OUR TAKE ON 'HEALTHY SPACE' IN THESE CONFINED TIMES
1) Know both 'social space' indoors and 'personal space' indoors. Identify where and when they arise. Find the balance.
2) Keep some connection with 'natural space', with a walk or trip down the garden if possible, among plants and flowers, with the rays of the sun, a breeze, even a view from a window.
3) Find the means and the moment to 'empty' - in turn - one's mind (thoughts), heart (emotions), body (tensions), soul (histories). Silence and gentle breathing provide good preparation. Be trustful.
4) Patience and simplicity make for 'healthy space'. Keep seeking it out, even if you are disturbed or irritated.
5) Conflict can arise in any household. Remember negative words and behaviours only clutter and unsettle our precious space. Be present. Be forgiving.
RESPONSE TO THE 'CORONAVIRUS CRISIS' : These are challenging times across Europe with the impact of the 'coronavirus' outbreak. Please take good care in all you do, look out for those who are vulnerable within your neighbourhood and community and ensure that you follow the medical advice given around public health and self-isolation. Human life is so very special. Stay safe and stay at home (where possible) so we can give our medical staff the best chance to tackle this crisis. Love. leere.
'SWEET LIVERPOOL FRUSTRATION' TRILOGY : leere are delighted to have been working alongside good friends Dominic Hanway (Fell Sons) and Chris White (Piggyback Studios) on a brand new track entitled 'Sweet Liverpool Frustration'. It's all part of a trilogy of songs with Liverpool connections due for release in April/May 2020 and to be previewed by 'Access North West Radio'. More updates to follow very soon here and on our facebook page (facebook.com/leerecollective)
'ANIMALS AROUND HERE' RECORDINGS: After 18 months or so working on new tracks exploring the wonder, the presence and the scope of 'animal life', we are pleased to say that we nearing the final stages of mixing and mastering the 'Animals Around Here' project at 'Electric Fields Studio' in Derbyshire. Chris White (Piggyback Studios), John Kinane and Scott Greensmith have all been involved in shaping the material and we hope to have the recordings complete and available by Summer 2020. We shall have all updates, background information, lyrics and a few photos up very soon at a new 'Animals Around Here' page on our website.
'PLAYING CHARLIE CHAPLIN' ; 'Playing Charlie Chaplin' (from the 'Standing Up For Absence' leere mini album) is now available as a download single from 'Spotify at the addresss below:
Also check out the 'Playing Charlie Chaplin' YouTube video at : https://youtu.be/Gyv8vvgiZb4
STANDING UP FOR ABSENCE (...On Father's Day) : Delighted to share the news that 'Standing Up For Absence (...On Father's Day') a leere mini album will be ready for release on Monday 3rd June 2019. Mastered at Piggyback Studios, Burton-on-Trent., it will feature 6 original songs and 2 cover songs. We hope to release a single from the recordings in the very near future. With thanks to Chris White and to George and to Stevie Hines. More info to follow here at leere.co.uk or at
Standing Up For Absence (...On Father's Day)
Rock Island Line
Pulse And Flower
Playing Charlie Chaplin
Foggy, Foggy Dew
Run Up My Back (featuring Tom Wright)
Our Wooden Bridge
Ocean Delivery (remastered)
I often wonder through the day
Why I strive for work and pay?
Wonder at the cost to live
The aches, the pains that work does give
Wonder why the early rise
When and where I’ll find blue skies
But look around that dark grey cast
It’s lifting, melting, going fast
Eyes of brown, grey and green
They are my jewels, my perfect dream
All my work, my toil and strife
Becomes a pleasure for my kids and wife
"Man adopts a role called 'Being a Father' so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.” (Tom Wolfe)
On significant dates in the calendar we can come to feel the loss of loved ones so more profoundly. There might be many reasons we feel a sense of 'absence' this coming 'Father's Day' (Sunday 16th June 2019). A father could have been fairly 'absent' for a large chunk of one's life through parental separation, through personal choice or a distinct set of circumstances. A father might have passed away suddenly without the opportunity to speak of the love held between two souls. A father might just not be able to 'be around' on that day this year. Indeed there might be a sense of 'absence', because our other dear loved ones are not alongside our families, our friends and our fathers on that date. This short record (8 tracks) was made with all those struggling on such days in mind......with an idea that song and humour preserve our deepest memories and our closest connections....and with a sense of how 'presence' can - with time and understanding - simply come to replace 'absence'. 'Standing Up For Absence (...On Father's Day)' out on Monday 3rd June 2019. Thanking you all!
