…hitting every mark.

Then the sax playing next…hearing that live, made me want to buy a saxophone.
I think it’s important when someone can move another to want to pick up a new instrument, or a first instrument, if that was to be the case. Great skill.

I considered the amount of practice one must put in to get to that kind of performance level. Adding in the European leg of the journey. Actually this thought goes for any of the musicians on stage.

I first started playing bass, so to get up close to those Cohen bass lines was rather cool. Though I play a 4-string…it was a nice chance to hear some of those low low bass notes, on a 5-stringer.

The organ man, sublime. The drums, awesome/cool kit. The other instruments the wind man played…great expression. The guitar work of a man with a tele, well…what a compliment, to the overall sound. Another high point has to be the man who played the classical guitar and mandolin etc. Unfortunately a cameraman blocked my view of the body of the guitars the man played, but I did see his fretwork. Amazing. Id never thought about a 12-string classical guitar before…but I want one now : ) the sounds from that, ahhh, so satisfying.

Does anyone know what make/model guitars were used? Same goes for the Cohen black beauty. Who is the maker of those instruments? Id love to know.

Leonard Cohen. I loved his guitar work. For his age…his fingers moved like some youth. Really, I mean that. How common is it, for one to get old, and for joints and whatnot to get stiff! Just did not come across like that at all. Also, always interesting to see the chords/finger picking style. That was a real treat. Looked slightly non-conventional. hat was endearing.

At intermission, I ventured for my little sisters camera, of which I borrowed. Told my brother, ‘it’s going to feel awkward taking pictures here, up front, where they can see you. Just a slight invasive feeling about it. Started off by taking a couple of pictures of the empty stage, bar the set-up and the backdrop. Planned on taking two photos of the band…and leaving it at that, with the flash and without. My sister’s camera was nothing too special. I love photography, but it’s not exactly my craft. I took some snaps, but my timing was off…and the mic stand for Leonard was blocking a nice uninterrupted photo.
In the end, got some cool Leonard ones, and I tell you, in one, he looks so so young. I’m young, and the camera display is small, and my eyes are fine, so I could be wrong…when it’s put up on the computer. Just looks vibrant, to me. I’ll figure out how to upload them later. It has to be said, as soon as you get behind a camera, you lose touch with that connection one gets from participating in a concert. Interesting to think that in years to come, when family can sit and view said pictures, they’ll be seeing the moments where I was kind of disconnected from the happening! None the less, there are camp fire stories.

The second set was, dare I say, better. Like a well thought out plan, basically, which when one considers how well the first set went, it can blow the mind hey…

I could probably brake down every song…but that would be unnecessary (maybe like a pre-show introduction: )

Some highlights:
The bass line from A Gypsy’s Wife. Ahh love it.
The Partisan, as a whole…I always dig that song.
Boogie Street. Deary me, Sharon…a constant perfect presence.
Democracy – for how it moved me, and the main melody, via harmonica.
First we take Manhattan – love the bass line, and of course the lyrics.

I really am not being precise here, for all the songs I am missing here,
and all that is not being said for the songs listed above.

I did try to not go in with any expectations.

The sound guys and gals produced a more than decent sound,
for the audience, and I suppose the performers.

I pretty much have a basket for all the concerts I deem to be the best ever.
This goes into that basket. In good company with a few others so far, no doubt.

Didn’t find a problem with the audience up the front.
After it was all said and done, I found leaving a hassle.
By foot and car. Some people just can’t leave a place in an orderly fashion. Just, to some extent, a total disregard for other people, who are also trying to leave. So as my little party was stopped in its tracks just inside the seated area…my brother points out, that he hasn’t really seen any young folks around. Everyone bar us, seem to be in their 30’s +. Interesting, never did notice myself. We're 25/26 respectively (yes, some have slept more than i have wee lived!) But I looked around, and that’s what I saw. Young in heart. BUT as we approached the top of the hill…that’s when the young one’s seem to be present! How? Why? Ha…and they all seemed to be so darn intoxicated. Each to their own I guess. Getting out of the car park was long and tedious. Sometimes I wonder just how many people know the rule of…if there are two makeshift lanes…in busy traffic, one from each lane goes, and gives way, back and forth. So simple. Just about eloquent. Yet not always the case.

Oh and my fathers partner, mentioned two things. She had messaged her son during intermission saying, ‘I’m at a Leonard Cohen concert in the front row, in a vineyard!’
In the car, she mentioned she got a message back, which made it sound like he thought she was kidding! Ha. Seems like a Leonard Cohen concert can potentially blow the mind of someone who is not even present at the gig. Powerful stuff indeed. She also asked how I got the tickets after customary thankyous and whatnot. My brother jumped in and said (after I mentioned eBay, but didn’t want to divulge the processes at work) that she best ought to not know, then went on with some humour, of how I’m a really bad guy, because those seats were set aside for a bunch of disabled children, and I had stolen them. Cue the idea of black humour please. I also joked about how the day will come when I’ll have full blown dementia, and someone will show me the pictures I took, and I’ll say, ‘wow, I wish I could’ve been there!’

