The Leisure Society
The story of The Leisure Society began in Burton-Upon-Trent when Nick Hemming picked up a guitar and formed a band with Shane Meadows, Paddy Considine and Rich Eaton. Following a year of demos and increasingly bizarre gigs, Shane and Paddy were drawn towards careers in film, leaving Nick to pursue a life of making music. After serving time with Burton’s best known exports The Telescopes (latterly Unisex), Nick contributed scores to some of Shane’s movies, including A Room For Romeo Brass and Dead Man’s Shoes, under a new moniker The Leisure Society.
Then in 2005 he was asked to collaborate with fellow Burtonians in Christian Silva, prompting a move to South London where he bunked up in singer Christian Hardy’s postage stamp bedroom. One thing inevitably led to another and soon Nick started shyly presenting his compositions in the wee hours of the morning, picking up a ukulele, mandolin, banjo or guitar and pouring out songs that were wistful, romantic, poetic and drenched in longing. Hemming was dismissive, Hardy was transfixed. Thus The Leisure Society was reborn, a new band in which Christian tinkled the ivories, twiddled the knobs and sung all the notes Nick couldn’t reach.
Christian and Nick continued with other musical exploits: Christian Silva released debut album Onward! and enjoyed a number of high profile tour dates; Nick joined the ranks of two Brighton folk ensembles, Sons Of Noel and Adrian and Shoreline, both members of a newly formed Willkommen Collective. It was from this rich pool of talent that Nick and Christian found band members to realise their ever-expanding vision of The Leisure Society. Simple ukuleles and close harmony were joined by lush orchestral chamber pieces with vast rhythm sections and choirs. Nick brought home a sitar, Christian brought home a pedal steel, Nick brought home a flute player, Christian brought home a drummer. And so on.
And now at the end of 2008 the results are in. They have produced a collection of 30 or so songs, 11 of which are presented on their first limited release The Sleeper, which will be brought to you by Willkommen Records. And that’s the story. The Leisure Society is Hemming with Hardy, a band from Burton reborn in a London bed. Together they strive for a time of relaxation through automation, for a moment when they can hold their table tennis bats aloft and salute modernity.