David Kidman (Net Rhythms) Review

“modestly heartfelt yet clear-sighted”

Milton-Keynes-based Steve was a familiar name on the 1980s London music scene, after which he took a sabbatical to raise a family, finally returning in 2002 with a well-received singer-songwriter album Cut And Run, the success of which he followed up with 2005’s Building Bridges.

Both of these albums characterised Steve’s modestly heartfelt yet clear-sighted writing and performance style, which encapsulates life’s experiences in honest and straightforward language and backed by unaffectedly simple acoustic-driven instrumentation.

Boy On A Beach is album number three, and comes after three years of growing recognition including headline shows at London’s Borderline and key dates supporting Shawn Colvin.

It unashamedly continues this approach, this time adding a slightly more laid-back west-coast-cum-country styling to the musical settings, which despite the fairly regular presence of softly whining pedal steel (courtesy of Kevin Bartholomew) often also exhibit something of the folk-pop demeanour of mid-70s Cat Stevens or mid-period Lindisfarne.

In the main, Steve’s songs are calm, contented and wistfully reflective, in character gently crafted, pleasing and accessible, in a plain and low-key way befitting his quite unassuming (though agreeably confident) profile.

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