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Leonard Cohen to play London as part of world tour (2008)

Leonard Cohen

Story by Jack Foley

LEONARD Cohen has announced details of a new world tour, marking a return to the live arena after 15 years.

The critically-acclaimed artist, who has just been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will open in Toronto on June 6 and 7, before playing dates in Europe, including London’s O2 Arena.

Cohen is widely cited as one of the greatest singer-songwriters of modern times. At his induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, he as recognized by Lou Reed as “without question one of the most important and influential songwriters of our time, a figure whose body of work achieves greater mystery and depth as time goes one”.

Among those inducted with Cohen were Madonna, John Mellencamp The Dave Clark Five, and the Ventures.

Cohen first emerged as a major and influential talent in the early 60’s. Albums like Songs Of Leonard Cohen (1967), Songs Of Love And Hate (1970) and I’m Your Man (1990), right up to 1992’s The Future, 2001’s Ten New Songs and 2004’s Dear Heather are rightly considered classics. It is estimated that his songbook has been covered over 1,330 times by other recording artists.

Cohen’s 2008 tour will be as varied as his influence. He plays the UK’s legendary Glastonbury Festival on June 29, for 150,000 fans, while the Montreux Jazz Festival and Spain’s Bennicasim are also stand out dates among arena shows at the O2 in London and more intimate dates such as Toronto’s Sony Centre and the Manchester’s Opera House in the UK.

Rob Hallett, from AEG Live, said: “For many this tour will be the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the legend that is Leonard Cohen. We, as a company, are honored to bring this long rumored tour to reality across the globe.”

Joining Cohen will be some world-renowned musicians: Roscoe Beck (bass & vocals, music director) Neil Larsen (keyboard, accordion, brass instruments), Bob Metzger (guitar, steel guitar & vocals), Javier Mas (acoustic guitar, oud & misc. string instruments), Christine Wu – Violin, viola, cello & keyboard, Rafael Gayol (drums & percussion) and Dino Soldo (keyboard, saxophone, wind instruments & vocals).

The complete list of tour dates so far is…

June 2008
6-7 – Toronto, Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
14 – Dublin IMMA
17-20 – Manchester International Festival
23-26 – Montreal Place des Arts
29 – Glastonbury Festival

July
1 – Oslo, Aliset Stadium
3 – Helsingborg Open Air
5 – Copenhagen, Rosenborg Castle
6 – Arhuus, Raadhus Parken
8 – Montreux Jazz Festival
9 – Lyon Festival
10 – Bruges, Cactus
12 – Amsterdam, Westerdam
16 – Edinburgh Castle
17 – London O2 Arena
19 – Lisbon Passeio Maritimo
20 – Bennicasim Festival
22 – Nice Jazz Festival
25 – Lorrach, Stimmen De Welt
27 – Lucca Summer Festival
29 – Athens, Lykabettus Theatre

August
3 – Ledbury, Big Chill
5-6 – Istanbul, Arena
10 – Prague Castle
12 – Budapest Sziget
14-15 – Girona, Cap Roig
28-29 – Vienna Opera House

Worldwide tour dates will continue to be announced within the coming weeks. Fans should visit leonardcohen.aeglive.com for the most up to date concert and ticket on sale information.