Pop gig of the week: Leonard Cohen, Wembley Arena, London


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The Independent Culture

On the closing night of the Olympics, a different but still pretty olympian undertaking kicked off in Ghent, where Leonard Cohen rocket-launched his 2012 tour with a three-hour-plus, 33-song set.

That's some going for a 77-year-old who only emerged from semi-retirement to hit the road again for fiscal reasons in 2008, but anyone who saw that tour witnessed a show brewed in love and passion, one that transcended its financial remit and exceeded all expectations of a man Cohen's age.

By now, the need for money surely lags far behind joy in the job: those "godfather of gloom" epithets still haunt Cohen, but it's his wit, warmth and droll dignity that will wrap Wembley in a loving embrace this weekend, qualities in abundance even when he's looking death in the face on his latest album, Old Ideas.

He might ache in the places where he used to play after shows of this scale, but to hear from him (baby) is ever a pleasure to treasure.

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