Kiran Leonard

Kiran Leonard

Kiran Leonard has shared a brand new song ‘Working People’ via Brooklyn Vegan. Inspired by the sad tale of David Clapson, it serves as the lead single from a new EP Abandoning Noble Goals (available now).

Kiran had this to say about his new release:

“Working people” can, in a sense, be seen as a political song. i usually avoid writing lyrics related to politics [stick to what you know and all that] but the phrase featured in the title has been intriguing me as of late (I’m not the first person to notice this). Both of the UK’s main political parties are particularly fond of saying that they represent “working people”. on the one hand, they might simply be addressing who they claim to be addressing – individuals in work – but it’s also a subtle dismissal of people who don’t work because they are unable to. Essentially, it’s an implicit distancing from people who claim benefits. “look at us, we don’t tolerate scroungers”, to put it bluntly.

This in a sense can be seen as a political song because the verses of the song concern David Clapson. The second anniversary of his death was earlier this month. you might remember the story, it was in the papers a lot a year or so ago – Clapson was a diabetic ex-soldier who worked for 28 years of his life before leaving his job to care for his mother, who was suffering from dementia. When she passed away, he began to seek employment again. He passed a computer training course and completed a forklift truck driving course. However, after missing two job centre appointments, he was subjected to a sanction, and his benefits were cut off completely. Eventually he ran out of food and his electricity was cut off, which meant that the fridge where he kept his insulin stopped working. When his body was discovered by his sister, he had £3.44 to his name and no food in his house except an out-of-date tin of sardines, six teabags and a can of soup. his stomach was empty and near his body was a recently printed-out giant stack of CVs. i guess the point I’m trying to make is that if the major parties all become parties just for ‘working people’, then there’s not going to be anyone to speak for the people who can’t work.

I suppose it is a political song but I wish that it didn’t have to be. That simply saying “more should be done to make sure people don’t die like this” is seen as taking an ideological stance, rather than a demonstration of basic human compassion, is very depressing to me.

This is taken from a new EP i recorded last month and its name is ‘abandoning noble goals’. The title is in reference to a lyric in the last song, ‘eunuch’, but also in reference to the two central motifs i initially envisaged for the release – first joy, and then honesty – and how i failed at fulfilling both of them. The subtitle of the EP is ‘the “sorry grapefruit isn’t out yet!” EP’, because that album has unfortunately (and necessarily) taken a very long time to come out, so this is also meant to act as a stopgap for people sick of waiting for that record.

Upcoming live dates

19 August – The Courtyard, London (solo show)
21 August – Green Man Festival, Brecon Beacons
22 August – Doune The Rabbit Hole Festival, Stirling
05 September – End Of The Road Festival, Salisbury

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