Folk New release Psychedelia

Can Skywalker weigh a whale without a scale?

Ok, it’s a rubbish heading, but it brought you here, right? But, please, read on, it gets better…

In a remarkable twisterella, two current bandmates have been involved in extracurricular projects. Léanie Kaleido’s third album was produced by Mark Gardener; while Andy Bell has a solo single out. Keen shoegazers will note that both Gardener and Bell are in indie legends Ride.

Andy Bell (left); Mark Gardener (taking sartorial cue from Leonard Cohen) on the right. Photo: Mekkel.Richards – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

While the recordings are musically quite different from each other, a joyfulness can be heard in both, which, leading into spring, is truly life-affirming.

Léanie Kaleido’s outstanding new album is a whimsical, knowing affair. She views the world with all its absurdities and triumphs and reports back with a mischievous glint in her eye. Her vocals are beautifully understated and the listener can’t help but be drawn closer to hear her tales because it’s clear she cares deeply about her fellow humans.

The album’s title How to Weigh a Whale Without a Scale speaks to her eccentric point of view. The 10, mostly piano-based songs, show her to be an observant and empathic songwriter.

Check out the video* for the first single from the album to see where she’s coming from.

“The songs on this album represent the highs and lows I’ve encountered over the past few years, how I’ve dealt with them and what I’ve learnt through the process. It’s a mixture of love, regret, philosophies, humour and hope. I’ve always been a late developer, and so this to me feels like a coming-of-age album,” she says.

For his part, Gardener said: “Upon hearing her music for the first time, I knew I had to work with her.”

Ironic given, in her own words, she grew up snogging Ride posters on her bedroom wall.

*Did you spot Top Topham, Léanie’s dad, original lead guitarist in The Yardbirds? Ask your grandparents, kids.

Leanie Kaleido

Andy Bell ponders on events in a universe far, far away …

Andy Bell’s run of insanely catchy singles continues with the release of ‘Skywalker’.

Musically, ‘Skywalker’ brings to mind The Beatles – if that band was recording in Düsseldorf  in the seventies – with a healthy mix of World of Twist swirls and sea noises. Which is never, ever a bad thing.

World of Twist: criminally under-rated.

Andy said: “It is dedicated to my daughter, Leia, who was named after the Star Wars princess,” explains Andy of the song. “It’s about being a parent, watching your children grow up, reach adulthood, and live their lives, and feeling unbelievably proud of them. It’s for all my kids, but inspired by my eldest.”

Check out our feature last year when Andy released his stomping psychedelic masterpiece ‘Love Comes In Waves’. Enjoy the ‘Skywalker’ video below.

Feel the force, listener.

Thanks to for technical support.

6 replies on “Can Skywalker weigh a whale without a scale?”

Interesting fact… Andy’s daughter is called Leia after the Star Wars princess and Léanie is pronounced the same but with a little ’knee’ added on. Also, I’m the same height as an ewok. Almost.

Feel free to include it – credit the photo to a drunken bystander with no name who was discernibly forced by me to pap us good ‘n’ proper

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: