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Steve Payne

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Biography

Variously described as one of the UK’s most unique and versatile guitarists, Steve Payne is also feted as a talented and non-predictable singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, wordsmith and story-teller whose compositions cross the musical boundaries from Blues to Folk to Contemporary Roots.

Starting out in the folk club boom of the 70’s Steve appeared, recorded and played with many, and indeed most, of the musical roots innovators of that time and since. He first stepped onto the stage in 1972, appearing in various college folk clubs. His first paid performance - for the princely sum of £10 - was in the inauspicious surroundings of the Printers Devil pub in Slough in 1974.

But his emerging talents were soon in demand and he began to play guitar with Joanna Carling, who had signed to Dick James. He played on Fancy That, produced by Hugh Murphy (of Gerry Rafferty fame) and went on to play with Gerry Donaghue, Gary Herd, Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention) and Gary Taylor (Peter Frampton).

By 1976, he was touring Europe with Loudon Wainwright III, and also found time to team up with comedian Jasper Carrott on his memorable Funky Moped tour. He featured with various other artists of the time, recording with Rosie Hardman on the Eagle Over Blue Mountain album in 1978, which was produced by Steeleye Span’s Nigel Pegrum.

As punk swept the nation, Payne briefly followed suit, his new band Brent Ford and the Nylons swerving from R’n’B to punk and back again. The early eighties saw the birth of the Paynekillers, a band which evolved into the longstanding regional rock & blues favourite, The Parole Brothers.

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