Thursday, 20 November 2008

Leonard Cohen at the Albert Hall!

On Tuesday my wife and I were finally able to use her (rather belated) birthday present from me - tickets for Leonard Cohen.  At the Albert Hall!  It was spectacularly good - great seats (stalls, so good line of sight over the arena floor), amazing sound quality, and of course the Man himself, a living legend, who delivered an astonishing 3 or more hours of the finest entertainment I can recall.  The band were superb: every member individually talented but, as with all the best ensembles, the whole was even greater than the sum of the parts. I can't recall a better evening.

But it so nearly didn't happen, for us ...  I had originally bought tickets on eBay, the only place I had been able to find really good seats for the London concerts so-far announced, which were at the O2 Arena.  Not a venue we fancied much, but at the time I don't think the Albert Hall dates had been arranged.  The O2 tickets were in the first couple of rows right in front of the stage, so we were pretty pleased with ourselves. I paid, and waited.

And waited ... and chased the seller, again and again.  Who turned out not to have the tickets at all, but was "expecting to receive them from the promoter" shortly before the date.  Lots of promises about keeping us informed, lots of reassurances they would arrive in time. Until eventually, two days before the gig, I receive an email from the seller saying that some tickets have arrived but are for the wrong event!  By now we're way past the eBay 90-day limit for disputes. Moral: do not trust individuals selling concert tickets on eBay. If you do go ahead, demand the tickets or your money back well within eBay's limit.

Fortunately, I found an online ticket company (Double8tickets) with the AH seats, via a Google ad which appeared in GMail! Normally, I ignore these ads, but this one leapt out at me at a time when I was desperate to find tickets, so I wouldn't have to disappoint Chris.  Just goes to show that these unobtrusive little ads can work very effectively, and are so much less irritating than the loud, flashy mess that flickers away above Microsoft's Live or Hotmail frame.

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