Song, by Toad

Posts tagged steve adey


Steve Adey and Grand Harmonium Records

I remember when I first started this blog… actually, hang on, when I first started this blog I lived down South and was just writing about bands I read about in Uncut and bought in HMV, so let’s quietly pretend that era never existed and that I was always an aspiring super-obscure music hipster.

Even when I first turned the site into an actual blog a couple of years later, in Edinburgh by this point, I still had little idea that there was quite so much music being made all around me in this city. Nor that so much of it was worth paying attention to. I suppose I just never realised that much like football or acting, the professional music world we see before us is just the tiny tip of a massive, massive iceberg, and that supporting and feeding that tiny visible chunk bobbing about above the waterline, is a vast mass of people working away, from those with aspirations to the top to those who just dabble because they love it and everything in between.

As it slowly began to dawn on me that music I love was actually being made all around me, and that I didn’t really need to look to the glossies or the megastores to find it, possibly the first local enterprise I came across was Steve Adey and his label, Grand Harmonium Records.

His music is slow and downbeat, probably fitting into that ‘gloriously morose’ category you know I have such a soft spot for. However, having first written about him so long ago that the post only just missed being lost in my Great Database Debacle of 2007, my attention subsequently veered into much louder territory, and I have to confess I’ve inadvertently taken my eye off his stuff for a while now.

These new recordings have sorted that out though – they’re gorgeous. They remind me an awful lot of the latest Ed Harcourt album actually – another gloriously morose piano playing singer-songwriter. Filmed in Buccleuch Church in the Southside of Edinburgh, the setup is completely minimal: Steve and a piano, and Helena MacGilp on drums and backing vocals. It’s gorgeous. It’s easy to imagine all sorts of things being added to these songs, but they just don’t need it. The minimalism allows you to concentrate on every drum, every piano note and every rise and fall of the vocals.

Five of what will apparently be ten songs have been published on his YouTube channel already, and I am very much looking forward to the rest appearing. And honestly, I think this collection of recordings really does deserve its own release despite the fact that the songs themselves are all from his last album.


Live in Edinburgh This Week – 11th February 2013

AnchormanGb110412 Don’t ask me why Ron Burgundy, it’s just because, alright? This really is just one of those days, a real blue Monday, and I have no idea why because the sun has been shining, the label is ticking over nicely, we have a fine Toad Session to publish this week, the gig on Saturday went really well, and basically, in short, things are just dandy.

Still, sometimes these things happen I guess. Maybe some Mongrels will cheer me up. Actually, as I’ve been going on about Archer for the last little while, Chris Devotion and the Expectations collared me on Twitter and told me about Frisky Dingo, which I think I might spend my evening watching.

Anyway, musically speaking this week there is some interesting stuff knocking around, although few marquee gigs, such as the Liquid Room or Cabaret Voltaire used to put on, before they gave up on music altogether.

Still, there’s one big shiny show this week, and that is Randolph’s Leap, Snowgoose and Jo Mango at the Queen’s Hall. I assume Randolph’s Leap will give it everything, with full brass section and so on, to accompany Adam Ross’s inspired lyrical meanderings.

In terms of other regular meat and potatoes gigs, Gallops are at the Electric Circus tonight and for a moment I thought they were being supported by Portishead and Birdsound, but it turned out to be Portasound and Birdhead which, er, isn’t bad by any means, but a little different to what I first thought.

Also, there will be Big Ned, Zed Penguin and the Rosy Crucifixion at the Wee Red Bar on Friday. This one might be a tad less hypnotic than the Gallops gig tonight at the Electric Circus, but the abstract noise elements probably have a thing or two in common here and there.

And finally, Paws will be playing the Wee Red as well, but on Sunday as part of their UK tour.  Do I need to tell you anymore about Paws? Probably not.  Here’s their Toad Session if you’re a bit late to the party.

Also, there are a couple of things which might interest music lovers, but which aren’t straightforward gigs.  Two instores are happening – Phil from Paws is playing an acoustic set at VoxBox on St. Stephen’s Street on Sunday, and Steve Adey is at Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk on Saturday.

And finally on Friday there is a feature documentary on composer John Fahey being screened at Summerhall.  And there you go, that seems to be about it, although doubtless I will have missed something really obvious because I always fucking do.


Steve Adey – Mississippi Remixed

Steve Adey

Steve Adey is an Edinburgh singer-songwriter. We’re not big on rock ‘n’ roll here in Edinburgh, but there are quite a few folksters and acoustic singers, which seems to suit the local scene rather more.

Adey produces atmospheric, desolate folk that reminds me rather more of Adrian Crowley than it does the two legends he covers on his debut album: Bonnie Prince Billy and Bob Dylan. A bit more like Iron & Wine, perhaps. I’ve yet to hear All Things Real, his album, yet but I recently received a copy of a remix of Mississippi which is as good a place as any for us all to start.

It’s the last song on the album and is being released as a single. As part of the release he has made four different remix versions available, which perhaps harks back to his many years’ experience as a sound engineer remixing other people’s stuff. It’s an interesting idea though, as remixes tend to cluster around dancier stuff, or indie stuff being made dancy, rather than this sort of folk material.

The atmospherics are rather haunting and bleak, but this is no barrier to enjoying the song, which has an underlying warmth and sparse instrumentation to it that I like. The album can be bought here for those who are so inclined, and he has a MySpace page on which his epic cover of Dylan’s Shelter From the Storm can be previewed.

Steve Adey – Mississippi (A Marble Calm Remix)

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