Steve's Blog: Solo Bass & Beyond

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Three Unmissable Gigs (Julie Slick, Jem Godfrey, Briana Corrigan)

July 7th, 2014 · Comments Off on Three Unmissable Gigs (Julie Slick, Jem Godfrey, Briana Corrigan)

Right, gig news! Some REALLY exciting collaborations coming up – here are the three I can tell you about now. All of them are at Tower Of Song, in Birmingham, UK, and all will, of course, be recorded:

  • July 27th – with Julie Slick and Andy Edwards :: [tickets] after the fun we had with our last gigs together in April, Julie ‘s back for another show, between legs of the Crimson ProjeKct world tour, with Andy and I. Here’s some of the last session on Soundcloud. We’re REALLY looking forward to playing together as a trio again!
  • August 10th – with Jem Godfrey and Andy Edwards :: [tickets] Jem is a true musical genius and original. There’s pretty much no-one else who fronts a massive and widely respected prog band AND writes world-traversing ginormous pop hits for the likes of Atomic Kitten and Holly Valance! Jem’s band is Frost*, who Andy used to drum for, and we’re SO excited to be playing an evening of improvised music with him. Don’t miss this!

Special Offer:

Tickets for the Julie AND Jem gigs for just £14 (£3 off)

[Click Here To Buy Tickets]


Then, the week after the gig with Jem, something else VERY special:

  • August 17th – with Briana Corrigan :: Briana is probably best known for her time as vocalist with The Beautiful South – she sang their only UK no. 1, A Little Time. But she’s an exceptional songwriter in her own right, and after a couple of years of talking about it, we’re finally getting our duo project happening. This will be an evening of my music, her music and some really special never-before-heard collaborations that will be the beginnings of something wonderful. Go buy her solo albums on Bandcamp.

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Diversion – New Album Out Today!

June 30th, 2014 · Comments Off on Diversion – New Album Out Today!

…here it is! I’ve been really looking forward to sharing this with you. It’s a 21 minute, 2 song live set from me and double bassist Jon Thorne (from Lamb). It was recorded at the London Bass Guitar Show in March, and I’m massively proud of it:

Some things that you might like to know:

  • As I said, Diversion is a live recording with Jon Thorne on double bass, recorded on the main stage at The London Bass Guitar Show, on March 2nd
  • It was the first time we’d ever played together. I was booked to play solo, saw that Jon was there, and so invited him to play with me, cos he’s amazing.
  • As such, it’s entirely improvised. We didn’t play “songs” we knew or that we’d written. In soundcheck I played something mellow, and we went ‘like that? yeah’.
  • Jon is a *monster* musician. What a huge privilege it is to play with him. He’d been on my collaborator bucket-list for a long time. He didn’t disappoint. I’ve done little bits of elec bass/upright bass stuff before, but this was THE one where my idea of what was possible was superceded, thanks to his incredible musicianship and listening.
  • It’s a 2 track, 21 minute recording, and is one of my favourite things I’ve ever done. I hope you dig it half as much as I do – that’ll be enough to leave it at the top of your playlist all month 🙂
  • As with the rest of my stuff, it’s ‘pay what you think it’s worth‘. Why? Good question – mainly because it’s the music future that I think we all want to live in – one where we’re not ‘policing’ access to music, but instead providing opportunities to express our gratitude for music by paying what we’re able to for it, for that to reflect our sense of its value, and our desire to be a part of the ongoing sustainability of making music. All the while, it’s important to me not to prevent genuinely broke people from having access to music, or to get in the way of the music discovery and sharing process.

    You’re a grown up, you get how this works. If enough people pay for this, I get a bit of latitude in terms of the time I spend on my next project. The sales of each album help to free up the time and resources to make the next one. I’m not about to stop making music if it stops making money (that particular threat seems to be reserved for the entitled rich) but given how nice it is to be able to say ‘thank you’ to the people who make the music we enjoy, and how life-changing it can be to make enough money from music to keep making more music, there seems no good reason for not linking the two. Be the change you want to see – the change I want to see is more music by more people in more places, and I’m more than happy to help make that possible as an artist and a fan. Does that make sense?

  • PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share the link with your friends – your tweets and Facebook posts are vital to the knowledge of the album being propagated. Posts to music forums and mailing lists are also hugely appreciated, as are blog/Tumblr reviews. Also, reviews on Bandcamp are SO SO useful. We’d love it if you’d log in to your Bandcamp fan account (if you’ve ever bought anything on Bandcamp, your fan account is just waiting for you to claim it, if you haven’t already) and write a review. You’re all very lovely. Thanks 🙂


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Don’t Miss This! Birmingham Bass Night on 17/03/13 (finally!)

January 9th, 2013 · Comments Off on Don’t Miss This! Birmingham Bass Night on 17/03/13 (finally!)

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2012: A Musical retrospective

December 31st, 2012 · Comments Off on 2012: A Musical retrospective

Before I started the list of things I’d done in 2012, it felt like a year of not much happening… I mean, I’d put out three new albums, but all three of them were actually recorded in 2010 and 2011, so only the mixing and mastering took place this year (actually, given that Believe In Peace was released on January 1st 2012, all the work on that, even uploading it to Bandcamp, happened in 2011!)

But the list looked a little more impressive. So here it is, by month: [Read more →]

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Steve Lawson and Lobelia in Birmingham on 25/11/12 (finally!)

October 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on Steve Lawson and Lobelia in Birmingham on 25/11/12 (finally!)

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Steve Lawson in Sheffield on 11/09/12

August 30th, 2012 · Comments Off on Steve Lawson in Sheffield on 11/09/12

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Steve Lawson in Leicester on 09/12/12

August 29th, 2012 · 2 Comments

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A Little “Buy Music With Bandcamp” Primer…

January 3rd, 2012 · 4 Comments

As you know, all of my albums come out first on Bandcamp (as of writing, I’m in their top 5 ‘current best-sellers’ thanks to you – I won’t bother linking to it (though I did get a screengrab).

