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The Anti-Capitalist Roadshow CD Now Available

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Twenty nine songs and one visionary poem on 2 CDs from singers & songwriters Frankie Armstrong, Roy Bailey, Robb Johnson, Reem Kelani,  Sandra Kerr,  Grace Petrie, Leon Rosselson, Janet Russell, Peggy Seeger, Jim Woodland and socialist magician Ian Saville.  
Eleven different voices with one aim - to challenge the narrative that says, There is no alternative.
Last Updated on Monday, 12 November 2012 13:27

Review in Counterpunch

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A piece on Leon and the World Turned Upside Down by Scott Borchert was recently published at Counterpunch.org.

"Most of all, he’s thought about what it means to be a radical songwriter, someone who accepts the foolish challenge of channeling their critical perspective on society through their artistic impulses. I say “foolish” because we’ve all seen the sort of aesthetic train wrecks that often result from the best-intentioned “political” art. It’s a risky thing to be a serious, radical artist—but I think Leon Rosselson pretty much nailed it."

Read the full piece here

Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:44

Reviews for The World Turned Upside Down

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A selection of recent reviews for The World Turned Upside Down, Leon's 4-CD boxed set. 

***** review in Songlines January 2012
"It's the life work of of one of Britain's finest contemporary writers - not just songwriters but writers in any form.... The World Turned Upside Down concludes with 'The Power of Song', to which this magnificent retrospective is a living testament."

fRoots May 2012

"Sitting here with a four-CD boxed set, including an extensive booklet offering valuable insights into the whys and wherefores of it all.... you not only get the full benefit of his stinging satire , you get a sharp sense of the times for which they were written. This is a remarkable achievement for any songwriter, whether it's the 17th century stories recounted in The World Turned Upside Down and Abiezer Coppe - sung so powerfully by Roy Bailey - to the modern follies depicted by the likes of They're Going to Build a Motorway, Ballad of a Spycatcher and The Wall that Stands Between.

...a well-rounded picture of a remarkable artist who's never taken his eyes off the ball even - or especially - when that ball is bouncing in a determinedly anti-popular direction." 

Taplas January 2012
" ...to my mind, one of the best songs ever written is Song of the Olive Tree, about the fate of a tree and the people of Palestine. It's a song that is at once beautiful, depressing, anger-inducing and, finally, hopeful and inspiring." 

Tykes News Winter 2011/2012 
"I've sung his children's songs to my children (and other people's children) and his grown-up's songs to my grown-ups (and, more than likely, to other people's grown-ups) and in the process of singing, have never ceased to marvel at the skill and care of Leon's writing. We'll not see his like again, even if we wait for fifty years..."

The Living Tradition May 2012
"And along with the 4 CDs (the first three covering the best of his output in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and the fourth the 90s/noughties) we have a quite magnificent liner booklet with nearly 80 pages of text and photos. Really informative text on the writing of each song, as there was no need to waste space filling it with song lyrics; if there is a better enunciator of song lyrics than Leon, then I'd like to know where that person is. Every word he sings is crystal clear. "
Last Updated on Friday, 28 September 2012 14:55

R2 Magazine Interview with Leon Rosselson

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History lesson

Homegrown singer-songwriter Leon Rosselson is currently celebrating fifty years of songs with a conscience. Sean McGhee leads the tributes

I first became aware of the name Leon Rosselson back in the summer of 1986 when a friend put together a compilation cassette tape of, in his words, 'radical folk singers' for me. On the tape, amongst names like Peter Nardini, Dick Gaughan and Alex Glasgow were recordings of a duo, Leon Rosselson & Roy Bailey, performing evocatively titled songs such as 'Whoever Invented The Fishfinger', 'Barney's Epic Homer', 'The Ugly Ones' and 'The Diggers' Song'. I was particularly taken with Rosselson & Bailey.

At the time I was absorbing as much of this type of music as I could, alongside a steady musical diet of Christy MooreBilly Bragg and The Pogues. In my mind's eye I'd imagined Leon Rosselson (the songwriter of the duo) as some radical young folk singer, for the timelessness of his songs and the sentiments seemed perfectly suited to the period. A bit of library research (pre-Internet) and asking around revealed that Rosselson was in his early fifties and had, as I discovered, been writing, recording and performing since the late 1950s.

When I decided to set out on my youthful musical evangelical journey with Rock'n'Reel (now R2) back in early 1988, Leon Rosselson seemed a perfect interview subject for the launch issue. I managed to obtain his address via a letter to the press and publicity person at Topic Records (a certain John Crosby, these days a contributor to R2) and duly sent off my hand-typed questions to Leon on a page of A4 paper.

Consequently, Rosselson became one of the first-ever artists to be interviewed, albeit in my own idiosyncratic way, in the pages of a fledgling Rock'n'Reel. Since then, the magazine and its editor consistently kept abreast of developments at Rosselson HQ as he continued to record, perform and occasionally participate with our old friend (and sometime R2 contributor) Robb Johnson.

Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 11:29

Interview and 5 Star Review in R2 Magazine

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R2 Magazine recently published an interview with Leon Rosselson as well as a 5-star review of his 4-CD boxed set, The World Turned Upside Down. 

Sean McGhee first interviewed Leon Rosselson back in 1988 for the launch of Rock'n'Reel (now R2) Magazine. 24 years later, following the release of the boxed set, the pair talk again about fame, the art of songwriting, Harry Potter, pop songs and Israel.  

Read the full R2 interview here. 

Click on the image below to see R2 Magazine's 5-star review of The World Turned Upside Down, or get hold of R2's January/February issue!

 R2 Magazine review Leon Rosselson


Last Updated on Monday, 13 February 2012 08:16

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