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Saturday, November 4, 2017


(Dave Starke. Photo John Robinson)
 A must for all Leonard Cohen fans. It will also be enjoyed by those who need a trip down memory lane, as well as all those who enjoy good live music. (Review by Keith Millar)

 Currently on at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo is an intimate Supper Theatre presentation which explores the life, and music of the celebrated Canadian-born poet, author and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen.

Cohen, who passed away recently at the age of 82, did not launch his music career until 1967 when he was already 33 years old. He was the dark and sombre presence in an era which also included singer/songwriter poets such as Bob Dylan, Paul Simon and Joni Mitchel.

Over a career spanning more than five decades he produced a myriad of evocative, emotional and brooding songs, which he sang in a minimalist, brooding and deep manner - often bordering on the melancholy. His subject matter was love and hate, sex and spirituality, war and peace, ecstasy and depression.

His citation at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame reads: “For six decades, Leonard Cohen revealed his soul to the world through poetry and song—his deep and timeless humanity touching our very core. Simply brilliant. His music and words will resonate forever.”

Perran Hahndiek, a writer and poet based in Cape Town, and Dave Starke, a singer and guitarist from Eshowe in KZN, have taken the life story and music of this great artist and crafted it into an insightful, caring biographical tribute show called Leonard Cohen – A Tribute.

Starke is an experienced, affable performer with a warm baritone voice and nimble fingers on the guitar. He brings just the right amount of seriousness and darkness to his performance to evoke the memory of Leonard Cohen.

His delivery of the well-researched narrative of Cohen’s life is polished, studied and sincere. Starke, and Hahndiek for that matter, are obvious huge fans and followers of the music of Leonard Cohen – and this much shows in their production.

Songs performed include hits such as So Long Maryanne, Suzanne and Sisters of Mercy, Birds on a Wire, the haunting Famous Blue Raincoat, Who by Fire, Dancing to the End of Love, Tower of Song and If I didn’t Have Your Love.

Very poignant was Starke’s rendition of Treaty, a song from his last album You Want It Darker? – signs of a great sense of humour here – which was released shortly before his death.

The finale of the show is Starke’s own version of Cohen’s greatest song - and in my opinion one of the greatest songs ever written – Hallelujah.

Leonard Cohen – A Tribute is a must for all Leonard Cohen fans. It will also be enjoyed by those who need a trip down memory lane, as well as all those who enjoy good live music.

The show is on at the Rhumbelow Theatre in Cunningham Road, Umbilo this week-end and will be back at the Rhumbelow at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof in March next year.

Performances this week-end are at 20h00 today (Saturday, November 4) and at 14h00 and 18h30 tomorrow (Sunday, November 5).

Tickets R150 pp available from Computicket or via Roland on 082 499 8636 or e-mail

Venue opens 90 minutes before show time for picnic meals. Braais will be available should you wish to cook some meat. Bar available (no alcohol may be brought on to the premises)

Limited secure parking available. – Keith Millar