REMEMBERING NICK THOMPSON : leere are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Thompson. Nick was a truly wonderful man. He was warm, friendly, wise and multi talented. He was a man that we were all so fortunate to know .As a fellow musician he inspired and supported us through the making of 'Lark Lane' and 'Eat Out: It's Barbelucci Day'. He gave his time freely to listen and to share. We will never forget him. Thinking of Joy and all family at this time. Love.
CALLING ALL TEA DRINKERS! : 'Tea' is often described as 'the best drink of the day' and there's a mighty amount of it enjoyed by people of different backgrounds and ages, as a gentle influence on the creative process or as refreshment amidst practical activity. We're looking for any images, poetic takes and considered reflections that explore our love affair with a 'good cuppa' for a forthcoming project. Get in touch at or at email@example.com. ('Speaking Epigrammatically: What Is It About Tea?' coming shortly)
THE ELEPHANT' by leere : On average 55 elephants per day are poached for their ivory, and this shocking statistic is set to worsen in 2018 with politicians (....such as President Trump) looking to block or to overturn any ban on the imports of ivory to satisfy a small group of influential individuals and corporations. Support the work of the WWF in their campaigns to challenge the powerful to protect our most unique living creatures.....and ask the question 'What's your beef with The Elephant??'
RECORDING WITH 'PIGGYBACK STUDIOS' : leere continue to progress with recording new material and the band have been joined by the wonderful Chris White from 'Piggyback Studios', Derbyshire, in recent sessions. Photos now uploaded onto our leere 'Gallery' page.
WHY THE MYSTICS MATTER (ABSENCE, PRESENCE AND DISCOVERY IN OUR MUDDLED WORLD) : The essay 'Why The Mystics Matter' is now published online at this website. Please scroll down the main menu to find the link.
MESSAGE FROM PROFESSOR PHIL SCRATON (Author of Hillsborough : The Truth) : I have just received an advanced copy of the fine poem ('Unpacking Golden Skies'). Thank you to Simon and to leere. Those moments in court as the verdict and findings were returned, the remarkable scenes at St George's Hall the following day and the full public realisation of the extent of the miscarriages of justice that comprised Hillsborough will remain with us forever. Over three years earlier, on the 12 September 2012 I delivered the the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel to the families at the Anglican Cathedral. They reversed 23 years of institutional abdication of responsibility and media-fuelled myths, laying the ground for new inquests and their ground-breaking verdict and unequivocal riders placing reponsibility at the doors of the police and all other authorities. We now await the outcomes of the Independent Police ComplaintsCommission and criminal investigations. Thank you for unpacking golden skies ... x
UNPACKING GOLDEN SKIES - One year on after the historic rulings of 'unlawful killing' at the Hillsborough inquests in Warrington in 2016, a photographic gallery and poem entitled 'Unpacking Golden Skies' will be published here at www.leere.co.uk. It will focus on the determination and commitment of those who fought for justice for the bereaved families and the mood of people in the city as news of the verdicts filtered through. Online from Wednesday 26th April 2017.
SEVEN SISTERS OF ELDONIAN SPACE - The poetry from the 'Seven Sisters of Eldonian Space' project is now published on our leere poetry pages. Thanks go to Dominic Hanway and to Ruth Smith for all their great work in getting the exhibition out there. We hope to announce a permanent home for the exhibition in the next few months.
