KIERAN (SAINT) LEONARD
‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ by Kieran (Saint) Leonard released digitally and on Cassette 25th December 2015
‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ a 15 minute protest song, a rant against the consumer overload of modern life and the alienation of social media, written and recorded during the sessions for Kieran’s new album at the studio on Stanley Kubrick’s estate in Hertfordshire.
The Greatest Show on Earth screenshots this moment in time ‘when the sirens are calling, and the curtain is falling down’ and our modern era resembles Rome at its Fall. Kieran Leonard’s song offers an autopsy of the world, exposing it as a threadbare Spectacle of Panem et Circenses (the cynical formula of the Roman emperors for keeping the masses content with ample food and entertainment) one where the circus tent is rotting, the bread running out. And we are in this show too – intruding into the shot via a selfie-stick, our toothsome smiles increasingly a rictus grin on the body politic.
Swirling like the wheel of death, the story unfolds repetitively, dismally, a constant merry-go-round circus of lives ‘related’ on endless digital platforms of no consequence and cloudy integrity. We are clicking away our days, measuring them out through ‘likes’ not loves, all asinine collaborators’ in our own ‘opt-in’ demise. How have we become so networked with everyone but cut off from everything (even when we are there); each link casts the chains we rattle in, shackled as Jacob Marley to this ghostly, purgatorial hell.
So ‘Roll up, Roll up’ to The Greatest show on Earth; you live it, share it, embrace it, peddle it, crash it and are complicit in it. You are in it, you are it…yet your choices - although greater than ever on this super-flat surface - have diminished to a zero-point making all of us simply alone and isolated in a rapidly disappearing circle.
‘Scroll up, Scroll up’: The Greatest Show On Earth is...you.
Yet there is one last act to witness before the curtain’s final fall, for Leonard’s view of The Greatest Show On Earth is also encouraging, enlightening, presenting a last chance saloon alternative. Through his death defying vision and by seeing ourselves as we truly are (have become), the artist suggests that the black mirror we hold to our narcissistic faces each day can be smashed. We can escape from this silicon happy valley into a brighter day, a more valued world if only we’re willing to look each other in the eyes.
The Greatest Show on Earth asks you to take purchase on love and all that has meaningfulness and substance in life: those things unbreakable as a paradox, which hit you hard as a brick – BOOM – and can shake you from the stupor of our times, of your self. Kieran Leonard asks us to open our eyes and bear witness. Drum roll please…
‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ exhibits Kieran Leonards ability to blend the poetic with the political in a patchwork of broad ideas as with his song ‘Jerusalem’ which not only inadvertently soundtracked the ‘Occupy’ and ‘Uncut’ movements but also got picked up for Ridley Scott’s ‘Life In A Day’ documentary.
Leonard has supported Bob Dylan, Adam Green, Billy Bragg, Carl Barat, Graham Coxon, Fionn Reagan, Pete Doherty, he recently toured with Ryan Adams across USA and Europe and recently was main support on all UK and European dates with Father John Misty, he also supported the Strokes in Hyde Park.