ABOUT STEVE DAGGETT
STEVE DAGGETT is a UK based singer-songwriter, musician and producer residing in the North East of England. Steve performs solo live shows on acoustic guitar, with gritty soulful vocals and a lonesome harmonica. He is also a long time associate and current member of legendary folk/rock group LINDISFARNE after rejoining the band on their reformation in 2013.
The distinctive original songwriting style and charged live solo performances make him a 'must go and see' artist.
His live show also features some unique, inspired personal interpretations of some classic songs by early influences.
To date, he has released 3 official albums and an extended single* of his own works.
2000: 'Troubadour Territory' : en-masse music
2004: 'Thud, Thwack and Twang' : MWM records *
2006: 'Songs in a carrier bag' : MWM records
2010: 'Without' : MWM records
Since then several limited edition CD releases have been issued - available from live shows only.
This year will see Steve in the studios recording a new album of original songs with a hopefully intended Autumn release.
Heading back into the mists of time.....
After a decade of gigging around the North East club and pub scene with a variety of bands from an early age, Steve's first breakthrough came in 1979 with the band STILETTO. The group were fronted by female vocalist BREN LAIDLER with Steve handling vocals, guitar, synthesizer, vocoder and chief songwriting duties.
Following a rave live review in national weekly music magazine SOUNDS, the band came to the attention of many leading record labels including Phonogram, who signed the band to their MERCURY label. Early 1980 saw the release of the bands first single 'Someone like You' c/w 'Secret World'. The record received considerable airplay on BBC Radio One and independent stations but failed to generate a great amount of sales.
After 18 months of intense gigging and touring, both in the UK and Europe, Stiletto switched labels to WONDERFUL Records, a small independent company owned by entertainer KENNY LYNCH. The band released their follow up single VIDEO c/w PIN-UP featuring a totally new line-up alongside Bren and Steve. This time the band were not as fortunate with radio plays and the record 'disappeared' and the group disbanded.
Steve and Bren began working as a duo called It Hz (pronounced It hurts) and developed a more electronic synthesized sound, their live stage show became very theatrical and visually interesting, utilising projectors and television screens generating unusual lighting effects. Despite great reviews and many live television appearances there was still no record company interest and It Hz ceased performing in 1983.
However, one of the songs from the live set took on a new lease of life as the inspiration for an electronic musical screenplay, written by Steve entitled 'WORK'. Composed in collaboration with Commodore Games pioneering music composer ROB HUBBARD and produced for television and finally the pilot show was broadcast in 1986.
It was filmed on 35mm by 'Supergran' director, the late TONY KYSH who cast Bren and Steve in the starring roles.
The somewhat basic 8 track recording
equipment from the Gosforth studio, nicknamed 'the garage'. Over a hundred local acts recorded here including LINDISFARNE & ALAN HULL - those demos were released a decade later on a Virgin Records series titled 'BURIED TREASURES''.
From 1983 onwards, Steve's career path took a twist after moving from his home studio to premises in Gosforth to set up an 8 track analogue recording studio. The Studio was owned by former Stiletto agent BILL DIXON and although simply called THE STUDIO, it became widely known as the 'garage' studio. Although not a lot of 'garage' was recorded there! Indeed it was not even a garage? The building was a two storey former Stonemason's downstairs and a Woodcarver's upstairs. The front of the building had huge wooden folding doors to allow access for the large slabs of stone to enter from it's previous use.
It was through the studio that Steve would cross paths with Lindisfarne's principle songwriter ALAN HULL and they began to collaborate on various projects for Film, Television and Radio. Together they recorded and mentored an aspiring young singer-songwriter named IAN McCALLUM. After releasing 3 solo albums, Ian now is rhythm guitarist in punk-rock survivors STIFF LITTLE FINGERS.
Many of the north's leading acts would work in the 'garage' with Steve as house producer and engineer including: Lindisfarne, Alan Hull, Prelude, Paul Lamb, Ginger (Wildhearts), Paul Rose, Vic Malcolm (Geordie) and Brian Johnson (AC/DC), Steve as an individual also composed and produced theme music for both BBC and Tyne Tees networks and many instrumental pieces for film and television, as well as many, many radio adverts.
During this time, Steve guested on Alan Hull's live television performance of his latest solo album release 'On The Other Side' playing synthesisers. It led to Steve then joining the band LINDISFARNE as the 'seventh man' on their nationwide Christmas Show Tour, alongside the original members of the group ALAN HULL, ROD CLEMENTS, RAY JACKSON, SIMON COWE and RAY LAIDLAW. The 'sixth man' was multi-instrumentalist MARTY CRAGGS.
Steve played on all of these shows from 1985-1989 and these busy years saw many changes in his Studio history.
