I have been invited by Cerys Matthews to play my new solo set at The Good Life Experience festival at 8pm on Saturday evening 14th September. I will be performing songs from 1978 up to 14th Sept 2019, wherever possible using specially remixed and edited, original studio multitrack recordings as backing tracks. The festival asked me for a biog. Here it is: "Hello, I'm Stuart, and I'm a songaholic. Born in 1955 I grew up through the 1960s and '70s when postwar prosperity and new technologies meant that music was by far the dominant popular cultural form - and also the embodiment of the rebelliousness of that first wave of “Teenagers” - an American idea imported along with rock 'n' roll music. It is sometimes difficult to imagine now that music could have had that extraordinary power but cheap portable transistor radios, the new fangled television and affordable vinyl records, (and eventually cassettes,) meant that youth music was heard everywhere. Just as Welsh anthracite coal had powered the Industrial Revolution, the substance which fuelled this global celebration was The Song. I was immersed in The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, et al as they happened. Crucially the technology involved in making and recording music, up until the very late 70s, meant that it was written and played on musical instruments, by people in rooms, all together at the same time; all surfing that mystical interaction. When, in 1978, I formed Young Marble Giants with my brother Phil and Alison Statton we were effectively a 1970's band looking into the near future for our sound. We played instruments and sang together but dispensed with bothersome drumkits and adopted a hobbyist rhythm generator and another home made item built by a cousin, called a ring modulator, which blended any two input signals together. We also had an early synthesizer but in those days they were profoundly unmusical things precisely because they were misguidedly trying to gain acceptance by badly emulating real instruments. Anyway; my focus has always been the song. One of my earliest live experiences was a Ralph McTell concert at the New Theatre in Cardiff circa 1974 when I was struck by the way one singer/guitarist could entrance an audience with songs which were like architecture; buildings made of musical stories into which the listener is unwittingly led. I had always wanted to be a writer and the idea of making music only came to me via a casual invitation from a friend to learn the guitar, because all formal music education had put me off completely. So music became the vehicle for me to write and after several obscure years of musical exploration and dreadful, derivative lyrics, Young Marble Giants was the project which enabled me to dig out what I actually had to say. Subsequently I have undergone a long process of shedding the imprinted YMG formula, finding my voice as a singer and my style as a song writer and going solo - which is the most effective way of working, for me - whilst inviting people to contribute to recordings from time to time. I have remixed backing tracks from my extensive studio archives especially to accompany my performances for this new Set which I look forward to introducing and hope you will enjoy."
"Alison Statton & Spike aren't simply back with their first album in more than two decades, but have redefined their long-running musical partnership with a collection of songs matching the diversity of Weekend's classic "La Varieté" with a charm and innocence that reflects the fact that every note of this album was performed by the two of them alone, with no help from outside musicians, engineers or any other living soul. The advent of technology has allowed for these songs to be recorded at home and in comfort, revealing the most personal and charming collection of songs in their careers."
The Gist second album: "I took the title “Holding Pattern” from a recent, as yet unrecorded, song because I needed something pronto for this album. It wasn't until I started writing these sleeve notes that I saw its significance; the music here having waited 35 years or so to land. Almost as bad as Heathrow. "
A recommended review and interview from the folks at https://thenewperfectcollection.com/2018/10/24/colossal-youth-young-marble-giants-1980/