After ceasing to perform in the mid-90s, it seemed unlikely that Leonard Cohen would ever come back to the gigging circuit but that’s exactly what the legendary singer-songwriter did in 2008 – making a triumphant return after a 15-year hiatus.
The 78-year-old continues to perform live to this day and has a number of UK dates lined up for 2013. He’s set to play the O2 Arena in London later this month (June 21st) and tickets are still available – surely an unmissable opportunity for those who thought their chances to catch Cohen live had come and gone.
Beginning his musical career in the 60s, Cohen quickly established a reputation for himself as one of the most accomplished lyricists in all of popular music – which is fitting, as he’d already received acclaim as a poet and novelist. His moody, folk-tinged compositions are full of challenging and esoteric reflections on subjects such as religion and politics, exemplified by songs like Sisters of Mercy and Democracy.
Even those unfamiliar with Cohen’s mellow baritone might be surprised by how many of their favourite tunes were penned by the singer. The anthemic Hallelujah first appeared on his 1984 album Various Positions and enjoys a towering reputation thanks to covers by the likes of Jeff Buckley and John Cale; Suzanne, one of Cohen’s earliest tracks, has been recorded by everyone from Fairport Convention to Nina Simone.
Six decades since he started out, Cohen continues to write and record new material. Last year he released his 12th studio album, Old Ideas, to critical acclaim; audiences at the O2 can expect the singer’s talented ensemble to tackle new songs like Darkness and Going Home alongside the established favourites.
Ticket prices range from £25 to £75 and with Cohen’s recent gigs having gained something of a reputation for their marathon length, attendees are guaranteed their money’s worth. Those unable to make the June concert have a second chance to see him in the capital on September 14th, so there’s plenty of time to book Montcalm hotels in London in anticipation.