At first glance you’d be forgiven for dismissing 23-year-old Luke Leighfield as just another singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar. Except his acoustic guitar is a piano. And his “singer-songwriter” tendencies have been usurped by huge soundscapes, where strings and brass fight to be heard against screaming rock guitars – a sound informed by a classically trained childhood and teenage years spent at underground punk rock shows. His tender moments recall the likes of Ben Folds and Coldplay while his loud moments enter the rock territory of bands like Queen and The Rocket Summer.
The past five years have seen Luke release three albums (with a fourth on the way), record live sessions for Radio 1 and Xfm, enter the top five of the UK indie singles chart, perform at Latitude, The Great Escape, 2000 Trees and Greenbelt festivals, release a Greatest Hits album in Japan, and play upwards of 600 shows in twelve countries around the world, including tours of Russia and China. A DIY ethic permeates Luke’s work: he runs a record label, Got Got Need Records, through which he releases his own music and that of his friends, and is entirely self-managed, booking his own global tours, including frequent performances in his fans’ living rooms. He also makes an ethical stand by ensuring his merchandise is FairTrade where possible, and giving a percentage of album proceeds to charity.
In between his own musical endeavours, Luke has sessioned on piano and violin for numerous bands including Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, The King Blues, Futures, Dry the River and Tellison, yet somehow found time to graduate from the University of Southampton with a degree in English and Music in 2009. Since then he has made ends meet by working as pallbearer, barista and proofreader, while maintaining a secret career as an underground pop star. Luke Leighfield is feel-good, DIY, orchestral pop rock at its finest.
“A breath of fresh air in this world of gloomy winters and moody blues”
Huw Stephens, Radio 1
“Mainstream playlist appeal together with indie sensibility”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music
“The UK’s biggest underground pop star. Melodramatic both in music, personality, press releases and merchandising slogans, his stadiums are living rooms across the world. You’d be hard pushed to not fall in love with his charm or tireless DIY ethic”
Rob Evans, The 405