The Leisure Society
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The Everlasting
French version
   The Leisure Society - The Sleeper (2009)

The Leisure Society - The Sleeper
 01. Give Yourself a Fighting Chance
02. The Sleeper
03. The Last of the Melting Snow
04. A Short Weekend Begins With Longing
05. We Were Wasted
06. Save it for Someone Who Cares
07. The Darkest Place I Know
08. Are We Happy?
09. Come to Your Senses
10. A Matter of Time
11. Love's Enormous Wings

The Leisure Society is a british seven-piece band composed of Nick Hemming, Christian Hardy, Helen Whitaker, Sebastian Hankins, Michael Siddell, William Calderbank and Darren Bonehill.
Over the last few years Nick has gathered together a band of brilliant musicians.
The band's debut single 'The Last Of The Melting Snow' was released on December 15 2008 and has just been honoured with an Ivor Novello nomination for "Best Song Musically & Lyrically" competing against Elbow and The Last Shadow Puppets.
Their self-produced debut album "The Sleeper" was released on 30 March 2009 on Willkommen Records. It entered the iTunes folk chart at number one and received lavish critical praise.
The second single from "The Sleeper" is entitled 'A Matter Of Time' and was released on March 16.
Over the Summer of 2009 the band performed across the UK and Europe, including acclaimed slots at The Big Chill, The Green Man Festival and The End Of The Road Festival.
In September 2009 the band recorded a cover of The Beatles song 'Something'.
After having signed to UK label Full Time Hobby in July 2009 the band re-released "The Sleeper" with a bonus EP entitled "A Product Of The Ego Drain" and containing 8 additional recordings, comprising unreleased demos, b-sides and new recordings including a cover of 'Cars' by Gary Numan and a new single version of 'Save It For Someone Who Cares'.

Interview with Nick Hemming singer of The Leisure Society :

Nick Hemming

S: When and how was The Leisure Society born? 

N: It first started using the Leisure Society name years ago when I was doing some soundtrack work for a British Film called Dead Man's Shoes. It didn't become a full band until I moved to London a couple of years ago - to play in Christian's band. He encouraged me to record the songs I'd been writing. We did a few gigs as a duo, they went really well so we eventually assembled a seven piece band. Helen was the last to join - on flute - & when the seven of us played together for the first time it just felt complete.

S: Where is the name of the band coming from? 

N: It's an idea that, I believe, was conceived in the 1930's. It was thought that, with the development of mechanization & automation,  humans would have an increasing amount of spare time. Eventually everything would be automated & we would have endless hours to fill with leisure activities - a Leisure Society. It seems far from the truth as people tend to work more hours than ever these days, but the idea and the whole aesthetic of retro-futurism really appeals to me.

S: How and when did all begin with music? 

N: I was always very passionate about music but didn't start seriously making my own until I was 17. Someone played me Guns n Roses Appetite For Destruction & my life changed. I went & bought a cheap acoustic guitar & for the next 6 months I did nothing but practice.
S: Do you feel anxious before a show?

N: I often get very nervous before a show. It get's a little easier over time, a few years ago I wouldn't even sing in front of my own family!

S: What musicians or artists had an influence in your life and in your work?

N: Brian Wilson is probably the biggest influence. The first time I heard Surfs Up it blew my mind. I began collecting instruments, trying to cram as many different sounds onto recordings as possible. John Barry & Ennio Morricone were also a big influence in the early days.

SDo you remember what was the first CD you bought?

N: The first record I bought was a 7" of Funeral Pyre by the Jam.

The Jam    

S: Do you think the emotion is different between a song in English and in another language?

N: Rather embarrassingly I can only speak English so I can't really comment.

S: How could you define the music of The Leisure Society?

N: There is a lot of honesty in it, most of the songs were written as a kind of catharsis. But, at heart I think we aspire to make classic pop music in the vein of The Beatles & The Beach Boys... you have to aim high ;)

S: Do you agree with Victor Hugo who said :"Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad"?

