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Saturday 8th February 2020


Steve Tilston is one of our most celebrated song smiths, widely recognised within the world of folk and contemporary music; the words, arrangements and subtle, quite superb guitar playing could be no one else.

Steve will be joined on stage by Hugh Bradley (double bass) and Keith Warmington (harmonica) .

“The more you listen, the more there is to discover.” Bob Harris

In 2020, Steve will be celebrating his 70th birthday and his 50 years in the business milestone, so cause for celebration. Steve’s most recent CD Distant Days is a paired back voice and guitar recording, something he’s wanted to do for some time. 19 tracks – solo acoustic recollections - chosen largely by public selection via social media, including three previously unreleased instrumentals Shinjuku inspired by Bert Jansch, one of them. Steve will be including many of these songs in his concert plus a few new ones.

Born in Liverpool and raised in the Midlands, Steve made his recording debut in 1971 with the classic An Acoustic Confusion and has been turning out quality albums ever since. Life by Misadventure, And So It Goes, Solo Rubato and Such and Such all featuring first-class song-writing and stylistically Tilston, marking him out as one of this country’s finest writers. Whilst the instrumental Swans at Coole is testament to his guitar virtuosity. Though known as a songwriter, Steve has always had an ear for the tradition and included new interpretations of old favourites on his original recordings. Of Many Hands is his first “all-traditional” album; with unique arrangements of timeless classics. There’s also a “best of” anthology, The Greening Wind and a live album Live Hemistry recorded on tour with Fairport Convention.

He joined an illustrious band of guitarists including Martin Simpson, Michael Messer and Wizz Jones, when he was invited to contribute to the Guitar Maestro series of DVDs; a combination of live studio performance and interviews, revealing the real passion behind these talented musicians…If anyone ever deserved the moniker Guitar Maestro, it’s Steve Tilston!

The writer of such classic songs as The Slipjigs and Reels and the award-winning The Reckoning, is also a published author. Steve’s first novel All for Poor Jack is an historical tale set in Bristol and the New World, full of colourful characters. It’s a mighty good read and has been enjoyed by the likes of Bob Dylan no less!

He’s toured with John Renbourn’s Ship of Fools, traditional singer Maggie Boyle (the classic recordings Of Moor and Mesa and All Under the Sun), as guitarist with Ballet Rambert, with Maartin Allcock & Pete Zorn in WAZ! with Brooks Williams and with his daughter Martha. Plus collaborations with alt-country band The Durbervilles and old Bristol pals Keith Warmington and Stuart Gordon as the Steve Tilston Trio. His latest project is with fellow songwriter Jez Lowe, the duo CD The Janus Game featuring all new co-writes is out now!

Others have also recorded Steve’s songs. Here’s to Tom Paine is the adopted theme song for the Tom Paine Society of America and we’ve lost count of the number of versions of The Slipjigs & Reels!

Steve Tilston Quotes | the recordings

Distant Days | 2018

A solo acoustic retrospective which sees Steve reworking some of his most treasured self-penned songs, offering a unique insight into his musical journey since the early 1970s.

“In a similar vein to Richard Thompson’s Acoustic Classics is Steve Tilston’s 19-strong set of revisited songs going as far back in his career as An Acoustic Confusion. Unsurprisingly this solo project is impeccably played and sang with the lack of ornamentation giving the songs plenty of room to breath and lending a simplicity that harks back to Tilston’s days touring the old folk clubs with Bert Jansch and Maggie Boyle. Also effective are the previously unreleased instrumental nuggets place throughout the set like interludes, adding texture by shifting the focus from vocal to guitar lines.” **** Glenn Kimpton, Songlines

“A more conventional, warm summer treat is Steve Tilston’s lovely Distant Days, a welcome solo acoustic retrospective of his wide, whole-hearted career.” Jude Rogers, The Guardian

“…succeeds in so many ways: it allows Steve to revisit his back catalogue in a new way; it points us to songs that perhaps we’ve forgotten or not heard before and provides excellent listening in doing so.” Dai Jeffries,

“…is something very special …hearing these songs performed once again in the context of a mature singer all these years later is a joyful thing …another confirmation that this songwriter just keeps on giving.” Allan Wilkinson, Northern Sky (Album of the Month)

“…has the effect of refreshing your love for the music of Steve Tilston, seeking out the originals from your collection and tracking down those CDs you don't yet own.” Ian Cripps, Fatea Magazine


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