Saturday, January 29, 2005

Leonard Cohen

On Friday night I went to the Sydney Opera House to see the concert I’ve been wittering on about for so long, Hal Wilner’s ‘Came So Far Beauty’ – the Leonard Cohen tribute with Nick Cave, Jarvis Cocker, Beth Orton, the McGarrigle/Wainwright family. Bit of a foregone conclusion, but it was bloody brilliant!

There was a big backing band which included a musical saw – forget the weird busker in Grafton Street, it was a great addition to the violins and bass, fantastic sound. The range of singers meant that you never knew what was coming next and what style they’d be in – Martha Wainwright singing Tower of Song as a country and western ballad and Nick Cave belting out Everybody Knows as a blow the roof off ‘big band’ number!

Two of Leonard Cohen’s backing singers from the 80s & 90s were part of the line-up and did backing and harmonies for different artists and sang solo aswell - Perla Batalla singing Bird on a Wire was a show stopper, she has an incredible voice and filled the concert hall on her own.

Highlights (for me) were Nick Cave singing Suzanne with Perla Batalla and Julie Christensen and the McGarrigle Sisters and Rufus & Martha Wainwright singing Who By Fire. Oh, and Linda and Teddy Thompson doing Alexandra Leaving and Rufus Wainwright’s Chelsea Hotel and… I’d better stop now – the strained response of my friends is giving me a bit of a hint ;-))