Written by: Jim Berman
The 1990’s in New York City was a particularly vibrant time for live music.
Venues like Wetlands Preserve, Tramps, Brownies, The Continental, Nightingales, and Irving Plaza, just to name a few, were the launching grounds for many of the era’s top artists. Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, and Joan Osborne all cut their teeth there–and seemingly all the time!
Another band that was ubiquitous at those venues was one of my personal favorites: Spacehog.
Spacehog were comprised of Jonny Cragg on drums, Rich Steel on lead guitar, Antony Langdon on rhythm guitar & vocals and his brother Royston Langdon on bass and lead vocals. They took the downtown music scene by storm, going from their first gigs at Nightingales and Coney Island High to the major label release of their first album, Resident Alien within a year. That album went gold with the help of the incredible power of the single “In the Meantime.” Spacehog released 3 more albums, culminating in As it is on Earth in 2013.
But enough with the history lesson–the real story here is Royston Langdon.
Royston’s musical journey, while forever intricately entwined with Spacehog, has not been exclusively defined by them. Over the years, Royston has explored other songs and bandmates in outfits like The Tender Trio and Arckid. Unlike these other bands, his latest project Leeds seems to be a more personal, more reflective, and more somber moment in his career.
Monday night, Royston unveiled Leeds for the west coast contingent at The Hotel Cafe, an intimate venue that seemed just right. Introspective new songs like “What Became of the People” were mixed with hints of some old favorites like “Zeros.”
Though he was joined for a few songs at the beginning by a cellist and his brother Christian on electric guitar, this was definitely a solo excursion. Alternating between acoustic guitar and piano, there was a calm, positive confidence in Royston’s performance that exuded that of a maturing solo artist coming into his own.
In the meantime, I asked Roy to reflect on a few questions Stereo Embers Magazine readers might be asking themselves…
SEM: What is Leeds? A band? A solo endeavor? Something in the middle?
RL: Don’t know. It’s pretty much my creativity shared openly and publicly.
SEM: Tell me about the new songs, their inspiration etc.
RL: They’re a representation of how I feel today.
SEM: How would you say your approach to performing has changed over the years?
RL: My experiences have brought about an ease with myself both as a writer and as a performer. I feel deeper sense of fulfillment creatively. That reflects in all areas of my life. Fulfilled.
SEM: With the fantastic album As It Is On Earth from a few years ago under its belt, where does Spacehog fit into your musical universe at this point?
RL: It’s a thing of the past that has a life now and will continue posthumously on many levels for many.
SEM: Hopefully we’ll see more of you! Do you have other performances planned?
RL: More will be revealed.
Keep up with Leeds: