Bob Leslie, Land And Sea. Album Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *

There is the ballad, the sense of purity in which a person declares love and affection for another soul, but knowing full well it could be thrown back in their face, that the embarrassment of opening up is only countered by the weight of possible disappointment.

The ballad, the story of a person’s determination and struggle is one caught between the Land and Sea, some moments in life are not meant to be plain sailing, neither is the illusion of earth and rock beneath your feet a safe harbour in which to place your trust and yet for Bob Leslie, the Land and Sea is a subject of wonderful introspection, not only to the allusion of the people that he speaks generously of, but to the nation in which he comes across an ambassador of, a folk diplomat carrying a large voice and a gracious demeanour, it is more than an honour to hear the songs which are brought out into the open.

The story teller may be left out of some conversations, the hard-nosed and the semi business like all making sure they can talk dirty without the threat of the scribe interfering and putting words down to spoil their plans. It is those words in which revolution can come and act as an anchor and it is one that Bob Leslie performs incredibly well, a statesman with more than a declaration of intent or a piece of paper suggesting politically ideal folk in our time.

In tracks such as The World Came To Springburn, Orknayjar, Tho We Lang Syne Landit Oan Fair Isle and the excellent Her Father Called Me Frankenstein, the Land and Sea joins to make one storm and tidal wave of enjoyment, of reckoning and sincere thought, one enough to set the sail and weave a passage across time and personal memory, the reflection of all that has gone before.

Land and Sea never stands in the way of the truth, time and tide only adds perspective to the grace in which the story teller excels; it is one in which Bob Leslie strides out into the deeper waters and plunges his hand into riptide, only to pull out a gemstone of the Folk genre.

Ian D. Hall