ITV's 'London's Greatest Hits' concluded on Monday 22nd August with Londoner's voting for their favourite top ten hits. Steve came in at a very respectable number 7 with Make Me Smile. Here's the top ten in full:
1. The Jam - Going Underground 2. The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset 3. Ian Dury and The Blockheads - Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick 4. Clash - London Calling 5. Madness - House of Fun 6. Ralph McTell - Streets of London 7. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) 8. David Bowie - Let's Dance 9. The Who - My Generation 10. Squeeze - Up The Junction
The Mines Advisory Group has once again invited Steve to lead a trek to raise landmine awareness, this time to the hottest place on earth - Death Valley.
Steve was in the vanguard of a 350-mile trek around Cambodia for MAG in 2003, and responded to their latest invitation with the words, "How can I say no? It's a fantastic opportunity to see one of the most desolate and inaccessible places on God's earth, and another chance to raise the problem of landmines, still a major issue in many far-east lands, and African nations, in the UK media. Being a gambling man, I have a highly-developed sense of adventure, so I can't help myself when a chance like this comes up. Life's for living. I live this way: the answer is yes, what's the question? All things being equal, I'm in!"
The trek will be looking for volunteers to take part, departing the UK in early March 2007, and cycling 250 miles through the Las Vegas/California landscape, in temperatures of up to 120f.
Each volunteer will need to raise in the region of £2, 650 in sponsorship. For the complete package and official information, please visit the MAG website www.mag.org.uk And see what you'll be missing.....
Visitors to this, official Steve Harley website will, as before, be given the opportunity to sponsor Steve. More to follow.
"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."
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.