Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Passenger: Tieing for Leonard's Top Spot

Back in the early nineties  a bunch of us used to drink in the then  atmospheric  yet scruffy olde worlde White Hart Pub in Exeter.  It's probably been done up in a lardy-dardy way to within an inch of its life now.  We'd end up after closing time in the teeny tiny house of one of our friends.  There, we used to drink a whole bunch more. That happened on weekdays as well as weekends. Goodness know how we managed to get to work the next day but the capacity of the youthful to recover from a skinfull is legendary. There was always a musical backdrop. The repetitive playing of Sinead O' Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U', accompanied by tuneless caterwauling and tears for weeks after the householder's particularly painful break up from her boyfriend, is a particularly strong memory which probably needs relegating to obscurity. It was there in that little wood chip covered living room on first hearing Avalanche that, twenty two years,  my love affair with Leonard Cohen started. Not since the days of kissing my Donny Osmond poster goodnight and promising him undying love had a singer instilled so much emotion in me.  It's a good job that my vows to Donny got broken given the Mormon ban on tea, coffee and alcohol.

And now there's a usurper to Leonard's throne for I've fallen head over heels, musically at least, with Passenger. I've got a hunch that they wouldn't mind sharing a kingly seat because they'd probably like each others music.   Didn't I hear a 'Bird On a Wire' reference on a Passenger track?  I love the young challenger for the same reasons as my veteran songster who's been crooning for me for nearly half my life now. It's the distinctiveness of his voice and passion, humour and wisdom in his poetic lyrics. For a young bloke he has nous, except that he smokes.  Which is a silly habit but he seems to know that.  'Give up Passenger!  Leonard managed it!' Yesterday his latest album, Whispers was released and 'Scare Away The Dark', the song featured in the video above which I've been singing along to in the car is amazing. It's an anthem beseeching us to get out there and live life to the full.

One of the things that I like about this artist is that all his music is easily accessible.  Songs that I haven't heard before seem like old friends as soon as I've listened to them for the first time, yet contain so many ideas to get to grips with.  I'd have loved to have posted a live rendition of 'The One You Love' but there's just those cheesy videos where someone's cobbled together images of floaty stuff.  Instead you're getting 'All the Little Lights' which is Lou's favourite.  It's a rare artist indeed that both a eleven year old boy and his fussy mother like in unison. 

 And now I'm very excited indeed.  For the girlies and I have tickets to see the man himself at the Plymouth Pavilions in November.    As we're all single mums it gives us plenty of time to arrange the baby sitting and make a great big pair of apple catching knickers to demonstrate our collective admiration to throw on stage! Anyone want to join us?

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