Having written his own songs since he was a teenager, Stephen got into music through legendary sixties acts such as The Doors, Simon and Garfunkel, Donovan, Cat Stevens, Bob Dylan and George Harrison – the music that his older siblings would listen to.
‘As a teenager I was writing folk songs on acoustic guitar. Aged 16, I would strap my guitar on my back and head off ‘on my moped’ to places such as the Barnoldswick Folk Club.’
During the late seventies, Stephen’s musical interests shifted. Attending the Edinburgh College Of Art in 1977, he was founding member of the post-punk band Metropak. The band supported the likes of The Rezillos and Josef K, and received airplay from John Peel.
Having since disbanded, Stephen has now returned to his folk roots. His new album draws on his experience, exploring an array of pensive topics from unrequited love to reconciliation to the brevity of life. The subject matter deepens as the tracks progress.
Although minimal in sound, Cherry Fair is the result of a lot careful time and effort, Stephen going to great lengths to achieve the perfect sound using unconventional guitar tunings and a particular picking style. Vocals are often recorded multiple times so that he can achieve the exact phrasing. The result is a very clean and polished record.
“Cherry Fair” is out now.