|Sunday 06 October 2019 @ 03:30pm : -
Rory Mcleod - ex-circus clown and fire eater. A one man soulband, poet and storyteller, singing his own unique upbeat dance stories. A modern travelling troubadour using tap shoes, acappella, harmonica, guitar, trombone, spoons, finger cymbals, bandorea, djembe and various percussion instruments!
Rory has travelled the globe for different reasons at different times, from Asia to the Middle East from Gambia to Cuba, Central America, Australia, North America, Canada, Europe and other nooks and crannies of the earth.
Rory has played harmonica and guitar with Ani Di Franco, Michelle Shocked, Michael Franti, Townes Van Zandt, Joe Strummer, The Poison Girls, Butch Hancock, with the West-African guitarist Ali Farke-Toure and Taj Mahal; and Madagascan group TARIKA. He's enjoyed creative collaborations with Hassan Erraji, Kathryn Tickel and Paul Rodden - virtuosos, respectively, of the Moroccan Oud, the Northumbrian pipes and the Irish banjo.
"I sing for all ages, I'm not trying to be different, the next 'new' thing. It seems that the rebellious nature of music has always stood to challenge the old order but there are 'young-old' folks and 'old-young' folks who have been fighting all their lives for the same things".
"I want my songs to keep memory alive; I suppose I'm trying to tell history from working peoples point of view. Politics to me is people; it covers everything from the way you touch your partner/lover in bed and look after your old folks or your family, to the workshop floor, housing, health care, trespass laws, our rights to organise as a community, etc"
In his travels, McLeod not only acquires new material and new life experiences, but he also brings his past and present along with him. As he puts it: "The more I go away, the more I feel rooted in my own traditions, in my own language, my own community where I'm from. It becomes stronger somehow in what I sing about. When I go away I feel like I take all my family with me. I sing songs about my Grandma, so it's like I'm taking my Grandma along with me, I'm taking some of the anger too. We were fighting evictions for a while, so I take some of the anger of the community with me, and I convey that, maybe, in some of the songs I sing."
"The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all of your time."
"The government are trying to overthrow the people, their excuse is; 'if we don't have enough money it's because poor people are hoarding it."
"It takes 10-15 years to become an overnight success."
"I haven't written many songs recently, I have been writing letters rather than songs. Maybe I should get all the people to sing the letters back to me."
"I've travelled to look for work, to mend a broken heart, to be with someone I longed for. I'd travel to visit friends and on the way I'd make new ones, I'd roam because I was curious to see what was around the next corner, sometimes I travelled to follow the warmer weather and migrate... like the birds and the big whales and fishes do".
“You don't listen to McLeod you travel with him.” ~ City Hub, Sydney (Australia)