Swan pedalo lands in Leeds

On the windy morning of saturday 25th June, the Swan Pedalo landed on the canal at Granary Wharf in Leeds for the Waterfront festival.

After a quick maiden voyage with @davelynch, @lewissleeman and @eoinshea to work out the finer details of the swan songs and other swan related activities we decided to wait on the promise of sunday sunshine before we ventured into the activities.

Our wait was blessed with a scorcher of a day, with Swan tweets commenting on #leedsriveria, it was hot hot hot and you got a swan sweat on after moments of pedaling !

10AM brought the lyrical wisdom of Samuel Foxton Wells for Leeds 1st Swan Song.

The Open Source Swan Pedalo hosts Leeds first swan songs featuring the lyrical wisdom of Samuel Foxton Welles.

Samuel Foxton Welles’s new track is from his upcoming album based on David Lynch’s dark view of middle America in his ground breaking TV series – Twin Peaks. For more information please visit samuelfoxtonwelles.co.uk


Due to the hot weather and super chilled day the evening performances were squeezed into a very short 30 minute slot.


6.40 saw  Slimpro6&theBobbettes improvised impromtu water music.  I don’t think anyone could have prepared themselves for the haunting echos of the woodwind and brass melodies emitting from 3 dogs on a swan!



6.50 – 7 was a exercise in the right to rant by Stephen Emmerson & Chris Stephenson who are  the resident poets from a regular poetry event called Precession: The Cynics curated by Robert A Sharples. Armed with megaphones and an sublime collection of funny, witty, dark and twisted word couplets that left the audience on the bank in auditory appreciation and laughter.

All in all a good experimentation of what can be done in little time, no budget and some fine weather.  Also a good gauge of how well the public react to art from a swan pedalo.  A comment by Samuel Foxton Welles early in the day kinda sums it all up:

‘you wouldn’t stare at someone in the street, but somehow a swan pedalo gives people free reign to blatantly watch your every move’

I think people feel drawn to the swan, a phoenix in our society’s great depression, but 98% more likely is the sun brings out the best in people and opens that cultural acceptance for fun and frolics on a giant bird on the water.