Rory McLeod (UK)
The thing you gotta know about Rory Mcleod is this it’s virtually impossible to even begin to describe him in a few words. Giving it a shot, though, here are some terms provided by others: An ex-circus clown, fire eater, and a one man soulband, poet and storyteller, singing his own unique upbeat dance stories. A modern travelling troubadour using tap shoes, a cappella, harmonica, guitar, trombone, spoons, finger cymbals, bandorea, djembe and various percussion instruments.
Rory is a veteran, globe-trotting minstrel who throws himself fully into life and music: he loves strong, he treasures his family and community, he curses injustice and champions causes, he embraces new friends and experiences, he lives life unafraid and sings about it with a talent both remarkable and unique.
He is a charismatic showman with eloquently expressed ideas set to vibrant, dynamic music with bouncy rhythms, infectious riffs and nifty tunes. He also, like others in the festival, has ties to Taj Mahal, having played with him on his good friend Ali Farke Toure’s album.
If you don’t know Rory, find out more about him – and don’t miss a note of this amazing folk artist when he returns to the VFMF after a too-long absence.
“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, to how you 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.”