‘I feel it in my bones, I’m kicking at the stone, and the wall comes tumbling down…’
It’s almost 30 years since the ‘fall’ of the Berlin Wall, a hugely momentous event in recent history, the ramifications of which are with us today. The end of history it was not. The show I wrote inspired by those days and based on Cold War literature was commended for excellence in writing at 2016’s Buxton Fringe Festival and I’ve performed it a few times since. I’d love to perform it again, so would any venues, libraries, schools, festivals etc be interested in booking it? House concerts would be very suitable. Please get in touch if so, it’s quite a simple show but it has songs, Surveillance, spies and stories, all a Cold War needs! Please share if you think it might reach interested parties. Ta!
Spotify playlist of the show’s songs:
I’m playing a gig in Liverpool next month. Saturday 2nd March 2019. Nothing surprising there of course, but for me this gig is a bit like going back in time. I’m playing at Parr Street Studio 2 a venue I’ve never played but a place I know well through recording a lot of songs in it’s wonderful studios years ago. That’s not why it’s like going back in time though, the bill of the show is. Opening it is John McGlone whose old band Western Promise were a righteous punk ska noise from the 80s until a couple of years ago and closing it are Candy Opera. I’m sandwiched in between.
Candy Opera were proper contemporaries of mine and my old band 16 Tambourines. We shared band members, stages and drunken nights out. We were and are good friends. Candy Opera split up around the same time as 16 Tambourines, seemingly destined to be forgotten by all but us hardcore fans. Then, they were rediscovered by Germany’s Firestation Records who released their ‘debut’ album almost 30years after they last recorded. The album has sold well and received deservedly brilliant reviews, coz it’s great.
So, in keeping with the occasion I’ve been rehearsing blasts from my own past. Some of these songs I haven’t played live in nearly 30 years and some of the chords… well. I think I can play them, do come along and find out, maybe nostalgia is what it used be.
Competition is now closed and song not available to download. Thanks everone.
Okay a share in one but what a prize!
I wrote this song to accompany a promotional video for George Street Community bookshop, a Community Benefit Society that is undertaking a Community Share Issue.
Now you have the chance to win a share by buying a download of the song from my Bandcamp site. Minimum payment for the song is £1 but you’re welcome to pay as much as you want. On the eve of the closing of the share issue all of you who buy a download will be entered in to the prize draw and I’ll notify the winner within a day or two. Currently the share offer is open to 7th December but is likely to be extended for a week. Therefore I’ll let you know the outcome by 18th December. The song will then be removed from Bandcamp sale for at least 3 months.
You can name someone other than yourself as the recipient if you wish to offer the prize as a Christmas present. Providing of course that you win! If you want you can always buy shares in the shop and support the project regardless of this competition.
The idea is to raise money to rescue, revive and ensure the survival of the second hand bookshop. Shares cost from £50 and can be owned by anybody. It is an equitable share issue so regardless of whether someone owns shares worth £50 or £5000, it is one member one vote on the running of the shop.
For more information on the share issue, supporting documentation etc is available from www.georgestreetcommunitybookshop.co.uk
My decision on the winner is final but I promise no shenanigans.
When you read a book you’re going to find
pages of stories of every kind
when you read a book, you’ll fall in love
With one then another and isn’t it goodChorus
You”ll read a book and I will too
You share it with me and I’ll share it with you
When you read a book you step back in time
Or visit the future all in your mind
And when you read a book a novel idea
Takes root in your brain cells, it just appears
When you read a book it can set off your dreams
Inside a book the world is not as it might seem to be.
I’ll read a book, you’ll read a book
Let’s read a book turn off the phone
With thousands of words you are never alone
Let’s read a book you know it makes sense
So pick up a book and have fun with some friends
I’ll love it forever and I’m sure so will you.
released November 29, 2018
written and played by Steve Roberts 2018
The Music Minds triple CD I’ve posted about in previous posts is now on Spotify and iTunes etc and here’s the Spotify link if you fancy hearing my version of Ronnie Lane’s Annie.
Play Annie by Steve Roberts
I recorded it in my home studio in bits and pieces. I first played a guide keyboard part, the accordion sound you hear, and then I quickly recorded the acoustic guitar and lead vocal, both also intended to serve as guides until I could do them properly. All these parts stayed on the finished song. I wish it was this easy all the time but usually I’ll labour away re-recording things all the way along but I got lucky with this.
I took my computer up to Matt Hill’s house where Matt recorded a couple of banjo takes in the hour or so I allowed him. Similarly Steve Davies was given a couple of takes on the Piano before I whisked him away for a pint. I think I was trying to preserve the spontaneity to the recordings I sensed were in the guide recordings I’d made. Or I’m just lazy.
Martyn Campbell was then coerced into visiting with the promise he’d be fed and watered in return for bringing his bass guitar and helping me to finish the song off. Martyn’s more of a perfectionist than me but within a few hours we’d done his bass and percussion fashioned from lentils, chick peas and other pulses in old boxes. I think Marty helped with backing vocals too.
Appropriately and something I’m delighted with, my wife Ann agreed to play flute and recorders to put the icing on the song cake. So to speak. This is only the second time she’s been persuaded to record and I’m made up with the finished song. My daughter Fae has recorded some video footage so I hope that might see the light of day. In the meantime I hope you enjoy the song and the rest of the album.
Here’s to Ronnie Lane. Chin chin!
Really happy to have contributed a cover version of one of my favourite Ronnie Lane songs to a wonderful album raising money and awareness for mental health charities that will be released next month.
Here’s a video with details about the album, artists and charities:
The album, 40 songs deep, features some extremely well known artists like Glenn Tillbrook, Tom Robinson, Nick Kershaw among many others, and will be released on 10th October 2018. On the same date there’s a concert at the 02 Islington in that London. I’ll post more details soon.
Two local gigs for me, the first a bit late notice, both at the best vegan Pub in the country, The Globe, High St West, Glossop.
Tonight (8th) I’m opening for the Rattlebag songwriters circle featuring Matt Hill, Emma Thorpe and Huw Costin. 8pm and this is free entry, so quite a treat it is.
Next week on 15th I return to open for Aziz Ibrahim (Stone Roses/Ian Brown and more) an amazingly gifted guitarist who’s joined by percussionist Dal. Details for this one here. Get down early as this will be very popular.
Next up after these is a return to a home from home, 81 Renshaw Street Liverpool for a songwriter night in the company of me, Nick Ellis and Thom Morecroft. Tickets available here
Well maybe not all, but a couple of mentions I’ve enjoyed recently. The first is from the gig in Liverpool where I opened for Bennett Wilson Poole a couple of weeks ago (go and see them, listen and enjoy. Superb band breathing new life in to the Byrdsian jangle) and you can read it here. There’s a couple of videos of me playing that night to be found on my Facebook music page.
Here’s the second; when you fly as far under the radar as I feel I do, then inclusion in any Top Ten is fantastic, but Top Ten songs about Liverpool?!! Quite honestly, I’m chuffed to bits. Can you guess the song? All is revealed in this article by Jamie Bowman for Get Into This.
Edit: while I’m at it here’s an interview for Liverpooletc from this time last year.
I’m back in Liverpool with a band in tow, for a festival gig on 26th August and on Saturday 13th October I’m playing solo again at 81 Renshaw Street. I’ll have more news on these soon.
My second solo album is now available from my Bandcamp site (still on iTunes and Spotify too and all the others). High resolution downloads available – name your own price.
I hadn’t listened to it for a long time and I’m pleased with how it sounds, lo-fi yes, but it kind of suits the songs I think. Here it is.