2017 HAS ARRIVED - Glad to share that leere enter 2017 with optimism and creative spirit still firmly intact. From February this year the poem, 'Seven Sisters Of Eldonian Space', will be made more widely available. April will see an online exhibition of photos reflecting on the campaign for justice by the Hillsborough Support Group (provisionally entitled 'Unpacking Golden Skies') and by 2018 we hope to have a brand new leere recording completed. Live dates will follow. Happy New Year to all of you! And Thanks!
SEVEN SISTERS OF ELDONIAN SPACE - The 'Seven Sisters Of Eldonian Space' Exhibition will be running from Tuesday 15th November until Saturday 26th November 2016 at the UNITY THEATRE, HOPE PLACE, LIVERPOOL 1. The poem will be published here on the leere website from Monday 6th March 2017.
SEVEN SISTERS OF ELDONIAN SPACE - From Monday 18th July through to Sunday 31st July 2016 , leere return to Lark Lane, Liverpool 17, as part of a new and an exciting art and poetry exhibition. In conjunction with local artist Ruth Smith and venue 'Arts Hub 47' we aim to reflect on the public perception around the themes of ageing and dementia, and to consider how we might value the qualities and character traits of individuals affected by illnesses associated with older age.
If you're looking to visit Liverpool over the summer months then come and join us on those sunny days in the last fortnight of July, take in the delights of Lark Lane and discover more about the 'Seven Sisters Of Eldonian Space'.
WORLDS ACCORDING TO UBUNTU - Explore more around the concept of 'Ubuntu' - I am a person through other people - and how it has inspired political, social, cultural and personal change. This event will be held on Saturday 19th September 2015 at 'The Exeter Arms' in Derby, where the band will perform tracks from all their albums. Starting at 7pm, guests include Phil Matthews and Chris White. Free entry.
ON TRUTH AND RENEWAL - 'On Truth And Renewal' is a collection of original songs exploring the role of the natural world in our fast moving and demanding lives. Written and recorded 'of the moment' , the tracks are to be released from December 2014 into 2015 through the Internet Archive forum with the net label 'Gumbo' (in association with Piggyback Studios, Derbyshire). The forum encourages any contributions around the general themes of nature, renewal and discovery. Writings, pictures, audio and other artistic material are all most welcome. Just find 'Gumbo' online at the Internet Archive and submit anything that you feel is relevant. The tracks 'Lily' and 'Peace At Baglan' will also be available on YouTube. For further details contact :
HANK WILLIAMS WEEK - Monday 15th September to Friday 19th September
Look out for some new recordings and reflections by leere around the life and music of Hank Williams Sr. A country music icon, Hank Williams is responsible for helping to define a genre with his distinctive, heartfelt lyricism and songs such as 'Hey Good Lookin' and 'Cheating Heart'
EAT OUT: IT'S BARBELUCCI DAY (based on the novel 'The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake')
leere have now released their new album 'Eat Out: It's Barbelucci Day'. The 16 song titles and lyrics are all listed on the leere music page/Eat Out. Don't forget the hidden track!! The album will be available through Stuck Records/Piggyback Studios in the very near future. More to follow.
All the background to the 'Eat Out: It's Barbelucci Day' album, the origins of the word 'leere' and reflections on returning to the city of Liverpool, in interview with the wonderful Stan Ambrose (Easter 2014) at :
'THE FURTHEST FROM THE SEA FESTIVAL', DERBY CITY CENTRE, SATURDAY 21st JUNE - FFTS is a yearly celebration of arts and entertainment across the Derbyshire region bringing a wide range of people together who share a passion for the creative and the imaginative. The fun starts in Derby Market Square at 11am on Saturday 21st June. leere are on the 'Roots Stage', based near the Cathedral.
leere ON BBC RADIO MERSEYSIDE'S 'FOLKSCENE' PROGRAMME - Catch the recent interview with Stan Ambrose on the BBC iPlayer at (including previews of some brand new songs)
LAUNCH OF 'EAT OUT : IT'S BARBELUCCI DAY' - Join leere and guests at the official launch of 'Eat Out : It's Barbelucci Day' on Saturday 19th July at The Exeter Arms, Derby (from 7.30pm) for free cakes and free copies of the new CD.
