By Jeremy Miles
HE may be heading for his 75th birthday but Leonard Cohen surprised and delighted his audience at the BIC last night (Tuesday) by literally sprinting onto the stage and performing a three hour show.
Armed with a superb band, brilliant backing singers and a sublime catalogue of material, the poet turned singer-songwriter could do little wrong.
One of the towering talents of the 20th century, he is back on stage for the first time in 15 long years and proving that, when it comes to delivery, phrasing and great songs, he has no equal.
From the swaying opening bars of Dance Me to the End of Love to the extended encore which had the audience whooping with delight at the line “...democracy is coming to the USA”, this concert was a magnificent affair.
Somewhere in between came classics like The Future, There Ain’t No Cure For Love, Tower of Song, I’m Your Man and, of course, the vintage oldies like Suzanne, Bird on a Wire and So Long Marianne.
There were many more, too. Gems from a 40-year career delivered with help from a nine piece outfit who, under musical director and bass player Roscoe Beck, play arrangements that mix slow burning jazz with traditional European folk and some nicely laid-back rock.
It’s a smart band in every way. Even the roadies wear suits.