Local muso Leigh I’Anson is going from strength to strength – performing more and more gigs around the Port Macquarie, Camden Haven and Manning areas and becoming a well-known name in the biz! Leigh’s inspired by the Blues, Folk, Rock and Worship music, and his dream is to release an album of his own material. Watch this space … this guy is going places!
Hi Leigh. What’s your association with the Greater Port Macquarie area?
I moved to the Port Macquarie area at the start of 2016, as I took up a job as the Primary and Secondary Music teacher at Heritage Christian School.
Prior to this, I had lived in the Maitland area all my life.
When/how did you become interested in performing music, as opposed to just listening to it?
I became interested in performing music when I was quite young, as I came from a musical family and my mum taught piano lessons ever since I can remember. I started on piano, but quickly switched to guitar – where I found my passion.
I remember learning the first cool song (as in, not a kids’ song!) when I was 11; it was Somebody’s Crying, by Chris Isaak. I remember how great it felt to create the sound of the guitar that I heard on the radio, and I’ve been doing that ever since.
I came to singing quite a bit later than guitar, and found it just as exciting training my voice to create different sounds and colours.
What musical genres most inspire you (and why)?
I like many different styles of music and have had the opportunity to perform in various groups and bands that differ from each other, including Rock bands, modern church bands to Jazz big bands.
My favourite styles of music would be Blues, Folk, Rock, and Worship music. These styles inspire me in many ways, from the earthiness and vulnerability of the Blues, the power and energy of Rock music, to the passion and faith of Worship music.
Where are some of your regular gigs locally?
I regularly perform in the Greater Port Macquarie area; some of the local establishments that I love to play at include: the Port Macquarie Hotel, Chop and Chill, Flow Bar at Old Bar, Waters Edge, and Oasis by the River in Laurieton.
You can also find me hanging at Panthers with Coastside Church on Sunday mornings from 10.
What do you feel has been your greatest achievement as a performer to date … and what did you learn from this experience?
There are probably two big performance achievements that I’d like to mention.
One is playing to more than a thousand of people at a church conference in Brisbane and just feeling the energy and passion of a big venue where people of faith were in attendance.
Two is seeing the venue fill up and people really enjoy the music I was performing when I played at Flow Bar late last year. This inspired me to put more work and dedication into progressing in my craft as a live performer.
How would you describe your performance style/vibe?
During my performances I like to switch it up between chilled out groovy tunes that create a great atmosphere, and powerful songs and arrangements of classic tunes that demand more attention.
I also like to put my own spin on well-known songs to create a unique performance experience.
Without thinking about it too much, what are the top five songs of all time for you personally … And GO!
1. Amazing Grace
2. Feral Roots by Rival Sons
3. Light Up Ahead by Further Seems Forever
4. Revelry by Kings of Leon
5. Superunknown by Soundgarden
What do you most enjoy about live performances?
I enjoy seeing people respond to the music by tapping their feet and getting into the groove of the song, as well as the textures and sounds I can produce with my guitar, voice and a stomp box.
What are your dreams as a musician?
My dreams are to record an album of my own material, as well as see the school students I teach find as much enjoyment, life and therapy in music as I have.
Where can we find out more about you/contact you?
I add all my upcoming gigs as events on Facebook, so you can see where I’m playing next.
Interview: Jo Robinson.