EAT OUT: IT'S BARBELUCCI DAY
leere are due to release their fourth album 'Eat Out: It's Barbelucci Day' in summer 2014, a selection of songs based on the novel 'The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake' by Aimee Bender. Look out for forthcoming promotional events....involving music and food!!
'CHINA CLUB' FROM THE'EVER BEING ON LARK LANE' ALBUM - available from December 2013 as part of a collection of Derbyshire based artists on the 'Acoustic Nights At The Bookcafe' CD, priced only £5 from The Bookcafe, Derby, or 'Furthest From The Sea Promotions' . Check facebook.com/leerecollective for more details.
EAT OUT: IT'S BARBELUCCI DAY - Update (July 2013)
Recording for 'Eat Out: It's Barbelucci Day' is now complete (big thanks to Andy Britton for shaping the mood of the album) and the mastering session at Gighouse Studios all went to plan with a little help from Andie Thomson. For those of you who have not read the book 'The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake' by Aimee Bender, DO IT! Its a good read and that way it is likely that the songs will make a lot more sense!! Hoping it will be out early 2014.
UBUNTU (for Nelson Mandela) : Released with 'Stuck Records/Piggyback Studios' on 22/7/13. Available at Amazon, iTunes, Spotify and other digital outlets. Big Thanks to Chris White !!
SPEKTIFILMS with leere : WHERE A COOL LIGHT UNFOLDS
Saturday 7th March 2013 at the QUAD Arts Centre in Derby catch the first screening of a short film about the origins of leere called 'Where A Cool Light Unfolds' with SpektiFilms, featuring John Kinane and Andy Britton. What do we define as 'sacred space'? Why is it important to us? How does art relate to spaces and places we hold to be significant?
SMILING STORIES OF TRIUMPH
25 poems dealing with 'positive space' and how we come to re-acquaint ourselves with the 'here and now'. Poems about nature, about childhood, about art, about discovery and re-discovery. Released February 2012, hear the poems read by members of leere at The Brunswick Inn, Derby, on Friday 1st March or at Waterstones, Derby, on Friday 15th March. 'Smiling Stories Of Triumph' is available at Xlibris Publishing online and at Amazon.
'EVER BEING ON LARK LANE' - Update
EVER BEING ON LARK LANE by leere is now to be released on Monday 29th August 2011. Join the band for complimentary copies of the CD at Moranto's Bar on Lark Lane, Liverpool, 8pm on the evening of Tuesday 30th August 2011; at the Old Joint Stock, Birmingham, 8pm on the evening of Wednesday 31st August; or at the Red Zebra Bar, Derby, 8pm on the evening of Thursday 1st September. Live dates to follow soon
'EVER BEING ON LARK LANE' - Update
Delighted to say that the final bits are being put together on the third leere album - Ever Being On Lark Lane - due for release on Monday 15th August 2011. A certain tree in Calderstones Park, African tradition, The Beatles, The Rocket steam engine, Leighton Baines, the Hindu god Shiva - all feature at some point, playing their part in the shaping of the tracks, and still I managed to keep to budget!. Working with Nick at The Shed, Lis and Andie Thomson at Gighouse in the later stages has been a great learning curve. And learning takes its place on the album. Growing up, Lark Lane (Liverpool 17) was for me the Capital of Culture long before the 'Capital of Culture' tag was bestowed on the city. It was a vibrant pocket on the world - different cultural, religious and artistic traditions in genuine dialogue only a few miles from where we lived and went to school. A sense of people making sense of the things of the world (...and more importantly 'beyond' the world!) in innovative and energetic ways. And the strong pillars, the invisible gates (...a gateway!), opening onto the shadows of the trees from Sefton Park. Magical! It is only so much later that I fully realized it - when it comes to the value of an idea and the capacity for people to represent their true poetic being - that I am..... 'Ever Being On Lark Lane'.So in the next few months leere would love to hear about the places and the spaces that not only evoke a sense of memory and nostalgia, but that continue to shape our daily values and our perspective on the here and now. The parks, the piers, the lanes, the sweet shops, the fields (places we felt 'One forever' as JL put it), the venues, the trees (...Lis brought 'The Paratrooper' right up to date!) the playgrounds, that can act as our yardstick and a link between past and the present. Use the leere contact page to share anything you may have, any area that has kept its value and its hold on you over the years. We would love to hear from you. And even if you think this is all just a general sentimentalism....I wanna know why, and if its harmful!Take Care Simon
AN ALLELUIA OF SORTS - Now available via and through Amazon.
