I was a late adopter of Jackie Leven, truly. His new age band Doll by Doll had actually passed me by. After that I saw a testimonial in the songs press that pointed out a singer-songwriter with muscle verses and also great guitar having fun– and also from Fife. My ears punctured up. I handled to locate a number of his CDs in a store. I was composing an Assessor Rebus story at the time, and also not just did I like Beaming Bro Beaming Sibling, however I assumed
would certainly like it.
Photo: David Corio/Redferns
He was a guy that changed himself numerous times. There was the people troubadour of the very early years, and afterwards there was Doll by Doll– that I desire I had actually seen real-time, obviously they were rather challenging. As well as he experienced a horrible fierce assault in Camden, north London, after which he shed self-confidence, could not sing. He entered heroin, after that off heroin, and afterwards began a charity to assist other individuals leave heroin. And afterwards the more reinvention, when he went solo. It was a heck of a life.
Another point that connected us was a love of the bar. He was a wonderful one for entering into bars and also paying attention to individuals share their tales– and also I have actually been doing that my entire life.The Sexual Loneliness of Jesus Christ There’s an extraordinary interest in his job: manliness, however rather breakable manliness. His cd titles provide the video game away: Fairytale for Difficult Male; Fans at the Weapon Club. You obtain the feeling he’s vocal singing from the viewpoint of solidified males that are concealing their sensations– which it would certainly be better for them if they really did not. There are tracks that obtain from Scots ballads and also various other ballads– a people custom, however implanted on to something a lot a lot more contemporary. A great deal of the tracks have to do with visiting and also the alienation that visiting brings, and also he often lays out to shock:
, what an amazing title for a tune! That’s not going to obtain you a lot of jobs in the Vatican.recorded a homage to him It is difficult to pin him down. Is it Caledonian spirit? Is it in the spirit of individuals like Van Morrison? Leven was a magpie. He liked having fun with individuals from various practices. African artists; Arabian artists. Offer him jazz artists, he would certainly play in addition to them. He was a massive follower of Johnny Cash money, and also
Photo: Jordi Vidal/RedfernsEdinburgh After he checked out that Rebus publication, he contacted my author and also we began matching. I accompanied to a solo job of his at the
edge, at twelve o’clock at night in an old modified church. I had actually hardly seen a photo of him. Since he came shambling on phase, I assumed he was the roadie. He began playing, and also as quickly as you listened to the voice you assumed: “Oh, that’s Jackie Leven!” As well as his guitar strategy was amazing.Celtic Connections We fulfilled briefly after that, which was the beginning. He was doing an occasion at went down really well and also recommended we do a program with each other: “You review out several of your job and also I’ll sing some tracks,” he claimed. “Why do not we extend ourselves?” I claimed. “I’ll create an item detecting motifs that I locate in your tracks, and also you create some brand-new tracks in feedback to that narrative.” Which ended up being Jackie Leven Said, which
We did it numerous times and also it was videotaped.The Haunting of John Rebus He composed
Art Work for the Jackie Leven collection Straight Outta CaledoniaStanding in Another Man’s Grave After he passed away in 2011, I was paying attention to a great deal of his songs. I called Saints of the Shadow Bible after among his tracks– though it ended up I had actually misheard the verse: his title was in fact Standing in One more Guy’s Rainfall. For my following publication, I assumed an additional of his verses would certainly be sufficient, so I took
: “The saints of the darkness holy bible following me from bar to bar right into endless time”. I would certainly constantly wished to ask him what the heck that suggested and also never ever obtained round to it. There’s no question we would certainly have interacted once more, perhaps made an additional cd, done some tracks with each other.
I do not understand why he is not much better recognized. He had his followers worldwide, however the media in the UK simply really did not take notification. Go someplace like Norway and also individuals in the songs press or the songs clubs all respect and also understand Jackie Leven. I wish this Straight Outta Caledonia collection makes a distinction. It’s a wonderful intro that simply scrapes the surface area. I would certainly enjoy it if, having actually paid attention to it, individuals went off and also checked out Jackie’s discography. You might invest your entire life there, learning more about this man.
As informed to Robin Denselow.(*)