A View From The Stage – Dean Leggett (BOB)

A View From The Stage

We love music, we love the people who love music and naturally we love the people that make music.

So what about those people that make music? What sort of people are they? They like music as well, right? What were they into as kids? Was it the same sort of music we were into? What are they listening to now? What songs did they wish they had written?

We wanted to discover the “music fan” inside these artists, so we decided to find out using a similar format to our Meet The Community feature. By firing a series of short questions at a selected indie artist we wanted to get a bit of an insight into what makes them tick musically.

In this Edition – Dean Leggett

As i40Publishing gears up to release its first book in a while, the authorised biography of BOB, it makes sense that our latest View From The Stage comes from one of the band members. It is also quite pertinent that he is the only band member currently in active service on the indie front.

Dean Leggett, the Lincolnshire Cornishman behind the drums and cymbals of many a BOB record, can these days be found at the back of the stage with One Eyed Wayne, whose third album is due for release on Optic Nerve imminently. And if you don’t know him from BOB or One Eyed Wayne, maybe you know him from the Siddeleys. Or perhaps more notably from the legendary Jamie Wednesday, one time home of a couple of songwriters who went on to be famous as Carter USM. Or maybe you just know him from flogging you a t-shirt from a mid-80s merchandise stand.

Whichever way you know Dean, he’s a few stories to tell. And if you don’t know him, then this is as good a place as any to begin.

Where did you grow up?

My parents moved from Lincolnshire when I was very young to Redruth in Cornwall via another house near Launceston for a short period, so I call Redruth the place where I grew up.

What posters did you have on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

I used to put record covers on my wall in plastic sleeves and keep the records in card covers in the box, but also some posters, any I could get free from the local record shop or some that came with albums. Mainly Clash, Blondie and Bowie but also cuttings and adverts from magazines like NME and Melody Maker.

What was the first record you bought?

Little Arrows by Leapy Lee was the first record I got but my parents paid for it. I think the first record I bought myself was either White Riot by the Clash or the Snuff Rock EP by Alberto Y Los Trios Paranoias.

What moment made you want to become a singer, artist and musician?

My grandfather bought me a drum kit when I was 12 and I had no real plans or a least thought I would ever keep doing it, playing along to dad’s records in the front room and playing at a band at school was about all I managed.

Later at college in London I decided to try and join a band, mainly to make friends and get me off campus. Luckily for me it worked out and the first band I auditioned with gave me the job (1985) and a few months later I was making my first record and signed to a label even tho I didn’t have a drum kit .

How much did you get paid for your first gig?

I think most of the early gigs I played we as a band ended up paying or at least were out of pocket after bus fares beer and fags. So I’d say nothing.

Do you have a particularly memorable gig which you performed at?

The last BOB gig at the 100 Club in November 2019 was very memorable. It was at the end of a short run of gigs, and we hadn’t played as a full band for years. But the best bit was the people that came. We sold out the venue and it was great to see so many people singing along. Something with BOB at least hadn’t happened since the early 90’s.

Who would you most like to perform with onstage?

I’ve been lucky I’ve played with some great people over the years but playing with Joe Strummer at any time would have been a dream come true.

What’s the best venue you have played at?

Tricky. I’ve played so many here and in Europe, but in more recent years I played at the 02 Newcastle in the main room. It was so big, and getting to the stage from the dressing room was just like the scene from Spinal Tap. I loved it and the sound was immense.

What song would you have liked to written? (Not your own)

Do Anything You Wanna Do by  Eddie and The Hot Rods, I never get tired of this song and never will.

If you weren’t a singer / artist / musician, what would you have been?

I wanted to be a professional goalkeeper, but I doubt that would have happened. I probably would have ended up doing something very boring

What are you listening to at the moment? Any recommendations?

I’m listening to as much as I can. A lot of reissues, but also new stuff a fair bit from the Spinout Nuggets label, Yard Act, Benefits, and a few others.

What are you up to at the moment?

I’ve not done much music for a while but currently working on a new One Eyed Wayne album which will be our 3rd, which will be out this year.

There’s more BOB stuff on the horizon and I’m still working as an Events Manager, something I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. I have young children so that takes up time too, but I’m hoping to see more gigs this year and more new bands and hopefully take in a festival or two..

Thank you Dean

You can find Dean over on Twitter here

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