John Lees Not Upset Over Lack Of Acclaim
Barclay James Harvest founder John Lees isn’t upset that he’s failed to receive acclaim for his guitar playing.
And he believes it means he’s in a position to play what he wants without feeling like he’s under pressure to deliver a certain kind of performance.
Asked if he’d rather be more widely recognised as a guitarist, Lees tells DPRP: “Not at all – less pressure!
“I must admit that over the last ten years I’ve played a lot more than in the previous ten. I’m playing all the time now, which I didn’t do before.
“I’ve taken influences from certain people over that period, but it’s never been anything conscious. Essentially, I play like I play without trying to emulate any one particular individual or style.”
Lees prefers to focus on what he thinks a song needs, rather than applying any kind of trademark sound. “The solo parts are probably the classic rock or progressive rock element in what is quite often pastoral music,” he reflects. “I’ve gone through quite a few differences in songwriting over the period of time I’ve been doing it.”
He spent the last five years teaching music technology at a sixth-form school, meaning his band wasn’t his main focus for a time. But that’s changed.
“I’ve just retired from education with a view to spending more time on Barclay James Harvest,” Lees says. “What we were doing had to be concentrated around half-terms and school holidays, which is quite restrictive.
“I’ve done my five years and I thoroughly enjoyed helping the kids. I’ve come back to concentrate on Barclay James Harvest while I’ve got the time to do it.”
The band tour the UK during October:
17/10 Edinburgh Picturehouse
19/10 Manchester Ritz
23/10 St Albans Alban Arena
24/10 Bristol St George’s
25/10 Leeds City Varieties
26/10 Wolverhampton Civic Hall
27/10 Norwich University of East Anglia