Album: Jackie Leven & Ian Rankin

Jackie Leven Said, COOKING VINYL
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The Independent Culture

Jackie Leven was surprised, and gratified, to be mentioned in an Ian Rankin novel as an example of the music favoured by the detective John Rebus. Contact with the author resulted in Jackie Leven Said (the nod to Van Morrison is deliberate), a live collaboration based on a specially-written Rankin short story, the recital of which is interspersed withatmospheric items from Leven's back catalogue, notably a moving rendition of "Jim O Windygates" that perfectly evokes wistful regret. In the story, a successful Crouch End studio owner returns to his native Fife for his mother's funeral, temporarily leaving behind his stylish life for hesitant reunions with his brother, his former girlfriend (now his brother's partner) and the violent father he's not spoken to for years. It's a pleasingly congruent matching of talents, both Leven and Rankin dealing well with the conflicting tug of territory - the need to get away, the ache of returning - and both skilled at evoking the bitter souls of men hardened against

Jackie Leven was surprised, and gratified, to be mentioned in an Ian Rankin novel as an example of the music favoured by the detective John Rebus. Contact with the author resulted in Jackie Leven Said (the nod to Van Morrison is deliberate), a live collaboration based on a specially-written Rankin short story, the recital of which is interspersed withatmospheric items from Leven's back catalogue, notably a moving rendition of "Jim O Windygates" that perfectly evokes wistful regret. In the story, a successful Crouch End studio owner returns to his native Fife for his mother's funeral, temporarily leaving behind his stylish life for hesitant reunions with his brother, his former girlfriend (now his brother's partner) and the violent father he's not spoken to for years. It's a pleasingly congruent matching of talents, both Leven and Rankin dealing well with the conflicting tug of territory - the need to get away, the ache of returning - and both skilled at evoking the bitter souls of men hardened against their better instincts. Drawn from an Edinburgh show last August, this engaging performance is further bulked out by the pair's post-gig conversation and three new Leven songs about Fife.

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