Leek - Forgotten People"
(Gotham Records- 2004. Produced by: George Martin (track 3) &
[Review written by
Genre: Rock-pop/ acoustic.
It’s no secret that the executives or ‘men in black’
of popular music are not doing enough internationally to nurture real artists and not simply
those within the jazz, blues and folk traditions. Back to basics well- crafted songwriting is also a casualty of
the current scene, with a few choice names achieving recognition as acquired tastes. Andy Leek is an example of a home grown
British singer/songwriter of a clearly high pedigree who has risen above the treadmill of the industry. His creative persona
strikes an awkward balance, oscillating from expressions of modesty and reserve, to glimpses of a fundamentally repressed
ambition. Andy Leek’s formative years were spent as a precocious teenage prodigy on keyboards for Dexy’s Midnight
Runners. Beginning his career at sixteen was considered to be a part of a personal rebellion, yet his place in the 1980’s
pop scene became more concrete when Dexy’s achieved their million selling hit ‘Geno’. For any true music
archivist, Andy’s story contains a network of bona fide credentials, associations and twists of substance, with Sir
George Martin overseeing the Production of his first solo album Say Something in 1990 for Atlantic records; this
was the first debut album George Martin had overseen since The Beatles Please Please Me. The album features contributions
from Steve Howe, Peter Vitesse, Clem Clempson and Alan Murphy, selling approximately 250,000 copies. And did you know...
1986, Andy wrote the single ‘Twist In The Dark’ for Frida of ABBA, and penned a musical
interpretation of a Dylan Thomas poem for Tom Jones. His input into the esteemed Blue Ox Babes
was noteworthy, indeed the band are credited with providing a prototype for Dexy’s greatest hit
‘Come On Eileen’. His most recent release from summer 2004 is Forgotten People, a re-mix album comprising
the songs ‘Forgotten People’ from Sacrifice and Bliss, 2000 and ‘What’s The Problem?’,
Say Something, 1990. This is essentially an angst driven album that satisfies the ear, blending raw sentiments from
upbeat rock-pop and techno, with some haunting lyrical acoustic work. ‘What’s The
Problem’ reflects on the fragile complexity of human relationships, conjuring the essence
and beauty of Nick Drake, implying a slightly stifled creativity. ‘Forgotten People’
evokes an equally introspective mood and is an air for the homeless, delivered with a deft melodic
texture. This track is a fundamental original, written perhaps with the philosophy of ‘visionary’ Stuart
Wilde in mind. Wilde’s eccentric musings have formed a significant influence on Leek, who explains
his interpretation of Stuart’s words on freedom and courage as the need to first help yourself
before it is possible to enrich the lives of others - very true of the music business!
In fact, ‘Forgotten People’ might literally be a title written for those
fully formed musical spirits, who remain partially undiscovered.