Over two months since I lasted posted here, largely due to quite a festivally summer, where many great acts were seen and swayed to (I wouldn’t dignify my movements by describing them as dancing). But this blog is about someone I didn’t see, someone I haven’t seen for a very long time indeed.
Marc Cohn released his debut album, Walking in Memphis, in 1991. You’ve almost certainly heard the title track even if you haven’t heard the album, as it’s been sampled, covered by Cher amongst others and is a radio staple. Two more albums followed, The Rainy Season (1993) and Burning the Daze (1998) followed, then, after a nine year gap, Join The Parade. None hit the commercial heights of Walking in Memphis though all were its equal if not superior.
Now, in the Nineties Cohn was a reasonably regular visitor to the UK and played to good-sized crowds (and sometimes, let’s be fair, smaller ones). But despite regular tours in North America he hasn’t ventured across the Atlantic for, well, what seems like forever. This hardly makes him unique. Lots of musicians find it too much hassle, and probably too expensive, to play maybe only three or four dates in the UK. Even if they can tag on a European date or two it’s still a lot easier, and more lucrative, to stay on the other side of the pond.
Of course fans have no “right” to their idols turning up every eighteen months to play for them any more than they have any rights over any other part of a performer’s life. But it would be nice if, occasionally, they popped over to play for their fans in the UK. Their may not be as many of them as there once were, there may not be as many as there are in America, but they do exist. I’m one of Cohn’s, in fact I’m probably one of the more fanatical, and, as I listen to The Things We’ve Handed Down while typing this I’m thinking how glorious it would be to hear the man sing it in person just once more.