From a sun-drenched crowd of thousands to a dark pub basement, and all in the matter of 5 days – ladies and gentlemen I give you the lifestyle of a 21st century rock star.
After kicking off proceedings at one of the annual Hyde Park ‘British Summer Time’ events, last night was a case of getting back to the proper business of airing his wares to a more appreciative and actual fan-based audience. And, on the evidence of Tuesdays ‘up close and personal’ set it won’t be long before Mr Leonard and his incredibly talented band ‘The Horses’ will be playing to the masses once again.
Leonard is all about the music. Sure, he enjoys the interaction with his audience and the occasional pout but there is more to this talented singer-songwriter than the standard fluff that accompanies so many of these ‘break-through’ artists. Thankfully there is no gimmick with Leonard. There is no James Bay hat distracting you from the musical product and thankfully no Elton John endorsement telling you to “buy this guy’s music at all cost” (that may come though). You’re simply presented with track after track of mature, catchy and well written music.
Leonard is no newbie to the musical circus. The ‘Out of Work Astronaut’ LP dropped in 2012 and surprisingly didn’t make the impact many expected. However, last night was an opportunity to start-over and to experience, at first hand, this newer brash sound.
New single ‘Underwood Milk’ is reinvention of gargantuan proportions. Already a GIGsoup Track of the Day this pot boiler is destined to grace radio play-lists the world over. It has a swagger all of its own and left the audience in no doubt of the artists progress. Played out live the track grows beyond the restrictions of its ‘bells and whistles’ digital format and deserved its well received applause.
‘Rise Up’ also impressed. A catchy up beat number it further confirms Kieran Leonard and the Horses as real star material. The breadth of beautiful slower tracks and indie-folk bodes well for the artists second LP ‘Good Luck, Everybody’ which is due to drop later this year.
It’s utterly refreshing to find an artists who enjoy performing. This enthusiasm to entertain and strong material should re-launch Kieran Leonard and the Horses to a wider audience. And, ironically, last nights ‘Waiting Room’ and tonight’s ‘Old Blue Last’ gigs could be more of a tipping point than the larger but characterless Hyde Park show.
The setlist from last nights gigs was…
‘Long John Silver’
‘Well Well Well’
‘Hell & High Water’
‘Ever Open Door’