Tag Archives: Beta Band

Steve Mason – Live

12 Nov
mason
Concorde 2: October 28, 2013
One of the most glaring omissions from this year’s much-derided Mercury Music Prize shortlist was Steve Mason’s stunning 20 song-strong polemic Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time.

The former Beta Band main man has never been shy to wear his heart on his sleeve – be it personally or politically – but as tonight’s passion-fuelled set showed, his zeal and steal is stronger than ever.

Stand out track from the latest album, Fire!, introduced as “us raining down retribution from a great height on the establishment”, was a revolutionary revelation with Mason’s disarmingly calm yet cutting vocals roughed-up by menacing bass and piercing guitars amid an almost debilitating lighting display which flooded the stage in a fiery mix of oranges and reds.

“Where do we go from here?,” he chanted, “It’s clear”.

It was the first of several calls to arms, but Mason was careful to make sure this didn’t descend into a soap box set, perfectly offsetting some of his barricade-manning missives with the more mellow offerings from 2010’s Boys Outside, such as the expansive and lush All Come Down which was a poignant sea of calm amid the agit-pop storm.

As for the Mercury Prize, Mason doesn’t seem to give a monkey’s. He’s clearly got far bigger fish to fry.

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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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