Eclectic’s too narrow a word for 17 year old Kiran Leonard. Just as you think you’ve got him nailed down as a post punker, he goes a little proggy, then folky…jazzy…rocky… synthy…agggghhhh! It’s no good, labels just won’t stick to him which surely has to be good thing. Maybe he’s the product of an access all areas (of music) generation who’ve grown up with a pretty much limitless ocean of tunes? Live, Leonard’s vocals are every bit as 21st century schizoid as the music, veering from the soaring beauty of Jeff Buckley to the gutter sneer of Johnny Rotten and on to the grizzled growl of Beefheart…sometimes all in the same song. This evening Dear Lincoln got an airing, thrashier and rawer than the version that’s wowed the BBC 6 Music crowd, it still came across as one of his more commercial tracks. It’s the epic Geraldo’s Farm that steals the set though. One of the more coherent examples of Kiran’s genre splicing, it’s underpinned by a simple repeated synth motif that somehow holds everything together as Leonard and band spin off in all sorts of directions like musical Catherine Wheels. One for the beard strokers, head bangers and prog lovers to unite over, you get the distinct sense that Kiran and co really could develop into the kind of band we’ve perhaps not seen since Zappa’s heyday. The Grandsons of Invention anyone?
Words: Daron Billings
Photos: Wayne Fox