Cohen introduced him as Professor, and guitarist Mitch Watkins has spent some time teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, but like Roscoe Beck his association with Leonard runs back to 1979. In between he spent a lot of time working with Lyle Lovett as well as Jerry Jeff Walker, Joe Ely and Jennifer Warnes. Watkins chipped in with some ringing Wes Montgomery styled guitar licks and Larsen got plenty of opportunities to work out on the Hammond B3 and other keys.

But the real stars on the instrumental front were Javier Mas, whose flamenco and gypsy-infused contributions on bandurrialaúdarchilaúd, and, occasionally acoustic guitar were once again stunning, and Moldovan violinist Alexandru Bublitchi, who regularly went close to stealing the show from the man who, last time I saw the ensemble, regularly threatened to steal the show from the front man.

All in all, a show that was at least as good as Brisbane, and possibly better. Leonard seemed relaxed. Our seats were much better (which, in terms of performance isn’t important, but definitely enhances the enjoyment). The only negative factor, in there was one, came in the absence of Dino Soldo, the keyboard, saxophone and assorted woodwind player who added tones of light and shade last time. Iif he had been there we wouldn’t have had the violinist, would we?

But when you’re looking for an assessment, it’s best to turn to some of my fellow attendees, two of whom find Hughesy’s predilection for multiple Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello concerts inexplicable. Both of them reported they’d have been happy to front up for Leonard the following night if that had been possible.

Me? Given the fact that you’d almost certainly get the same set, I don’t think so.

But if he’s back, by which time he’ll probably be into his eighties, I’m going again. After all, it might be the last time.

Set 1: Dance Me To The End Of Love, The Future, Bird On The Wire, Everybody Knows, Who By Fire, The Darkness, Amen, Come Healing, Lover, Lover, Lover, Anthem

Set 2: Tower Of Song, Suzanne, Chelsea Hotel #2, Waiting For The Miracle, Anyhow, The Partisan, In My Secret Life, Alexandra Leaving, I'm Your Man, A Thousand Kisses Deep, Hallelujah, Take This Waltz

First Encore: So Long Marianne, Going Home, First We Take Manhattan

Second Encore: Famous Blue Raincoat, If It Be Your Will, Closing Time

Third Encore: I Tried To Leave You I've Got A Little Secret, Save The Last Dance For Me

Leonard Cohen - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards 

Roscoe Beck - Acoustic and Electric Bass 

Mitch Watkins - Guitar 

Neil Larsen - Keyboards, Hammond B3 

Javier Mas - Bandurria, Laud, Archilaud, Guitar 

Alexandru Bublitchi - Violin 

Rafael Bernardo Gayol - Drums 

Sharon Robinson - Vocals 

Hattie Webb - Vocals, Harp 

Charley Webb - Vocals, Guitar

© Ian Hughes 2012