Steve Dagleish
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Steve Dagleish

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE

London, England, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Folk Acoustic

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March 2006

Last month's Folk Britannia at The Barbican illustrated the pan-influential, inter-generational status of 21st century folk.
Stalwarts Burt Jansch, Vashti Bunyan and The Incredible String Band shared the bill with tyros Adem and King Creosote - Steve Dagleish manages to plant a foot in both camps.

'These crazy dreams will never stop' rings the refrain on opener 'World of News'. The insanity refers to a retrospective of political corruption and subterfuge but might easily be applied to his irrepressible career aspirations. An ill-fated, early 70s stint as a troubadour gave way to a lucrative life of a trader until on his 50th birthday he succumbed to his recurring ambitions.

Musically he harks back to the influences of his formative years - the folk/blues of Dylan, Nick Drake and seminal finger-picker Davey Graham.

The stark, simple guitars and backing vocals template is leant a welcome gravitas by cello and violin textures.

Lyrically too he's steeped in reflection - JFK, Yorkshire Towns, and in 'Angel to Ancient' (the title track from his homespun debut album) an imagistic patchwork of childhood reminiscence.

Highlight - the irenic 'What Are You Doing in My Name?' - has an insistent visceral urgency that owes nothing to the past, very little to folk, and could signpost a promising future for a belated, yet timely, return.
- Hackney Gazette


April 2006

In the early 70s it was songsmiths like Dylan, Donovan, Bert Jansch and Davey Graham that inspired the teenage Steve to troubadour round the London circuit - after a 30 year sabbatical he's rereading his back pages with a renewed enthusiasm.

Youthful insouciance was soon supplanted by responsibility: a gruelling career as an international trader reaped huge rewards but impoverished his creativity. Factor in the blessed travails of fatherhood and it's not difficult to see how those three decades were reduced to 'occasional random ideas on a Sony reel to reel.'

Earlier this year Steve released his homespun debut album 'Angel to Ancient' and returned to the acoustic scene.

The resultant album - a cherubic Dagleish on the front cover, matured on the back - is a reflective chronicle that trawls Steve's half century and touchstones influences from his formative years.

"It's images other people can relate to - we've all had brandy snaps, we've all been to the fair, we've all ridden on our dad's shoulders and we've all seen someone cry when we were kids and not understand why."

True, it's not all glancing over the shoulder. Steve's established his own record label - Dagelfish, with a burgeoning and protean collection of artists and he's already started writing for his second album earmarked for October.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks, but when the old tricks have lost none of their magic, why bother?
- Music Mart


February 2006

‘I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.’ There’s a universal resonance to Dylan’s lyric, but Steve Dagleish could be forgiven for thinking that it was penned especially for him. As a teenager in the early 70’s. it was songwriters like Dylan, Donovan, Bert Jansch and Davy Graham that inspired Steve to take up the acoustic guitar and tour London’s live circuit – more than 30 years later he’s back.

Building a studio in his West Hampstead home, Steve spent six months writing and recording songs for his debut album ‘Angel to Ancient’ which he launched in January with an East London showcase at The Spitz. From the finger-picking opening bars of the title track the quality of Steve’s folk/blues is apparent, but he’s returned to a music business awash with singer songwriters.

Not only is a ‘nu-folk’ scene, led by Devendra Banhart, burgeoning but the old school folk is enjoying a revival. Last week’s three-day Folk Britannia at The Barbican – featuring Billy Bragg, Donovan, Bert Jansch, Adem and King Creosote – was an inter-generational celebration of the genre.

Though, from a more positive perspective, you could say that the healthy climate is a perfect time to return. What does he have to offer to elevate him over the groundswell of mediocre songsmiths? “I’m writing songs with over 50 years experience – I’ve faced personal demons and hope there’s some wordly wisdom in there to draw on that appeals to a broad range of people.”

Let’s hope his back pages provide the impetus for a whole new chapter.
- The Kilburn Times, London


When streets need sweeping, fires extinguishing, boils lancing or deals brokering, 'artist' can seem an awfully indulgent profession. Is that what threw little Stevie Dagleish when asked - what do you want to be when you grow up? After 30 years in the City the West Hampstead trader boldly decided to jack it in and set off in pursuit of the song writing muse. Maybe he's eaten his greens, paid his dues or said his prayers, maybe it's a shift on the perspiration/inspiration nexus, but tonight, as the disparate elements coalesce, he must feel justified.

