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OOPS We Goofed : Leonard Cohen’s UK Summer Concerts Clashed With Jewish Holidays : Promoter Reschedules Them

Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival 2009 - Day 1

Leonard Cohen / Getty

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/By Alan Gallindoss /

Singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen has had to have rescheduled two UK concerts which were previously set for Jewish religious holidays.

The 78-year-old singing star, whose songs include “Suzanne” and “Hallelujah”, is traveling on his “Old Ideas World Tour”, including hectic dates to play seven concerts in the UK in August and September.

Once Cohen “learned that two of his UK concerts were scheduled on days of solemn religious observance, he respectfully asked us to move the dates” according to the concerts’ promoter AEG in a statement, also saying “We at AEG, and Leonard, apologize deeply for the inconvenience this will cause, ” adding they hoped the fans would understand.

The concert due to be staged in Leeds on September 5th has been moved back two days as it clashed with the Jewish new year holiday Rosh Hashanah.

A second concert at the O2 Arena in London would then have also conflicted with Yom Kippur, or Day of Atonement. This has now been scheduled for a day later on 15 September. Cohen has already played the O2 once already in 2013 during this tour, again receiving rave reviews.

Cohen is an observant Jew and is reported to keep Shabbat even while on tour. The newspaper the Independent reports he is also interested in Buddhism, and was even ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1996, but not in search of a new religion. “I’m quite happy with the old one, with Judaism, ” he has said.

Religiosity has even been a consistent theme throughout Cohen’s career, and a number of his songs, including “Story of Isaac” and “Hallelujah”, reference Jewish religious themes.

The Canadian musician, who released his first album Songs of Leonard Cohen in 1967, reluctantly returned to touring in 2008 following a 15-year break, after his money was misappropriated in the Madoff scandal.

Following the huge success of that world tour, which was extended into 2010 and received over a hundred five-star reviews, he decided to tour again this year following the release in 2012 of the Old Ideas album.

Some reviewers have even likened his concerts to quasi-religious gatherings, according to an article written by Sylvie Simmons who wrote the biography I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen.



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