Ordinarily, a playlist on noise, or at least of noise, would be one I'd leap at, but what with the weekend I was about to have, and it turning up late, it just wasn't the week for me to think about it. Bugger.
On Friday, I went to see a Jandek performance. It was his first in Ireland, only his second ever solo show, and was held in a modern art gallery, with seats strictly limited to 100. An intriguing figure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jandek), this was something of a must-see, but it's really hard to describe the show itself. He came on, played about 8 songs over an hour, and left, facts which in no way capture the intensity of the evening. It felt like I was glued to the seat, in the best possible way. His interaction with the audience was limited to sitting in front of it (not even a casual glance!), but the music was so spellbinding, we just sat in rapt silence. In retrospect, it was quite an odd night, but definitely a one-off in my experience of shows. I can't find any videos of him solo, but this live one with a band should give some indication of what he's like (and make a lie of this post's title):
However, this was really just the appetiser to the weekend's main event, Mr. Leonard Cohen. Well, what can I say? It was, let me repeat, Leonard Cohen. Live. Saturday night, open-air, and quite stunning. It was the middle of a three-night engagement, and for a 73 year old to play three three-hour sets on consecutive nights is pretty damn impressive. Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty impressive (sorry, been binging on Curb Your Enthusiasm boxsets this week). Admittedly, it would have been nice to hear some more of the older songs, but there were moments of exquisite beauty throughout, particularly Suzanne, and the video below (from the first night) which doesn't do justice to how beautiful this song was wafting across a pindrop-silent crowd in near darkness. It was also interesting to see the audience reaction to the lyrics of "Democracy", and a fun crowd-pleaser for Mr. Cohen to note that after last week's referendum result, "Ireland continues to bewilder the world". The show also gave me the full set of now having seen Jeff Buckley, John Cale and Leonard Cohen perform "Hallelujah" live. Even more impressive than his stamina was noticing how dignified the man is, he really seems a remarkably genuine gentleman, treating his audience with respect and affection, quietly shaming so many other performers a fraction of his age. A truly memorable evening.
I was supposed to be at Prince tonight, but that show was cancelled. Boo and hiss. Next up, Melt Banana, Sunburned Hand Of Man, and a jaunt to Manchester (where I've never been) for My Bloody Valentine (loud is the new loud?), so if anyone knows anywhere decent to go in Manchester, all suggestions gratefully accepted.