Yorkshire Evening Post
The legendary Leonard Cohen left thousands cheering at the end of a long awaited concert at Leeds University at the weekend. He also left an atmosphere which will remain there for a long time. Latecomers trying to find a places on the floor from which to watch the great man himself did not stand a chance. There wasn’t room to turn round.
But everyone paid rapt attention as Cohen, the Canadian poet, novelist, songwriter and singer, put his across his songs simply and sincerely with the help of a small group of musicians and a pair of lovely girls who sang. Often as Cohen’s words drifted out, you could hear quiet accompaniment from hundreds in the hall before a storm of applause as each song closed. Cohen’s most famous song “Sisters of Mercy” was perhaps best received. “Please don’t pass me by” he sang at the concert’s close. Nobody would. It was, to put it mildly, an experience. The Johnstons.
Still in the folk world, you will find three interesting concerts week - one by the Johnstons at the Mechanics’ Institute, Otley, tomorrow night, one in aid of Oxfam at King’s Hall, Ilkley on Thursday, with the Dave Abrams and the third at Leeds Polytechnic on Friday with Spencer Davis and Dave Campbell as the chief attractions. The Johnstons whose “Streets of London” single has just been released, are now among the top-liners of Britain’s folk world, and are bound to be a big draw. Organised by Otley Folk Club, the concert will also feature Luke and John, two popular regulars at the club.
Described as being second only to the Dubliners in popularising Irish folk music, The Johnstons should attract enough Irishmen to make this concert swing. Tickets from Barkers. Leeds Singer.
Again on the folk front, a first album from Leeds folk singer Jon Rennard is certainly worth hearing. it is called “Brimbledown Fair” and is just out. Jon has been involved with folk music for some years, arriving at folk after playing all kinds of music, including a stint with the Jug and Bottle-washers jug band.