Growing up, I heard a lot of Leonard Cohen. Few performers can match the raw emotion and sheer seductiveness of his work, such distinct pieces as Everybody Knows, First We Take Manhattan, and, of course, Hallelujah. My Leonard Cohen: The works of Leonard Cohen, performed by Stewart D’Arrietta and his nine piece band is a glowing tribute to this legendary artist, an intimate insight into his life, his motivations, his incredible influence.
Chapel off Chapel is an inspired choice of venue to host. “Beneath the watchful eyes of our Lord”, D’Arrietta weaves a detailed tale, told with his brand of laconic humor, with the music; Chelsea Hotel, he tells us, is a tribute to one of the most iconic blowjobs in the world. His musical interpretations of some songs may disappoint the purists – “How dare you!” one once yelled at him – but in his own words, “Music is a living organism…it reflects the emotions of the performer”.
You can see why the return comes after a sell-out season; D’Arrietta has a real affinity with and passion for his subject. The band are a talented bunch who perform each number with enthusiasm and energy. Oh, and to cut very much to the chase, his rendition of Hallelujah is excellent. Apart from that, highlights include Suzanne – which fans will know is about his platonic relationship with a friend’s girlfriend – Bird on the Wire, and their upbeat “encore” rendition of Sisters of Mercy.
Tickets can be booked here.