Former Spacehog vocalist Royston Langdon has been performing under the moniker Leeds for the last two years. But it was only recently he “found his voice.”
“I’ve really been enjoying this, to be honest,” says Langdon, who performs on guitar or piano, accompanied sometimes by a cellist.
“The last show I did in New York, I really felt like it was one of the best shows I’ve ever done. I lost myself in it. When I knew where I was, it was closing time.”
Langdon is touring in support of Leeds’ album, Everything’s Dandy, the culmination of his 24 years in New York, both in content and production.
“This work is a reflection of the re-gentrification of places and the real and meaningful memories they leave in their wake,” he says.
“How our own growth, over time, leaves us with a shifted perspective on ourselves. The once familiar now gone, never to come back except through the ghosts of lovers, places, objects.”
Everything’s Dandy was recorded in the fall of 2017, with producer/engineer Bryce Goggin (Antony and the Johnsons, The Apples in Stereo).
Langdon played many of the instruments on the album, but he enlisted a few longtime friends to play on select cuts, including drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley) and multi-instrumentalist Timo Ellis (Yoko Ono, Joan as Police Woman). The song “Your Day Will Come” was co-written by Langdon and Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes. “What Became of the People” is a songwriting collaboration between Langdon and his brother, Antony, who also shot two videos for the album.
“Rich is a great guitar player,” he says. “He’s one of those people who feels like he’s attached to the guitar in some way. It’s part of his body. He’s an expansive songwriter, too. He’s in touch with his sensibility, musically. Working with him is an education of sorts. He’s into open tunings and that kind of stuff. He gave me a bit of an insight into that world I haven’t had my head around.”
Langdon the music private, only telling a few people about the songs.
“I wanted to make sure I was focused on the music, first,” he says.
Things are different now.
“I just want people to have a chance to hear it, really,” Langdon says. “When they do hear it, I hope it has an impact on them, whether it’s good or bad. I don’t want ‘indifferent.’ I’d rather people hate it. I want them to move the needle a bit.”
In between Spacehog and Leeds, Langdon found his way to Spotify. It’s a long story, he says, but it was gratifying.
“I was fed up with touring, being on the road and the politics of being in Spacehog,” he says. “I pursued an opportunity to help artists connect with their fans, evangelize and educate it. I enjoyed taking the emphasis off myself and putting it on other artists.”
Now he’s back in the game.
Leeds and Jimmy Gnecco, Wasted Grain, 7295 E. Stetson Drive, Scottsdale, wastedgrain.com, 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, $20.