An Alleluia Of Sorts : leere update (Easter 2010)
It used to bemuse me when I heard stories of the 'difficult second album', how songwriters battled through the stresses and the strains of a musical project to make their mark on a particular genre or stamp their arrival on the scene. Now, I think I am qualified to write the manual about how to survive 'second album syndrome' , how to overcome the demands and obstacles that can beset that creative idea that consumes you. Of course, it is all relative - every work of the imagination can throw up challenges when it comes to representing those original thoughts and feelings as accurately as possible - and there are the genuine moments of doubt and uncertainty about 'the intrinsic value' of a body of work which kick in from time to time. My sincere wish was for AOS to be ready and released before 15th April this year - but again there is a delay due to 'circumstances beyond our control' (one friend commented that 'you shouldn't write such searching songs... then these things wouldn't happen', to which I replied that the songs have more than likely now been swallowed by a 'large fish' that has since decided to swim the seven seas!!). Regardless, WDP and leere remain committed to AOS finding its feet, onshore...and very soon.This has all brought into greater focus my work with Nik Thompson and Lis Roberts in recent months. Progress continues to unfold with the third leere album (..or might it become the 2nd? Who knows!). All guitar, violin and double bass parts have now been recorded and we are close to completing the lead and backing vocal parts in the coming days. The beginning of May will see us turn our attention to the mixing and mastering process. We have all sought to produce an authentic acoustic album, one that captures the space and the intimacy of the 12-15 songs and offers a little insight into three friends and the overlap in their attitude and priority around music. There is reference across the songs to the 'place of place', the locations that perhaps continue to influence our outlook and our judgement, despite the distance that we may now be from those specific areas locked within childhood/youth memory. Growing up, Lark Lane (Liverpool 17) was for me the Capital of Culture long before the 'Capital of Culture' tag was bestowed on the city. It was a vibrant pocket on the world - different cultural, religious and artistic traditions in genuine dialogue only a few miles from where we lived and went to school. A sense of people making sense of the things of the world (...and more importantly 'beyond' the world!) in innovative and energetic ways. And the strong pillars, the invisible gates (...a gateway!), opening onto the shadows of the trees from Sefton Park. Magical! It is only so much later that I fully realized it - when it comes to the value of an idea and the capacity for people to represent their true poetic being - that I am..... 'Ever Being On Lark Lane'.So in the next few months leere would love to hear about the places and the spaces that not only evoke a sense of memory and nostalgia, but that continue to shape our daily values and our perspective on the here and now. The parks, the piers, the lanes, the sweet shops, the fields (JL would expect us to recall some others!) , the venues, the trees (...Lis brought 'The Paratrooper' right up to date!) the playgrounds, that can act as our yardstick and a link between past and the present. Use the leere contact page to share anything you may have, any area that has kept its value and its hold on you over the years. We would love to hear from you. And even if you think this is all just a general sentimentalism....I wanna know why, and if its harmful!Nick and Lis have been solid companions in the making of the album - they have brought their own many gifts and talents to the recording and engineering and they have grasped the themes from Day 1. Big thanks to them - hope to be gigging the material over summer 2011, and hope 'Ever Being On Lark Lane' touches those of a Liverpool, and non-Liverpool disposition!Thanks and Take Care.Simon
leere and Triangle Theatre