In 1986 he moved from the Gosforth 'garage' to premises in Carliol Square in Newcastle city centre, named REELTIME. It was owned by TOM McCLUSKY a local producer and manager of several leading local bands. He was joined by Steve and keyboards/composer KEN HOWELL. This Studio (16 track analogue) ran until 1989 and in 1990 was bought by Lindisfarne's then drummer, Ray Laidlaw. Steve came as part of the fixtures and fittings! Not true
The studio was re-branded as HI-LEVEL RECORDING. This time undergoing a huge re-fitting and refurbishment, as well as installing a 24 track analogue 2 inch tape machine. Chosen as 'Studio of the Month' in 'International Recording and Musician' magazine, the studio immediately had a HIT record on their credits.
That hit record would be 'Fog On The Tyne (revisited)' recorded with the golden boy of English football (at the time!) PAUL GASCOIGNE. The single reached number 2 in the national chart and would certainly have been a number 1 if not for the reissue of 'Unchained Melody' by the Righteous Brothers from the movie 'Ghost' which had an extended stay in the top position. Lindisfarne and Gazza were the biggest selling number 2 single of the year.
Steve worked on the track with co-producer STEVE CUNNINGHAM at Hi-Level Studios in Newcastle and headed to London with the multi-track tape to record Paul after training with his then team Tottenham Hotspur, Both Steves recall Gazza being great fun and very very excited about the recording. Apparently the out-takes from the session include many Gazza anecdotes about his night out with Chris Waddle the evening before and being driven around London by Sarah Ferguson's chauffeur. Sadly innapropriate for inclusion here!
During those days in Carliol Square at both Reeltime and Hi-Level studios, Steve worked with several respected artists from the folk world including Micheal Chapman, Kathryn Tickell, Alan Taylor and his continued involvement as producer for both Lindisfarne and Ian McCallum. Alongside side this there were sessions with mainstream acts too like Jimmy Nail and Jay Aston from Bucks Fizz.
It was with the latter that Steve began a songwriting collaboration with and they wrote and recorded many songs together. Jay was trying to ressurect her career as a solo act following an acrimonious split with Bucks Fizz. It was a difficult period as she was still under a management contract that prevented her from performing live or releasing any recorded material. It meant the tracks were never released.
Until however, 14 years later when Jay's solo album 'Alive and Well' was released on Angel Air Records in 2003. 2 of the songs stood the test of time and re-recorded versions made it onto the album, they were 'Yours Truly' and 'Wednesday's Child'.
Some of the original recordings and demo sessions made it on to her anthology release, so all was not lost and Jay is now back in Bucks Fizz and touring.
In 1991 Steve left Hi-Level to create his own private recording facility, White Gables Digital, situated across the river in Gateshead. There he worked on various projects for film, television and radio as well as working on commercials and several comedy recordings.
Several albums were made at White Gables including Alan Hull and Kenny Craddock's 'Back To Basics' release. Other albums included the legendary Tyneside band JUNCO PARTNERS 'Almost Live'.
As a footnote to that Junco partners were the first local group that Steve ever saw aged 12 and here he was recording them over 25 years later.
Whilst the role of freelance producer and engineer continued throughout the nineties, Steve turned his hand to other fields of professional interest, training in Television production, Design and Communications. The song-writing spirit also returned and many tracks were written and recorded during this period - although nothing was released, some would emerge a decade later on a compilation album ‘Angels of The North’. Around this time Steve also worked as an assistant engineer from SAMS Studio (Sound and Music Services) based in a cellar beneath St. Nicholas Chuchyard in Newcastle City Centre. The studio was extensively used by LIGHTHOUSE FAMILY on the run up to their first album. Other acts to frequent S.A.M.S were KENICKIE, JUMBO, PRELUDE, MIKE FORSE, PETER DODDS, EUAN CARRUTHERS, GREEDSVILLE JUNCO PARTNERS and KATHRYN WILLIAMS.
In 1995, the sudden death of close friend, colleague and collaborator Alan Hull, threw shockwaves throughout the North-East music scene and way beyond. Alan had left the planet at just 50 years old.
In the late 90’s Steve began performing live again, initially these were low-key guest spots and unannounced support slots in around Newcastle. After producing an award winning country-rock album 'Good For You' by PRELUDE, he joined them as an opening act for their album launch dates around the North East.
This was to prove the turning point regarding live performance, turning his back on the studio work and going out solo with a huge batch of new original songs to test out. Stripping down to the bare wires of an acoustic guitar, a lonesome harmonica and his gritty, soulful voice. The manifesto for the new millennium became “anywhere with a three pin socket”.
And so the new millennium arrived....
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