(c) Indigo

Leven, Jackie

The Haunted Year-Winter [Country / Folk]

RELEASE: 13.02.2009

LABEL: Cooking Vinyl



The Haunted Year-Winter MySpace Amazon 

Born in 1950 into a Romany family, Jackie Leven spent his childhood and teenage years as an outsider in the clannish, Fife, Scotland. Although Scottish himself, neither of his parents were from the area - his father was an Irish Cockney, his mother was from a large Northumberland (Geordie) family.

Hopelessly wayward at school, with few friends, his attendance was woeful. But those truanting times spent alone in glens and by rivers, still form the basis of his songs' imagery to this day.

His mother, unusually for the time, was a lover of American black blues music, which strongly influenced him as a teen. Soon he was playing in local bands as well as playing his own blues songs in local folk clubs.

However, this brought him to the attention of local gangs, one in particular starting a baseless vendetta against him, and he was duly obliged to leave Scotland.

This precipitated years of rootless wandering and sleeping rough, including four months living in corners of the South Bank Centre, London, where he busked for a living. This was during the late sixties. He also lived variously in County Kerry, Ireland, Berlin and Madrid, where he had a record released, “Control” (1971) By John St Field (his stage name of the time) - now considered to be a psychedelic underground classic.

Living in squatted accommodation across the UK, Jackie began to encounter people with serious mental illness and psychic disorder.These experiences began to inform his songwriting. This can clearly be seen in the songs which make up the first two albums by his daunting rock band, Doll By Doll, whose other members - Joe Shaw, David MacIntosh and Robin Spreafico he met in this environment.

Doll By Doll (1978 - 1982), a controversial live act at odds with the cartoon violence of punk, made five critically acclaimed (or loathed) albums, before accepting they just weren't meant for those times, and regretfully going their separate ways.

In 1983, after a late night recording session for a solo album due for release by Charisma/Virgin, Jackie was the subject of an unprovoked street attack during which he was nearly strangled. Unable to speak or sing, he lost his record deal, friends and way, entering his own period of psychic disorder, taking heroin and living in isolation for nearly a year.

He re-joined the world in 1985 after a successful course of traditional Chinese five-element acupuncture and psychic healing, and co-founded The CORE trust - 'an holistic approach to addiction'. To this day the Trust operates a centre in London, working with people with all forms of addiction. Jackie has been their manager, chair of trustees, and is presently the patron.

Shortly after this Jackie went to live in Oban on the west coast of Scotland. He spent the nights in bars with fishermen and forester friends, and the days writing the songs that became the basis of his return to music with the acclaimed Cooking Vinyl release “The Mystery Of Love Is Greater Than The Mystery Of Death”.

A string of excellent albums have followed, and the latest, “Elegy For Johnny Cash” takes a unique and candid look at last journeys, and the people who make them.


1.1 4:22 Men In Prison
1.2 4:08 Opening Remarks To Prisoners
1.3 7:11 Extremely Violent Man
1.4 8:02 Poortoun
1.5 5:13 Call Mother A Lonely Field
1.6 4:21 The Garden
1.7 8:24 Classic Northern Diversions
1.8 4:45 The Crazy Song
2.1 0:11 Intro
2.2 6:12 Looking For Love
2.3 1:52 Plastic Irish Pubs In Europe
2.4 4:56 Stranger On The Square
2.5 4:56 Universal Blue
2.6 1:26 Jackie's Great Records
2.7 5:33 Single Father
2.8 4:16 I Saw My Love Walk Into The Clouds
2.9 2:21 When German People Call Me(On The Toilet)
2.10 6:44 Paris Blues
2.11 4:53 You've Lost That Loving Feeling

(Quelle: MySpace Jackie Leven, 5.2.2009)


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