We went to Ennis last Saturday for the night and discovered that there was a gig on in Glór. We got tickets for the three of us (including our seven year old). The auditorium was less than half-full but the gig was brilliant. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
There was a definite sense of something new and original coming from the stage.
I have attended Leonard Cohen live on two occasions in the past two years. On both occasions, he re-used, in whole or part, an intro to at least one song that I would have heard from his live album. It must be difficult to be original for every song every night.
On Saturday, one sensed that each introduction was said for the first time – the others on stage were hearing of it for the first time, as were the audience. There was a palpable buzz of a fresh relationship with the coming together of three independent artists (one a band) – not just wondering what the other might say and when but a definite mutual liking and enjoyment.
The music was respectful to the original tune – to many varying degrees – but never to the extent that you thought it was a case of simply changing the words and keeping the tune. The final song of the night ‘Ní hin an tslí chun slán a rá’ (That’s no way to say goodbye) was repeated – so we got two different treatments; both hopping.
The three artists (Liam O’Maonlaí, The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and Hilary Bow) combined to provide 5 vocalists – each brought their own to a particular song.
This wasn’t just an aural experience. There was a visual back-drop with a picture slideshow of Leonard Cohen and images appropriate to the lyrics. These images included the words being sung at the time. For me, non-fluent in Irish, these were needed. A definite enhancement.
The only improvements for me could have been the inclusion of ‘A Thousand Kisses Deep’ and possibly a larger audience or smaller venue – minor issues.
I like Leonard Cohen. I have started conversational Irish classes so do have an interest. You can take whatever possible bias from these as you wish.
I am hoping to get to Tralee on Saturday ( Correction - Friday 29th) for the final gig so again you can take whatever inference you wish.