Leonard Cohen fans upset over Yom Kippur O2 gig


Hallelujah may be Leonard Cohen’s most famous song but it hardly describes the current mood of the legendary Canadian singer’s Jewish fans.

They are down in the dumps over news that the Jewish-born star’s concert in London has been scheduled for September 14 — the day of Yom Kippur.

“I would 100 per cent have bought tickets if it wasn’t for Yom Kippur,” said Josh Dubell, who works at North Western Reform Synagogue. “I have been to his last two concerts and saw him at Glastonbury.”

Those grumbles were echoed by Alex Rose, a young fan who goes to King Solomon High School in Essex. “I would have loved to have seen him live,” he said. “But, while I’m not particularly religious myself, it’s simply not respectful. Any another festival, but not Yom Kippur.

“It would have been preferable if he had chosen a different date, especially considering he is Jewish.”

Even fans tempted to a dash to the O2 after breaking the fast have been stymied. The fact that this is the earliest Yom Kippur in more than a century and does not go out until after 8pm, means Cohen will be singing his encore by the time they can get to the venue.

To add even more misery, the singer’s other London show during his international tour took place on a Friday night.

“It’s a shame,” said Jonathan Sacerdoti, a political commentator who was eager to see the singer live. “There’s no way I’d go on Yom Kippur. It seemed an odd choice for him, even though he’s not an observant Jew.”

A spokesman for the O2 said the singer’s schedule was decided by the tour promoter, AEG.

Cohen followers will have to resign themselves to waiting for their hero’s next appearance in the capital, or travelling hundreds of miles to Birmingham or Leeds, where he is playing on dates free of religious significance.

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