N: I guess there can be a perverse pleasure in melancholy. In my experience melancholy is certainly conductive to creativity. I'm a believer that happiness writes white.

S: When you write a song you follow your heart, your brain or your hand?

N: A combination of the three, in that order. A few years ago I started writing songs on the Ukulele in an effort to ignore my guitar-weary hands & be a bit more instinctive. I find it inspirational writing on an instrument I don't know much about.

S: What is your favourite song of The Leisure Society and why?

N: I think "We Were Wasted" is my favourite at the moment. It's very simple but it seems to distill a whole period of my life when I was getting wasted a lot!

S: As musician, what is your feeling about Internet?

N: The internet has been amazing for me. Without the outlet of Myspace & the like I'm sure there wouldn't have been a Leisure Society album. Illegal downloading is annoying, but for the first time in 15 years I'm actually making enough money to pay the rent so I can't complain.
S: Where is "The Darkest Place You Know"?

N: The Darkest Place I Know was written whilst sleeping on people's floors in SW London, so I'll have to say Balham.  Balham's actually quite a nice place but at the time I felt like my life was a directionless mess & I had lost all confidence in myself, hence the dark mood.
S: Can you describe what is a typical The Leisure Society's day?

N: At the moment It involves getting out of bed & switching the computer on to start recording. I've had a stream of musicians visiting this weekend & I've become a bit of a hermit, rarely venturing outside. We're off on tour in a couple of days so that will involve lots of driving, playing cards, watching Arrested Development DVDs & endless cigarettes (to relieve the tour boredom).

S: What are your hobbies aside music?

N: Music is pretty all-consuming. I do like cooking though & I do quite a lot of cycling.

S: Are you venturesome person?

N: No, I'm generally very introspective & quite cautious.

S: Where would you like to play in the future, is there a place in the world you would love to visit?

N: I'd really like to go to Brazil. I'd also love to tour the U.S.A, I like the idea of all the wide open spaces. I'm very excited to be visiting Paris for the first time.

S: Are there any things, which you are afraid of? Do you have any fears?

N: Flying. We had an awful flight back from a festival in Latvia, it's going to take a lot of alcohol/valium to get me back on a plane.

S: What is the best moment and best place to listen to your music?

N: On a train, traveling through countryside.

S: As our website is related with Manic Street Preachers maybe can you say some words about them?

N: Our violin player Mike played with The Manic Street Preachers in his old band Hope Of The States. It was when the Manics had there all-white stage set & Nicky Wire told them off for leaving cigarette ends on the stage. Mike said they we're all very nice though.

S: I know it’s a difficult question, but if you would have to keep just one album from your CD collection what album would it be?

N: The Beach Boys Friends/20/20. I know that's actually two albums but they both come on one CD. There's such a lot of inventiveness in the arrangements & harmonies, there's always something new to discover.

The Beach Boys Friends/20/20
S: What was the last song you listened to before the interview? And, if you know, which one will be the next?

N: The View - Distant Dubloon. I'm not a View fan but I discovered this on someone's Myspace page - it has amazing orchestration.

S: Can you tell us the name of one French song, or singer, or band?

N: I used to be a huge Air fan. I listen to a lot of Yann Tiersen. We played with a band called Moriarty a couple of months ago, they were rather good.

S: And say something in French?

N: Ceci n'est pas une bicyclette - is what it says on my t-shirt (beneath a drawing of a bicycle)

S: What are your plans for the nearest future?

N: We're heading on our first European tour this weekend. I'm really excited, we're starting in Paris then heading over to Germany before finishing in Belgium.

SAnd finally, what’s the most important thing in life for you?

N: Creating music seems to be one of the few things that can make me truly happy, I'd be utterly lost without it.

MANY thanks to Nick and The Leisure Society for the interview!

More informations about The Leisure Society:

- on their site:

- on their Myspace:




The Everlasting 

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