It was late 2006 when Carran Waterfield, Artistic Director at Triangle Theatre Company in Coventry, first shared with me something of the impact on her of research into the lives of the 'Last Women' to be executed in the UK. The stories of love and loss, of vengeance and of mercy, had 'got under her skin' and in later conversation with her you could visualize the key themes emerging for a major piece of work - themes that would embrace feminism, history, law, theology, politics - themes that are capable of confronting our compliance with, and reliance on, institutions and unjust structures. The early phase of the 'Last Women' project encouraged dialogue and debate with an online research and development forum. It was Triuangle at its most 'immersive'. Soon Carran will be deep into the auditioning and rehearsing phase for the Last Women production to run at Coventry Belgrade Theatre at the end of April. The track Parallel Cell was written with the issues that Carran and Triangle have so clearly conveyed in mind (the systemic failures of our criminal justice system, and the harsh reality of domestic abuse, above all the yearning for spiritual strength), and I am delighted, and deeply honoured, that Carran is to use the track in the performances . Best Wishes, go and see! Simon
Check out 'Parallel Cell' on YouTube at :
leere and Gillingham Footbal Club - October 2008
DVDs Music by leere and REV'LATOR has been used on a number of Wild Duck Productions DVDs including:Footprints: In SomersetBelief EncountersOn the first of May 2006 a football match took place at Priestfield Stadium, with a number of Gillingham fans taking on some of the club's past players. Wild Duck Productions were asked to film the match and were also privileged enough to gain access to the less public parts of the Priestfield complex. The DVD includes footage of this exclusive tour, an interview with Head of Security Malcolm Rous, and a behind-the scenes look at the making of the DVD. There are also interviews with players from both sides and a very special edit known as The Fools and Their Falls. Ten songs by leere and REV'LATOR formed the soundtrack for the DVD FoGFC Vs The Legends including the specially commissioned 'Priestfield', written specifically for Wild Duck Productions by leere to use on the DVD.The following text was originally posted on the leere website 20th Feburary 2007Priestfield plays at PriestfieldAt tonight's game against Brighton & Hove Albion fans of Gillingham Football club were treated to 'Priestfield' a beautiful and reflective track by leere, which was commissioned especially to accompany the tour extra on the DVD created for the FoGFC vs The Legends playing out across the Priestfield stadium.When we caught up with Simon from leere earlier today and asked him about the track he said "I was trying to make reference to Kent and the landscape, that wonderful environment, and link it with the passion for the sport and for the club that the fans of Gillingham so obviously have. The song is still evolving, we started with the soft, melodic, lilting version which was commissioned for, and used on, the DVD but now we're looking to go back into the studio and speed it up a little! We want to capture more of the match day atmosphere, the excitement and tension."Nearly 7,000 football fans heard the track playing at the stadium and further thousands heard it as it played in the background on BBC Radio Kent.
Following the news of the passing of musician Paul Brook (Originally posted on the leere website 12th May 2007)
'I think it is sometimes out of a profound sense of trust that we go on making music. In the process of songwriting and recording with others, its value seems heightened to a point where knowledge of self is put aside in favour of a common objective, a shared story or sound. Long before I fully trusted in Paul Brook, he fully trusted in me - to last the creative course, to follow (or perhaps feel!) the intracacies of songwriting and in my own musical journey, and why it had now brought me to his compact basement studio in Leamington Spa. And he communicated that trust in a unique way - joking (about the Ringo-esque beat on 'New York of the Isle', about the layered BVs, about the tea!) , humouring the peripheral rubbish that plagues the music industry and appealing to simple truths - try things out, relax on takes, remember 'recording should be fun'. His focus and drive was born of trust. Paul Brook was an exceptional talent and it was a privilege to work on the leere album with him over the course of a year. I watched him craft the title track 'Compassionate Ride' in a day's work. I learnt that music can and should challenge, and how it leads us on to new places. So.. he coloured, he advised, he devoted himself to the task beyond earthly hours...and I learnt about the value of patience alongside trust. His true generosity of spirit is only something I can see now - in fact I think I hear it! Walking between rooms was how he would listen to fresh ideas and various mixes - for as as he kept time, he treasured space. Thank you Paul for trusting. Thank you for the many lessons. I shall miss you dearly.' Simon.