Steve’s unwitting parents bought him his first guitar for his 15th birthday; this brought to an abrupt end their flagging attempts at furthering his education. He played guitar constantly despite parental protestations and pleas for reasonable behaviour until eventually, the need for money overcame all else and, he had to go to work. With few qualifications and little ambition he took the obvious career path into banking.
Musically, Steve started by learning Beatles songs, and then as tastes changed in the late 60s, lurched towards Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Santana, Wishbone Ash and then, a little later he began to appreciate the tightly packed sound of Dr Feelgood, The Pirates and similar pub rock acts of the time.
In 1972 a group of friends in Newbury formed Moses Lorn - a rock group playing covers of Led Zep, Purple, Ash etc + some prog originals. It was still early days (especially in Newbury) but the band wrestled with its concept work Space is a Long Time which was largely inspired by the work of Pink Floyd and Yes. Moses Lorn comprised Ross Palmer (guitar and vocals), Steve Cox (guitar), Chris Hook (bass guitar) and Humbie Bradley (drums). The band split in 1974 when the furtherence of Ross' career in the Civil Service took precendence over the future of the band. Chris Hook went on to become the bass player in Newbury’s justifiably most successful band Voyager.
Steve became much more interested in writing and playing original material and in 1976 joined a group in Reading called The Tamiko Band. Tami Pratt (later Tami Dark) had the best female rock voice Steve had ever heard in a local band but Tamiko were stuck playing covers. Steve started to write songs for Tamiko and gradually the direction changed until the set was all original material. Tamiko went on to win the Southern Area heat of a battle of the bands competition in 1977 (see pics) and played regularly in Reading and on the London pub circuit (Western Counties, Fulham Greyhound etc). The Tamiko lineup was Tami Pratt (lead vocal), Teri Pratt (vocal), Steve Cox (lead guitar), Coz Corbishly (rhythm guitar), Dave Parkington (bass), and Simon Baker (drums). Tamiko stayed together until 1978 but eventually split owing to musical differences. This was a mixed blessing but it did leave a rock nucleus of Steve Cox (now guitar and vocals), Dave Parkington (bass) and Simon Baker (drums) who together formed IKO. This tight rock trio fitted well into the New Wave of British Heavy Metal happening at the time and IKO played gigs in Reading, Newbury, Highclere and did one live recording session hosted by Tom Craven on the Craven Estate in 1978.
Steve and Simon left IKO in 1979 to join Turbo; a high energy band led by sax/flute playing Mancunian Dave Knowles. Dave was a great front man and Turbo was extremely popular in Newbury, Reading and on the London pub circuit in 1979/80. Turbo had morphed many times but in 1979/80 featured Dave Knowles (flute, sax and vocals), Steve Cox (guitar / backing vox), Les Calvert (bass), and Simon Baker (drums). The band folded in early 1981.
During the 1980s and 90s Steve had to concentrate more on career and less on rock'n'roll in order to bring up his growing family but by the mid 90s blues has become Steve’s mistress. John Lee Hooker, through to the Kings, Willie Dixon, and then SRV and Gary etc. In 1991 Steve formed Black Cat Bone with Gerry Whashisname (guitar and vocals), Steve Cox (guitar), John Savage (bass), and Jimmy Williams (drums). Quite good fun, but never going to set the world on fire. The band stayed together until 1993 having played some good gigs at the Mean Fiddler, Kingston Grey Horse, Jazz Cafe, and many others.
Although Steve had enjoyed the live work, it was just covers and he wanted to write and record his own songs and so built a studio in 1996. Those songs are on the In My Own Time album. He also wanted to record some of his favourite blues songs and those are on the Blues Covers album.
More career years, then in 2007 the global Credit Crunch shook Steve out of the financial services industry. At last, some time to play! After several attempts through muso-finder type websites Steve eventually found Random, a Kingston based group playing covers. It wasn't great but they were nice people and the band was not without talent. The band initially comprised Tony Dyson (Lead vocal), Anna Dyson (his wife on backing vox), Paul Dyson (his brother on keys), Ian Robinson (Drums), and Pete Westmore (Bass). Although the band had potential it lacked direction, a set of songs, gigs and the collective will to make it happen. After a couple of months Steve had changed all that by bringing original material to the set and jettisoning anything that didn't work for the line-up. Drummer Ian Robinson took timeout to support his wife through childbirth and Pat Walsh stood in for a while (but never left). Random became Random Act of Blindness and did a few well received gigs around Kingston where they were well liked especially by family and friends. In 2010 Random went into the studio (Gravity Shack in Tooting) to record a few demos and it was then that Steve became aware of how the band really sounded. Steve made a snap decision and was gone. The music was fine but the grooves, tightness and punch were lacking and it was time for Steve to move on. He was still in touch with Pete Westmore and Pat Walsh and the three got together to see if anything could be salvaged from the wreckage. The sound of the punchy three-piece was great so concluded that with a singer / front man they could make a go of it. In the short term, Steve agreed to cover the vocal slot while the band looked around. Steve has fronted the band now called Scud Penguin for 18 months…
New material has been added to the Scuds repertoire with both Steve and Pete contributing songs. Both write in a pictorial or storyboard style and the overall effect is quite unique. The songs are simultaneously ironic, funny, sad, political, but mostly about real people living real lives. Pat Walsh is the perfect foil for Cox / Westmore through his constant support and enthusiasm.
The Scud Penguin album has been well received and can be found on iTunes and Amazon.
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