For his most prestigious gig yet, Dagleish fields his strongest line up replete with new signings and they rise to the big match occasion. To the usual acoustic guitars, violin and cello he's added a beautiful backing vocalist, an even more attractive stand up bass and an eye-catching confidence.

The capacious stage is an ideal home for his burgeoning collective and the hall's wedding-cake opulence suitably accommodates the string-led stab and flourish of opener World of News. A bass bolstered Riverman reveals an hitherto overlooked jazzy roll, and even the unremarkable blues of Marriage Street lends another layer of variety to a cohesive set.

Transposing recordings onto stage can be a frustrating ordeal for the fledgling band but tonight Dagleish et al look a well-rehearsed, increasingly sophisticated outfit who hit all their cues, accentuate all the nuances and realise their potential.

Finally, Steve Dagleish, quinquagenarian, has found his calling. Now would be the time to shout 'give up the day job' if he hadn't already.

Peter Kennedy - The Kilburn Times
- The Kilburn Times, London


The Troubadour, London 14th November 2006

Steve's band has a refreshing instrumental line up with an acoustic bass guitar underpinning the sound with warmth and softness. The music works really well without a percussion section - no doubt a deliberate decision to keep the feel intimate in line with the special feel of the acoustic bass guitar.

The songs are well crafted and reminiscent of the late 60's with all that was best in content and feel from that era. An innocence, a poetry and a heartfelt melancholic quality, as well as up-tempo numbers, made the evening come alive with good vibrations.

The strength here really is the story of parts of Steve's life being relived in songs and the joining of his love of music with the love of his close friends and family. I think the special moment for me was the duet with father being joined by son, John - one could sense the family cementing important bonds through their joint music making.

A feel-good evening for the younger and older generations!

Jenni Roditi - Singer/Songwriter/Composer

- Jenni Roditi


Written by Rob Spencer of Glasswerk
4th December 2007 (45 views)

‘World of News’ kicks in like the Levellers late for a gig and is every bit as politically charged as any of their work. As it goes on its urgent way, covering amongst other things the moon landing conspiracy and the JFK assassination, the emphatically delivered lyrics effortlessly engage the listener.

The hypnotic sound of an acoustic guitar and the attention commanding violin are aided by the depth providing accompaniment from some exquisite but understated Spanish guitar and cello, all of which combine to make a great song that, like TV programme ‘Cheers’, is executed perfectly in front of a live audience. - Glasswerk on-line review


'Urban Folk
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Urban Folk is a form of folk music which combines elements of traditional folk and post-punk/new wave influences. It got its name from the fact that the songs often reflect urban life, as the performers of this style rarely have a country background. Urban folk songs are often written as a protest against the current political or social state of affairs. The style borrows more from the "Feeling" of punk (i.e. the directness and the political subject matter) than the actual sound. It is closely related to anti-folk.'
- Wikepedia


'Talking of great backing bands, Steve Dagleish is certainly blessed in that area also. The guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass, flute and percussion gave the finishing touch to a great set of urban folk songs. Switching between his debut album “”Angel To Ancient” and his latest “The Morphine Diaries”, he and his backing singers covered a wide range of material that linked dark ballads to love songs and folky rock. Steve has a single out now on Dagelfish Records called “4X4”, a rocker that can be heard on myspace along with other good stuff. Check out this fine singer/songwriter if you are into quality material, well performed.'

Peter Coulston, Backstage Pass - Backstage Pass


Discography

'The Morphine Diaries' is Steve's latest project, due for release in March 2008. The tracks on this EPK are selected from a live performance at London's Bush Hall December 2nd 2007. Previous releases include the studio album 'Angel to Ancient' (March 2006). 'Live at the Troubadour' was released in March 2007.

All CD's and/or individual tracks can be purchased at: www.dagelfish.com

This EPK includes three tracks from the project "The Morphine Diaries" recorded live at London's Bush Hall and 1 video from the Troubadour gig.

Photos

Bio

Inspired by the craftsmanship of songwriters like Dylan and Drake, Steve Dagleish ditched a banking career in 2003 to pursue his love of music.

Following songwriting workshops with Willie Russell and Ray Davies, he is focused on writing, recording and performing. In his recording studio, a converted room in his London home, Dagleish has crafted the sounds of 'Angel to Ancient', a chronicle of his life and times.

Steve played close to 30 gigs in 2006, including London's Bush Hall, Troubadour & Spitz, New York's Mo Pitkins and Goa's Alpha Bar. The US trip included an intimate solo two-hour gig in Ojai, Calfornia.

Steve' gigging increased in 2007, culminating in the Bush Hall performance in December.