Monday 24 January 2011

'Steele The Show' Tribute concert to Davy Steele @ Old Fruitmarket Celtic Connections 20th Jan 2011

Davy Steele:  "Passion for life and Laughter"
Davy's friends gathered for the tenth anniversary of his tragic early death - not simply to honour him but to relive his spirit through his songs. Davy Steele was a member of several bands including Drinker's Drouth, Ceolbeg, and Battlefield.  He started out writing mostly rocking soul songs, then work songs - and later Scottish folk songs and intimate love ballads.  He died from a brain tumour at the age of 51 - and to celebrate his work his wife Patsy Sedon invited several Scottish artists to record some of Davy's best loved songs for a CD entitled - 'Steele The Show'.

In between each performance the artists told stories of Davy. It was abundantly clear from these and from their performance of his songs, the great affection they felt for him - and
the man that emerged was one with a big heart and a huge grin.  It's hard to explain the joy of this concert -  it was at once about Steele's warm and generous heart, but mostly about his warm and generous songs.  I hope my photos express the sincere feelings of the different performances of his songs.

The Performers. The show was hosted by Ian McCalman and Phil Cunningham. Performances were by Dick Gaughan, Karine Polwart, Andy M Stewart, Sally Barker, Kath Stewart, Siobhan Miller - backed by a band that featured Andy Throburn, Donald Hay, Mary Macmaster, Karen Tweed, Eilidh Shaw and Mairearad Green.

Davy's Songs.
Karine Polwart -  'Scotland Yet'
Dick Gauaghan - 'The Ballad of Jimmy Steele'
Kath Stewart - 'Friends'
Andy M. Stewart - 'Here's A Health of the Seuter'
Patsy Sedon - 'Rose of Summerlea'
Siobhan Miller - 'Eye of A Child'
Dick Gaughan - 'The Last Trip Home'
Patsy Sedon ( and the Steelettos!) - 'Sliding'
Siobhan Miller - 'Chasing Shadows'
Sally Barker - 'Quietly Song You To Sleep'
Jamie Steele - 'Just One More Chorus'

The heartfelt moments of the concert were - Jamie Steele's singing 'Just One More Chorus;'   Sally Barker singing 'Quietly Song You To Sleep', and Patsy Sedon - 'Rose of Summerlea.'
There were the fun dancing songs also and one sung by Patsy Sedon and the Steelettos! called 'Sliding.'
Poignant traditional songs from Dick Gaughan - 'The Ballad of Jimmy Steele' and 'The Last Trip Home.'   And for the last 2 songs, Davey's friends and family were invited on to the stage, and his widow Patsy Seddon was given a bouquet from her son Jamie.
There were some great characters at this concert. After the concert I spoke with Alex Reid ( lead singer of Battlefield band) who spoke of Davy's time with the band. Alan now has a duo called Robran Sante.  He said that one of Davy's biggest ambitions was to tour the world with a band - a dream he realised when he became the front man for the Battlefield band in the 90s.  A moving and heart-warming concert.  


Dick Gaughan is traditional Scottish musician, singer, and songwriter, particularly of folk and social protest songs.  He is known as being a master of the acoustic guitar.
Karine Polwart is a Scottish singer songwriter.  She has won 3 awards at the BBC Folk Awards in 2005, and was previously a member of Malinky and Battlefield Band.  Polwart is also a members of the musical collective The Burns Unit

QUOTE Dick Gaughan:  "I sat in the studio control room as producer while he delivered a stunning unaccompanied performance of the song for his father, "The Ballad of Jimmie Steel". When he'd finished, there was a prolonged silence as he waited for me to say something and I was so overcome that I couldn't - his voice came through the speakers, tinged with that hint of self-doubt which hits everyone in a recording studio at times, "Well, I think that's the best I can do just now", and I thought, "Davy, there's not a living soul could do it any better", but all I could manage to say was, "Come and have a listen". As he came back into the control room, I had recovered enough to say, "Thanks, Davy - it was a privilege to be here listening to that".