It is obviously that Tess Coleman and Michael Liddle really like Cohen’s music. They have done their research and chosen a wide variety of his songs, although they seem to lean towards his earlier work.
They began with what is arguably his next best-known song, after Hallelujah, First we take Manhattan, which for me lacked the passion of Cohen’s version. With both on guitars and Tess occasionally on flute, they tackled many of the favourites: Famous Blue Raincoat, There Ain’t No Cure for Love, Bird on a Wire, Lover, Lover, Lover and Dance to the End of Love to name a few.
I am aware that this show has been presented before and received good reviews, so I was disappointed with the off timing on the beginning of some numbers and the lack of subtlety in some of the guitar work. Perhaps it was an off night?
Despite the problems, they paid homage to Cohen and they knew their subject well. The visuals used as a backdrop were interesting and the inclusion of some actual footage of Cohen himself was a nice touch, although better quality video and stills would be good.
They did cover a wide range of songs, including Sisters of Mercy, Joan of Arc, Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, So Long Marianne and Suzanne.
To be fair, Cohen himself had no great voice, but his music had soul. If you are a Cohen fan, then this show is for you, but if you are not, it is unlikely to convert you.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: The Soul Box, 252 Hindley Street, Adelaide
Season: 12, 26 & 29 June 2014
Duration: 1 hr 50 mins
Tickets: $12.00 -$15.00
Bookings: Book through the Cabaret Fringe Festival online or tickets at the door if not sold out.