Unfortunately my brother got the call half way through the concert, saying he had to work the next day at 5am…so back to Sydney we went. I have a firm grip on the memory from start to finish…from when I awoke, till the moment my head hit my pillow at home.

Pity I can’t write in a more lucid style. Or at the least, develop a draft, rather than simply posting such a sketch.

Also, my dad took some pictures (I noticed) so when I get them, I’ll see what’s what, and try and post some up.

Again, what a tight band! So tight, my head exploded…and I feel just about allllll-right

: )

Oh and what a charming skipper, Mr. Cohen can be.
Oh and you know you’re at a really good show,
when you catch yourself thinking, that this song here and now, live,
is superior to the album version…and when you’re caught saying that
about a song on an album of Cohens, which in and of itself is pretty amazing as is…

well…I’m so glad we evolved and stuck our ears outside of the primordial ooze.

Apologies to the band members I didn’t name by uh name.
I’m more of a face type of person. Never forget a look.
Though the Webb sisters rings a bell! or two or three………
I’ll have to dig in one day soon,
and find out what other sounds/stuff they have put out there
for others to hear. Loved the small harp. La la la

The End (of this draft: )

The David Byrne gig the next night at the Opera House.
Well that's a whole other story.

"Now off to bed children, before the big gruesome monster from under your bed decides to come out and eat you all up."

Pointofviewpoint1983, can you leave the light ohhnnnn...

"lights out."
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Re: Saturday the 31st of January 2009 Hunter Valley

Post by pointofviewpoint1983 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:27 pm

If anyone would please chime in on the support acts, and how that went down? any info would be much appreciated...and/or photos.

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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by pointofviewpoint1983 » Mon Feb 02, 2009 6:33 pm

WOW very lucid account DCE.

Ahh 4000! For some reason i had 7000 as a figure in my head
by the end of the night, my brother kept telling me,
really - 7000 capacity? Ha........mistakes.
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by Sophia » Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:37 am

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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by JassyJay » Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:30 am

Thank you DCE for you great account of the was such a moving, spectualar and loving night....loads of love all around the place!

Mr Cohen is just magic!
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by ozjohnson » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:15 pm

I too witnessed the phenomenal performance at Bimbadgen in the Hunter Valley and the many standing ovations and (other than the interruption mentioned) found the beauty of the night and the setting and the moment and the music to be outstanding. Simply and truly, outstanding.
I was fortunate enough to be (by the good grace of close friends) to be just a few rows from the front, and as a professional portrait photographer who always has the bits and pieces to hand (duly presented at the gate) was fortunate enough to capture some high quality, evocative images of Mr Cohnen, Javier Mas, Dino Soldo (both in full flight), Ms Robinson and the sisters Webb (my grandmother's name).
Anyway, I am no papparazzi and have no commercial intent here.
I have a small photo forum where a couple of these (heavily watermarked) were well received.
I would be happy to pass these on to the tour management on behalf of the artists (at no cost) if they are inclined.
Given the 15 year gap (24 for Australia) of peformance portraiture,I would like to enter a couple of the images into 1 local and one upcoming International portait events in context and I do believe that they portray evocative moments in this concert. I was just lucky enough to be very close and have good equipment to hand.
1. I do no know who to submit these images to, to offer copies. I am not seeking payment.
2.. I do not know who (short of going to Sony which would be a black hole) to formally seek permisson from Mr Cohen to these events as portraits, as I would not submit, without this express permission.
3. I think one or two would augment /update the wikipedia profile. I am also seeking permission for this usage.

Any thoughts?
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Andrew (Darby)
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by Andrew (Darby) » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:30 pm

ozjohnson wrote:...I would be happy to pass these on to the tour management on behalf of the artists (at no cost) if they are inclined.
Given the 15 year gap (24 for Australia) of peformance portraiture,I would like to enter a couple of the images into 1 local and one upcoming International portait events in context and I do believe that they portray evocative moments in this concert. I was just lucky enough to be very close and have good equipment to hand.
1. I do no know who to submit these images to, to offer copies. I am not seeking payment.
2.. I do not know who (short of going to Sony which would be a black hole) to formally seek permisson from Mr Cohen to these events as portraits, as I would not submit, without this express permission.
3. I think one or two would augment /update the wikipedia profile. I am also seeking permission for this usage.

Any thoughts?

For want of any other bright ideas (and in absence of other suggestions), I would be enquiring with LC's manager, Robert Kory at this email address: (Also, the Tour Manager's name is Mike Scoble.)

