Pop preview: Leonard Cohen, on tour

Royal Albert Hall, SW7, Mon Nov 17, Tue Nov 18

Strangely, for a man alleged to be the father of lonely introspection, the enduring impression left by a Leonard Cohen live show is of large crowds, even laughter. A genial host who - in defiance of his 70-plus years - skips on stage, his health and voice marvellously intact, Len is a man who plays the hits, and above all, entertains. Last in the UK 15 years ago ("When I was just a 60-year-old kid with a crazy dream..."), 2008 has seen him visit twice - once to Glastonbury - as part of a massive world tour designed to rejuvenate his finances. Defrauded at the hands of a former manager, Cohen has taken to the stage at a time when most would have been able to simply take it easy and enjoy their retirement. But what was an ill wind for Leonard has blown his devoted fanbase some good. Accompanied by an impressive full band, Leonard brings waltz-time observations on the rituals of love. And the lonely? These days, he takes them on thousands at a time.

• Royal Albert Hall, SW7, Mon Nov 17, Tue Nov 18


John Robinson

The GuardianTramp

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