"It’s 26 years since Harley last used the name of the band with whom he enjoyed his biggest chart successes in Make Me Smile, Judy Teen and Mr Soft and recorded five albums, however to mark the 30 anniversary of Smile he’s dubbed his touring band Cockney Rebel Mark III and even recorded a new album, The Quality of Mercy, his first since 2000’s Yes You Can.
He’s in fine voice, at times sounding not unlike a cross between Sting, Gerry Rafferty and (on the superb The Coast of Amalfi) Chris De Burgh, and this is easily the best thing he’s done in years. Co-penned by ex Rebel Jim Cregan, opening track The Last Goodbye shows his ability to pen classic, radio friendly quality pop hasn’t dimmed with the years, a fact ably reiterated by the chorus friendly tumbling folksy Saturday Night At The Fair and the 60s sounding No Rain On This Parade.
But if the uptempo material shines, the slower songs positively glow. A father’s hymn of love to their child, Journey’s End (A Father’s Promise) mines a seam of Celtic folk influence, the God searching Save Me (From My Self) with its keening pedal steel and the closing plea for enduring love A Friend For Life are all stand-outs, but the centerpiece surely has to be The Last Feast, a seven minute throaty slow blues-rock burner that (referencing Phantom of the Opera) again finds Harley confronting God as he addresses the fear of mortality.
Giving it the full works after a spate of solo acoustic dates, no doubt fan demands will mean much of the set focus is on past favourites (hopefully Sebastian included), but there’s material here that will stand the test of time just as strongly."
Order the new Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel album "The Quality Of Mercy"
Every order will count towards a national chart position.
"A very impressive CD from the mighty Steve Harley" - Billy Sloan, Radio Clyde
LET'S GET STEVE BACK INTO THE ALBUM CHART!
" A winner - just may be the best thing he's ever done"
" ..... the beauty and vibrant electricity of this album" - Drew McAdam, music journalist
He will play 3 songs with Robbie and Barry PLUS Bill Wyman’s band of top session musicians.
A St. Patrick's Day special event - March 17th - may soon be confirmed for Steve and the rock band at a venue off the north-west of England.
Also, from April 19th into the middle of May, dates should soon be confirmed in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. More as it comes....
All sorts of possibilities are being worked on for weekends throughout the summer.
Friday morning dawns grey and drizzly in London and, with complete trust in the optimistic BBC weather forecast, I load my rucksack (minus the wellies) into the car and set off. A quick stop for petrol and to pick up Clare, a work colleague who has not had the chance to camp or visit a festival for 20 years, then we make our way out onto the M25 and immediately wish we’d chosen a better route. As we crawl our way along in 2nd and 3rd gear for about an hour we have the consolation of seeing the rain dry up and little patches of blue appear ahead of us in the sky, roughly in the direction we are headed.
Ordering details coming soon.
Steve has agreed to act as a panellist choosing "Best Local Hero" for ANGLIA TV. The programme is part of the regional series "Britain On The Move" and is scheduled for broadcast on Anglia Television, TUESDAY 19th at 19.30hrs. Check local listings.
Sale: 11707 - Rock & Film Memorabilia
Lots 376 - 381
27th April 2005 - Knightsbridge
Starting at 10 am
BBC RADIO 5 LIVE (909am) SATURDAY, 9th APRIL, 9 - 11 a.m.
Steve will appear 'live' on the Eamonn Holmes show. On Grand National Day, Steve will be discussing his passion for horse racing and his hobby as owner and gambler, and chatting about the summer concerts, Glastonbury Festival and the big autumn tours.
This interview was postponed from Grand National Day (as a result of the Royal Wedding and the Pope's funeral) to be broadcast on 30th April 2005 - the day of the 2,000 Guineas Colts' Classic at Newmarket.