Lisbon-born singer, songwriter, rock n’roll guitar player, amateur producer & indie label entrepreneur: Neil Leyton became familiar with the stage while living in Canada in the 1990’s, where he fronted Toronto’s glam godfathers The Conscience Pilate, after starting out on bass with psychedelic art-rockers Passion’d Flower.
He launched his solo career in 1998 with the release of the critically acclaimed “Secret Avenue” album, throwing himself simultaneously into his music as well as running Fading Ways Music, his Canadian indie label. His second album, “…from the brighter side of her Midnight Sun“, was released in the UK via the ChangesOne label in 2003 and in Canada via Scratch Records and Distribution, harnessing critical acclaim throughout all of Fading Ways Music’s distributed territories.
The Betrayal of the Self, Leyton’s third self-produced album, followed the Dead Fashion Brigade EP in 2006 via FW UK and Feedback Boogie Records (Sweden). Recorded in Stockholm at Acetone studios and featuring Leyton’s new Sweden-based backing unit, The Ghosts, this album proved to be his most immediate, urgent, and politicized release thus far, captivating reviewers from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, the Netherlands, the UK and Canada – selling units as far wide as Japan.
In 2010 Neil Leyton released “Elite Nylon“, a 3-part album (or 3 maxi-EPs if you will), which he compiled from several recording sessions since 2007. The digital edition is a selection of the best tracks, following the advice of fellow songwriter Jim Clements, while the fanclub limited edition CD version featured the full sessions: “The Madness of Normality” would have been the sequel to “Betrayal of the Self”, recorded in Sweden; “So Not Alone” would have been a duets album tracked between London, Stockholm and the road; and “The Leyton Rifles” a power trio affair recorded in Germany.
That same year saw the release of the vinyl 7? The Point, a side-project with Nicke Andersson. Leyton also collaborated with Nicke Andersson’s Imperial State Electric project, writing the lyrics for the song “Deja Vu” and joining ISE on tour in Spain opening for Kiss, plus playing the Azkena Rock Festival and ISE’s Peace & Love Festival appearance back in Sweden.
In 2013, Leyton released a compilation of early recording sessions from Toronto in the early to mid 1990’s, titled “Studio 92“. In 2014 he launched a new project with Micke Ghost, titled Lusitanian Ghosts, and released the single “Blossom”. The project has, as a concept, the utilization, in a rock n roll setting, of traditional portuguese regional guitars on the verge of extinction, some of which Leyton inherited from his grand-father Mestre Adelino Leitão and others, like the Amarantina, newly re-made by APC Instruments in Braga.
In 2016, Leyton got back together with Edward Pond for a one-off reunion show of The Conscience Pilate in Toronto, celebrating 20 years since their “Living in a Movie Scene” CD; and also re-issued a 20-track anniversary edition of “The Betrayal of the Self – 10th Anniversary Edition”. He is said to be working on new material, whether solo, with Lusitanian Ghosts, or The Conscience Pilate… so the rumour goes…