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Steveless began life as a band from Pontyclun, South Wales in 2004 comprising Dan Newman and Ian Cosgrove. Later on in the year the group were reduced to a one-man band in the form of Dan Newman, who was studying in Bristol at that time. In 2005 Steveless became a 4-piece super-group featuring members of other Bristol bands, Simon Jarvis from Big Joan, Matt Williams of Team Brick and Rhys Herdman from White Trash Ambition. Despite this formation, the band still managed to stay bereft of Steves.

The band released their debut album (and in fact Dan's first official release) 'Popular Music In Theory' on Cherryade in October 2005. The album went on to garner widespread critical acclaim and in December 2005 the lead track from the album, 'Bored', reached number 9 in Radio One's 2005 Festive Fifty.

July 2007 saw the band release their second album 'Mistakes In All The Right Places' on Cherryade. Since then, the group have not released any material.

Links To Peel

Steveless were a favourite of John Peel, for whom they recorded a session in 2004. Peel summed them up thus;

"They make an LP every week. They're called Steveless because there's no one in the band called Steve."[1]

In an interview with Penny Black Music (PB) published in November 2005, Dan Newman (DN) of Steveless described how he got Peel's attention: [2]

PB: You are probably best known for your connection to John Peel. When did you first start sending your demos to him? 

DN: I don’t call them demos, but my music; I started sending music to him literally the day after I made that first Steveless record 18 odd months ago. It just seemed like the sensible thing to do; his was the only opinion whom I would respect on music. I’d grown up listening to him, so it was like he was a part of my life already. It didn’t strike me as a big a deal as it was until after he’d started playing me, and then I realise how lucky I was and how absolutely chuffed I was, and from that point on every CD I made I sent to him straight away. It’s taken a while since for me to get over the thing by which I make music and get excited over, what his reaction might be to it.

Now I think I’ve managed to accept that he’s not here anymore, and sad as it may seem that I don’t make music for anyone now. I don’t really care. It’s just a bit more empty. But not to be sad. Music shouldn’t be made for anyone else and I’d only have gone into a rut of sending my stuff to him, I’m sure, and he would have hated that and would have hated the elevation I gave him in my little head world by which his taste mattered so much to me. But yes I sent him my music from the start and was so lucky that he enjoyed it as much as I did; much inspiration.

PB: Do you remember the first time you heard one of your records being played on Radio 1?

DN: Umm, yes, well he phoned me and I hung up on him as I hate people phoning me withheld number so I always hang up. I hate the idea that people think they have a right to enter my life at a time of their choosing so I like to know who it is so I can make that choice. He should have thought about that, but no I hung up. He left a slightly confused message, "oh, he hung up on me".

I listened back and realised that I had hung up on my hero so tuned into the show wondering what was going on, just me and my housemate Krissy on my little wind up radio, and there it was: he played the first track I’d ever recorded as Steveless. It was really the best moment of my life. I screamed like some mental little girl and had so much energy and life in me that I had no idea how to get rid of it, I was just on the biggest high I’ve ever known. It was such a life changing moment, for finally something felt good, truly good. But I still wish I hadn’t hung up on him.

PB: It’s quite surprising to me that you weren’t signed a lot earlier after all the exposure you were given by Peel. Did you get many offers from record labels, and if so, what stopped you from taking these offers?

DN: No, nobody wanted me which is a simple fact that I put down to most people having a shit taste in music or a wrong conception of what music is and should be. That is by dint of most people not being me.

Festive Fifty Entries

Sessions

1. Recorded 2004-07-01. Broadcast: 04 August 2004.

  • Waiting / Follow / Answers / Fool / To Hell With Boredom

Other Shows Played

Steveless - Bored

Steveless - Bored

2004

External Links