Steve FP
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Steve Foster-Pilkington Star and Garter, Moulsham St. 09/11/12

An email from Maurice saved me from watching Skyfall last Friday night. Heard a lot of mixed reports about the film so I opted to watch Steve FP at the Star and Garter instaed, I’m really glad that I did. I hadn’t seen Steve play for quite a few years but I always enjoyed his sets from back in the day at the Beehive in Great Baddow and also at Snifters Wine bar. I got into the pub just as he started his set, “Folsom Prison Blues” you can’t beat a bit of Johnny Cash.

Steve is a one man band playing with pre-recorded backing tracks done by himself, playing with an electric or an acoustic guitar or an electric violin. I would give you a full set list but it just goes on for ever. Suffice to say we had 2 sets, the first included “I fought the law” “Lola” “Ever fallen in love with someone” “Brown eyed girl” “Whiskey in the jar” a fantastic medley of “no more heroes” “Pretty vacant” & “Anarchy in the UK.” These are all done in his own style. More importantly though peppered in amongst the covers are a fair few of his own compositions. I have even reviewed some of them on Chelmsfordrocks in the dim and distant. There was “She wants to be a wag” “Empty” which the girl next to me thought was written about her and was called Angie? “Not enough love but just enough lust” a fantastic British version of “I’ve been everywhere” mentioning many places in our sceptred isle. There was a lot more than this and it was only half time.

The second set was much in the same vein but we were treated to a bit of opera from the wonderful Katie Bingham-Best and also some Brahms with support from Paul Cleary. The set list on this half seemed to be even more than the first half, “Riders of the storm” “The Irish rover” “Ring of fire” in a Wilko Johnson stylie, “The passenger” “Real wild Child” “Mozart’s Catalogue Aria” (I didn’t know that one I had to ask Steve), “Help” an enjoyable “Batman theme” and one of my fave Steve FP songs about taking his dog for a walk “Bonny and the speculators” plus much more. As you can probably guess I thoroughly enjoyed this night. Steve is very much a true musicians, musician, the music goes from Rock to Pop to Country to Punk to Classical to Opera. He is a great entertainer and all the covers that he does, he makes his own by putting his own stamp on them. His own compositions are always witty or profound and most have a strong social message to them. It always amazes me why a lot of bands don’t make use of an electric violin? There are not many shows that you can see that have so much variation, all done with a good sense of humour and hugely entertaining. Steve has a couple of shows on Saint FM, one of them is Classics Ahoy and the other is a show that I have actually listened to “Local Talent.” Saint FM also hosts a couple of other friends of Chelmsfordrocks “Shakeys Unsigned” and Tim Aves Blues Show.

The Star and Garter is a decent pub which is a good local. It had 3 real ales on tap when we went in, I tried all 3 and they all were pretty good. They seemed to be putting on a bit of live music so we should support them. Maurice went in there a couple of weeks ago and saw a Dr Feelgood R&B type group who he said were good.

Summing up I will definitely not leave it so long before I see Steve FP again, it was a real pleasure that night. I might even take the Missus as we even had a bit of Abba.

Duncan, November 2012