Just over a year ago, In September 2007 I heard about a musician living in the next village who had for many years toured with Chris Rea. His name is Kevin Leach. Kevin was working locally in the building trade and was playing keyboards part time when he could get work. After years of alcoholism two years ago he was checked into rehab and had finally been dried out.
I arranged to meet Kevin along with my friend and co-Director, singer/songwriter John Gaughan . John has an even more dramatic history of alcoholism which culminated in a failed suicide attempt and a dramatic journey into faith in 1985 . John was with a band called Herman's Hermits in the early 1970s and like Kevin he had struggled with alcohol during his band years.
Kevin joined Gilead and with help from his brother, guitarist Chris Leach, saxophonist Dave Kemp and others, the album 'Living World' evolved. Over 7000 man hours of work have gone into the album which features nine musicians, some of whom had toured with Chris Rea in the past. Almost all the team have struggled with addictions of one kind or another and the story of the creation of 'Living World' is also a story of redemption. Our aim was to give much of the album that famous American R&B feel. The finished album was sent to the legendary Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering to 'do his thing'.
In November 2007 we shot a music video in the Tatra mountains of southern Poland. During the trip we visited the former Jewish ghetto of Krakow and the memorial to the 60,000 Jews who lost their lives in Krakow and it's environs during the Holocaust. Kevin had a nightmare on the night of our visit and the classical track 'Krakow' on the album is based on the melody he awoke with some three months after that experience. 'Living World' is a real collaboration of three hearts and minds. The collection of songs of differing styles and genres speaks of the world of today, and man's search for faith hope and love in these turbulent days.