Andrew :)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by Andrew (Darby) » Thu Feb 05, 2009 5:44 pm

My Bimbadgen Experience (or “Floating Around on a Leonard High”):

Okay folks, a delayed report, but I guess better late than never. ;-)

So, what can I say about this experience to start with? Never having been to a concert like this at a winery, I guess I wondered from the outset what it would be like in terms of the possibility of having some in the audience being stridently noisy, conversationally loud or otherwise disruptive (due to the effects of an excess of the alcohol readily available at such a venue, combined with the psychological aspect of the outdoors picnic-like atmosphere, versus a more formal, sedate and decorous concert hall one). Happily, my fears in this respect weren’t realised to any great extent, with good spirits being coupled with good manners and “good will” for 99% of the crowd. :D

Anyway, when I joined the throngs on the grassed sloping hillside, I was in the best of spirits – no, make that “really quite high” (for reasons I won’t go into, but which didn’t involve any “illicit substances” ;-) ). I had also determined, whatever the potential drawbacks might be, I was going to absolutely indulge myself in Leonard’s gig in this idyllic relaxed outdoor locale. The vineyard has a delightful topographic aspect (as they often do). This, combined with the fine weather and beautiful encroaching sunset, held high promise for me. I felt this would indeed be a wonderful setting for a Leonard concert. My only initial consternation was related to the earlier heat (36 degrees Celsius), so I was relieved when (with the aid of a gentle breeze) it dropped into the balmy mid twenties that night.

Furthermore, because I was by myself, had purchased a GA ticket (non seated section), had neither a folding seat nor blanket, I decided I wouldn’t deposit myself in one spot, but instead “float around the place” to take in the concert from different bystander vantage points. (In doing so, I made sure I wasn’t blocking others’ views or encroaching on their space too much.) My demographic observation is that the audience was about 75% “baby boomers” (Aust’n Bureau of Statistics definition: born between 1946 & 1965) and 25% in the younger age bracket.

Anyway, the above "floating around" strategy proved to be a most satisfying one, as I not only took in Leonard and the band from different positions/angles, but was also able to observe a good cross section of the audience having a great time! Additionally, I was able to strike up a few warm and rewarding conversations with people during the breaks and so share my joy with strangers who were (of course) likely to be on the same wavelength and therefore whom I struck an immediate chord with! 8) This particular concert experience for me was more about enjoying the whole phenomenon as opposed to being focused solely on the performance. (Of course, I would’ve been unlikely to embark upon this strategy if it had been my only concert and/or I attended in company.)

As regards the actual concert performance, Leonard and the band excelled, with an exhilarating extended set (28 numbers). :D The audience was demonstrably moved by this superb performance, which was enshrouded in such a fabulous atmosphere that was injected with that hallmark “good will” from Leonard and the other band members. The audience members were visibly delighted, verbally effusive and spontaneously animated (with people dancing and swaying to the music). 8) Towards the end especially, there were also quite a few standing ovations. The whole occasion was just magical in every respect, with such added little touches as the silhouetted dusk skyline and a thin crescent moon in the heavens as day faded into night, following that earlier splendid canvas of the sunset suffused sky.

Of the five concerts I’ve been to, three of which were in Europe, this one was marginally the pinnacle for me (in overall terms) though each of the other four had a unique satisfaction for me, for various more personal and social reasons. ;-) :D Anyway, in conclusion, let’s put it this way: this Bimbadgen winery concert was one I’ll (hopefully) never ever forget, with a few special (though not spectacular) photos to help trigger my memory! :D

Andrew :)
'I cannot give the reasons
I only sing the tunes
The sadness of the seasons
The madness of the moons'
~ Mervyn Peake ~
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Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 3:23 pm

Re: Hunter Valley - Bimbadgen, Jan 31

Post by sumfel3 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 10:08 am

What great recollections of the concert! Bear with me as I add some belated thoughts...

My wife and I flew in from Singapore (a tropical island about seven hours away) and built our short stay in New South Wales around the concert. Needless to say, it exceeded all expectations and was a defining highlight of our trip.

At 32, I belong to the 'younger generation', and I've always been resigned to the fact that I had missed the boat. LC was a man from another time and I simply was born too late. It never dwelled on me that one day, I will have the good fortune to see him perform live. And to be able to do so in such a magical setting, my emotions naturally went into overdrive :oops: and the show transcended beyond a mere concert into something more akin to a powerful spiritual rush.

With his humility and his songs, LC and his band had my wife and I spellbound the moment he skipped onto the stage with a giant smile. My wife, who had only been recently acquainted with LC, couldn't stop buzzing about his grace and wit. As for me, I laughed, cheered, stood in awe, and choked more that a few times during those three hours.

There will be many more gigs for me I'm sure -- indie, electorica, punk, hip hop, i love them all -- but this one at Bimbagden will be very, very hard to beat. What a heavenly evening! Thank you LC!!
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Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2008 12:34 pm

Re: Saturday the 31st of January 2009 Hunter Valley

Post by pointofviewpoint1983 » Tue Feb 10, 2009 1:10 pm

Excuse the large size. I'm quite the dill when it comes to computers.

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