I may or may not put this on iTunes/Amazon/eMusic etc. I haven’t decided yet. I’d MUCH rather you got it from Bandcamp, for all our sakes. Here’s why:

  • You get to choose your file type. With Bandcamp I can release 24bit audiophile FLAC versions and the highest possible quality MP3 versions (we well as AAC/ALAC and OGG) all in the same place. No faffing about for you searching out the best format, just choose the one you want.
  • Sleevenotes, artwork, extras. I can add PDFs of sleevenotes, photos, lyrics, individual art for each track. and I can change it. As often as I want. Freedom 🙂
  • The ‘Pay What You Want’ thing. It just makes sense – not only does it let you put in the price that represents both what you can afford, and what you think it’s worth, but it means that people who are in parts of the world where they otherwise can’t get ‘legal’ digital music can download it without paying, and if you ever lose your copy in a harddrive crash, you can just come and download it again for free. Or if you decide you want to give FLAC a go and see what all the hi-res fuss is about – again, you can replace it for free.
  • Payment is easy. OK, so not quite as easy as buying on iTunes if you’ve got an iTunes account, but its’ way more friendly. If you’ve got a PayPal account, it’s 3 clicks and a password confirmation. If you haven’t, you can pay with a credit/debit card.
  • Full previews. Let’s be honest, in the grand scheme of things HARDLY ANYONE HAS HEARD OF ME. Even fewer have heard my music. Hiding it away behind 30 second previews on iTunes/Amazon is utterly insane. As would be hosting it all on a listening service that’s separate from the buying/download bit. It’s utterly vital for indie musicians to remember, you don’t get an audience by selling music, you have the chance to sell music ONCE YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCE. The unlimited listening makes people hearing what I do as easy as possible. You can listen on the site, on Facebook, other people can blog it. It’s just great! A lot of the people who may hear my stuff are likely to need quite a while to decide they want it enough to buy it. It may take years. I don’t want to stop them listening in those intervening years. I’m in this for the long game, not some get rich quick plan. You can listen on the site as much as you want. That’s great. …it’s also worth noting that the pages will also play on an iPhone/iPad, thanks to them being HTML5, not Flash-driven – you can’t download from Bandcamp to either of those, but that’s because Apple are idiots, nothing Bandcamp can do about that.
  • Sharing via social media. Bandcamp is SO friendly. the URL turns into an embedded player on Facebook, anyone can blog it and have it playable to their friends, every page (album or track) has facebook and twitter share buttons, when you’ve bought it and it’s downloading, there are sharing buttons there too. It’s made for sharing.
  • Sharing the love via Creative Commons. iTunes and Amazon don’t give me the option to change the license terms on my music. It’s All Rights Reserved or nothing. But I don’t want to make it illegal for you to share the music with your friends. I don’t want to make it illegal for you to add the music to your videos, to remix it, to sample it… If you’re not making money from it, you can do what you want with it. If you want to make money off it, we negotiate the terms as normal. That’s friendly, right?

Convinced? Here you go:

Tags: Music News · New Music Strategies · Uncategorized

New Album Out Next Week!

December 30th, 2011 · Comments Off on New Album Out Next Week!

If we’re friends on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know that I have a new album coming out next week.

It was recorded live in Minneapolis, after a fortuitous sequence of events (outlined in the sleeve notes) lead us to play in an art exhibition by a fabulous artist called Geoff Bush.

The music was all improvised in response to Geoff’s beautiful art. His theme for his work is ‘Believe In Peace’ – which is also the title of the album, and his work is based on the I Ching from which the four track titles come.

So we have four tracks, all played on my fretless 6 string bass (I only take one bass with me on tour in the US), and there’s some clever weirdness going on from my Kaoss Pad.

Here’s the opening track from it. Like all my recent stuff, it’s mixed and mastered for good speakers/headphones, so if you’re listening to this on a laptop, you’re going to miss a lot…

Enjoy, please tell your friends, and look out for the finished thing on the 1st or 2nd of January! 🙂

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Two New Recordings On Soundcloud

December 2nd, 2011 · 4 Comments

I’ve got loads I need to blog about, sorry for the silence here. First up, here are two new recordings.

Firstly, here’s a rough mix of one of the pieces from my improv gig with Corey Mwamba last week in Derby. Corey’s a remarkable musician, and we had a wonderful gig. The whole show should be up on Bandcamp at some point (projects are backing up and I need to start releasing some of them!)

This is the 2nd thing we played on the night – I missed all but the last 15 seconds of the first thing with the recording. Corey starts out on recorder, then switches to vibes. His restraint through the first half is a great lesson in the parameters of improv. Too often, improvisors play all over everything, particularly melody players, rather than ‘arranging on the fly’ and creating space, colour and texture. Throughout the gig, Corey’s choice of when to play and when not to, as well as what to play when he did, was brilliant. A truly remarkable musician.

Please check out the other gigs Corey’s putting on at Deda in Derby. It’s a lovely place to play, and he’s doing good things there. Here’s the tune:

Also recently added to Soundcloud, this is a thing I was playing around with a couple of weeks ago, that I LOVE the feel of. Sadly, I don’t have the recording of how I came up with it, just these two loops that were there at the end. It’s going to be really tough to match the gentle flow of this, and it may be that I end up leaving this as is for the next record. we’ll see…

Please feel free to share both of those with your friends, to click the ‘like’ button, tweet the link to it… all that kind of help sharing the recordings around is SO important to us as musicians who can’t afford promo budgets and magazine adverts to let people know what we’re up to!

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