Leonard Cohen Newcastle City Hall 1976

Leonard Cohen Newcastle City Hall 1976
This was the first time I saw Leonard Cohen, and it was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. I’d gone along with my mate Ian having heard some of Cohen’s early albums. John and Susan were also at this gig. I went along with an open mind; I quite liked some of Cohen’s songs, and had the usual image in my mind of a quiet guy singing dark, depressive songs. The show was just a revelation to me. The beauty of the songs, the clarity and quiet passion of Cohen’s delivery and the musicianship of his band all shoen through that night. This gig was part of a European tour to promote the Best of Leonard Cohen album, and Cohen was backed by a new band that included Laura Branigan as one of two back up singers. I left the gig as a convert, and waited to get the chance to see Cohen again, which didn’t happen until very recently. He has never returned to Newcastle and his visits to the UK have been few and far between until recent years. Setlist from 1976: Bird on the Wire; So Long, Marianne; Who By Fire; Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye; Store Room; One of Us Cannot Be Wrong; Lady Midnight; There Is a War; I Tried to Leave You; Diamonds in the Mine; Chelsea Hotel; The Stranger Song; You Know Who I Am; The Partisan; Story of Isaac; Famous Blue Raincoat; Lover Lover Lover; Sisters of Mercy; Is This What You Wanted; Suzanne; The Butcher; Bird on the Wire; Tonight Will Be Fine; Joan of Arc; Do I Have To Dance All Night. Looking at the setlist today, I realise just how many classic songs this guy has written.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Greg Mayston on November 17, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Looking through my ancient “Songs of Leonard Cohen” songbook, I discovered note I’d made of setlist during that wonderful NCH concert. My list adds some poems I don’t have names for and that he started second set with “Avalanche”. My memory, but not my list, says there were more encores and a repetition of I Tried to Leave You which added to the audience ‘s delight! It seems only a few days ago I was hoping there might be another opportunity to see him perform again. I feel so fortunate to have seen him three times in the 70’s and three times since 2008


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