Review: Kiran Leonard, Latitude Festival

There are not many acts at Latitude who introduce their set with songs about leprosy. But the charming, self-effacing young singer-songwriter Kiran Leonard stands alone, his cyclical songs of rage, lust and despair weaving spells seemingly from nowhere. It’s an astonishing set. While the slightly overrated Daughter (the second album has proved disappointing) draw huge crowds, here the modest audience feel like they are part of a beautiful conspiracy.Kiran-Leonard--810x506Magical: Kiran Leonard

The staccato stabs of furious guitar and whispered songs are so compelling because he seems, as some of the finest musicians do, utterly unassuming. He recommends films, bemoans having one guitar strap but too many guitars, and then launches into a devastating Secret Police.His songs seem to come from an external force, utterly otherwordly at times, as though gnawing away at him.

The too short set (no Grapefruit here tonight) culminates in a devastating cover of The Tammys’ Actions Speak Louder than Words, where he upends the typical girl groups’ small-talk, twisting them into amorphous new shapes. The ones present got it, this time next year many, many more will understand.

(Lorna Irvine)



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