The queue snaked all the way down below Edinburgh Castle, right the way along to Princes Street. I had come down from Inverness and some people next to me in the queue had come up from Leeds. There were some people who must have been in their 70s, as well as a few who might have been yet to reach double figures. There were men in suits, and I also saw a guy with a pink mohican.
The reason for such a diverse crowd? The world's greatest living Canadian, Mr Leonard Cohen.
His gig at Edinburgh Castle on Wednesday was really fantastic. Although Cohen is now in his 70s, he's lost none of his ability to wrench meaning from every word he sings.
The concert got under way with Dance Me To The End Of Love, which I think is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. He followed that with his bleak vision of The Future, a song written in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall which has proven to be unfortunately prophetic ("I've seen the future, brother, it is murder"). Then came his powerful Everybody Knows. Other highlights of the first half included an excellently understated Bird On The Wire and concluded with his superb song Anthem.
And the second half was just as good - Suzanne, Democracy and First We Take Manhattan were all brilliant. His reference to his "Golden Voice" on Tower Of Song brought a cheer from the crowd, and there were even a few wolf whistles for him on I'm Your Man, not bad for a 73-year-old!
Cohen showed just how powerful and yet delicate his voice can be with his signature song Hallelujah and proceedings eventually came to an appropriate end with the lively Closing Time.
With a lifetime of songs to choose from, there were always going to be some notable absentees, and none of Coming Back To You, Chelsea Hotel, Light As The Breeze (surely the best song ever written about cunnilingus?) or The Story Of Isaac made it in.
And although the rain began to come down in the last half hour or so, I'm sure that mattered not at all to everybody there. This was a superb gig and it was a truly memorable occasion. This is the only time I've ever managed to see Cohen live, so for me it was a unique privilege to be there.
Recommended Lib Dem blogs and websites
- Andrew Reeves
- Caron's Musings
- Charlotte Gore
- Cicero's Songs
- Cllr Debra Storr
- Councillor Alex Graham
- David Boyle
- Duncan Borrowman
- Fraser MacPherson
- Freedom Central
- Himmelgarten Cafe
- Jock Coats
- John Hemming MP
- Lib Dem Blogs Aggregated
- Lib Dem Voice
- Liberal Burblings
- Liberal Bureaucracy
- Liberal England
- Love and Liberty
- Lynne Featherstone MP
- Mark Reckons
- Millennium Elephant
- Norfolk Blogger
- Peter Black AM
- Quaequam Blog!
- Sara Bedford
- Scottish Liberal Democrats
- Social Liberal Forum
- Stephen Glenn
- Steve Webb MP
- The People's Republic of Mortimer
- UK Liberal Democrats
Other good political sites
Miscellaneous non-political sites
- ► 2009 (111)
- Black is right
- Ross Finnie answers my questions
- I don't wish to sound critical...
- Brown isn't the new John Major
- Farewell to Russell Johnston
- Tavish Scott answers my questions
- The madness of Ming Campbell
- Mike Rumbles answers my questions
- Read all about it!
- Questions on the leadership election
- Reducing the tax burden - can Clegg make it happen...
- The world's greatest living Canadian
- Tom Brake, Dwain Chambers and drugs hypocrisy
- Beer we go again
- Lib Dems join coalition
- The Beeb's news values
- What is the point of The Scotsman?
- Blimey! Nicol quits
- ▼ July (18)