5 Reasons To Go See

Jackie Leven

1 He’s an underground legend The 56-year-old singer songwriter from Fife has spent a lifetime on the periphery of various music scenes and genres, but has influenced generations. His 1971 debut, Control, is considered a psychedelic folk classic and his more than two dozen albums since have encompassed everything from punk and blues to hip hop and Americana.

2 He does a lot of good work for charity In the 80s, Leven lost his voice for two years after being strangled in a random attack. He subsequently slumped into heroin addiction, which he eventually cured himself of through acupuncture and psychic healing. As a result he founded The CORE Trust, which helps drug addicts through holistic methods.

3 He once had a set-to with Princess Di He met her through the CORE Trust. She said to him, ‘I understand you used to be a singer’. ‘I AM a singer,’ he replied curtly. So she made him sing something on the spot. Records do not state whether they then went on to a karaoke bar together.

4 Ian Rankin’s a big fan So much so that two years ago Leven released Jackie Leven Said, an album of collaborations with the crime writer and fellow Fifer.

5 He’s Fife’s answer to Bob Dylan Why is it we never appreciate what’s on our doorstep, yet some mumbling tousle-haired oaf from across the pond gets all the plaudits?

King Tut’s, Glasgow, Sat 24 Mar. Jackie Leven’s album Oh What a Blow That Phantom Dealt Me! is out now on Cooking Vinyl.

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