Keith James gives a concert at the Norwegian Church - Cardiff
Keith James played the songs of Leonard Cohen at a concert at The Norwegian Church in Cardiff. Cardiff, Wales, UK. 25 June 2011
Keith James worked through the 1990's recording music in his own studio, working as a music producer and sound engineer, this did not give him much time to perform at concerts as much as he would have liked to.
Over the last 4 years Keith has experimented with several, innovative and well executed projects projects, that of setting music to the words of the Spanish Poet Federico Garcia Lorca. He has produced two Albums directly from this work: ‘Lorca’ and ‘Poet in New York’. He plays on the albums with Double Bass player Rick Foot.
They toured the United Kingdom with both Lorca concepts to find that many people were intrigued to listen to such a unique series of compositions about the work of a poet who is revered to this day.
Last year Keith and Rick Foot were on tour celebrating the music of John Martyn.
In Autumn 2010 Keith presented a concert based on "The Great Canadian Songbook", giving his very personal interpretations of the music by Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen
This inspired him to tour in the first six months of 2011 with the current tour: The Music of Leonard Cohen.
For millions of people the work of Cohen is such that there can be few aspects of the range of human emotions that Cohen has experienced and failed to capture in painstakingly carefully chosen words, turning much of those experiences into beautiful and iconic songs. Cohen can take many years to write a song, not being content until every word, every line of prose, sits as perfect as it could possibly be. It was an absolute pleasure to sit in the small venue at the Norwegian Church on the edge of Cardiff Bay and listen to the concert by Keith James and his female companion, Louise Spencer. The acoustics in the building lens a special something extra to the music. The lighting also added an extra element of calm and peace, the only thing I wished for was "tea and oranges" on the tables!
Keith says he has stripped back each song until it is - desolate, naked and sensual
Keith included Poems by Federico Garcia Lorca and Leonard Cohen set to music. One fantastic aspect was the setting to music of the poem "Twilight", from the rare book by Leonard Cohen," Let Us Compare Mythologies", published in 1956. Keith performed this with great care not to lose the emotion of the poem.
Keith played a superb set of music, dipping into the many favourites songs of Cohen but played with his unique interpretive style. The audience were enthusiastic and showed their appreciation when he came back onstage to play a few final numbers. His "Music of Leonard Cohen" tour continues and there are only another two venues to go: The Tap and Spile, Lincoln and The Crispin inn, Sandwich, Kent. In my view this has to be a concert that is not to be missed by any one who is interested in the work of Leonard Cohen. After the tour Keith will be taking a break but will recommence his tour in the autumn with a concert at The Blue Ball Inn, Grantchester.