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Steve's back with a smile ...and treats diehard fans.

REVIEW STEVE MASON The Glee Club, Birmingham HHHHI STEVE Mason has been making great music in various guises for two decades - but admits he's only recently started to enjoy it.

The former Beta Band leader has been candid about his previous struggles with depression, but while his tunes often have a dark edge, the angst usually comes dressed in a colourful, and often uplifting, blend of experimental pop and pysch-rock.

Make no was a diehard reverent sparing in mobile Latest album Meet The Humans - the third he's released under his own name - is a case in point, and this joyous live performance ("a troll through the hits" according to his mocking introduction), picked out of many of its highlights, from the gently pleading Alive to the rapturous Planet Sizes.

Mason's lovely warm voice came to the fore throughout, and while the stripped-back versions of the tunes - he only has bass and drums to accompany his echo-heavy guitar - lost some of their studio sheen (keyboard flourishes are central to many of the new songs), the semi-acoustic groove actually suited them well.

Not least because Mason picked material to suit the presentation, and the likes Oh My Lord, All Come Down and Boys Outside all fitted the vibe perfectly. As did Beta Band classics Dog's Got A Bone and Dr Baker, even though they "make no sense" according to Mason, who suggested he'd need a washing machine and pickaxe to do justice to Monolith, as requested by one wag.

mistake this crowd, enough to be the use of phones.

The unexpected treats for long-term fans (and make no mistake this was a diehard crowd, reverent enough to be sparing in the use of mobile phones) also included encore Dry The Rain and offered further proof that the singer, who has previously steered clear of playing his old band's songs, is finally enjoying his past along with his present.

STEVE ADAMS

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Oct 20, 2016
Words:318
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