Beaudesert launched in a basement at Ollie Vees.

Ollie Vees Pic

One week before the album party, Billie the owner of Ollie Vees cleared out and painted the basement of their retro shop in Leighton Buzzard in preperation for the launch party of the 5th studio album in 12 years.A few days before the gig a licensed bar had been granted, which bought the album, a glass of wine and a ticket for the basement gig.

Before the beer break Steve covered 10 of the album tracks and then followed up with some self styled covers of songs by influences Tom Petty, Dire Straits and Beatles.After some serious audience participation, the evening over ran finishing at 11.20pm.

The previous week the Sunday Telegraph highlighted the album as a “must have” from their top 10 folk selection

FATEA Magazine – Beaudesert Album Review

Steve’s one of those names you feel you ought to know – and probably you do. 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 experiences in honest and straightforward language and backed by unaffectedly simple acoustic-driven instrumentation.

Those positive aspects haven’t changed over the subsequent years, and nowadays Steve’s viewed as a reliable UK singer-songwriters with a solid reputation for well-crafted songs loosely inhabiting a satisfying roots-Americana styling and as entirely comfortable within that milieu as his audiences are. I’ve noted a further progression in Steve’s writing from album three (Boy On A Beach) through to Beaudesert (album five), in that his words and ideas have become altogether more sharply focused, and this latest collection can therefore likely be counted his most accomplished in that regard.

There’s an attractive immediacy of expression to the more observational of the songs, those which might best be termed tributes-cum-character-portraits (Last Train and Geordie Trawlerman) and the evocative title track with its telling juxtaposition of beauty and barrenness, a theme that tends to inform much of the rest of the album. A sense of wistful reflection pervades much of Steve’s writing too, as on Places In The Sun and the darker What’s A Sign For?, and we can both readily identify with Steve’s questioning of reality on songs like He Won’t Go and appreciate his acceptance of life’s ambiguities on Nothing Ever Stays The Same.

For backing, Steve has scaled things down from album four (The Ungodly Hour), ringing the changes this time round by engaging as producer the highly-regarded Ben Walker, who brings his own sensitive mandolin, mandola, piano and organ additions to Steve’s clean, crisp guitar work, and further gently enhancing the texture on seven of the tracks with cello (played by Hilary Fielding). All of which gives the album an appealingly unified sound. The slight downside to this is that its very consistency feels a little too comfortable on occasion, especially on the inevitable minority of songs which don’t quite stand out from the rest (if you see what I mean). But the album’s virtues will still reveal themselves more on repeated plays, of that you can be sure.

David Kidman

Review link: http://www.fatea-records.co.uk/magazine/2014/SteveGifford.html

Album Party confirmed 17th May

Ollie Vees are hosting a small party to launch my new album Beaudesert at 8pm on the 17th May. 33,Market square in Leighton Buzzard…this  is 2 streets from where I did my first gig at the Brush factory folk club when I was only 17.

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Beaudesert Makes Telegraphs Top 10!

The new album Beaudesert’s that was released 1st May 2014 has been selected as one of the top 10 folk albums to add to your spring collection by the Sunday Telegraph;

Click the link below for full details;

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/cdreviews/10806148/Folk-Music-treats-for-spring-2014.html

Beaudesert - Steve Gifford

Tavistock Live Sessions

The Tavistock sessions are a series of one day recording sessions of the “Steve Gifford Band”  during 2013, engineered by Paul Traynar (Ians friend), IT specialist and general techno sound wizard.A “makeshift” studio was constructed at Tavistock House Bletchley, Steves’ office, which meant moving furniture around micing up drums etc.and even upending a long red sofa to provide a deadened sound for the main vocals.A total of eight original songs were recorded lead by Steve with Derek Edmond on drums,Ian Catchpole on bass and Hilary Fielding on cello. The recordings and subsequent editing are considered to be of  excellent quality thanks to Pauls’ expertise.Hopefully one day soon these tracks will be released as a vinyl album.

CLICK HERE to listen to Tavistock Live Sessions!

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Brasenose Inn Cropredy Sat 1st March

If there is such a thing as genres of dancing then I saw many of them at our gig on Saturday night. Fueled by red bull and vodka, Julie took the biscuit. Glad you all had fun! For us it was a mega long set and thanks for letting us go home!

Click images to enlarge…

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Beaudesert the new album, 1st video on YouTube

What’s a sign for? A song from the forthcoming album went up on You Tube today… you can view this video by clicking HERE.

My 3rd cousin Hilary Fielding joined me on stage at the Stables MK 2 weeks ago to preview this song which we had recorded with 6 other cello/guitar tracks in December.

The new album Beaudesert can be pre- ordered by clicking HERE.

 

Bermuda Square Effect Review

“Fine observational lyrical style and guitar intricacy”

Ungodly Hour

The whole musical style of Steve, and accompanying musicians, has changed from laid-back sentiment to a more driving and groove-ridden feeling. The variety in the tracks is much wider now, yet the fine observational lyrical style and guitar intricacy is still there. Steve has brought on his lyrics, and packed the music with a brimming amount of energy to give a bit more punch to his tunes.

Read more

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.

Read more

Maverick Music Magazine Review

Gifted Gifford “ever evolving on a daily basis”

Acoustic singer-songwriter Steve Gifford is busy. With a new album due out in this year and nearing the end of his Boy on a Beach album tour, he answers my questions whilst on the road with the help of a hands-free kit.

Read more