Andy Leek

Andy Leek says that he could play some basic tunes on the piano before he could even walk, and draws musical inspiration from everything around him, including his family and the poetry of Wordsworth.

Anita Awbi
  • By Anita Awbi
  • 21 Nov 2012
  • min read
Influenced in a big way from the likes of The Beatles while growing up, he later became a punk, soaking up the rebellious riffs of The Clash and The Sex Pistols, even getting expelled from school for his antics.

Andy says his cocky, extroverted nature is the result of a fall he took as a seven-year-old boy, falling into a rock pool while on holiday and bashing his head. He claims something happened that day, changing him forever into a loud, arrogant youth. Shortly after this experience, he wrote his first song, Baby Give Me Love. 

Andy's most notable career point is arguably a stint as the keyboard player with Dexys Midnight Runners, releasing Dance Stance with the group. We had a 30 seconds interview with Andy to tap into his music mind, where he talks poetry, favourite venues and the importance of music to the world.

I first started writing music because... 
It made me feel good and as the youngest of five children it gave me a platform to be heard and a special place in my mother’s eyes, which at that age is all the inspiration you need.

I have been making music since…
I first sat at the piano aged three and first wrote a song aged seven at which time I told my parents I was having music lessons from Beethoven in my night dreams, and wouldn’t need conventional training . They laughed but I was in fact right. I also share my birthday with Beethoven.

My music is…
Music is and has always been my life. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t. Where art meets commercialism is a difficult place to be. Despite all my dedication and efforts I still feel I have achieved nothing.

You'll like my music if you listen to...
You’ll like my music if you listen to it enough. I recently told a friend who bought Say Something if you listen to it once it’s like a blind date you can just forget. If you listen three times, it’s like being engaged, it’s difficult to turn back. If you listen five times you’re married, you’ll never forget her and divorce is gonna be sticky! My music is hypnotic and will nourish your soul.

My favourite venue is…
My mother’s front room is genuinely where I have given my most relaxed and accomplished performances over the years for friends and family. If only I’d had a video camera in there. Although I always enjoyed the Dorchester and Nailcote Hall in Berkswell!

Music is important because…
It can transform human consciousness and play a great part in bringing about world peace and curing people of many disorders. One day the perfect song will touch the hearts of humanity and resolve many perceived problems like a solvent. I think I may have written it already but it’s still under the bed.

My biggest inspiration is…
Abbey Road is my inspiration and the album I have listened most to in my life. During my teen years I used to imagine the music going into me and transforming my own music to equal calibre. When I told George Martin this, years later when he produced my debut album, he laughed and said 'It seems to have worked'.

My dream collaboration would be…
With Paul Simon, Bob Dylan or Paul McCartney though I guess those guys are a little past their best! Sorry guys, I’m past my best too but perhaps you could call me anyway? Then again I am rather busy at the moment doing this quiz! My actual favourite collaboration was with Kirsty MacColl. It was a real pleasure, thanks Kirsty.

If I wasn’t making music I’d be…
A poet. I have always written poetry from an early age. I love Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads and transformed one of them, The World Is Too Much With Us, into a song. Its one of my greatest artistic achievements. I am publishing a book of 22 of my poems next year purely out of vanity and self promotion of course.

Find out more about Andy at http://www.andyleek.com/