Leighton Fairlie is coming home to the Mount. This time with a seven-piece band, celebrating the release of his debut EP ‘Distant’.
“This is the first time I won’t be using the loop pedal, but having a band to do what I do,” says Leighton.
We were having a coffee at Luca when it occurred to me that either a loop artist is trying to avoid the conflicts that can arise when working with a band, or they must have a highly complex brain, as looping live is possibly the most extreme and skilled type of multi-tasking. It’s basically one musician replicating what would normally be played by a full band.
“Now I have other musicians coming in to play live. They’re like ‘are we a band or not a band or are we all clones of Leighton Fairlie?’”
He jokes that the band members have been renamed ‘Leigh’, ‘Ton’, ‘Fair’, and ‘Lie’.
“I have told a female friend that looping does prove that males can multi-task,” says Leighton.
He decided to start his solo project about two years ago in 2017, stepping away from playing in a band to writing his own arrangements and songs, and going solo. As soon as he had a half hour set ready, Tauranga-based music promoter Pato Alvarez had him open for Katchafire, followed by opening for Salmonella Dub Sound System a few months later.
“At that stage it was the highlight of my whole musical career. I had listened to Salmonella Dub since I was a kid and they were the ones that inspired me.”
His day job in Auckland is up in the air, literally.
“Years ago I shifted from building to industrial abseiling and rigging. I subcontract to different companies.”
He spends his work day abseiling off sides of buildings, carrying out inspections and doing anchor point installations.
“I check out the structure of the Sky Tower, making sure it’s safe. Also the wind turbines in Wellington.”
The top of the Sky Tower is probably one of the best places to compose new songs. He’s certainly exciting his fans with what’s ahead, hand-picking a group of master musicians that will delight local fans of dub, drum and bass, and reggae.
DJ’s Sambora (from The Peacekeepers & Shapeshifter), Sulu (from The Black Seeds) plus Izzy Bones and Copper Feel will be joining the line up at Totara Street on Saturday July 19.
Leighton Fairlie’s debut 5 track EP ‘Distant’ is available now on all digital music retailing platforms.
For tickets visit www.undertheradar.co.nz
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