stevelawson.net

the soundtrack to the day you wish you'd had



Steve In A Nutshell

photo by Steve BrownHi. I’m Steve Lawson – this is me in the picture.

I’m a musician. A bassist, to be more precise (electric, not upright).

I play solo quite a lot, but am also fortunate that I get to collaborate with a lot of amazing people, often quite a long way outside the ‘traditional’ role of the electric bass (though I’m not averse to doing bassy things on songs if required. In fact, I quite enjoy it).

A lot of my musical happenings sound on paper like the forfeit to a dare, rather than a career plan – one recent project involved the release of almost 11 hours of duo improv live recordings, with Daniel Berkman – a multi-instrumentalist playing electric kora, electronic hand percussion, synths and ukulele. Trying to work out what to do with the recordings of 10 complete shows that are entirely different and all worth listening to is tricky. Now available as a download, we initially released it all on USB Stick (now sold out), with a double CD ‘best of‘ alongside it. It’s pretty exciting, and rather unique.

I’ve done a lot of gigs – big gigs, small gigs, medium sized gigs… from opening solo for Level 42 on their Greatest Hits tour in 2002, to house concert tours across the US with singer/songwriter Lobelia, once doing 8000 miles in a rental car in 2 months.

Recently I’ve been collaborating with some amazing people – gigs with Divinity Roxx, Beardyman, Reeves Gabrels, Jason Cooper (The Cure), Andy Gangadeen, Jon Thorne (Lamb), Rob Turner (GoGo Penguin), Jem Godfrey (Frost*), Bryan Corbett (Us3), Emre Ramanazoglu (Sneaker Pimps)…and recording/songwriting with Tanya Donelly, Briana Corrigan, Mark Kelly (Marillion), Roy Dodds (Fairground Attraction) and more…

Steve Lawson on the cover of Bass Guitar MagazineIn between, I’ve played a fair few festivals:

  • London Jazz Festival
  • Greenbelt
  • Latitude
  • Edinburgh Fringe
  • Manchester Jazz Festival
  • London Bass Guitar Show (see magazine cover there for evidence 😉 )
  • Detroit Bass Fest

…and have gigged all across the UK, US, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Holland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Portugal…

Recycle Collective Collaborators:
Cleveland Watkiss
BJ Cole
Seb Rochford
Leo Abrahams
Orphy Robinson
Andy Hamill
Jason Yarde
Huw Warren
Todd Reynolds…

What Else? Ah yes, I ran an acclaimed improv night in London called the Recycle Collective that coupled my bass playing with two other musicians each night for a series of exquisite improvised music gigs, featuring some of the most amazing musicians in London.

I’ve played improvised music at Italian silent film festivals and avant garde extreme metal in fringe London theatre festivals. I’ve soundtracked photographic exhibitions in Germany and played the first ever live gig at the top of The Gherkin (sorry, 30 St Mary Axe) in London. A lot of amazing, surprising, exciting music.

I’ve released a lot of albums. a LOT of albums – 15 solo ones in the last 16 years, and somewhere in the region of 18 other collaborations. Lots of them have had rave reviews in magazines, radio play and been used in short films. All of them can be bought on a single USB stick, if that’s of interest,.or you can subscribe via Bandcamp and get all the solo stuff and a load of exclusives. I’ve also played on quite a few recordings by other people. From gospel singers to rappers, electronica artists to indie rock bands.

I’ve ended up being written about in some big newspapers too – The Times, The Guardian, The Independent (I also wrote an obituary of John Entwistle for the Independent On Sunday, but that’s from a different bio…), as well as in Bass Player (US), (the cover of) Bass Guitar Magazine, Jazzwise, Guitar Player (US), Bassist, Guitarist, Total Guitar, Bassiste Magazine (France), Bass Quarterly (Germany), Strumenti Musicali (Italy). As yet, I’ve not been profiled in Heat, More, Grazia, Take A Break or any trade mags for the building industry.

Radio has been quite friendly too: my music’s been played on BBC Radio 3, BBC 6 Music and numerous regional BBC stations around the UK, as well as college and internet radio across the US and Europe…

Somehow, in between all that, I’ve found time to teach – I lecture in music and music-economy-stuff at two different uni/colleges, do a fair few visiting masterclasses and lectures in music schools and universities, as well as private bass teaching at home in Birmingham, and regular online masterclasses for ScottsBassLessons.com. And if that’s not enough, I’m currently part way through a PhD looking at the audience experience of Improvisation.

I’ve also done a lot of work utilising social media at events in the arts, culture and charity sectors in the UK, with organisations like the Arts Council and the British Council. And then there’s New Music Strategies – fixing the internet for musicians, one great idea at a time.

Oh, and I wrote a novel. About a band. It’s called Rock And Roll Is Dead. And you need to read it.

Busy times, eh?

I leave you with some nice things people have said about me. Don’t just take my word for it 😉

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(if you need a third person bio for press purposes, try here.)

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2 Comments

2 Comments so far ↓

  • Dirk Frey

    Found you through Trip Wamsley – recently picked up a fretless to expand my horizons and have been very inspired by your work. I’ve only just begun listening, and in my excitement can’t decide what to purchase or download – been a rough week (im a high school English teacher) with essays and final exams, but as i sit with a pile of papers i’m really finding comfort in you ambient compositions. What a great find it has been this week – thank you so much. I am currious to read any articles regarding you life and work, if you have any directions in which to point – also wondering if you have done or would consider doing scipe lessons? I apologize for my verbosity. Be well.

    • Steve

      hey Dirk!

      SO sorry I missed this when you posted it months ago! would love to teach you via Skype. I do a fair bit of that. send me a message through the contact page here on the site, and we’ll sort something out.


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