I’m a looping guitarist living in Sheffield, England. I have been performing for 45+ years in a variety of professional bands and latterly, as a solo artist / collaborator.
Repetition and Intuition are the key factors behind my music, which places dynamics & timbre high up the list. I see the guitar as an organic sound source that uses looping technology and laptop treatment to build moods & soundscapes. My pieces are born, evolve and die away.
I also like to rock out 😉
I’ve started a Bandcamp page. so you can download & listen to tracks there, as well on my audio page
27/01/20 – String Theology at the University Arms, Sheffield 30/01/20 – Mithril at The Old School House Venue, Barnsley
31/01/20 – Mithril at The Courtyard, Mexborough
22/02/20 – Mithril at The Horse and Jockey, Wadsley, Sheffield
25/02/20 – Looping at Em2, Rose & Crown, Derby Road, Nottingham
18/03/20 – Mithril at the Whte Bear, Barnsley
27/03/20 – Mithril at The Cremorne, Sheffield
15/04/20 – Mithril at the Forest, Sheffield
29/05/20 – Mithril at the Cross Scythes, Sheffield
As an almost infinitesimally brief member of the massively under-rated Comsat Angels, I was delighted to see the release of Steve’s first solo album of songs. Quite why he’s been so reticent to release music I don’t know, but it’s wonderful to hear new work from him. I hope it’s sufficiently successful to encourage him to do it more often 😉
I saw thread about favourite obscure Xmas tunes – I like to think this is pretty obscure, Reindeer Ride by Roger Lavern and The Microns. Roger was the keyboard player with the Tornados, but faded into obscurity and a life of womanising shortly after! Released on 1963 on the Decca label, I have a copy in my extensive RGM collection. The jaunty “Russ Conway” tune is played on the Meek “piano with drawing pins” and counterpointed by the glorious haunting female vocals, a vital part of many Meek productions. Lavern died in 2013.
On the same theme, I recently recorded a version of “Silent Night” for a “Friends of Sheffield Castle” Xmas video, here it is. I felt obliged to avoid my usual weirdness and dial back the mellotron 😉
My Das Rad band-mate Martin Archer has released several CDs with Julie Tippetts, aka Julie Driscoll of “Wheels On Fire” fame. Some years ago (these things take time!) I was asked to send over a couple of short, acoustic pieces for them to work with. Today I heard initial mixes of the tracks (“Sword Swallower” and “Big Cat Tamer”) and they are amazing!
It never ceases to amaze me where different musical minds can “take” a piece – what was a bare, stripped back guitar composition now has amazing vocals and a subtle “jazz” feel not dissimilar to Joni Mitchell. Martin plans to add a string quartet – I cannot wait to hear the results. The CD should be out some time next year, but it will be worth waiting for!
Any musician wants to play with respected artists and it’s taken me a while (cough), but I feel I may now have achieved my dream thanks to Martin’s faith & trust. Long may it continue.
Last year I played a set at the Awakenings gig in Rugeley, with fellow artists Skoulaman (Hans van Kroonenburg from the Netherlands) and Peter Challoner also on the bill. I was delighted to be invited up to play during part of Skoulaman’s set!
Since it’s relatively light-weight, has a line out for recording and has an internal speaker for practising, I carry my Katana 100 head home after rehearsals. However, the commercial cases you can buy seem little more than dust-covers, they wouldn’t offer any serious protection. So, I bought some felt backed vinyl for £3 and made my own. I’d considered sewing the case together, but in the end went for the simple solution of gaffer tape, I even found a matching colour in my collection. 20 minutes later, here’s the result. Flawed perhaps, but fully functional 😉
For my acoustic forays with Mithril, I’ve been using a Laney LA35C combo, which has been fine for low-key pub-type gigs. More recently, I played a slightly larger venue, where it’s limitations were cruelly exposed. The sound was basically distorting.
After some thought, I realised I didn’t need many of the features of the combo anyway, since the sound was being formed in the HX effects. All I needed was amplification, so I picked up this modest 100W powered speaker, a Yamaha MSR100.
It’s light and portable, both of which are higher up my list these days. For an 8″ speaker, the sound has a lot of depth (it’s a 2-way Bass Reflex system) and the cabinet has a variety of “angle” options. There’s an output to feed to a full PA system, so this will be perfect as a monitor. It also has treble & bass controls, so I can do quick & dirty adjustments to the sound if needed.