Solo Act of the Day: Leon Marshall

Something mainly acoustic today, for those of you still nursing a throbbing post-new year headache!

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

I’m based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire

How long have you been playing?

I’m a solo singer/songwriter and have been performing on and off for about 16 years and then regularly for the last 4 or 5 years or so.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

I play under the name Leon Marshall… Marshall is my middle name, my surname, Denison doesn’t quite sound as apt! 

What are your influences?

I take inspiration from so many it’s really difficult to pinpoint! I enjoy music from a wide range of artists, from Elvis and 50’s Rock n Roll through to the likes of Cypress Hill and everything in between. 

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I’ve got a country-pop sort of sound, I’ve recently been described as Dr Hook meets Jamie Lawson… and yeah I’ll take that! 

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

I don’t think I’d say there’s a theme as such, I write about experience mainly but also I’m a bit of a people watcher, and I’ll often give a stranger a back story and a lyric sparks from that.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

This time last year I was playing 3 or 4 gigs each weekend, and a couple through the week, I’m probably about 350 deep at the moment. They vary from high energy to amazingly calm at the likes of a Sofar Sounds gig when everyone is sat in silence listening the songs in more depth, really listening to them. Both at different ends of the spectrum give the same adrenaline rush.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

More embarrassing than wild but…I was booked to play for a 60th birthday party, I’d had good correspondence with the customer in the lead up and everything was sorted, but they’d failed to mention it was a surprise party. I arrived at the venue early to get set up, but the car park was already full and I had to park a fair distance from the door. I loaded my shoulders with speakers and bags trying to take as much as I could to reduce the trips back and forth. I clumsily pushed the door open with my gear and stumbled into the room, dripping with sweat, hair all over the place and as a smoker, gasping for air, and as I did,  the lights turned on, the DJ played “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang and the whole room unloaded their party poppers on me. It was like a bad film; I was so embarrassed. The birthday boy arrived shortly after and thankfully found it quite amusing.  

What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

Most of my kit is Mackie, and a couple of Marshall amps, and I play a Martin LX1E, but I’ve got my eye on a Taylor GS Mini Koa…just waiting for the right time to bring it up in conversation with the better half! I usually go for a smaller bodied guitar.

What are your plans for the next 12 months? 

I’ve just finished some studio time, so I’m looking forward to sharing ta few new tracks with everyone soon, and then just keep writing and playing (and trying to get better at writing and playing!) Then hopefully soon I’ll be getting back on stage in front of big crowds again! 

If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!

It’d have to be The Barenaked Ladies, I’d love to support them, and I’d probably have a hunt for a young artist just starting out to support me.

Check out this month’s BotD Playlist on Spotify and YouTube

Leon Marshall: official | facebook | twitterspotify | youtube

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