Steve Lawson at UnConvention Swansea

Here’s a section of Steve Lawson‘s rather fantastic Sidebar session of talking and playing at UnConvention Swansea.

Steve is a solo bass player (which he describes as sounding “more like a dare than a career path”), he started as a session bassist and was once asked to do a solo slot at a gig. On finishing that show, audience members asked him when his album was coming out, and so his solo bass career began.

Here’s the video of the session.

I met Steve last week at the Music and Media Educators’ Conference 2009 in Leeds and his sessions there were possibly even more illuminating to me than the UnConvention sessions (I’ll come onto that in another post). More importantly, Steve is as inspirational as he is conversational. It was great to hear him saying and talking around stuff that Hope and Social have been thinking about and doing. Clarification of my thoughts, in part due to conversations with Steve have motivated me to get this blog up and running, and to start to use my knowledge more productively. Expect more Hope and Social living room gigs, and tours, and more interaction.

I would never have listened to a solo bass player had it not been for Steve’s musings online, his Twitter presence and in person, his affable nature. His obvious writing and playing skills are apparent, but it’s Steve that people buy into, and that’s one of the most important things that anyone making music can learn; Be Nice.

Highlights of the sidebar session (apart from the song) for me include:

  • “My big test of the fact that my career is going where I want it to be is that pretty much unanimously my audience are people I want to go out for dinner with”
  • “…if i stop liking my audience then I’ve failed…”
  • “…music for me is what happens when words stop…”

and in a separate panel session with Andrew Dubber:

  • the carrot turns out to be a turd painted orange (in reference to the big rock ‘n’ roll dream of a record deal)

He did argue, before the start of my video, that he “discovered that bass amps were crap”. On this I have to beg to differ. Our Jason’s Ampeg SVTII is still one of the best things at our studio. Still gotta love this guy though.


  1. Steve Lawson says:

    SVTs are great sounding amps for grungy bass noises… play that stuff through an SVT and it’ll sound like poo ;)

    Thanks for the write-up. Really glad you found it useful!


  2. I agree strongly. SoloBassSteve + Ampeg = dirgey fuzz. Whereas Adam Clayton through an SVT… oh, same answer.
    Cheers for the comment Steve.

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