Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Tributes & covers; Leonard's songs on the soundtracks and TV
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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by bene449 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 1:40 pm

Here is Keith singing his adaptation of Twilight, a poem from Leonard's Let Us Compare Mythologies.
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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by Mabeanie1 » Sun Jun 05, 2011 2:19 pm

Another concert I find myself unexpectedly free to attend is Keith James' show at the Solihull Library Theatre on June 29. Is anyone else planning to go?

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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by ScottM » Fri Jun 24, 2011 7:02 pm

We went to see Keith James last night, Thursday 23rd June in Henley-on-Thames. The concert took place in the Regal cinema, part of the Picturehouse group that has hosted a number of his shows. There were probably only about 40 in the audience, however the small theatre only had about 80 seats anyway, so there was still quite an intimate atmosphere. Keith, in his introduction to a number of songs provided us with his interpretation of what the songs were about. His observations were interesting and often witty, although they might spark a lively debate amongst forum members. But, then again doesn't it always? Not a road we need to go down here.... He sang solo for most of the set but was accompanied on a few songs by a girl singer, Louise. She also sang solo on a very sweet, understated version of "Bird on the Wire" and the finale "Hallelulujah". He opened with "Hey that's no way to say goodbye" and others on the set list included; "Everbody Knows", "Dance me to the end of love", "If it be your will", "In my secret life", "Sisters of mercy", "First we take Manhatten", "Suzanne" "Take this Waltz" a very good version of "Chelsea Hotel" and the highlight of the show "Famous Blue Raincoat" (This was his favourite song of Leonard's and a very moving version). He did nice covers of a Joni Mitchell song and one from Neil Young. He also set a couple of Lorca poems to music which, on a first listen, were quite well done; as well as his own musical interpretation of "Twilight" from "Let Us Compare Mythologies". As in previous shows, from what I have read, he invited members of the audience to join in with “So Long Marianne”-after handing out a range of percussion instruments. I tried my best to hide, however, Louise, whom I had chatted to in the interval, sought me out and forced a tambourine onto me. The less said about this the better....Although it has subsequently provided hours of fun at my expense for "The Tipsy Wife". Apparently, it served me right for turning up wearing my "Songs of Love and Hate" T-Shirt! Overall the show was, actually, good fun. We were not sure quite what to expect. However, Keith himself is a fan and his respect for Leonard throughout was obvious. He is a very accomplished musician, utilizing at least 4 different guitars throughout the show and sang the songs well. He is no copy-cat, and he succeeded, by and large, in providing us with a very enjoyable evening. (Although, not sure if I will ever be able to face a tambourine again!) We chatted with him and Louise afterwards, as they enjoyed a glass of wine, and we actually purchased a CD of Keith's own songs. I would go to see him again, and if anyone has missed the opportunity this time around he told us he is touring again in the Autumn. A good night out if you get the chance.


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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by ciaran » Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:12 pm

I saw Mr James at the Bury Met Saturday last, 18th June. Remarkably similar to Scott’s review (not very surprising); again only a “select” few were present – maybe 50 tops.

As Scott says his introduction to the songs were interesting though sometimes an opinion was voiced as fact. It was obvious, though, that Keith has a profound love of Leonard’s songs.

He did blot his copybook right at the beginning of the show – a couple of anecdotes, one about the Julie Felix show (fine) but the second I took as slightly disparaging about people on the forum, the “conventions” in Hydra and Krakow; he went on to mention Jarkko in what I felt to be not a very flattering light. Afterwards I had “words”, so I hope he didn’t repeat the second tale in Henley. I was somewhat cross for the first few songs but after popping a couple of (imagined) Mandrax I let it be and relaxed for the rest of the show.

Keith is an extremely accomplished guitarist, though with a few songs I felt his arrangements added layers of complexity rather than the ‘stripped-back’ versions promised. His voice is a little bland, could do with more “edge”. Having said that, the songs were all well done and, in some cases, verging on the splendid. Particularly, I enjoyed the joint rendition (with Louise) of Chelsea Hotel.

We too, had the instruments of percussion. I managed to avoid them all, even though I was sat in the front row (old habits die hard!).

Keith provides a tribute (in the broadest sense) to Leonard’s songs; but is by no means a “tribute band” in the manner of The Clone Roses or Dread Zeppelin. Keith did give an interesting take on many of the songs and, overall, it proved to be an enjoyable evening.

Certainly worth seeing.

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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by Goldin » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:46 pm

Bootleg of June 29 concert @ Solihull Library Theatre is now available on Dime, uploaded by Wendy152.
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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by Pete » Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:52 pm

Went to see Keith James at Buxton last night. This was my second time.
Actually, because I knew what to expect in terms of his interpretations of the songs, it was even more enjoyable. I could sit back and immerse myself into the songs without constantly having the originals echoing in my head. Observing his guitar work from the third row was also a delight.

The interesting thing to share here is that the concerts continue next year - Keith mentioned another 40 dates for next spring. There are some already appearing on his site.

BTW no instruments of percussion for the audience for So Long Marianne. They've stopped doing that but still invite the audience to sing along with the chorus ... and we did :)

Well worth seeing.

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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by LanternTheatre » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:40 pm

Keith James will be performing songs of Leonard Cohen at Lantern Theatre Liverpool, Wednesday 3rd June @ 7.30pm
Still tickets available which can be bought online at
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Re: Keith James - Songs of Leonard Cohen UK Tour

Post by birminghamfan » Thu Oct 01, 2015 12:37 pm

Anyone coming to see Keith James in Kings Heath , Birmingham tonight ?

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