Live Review: Steve Mason

18 May

Komedia: Tuesday, May 17 2011

Former Beta Band frontman Steve Mason orders the audience to “bust a move” before launching into the dubbed-out rhythms of Lost and Found, one of the highlights of last year’s Boys Outside album.

To the uninitiated it appears an optimistic demand. Seeing him centre stage, unshaven in his baggy coat, checked shirt and scruffy jeans he looks more like a cabbie than the cult hero responsible for an album full of intensely personal lyrics and enchanting tunes.

Perhaps it’s this blatant refusal to put style over substance as well as his battles with personal demons which explain why his career has stumbled along, rather than soared, over the past 15 years.

Either way, tonight he shows why more people really ought to take notice and those present are more than happy to follow his instructions.

From the heavy, undulating bass and deep vocals of Am I Just A Man to the almost spoken word verses and lush chorus of Stress Position, Mason chops and changes direction with ease.

He needlessly introduces Yesterday as being under-rehearsed because no one would have noticed as his mantra-like vocals and scything guitars tame the pummeling basslines to an almost hypnotising effect.

As proceedings are wrapped-up by the relentless beats of C I AM 15 – recorded in 2005 under the guise of King Biscuit Time – Mason vows to return next year with a new album.

“I’ll keep rolling with the punches”, he vows. Let’s hope he does.

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