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The Page About Steve Part I

Steve Carney Live in '99

Steve Live in '99

 

Steve Carney is the co-founder of Fragile and driving force behind the band's development. Steve was introduced to the music of Yes in 1972, and has remained a loyal follower of the band ever since. Fragile is the realisation of a long held dream for Steve and comes after many years success in other diverse musical areas.

 
Steve & Jon Backstage - Open Your Eyes Tour '98

Two of a kind... Steve & Jon Anderson

 

 

Steve's first official live gig was in 1979 as a member of a covers band called Camera. The group gave Steve his first experience of live performance and lessons were very quickly learnt on London's pub circuit!, however the offer of a job in a progressive outfit called Tagus provided Steve with a fresh and more exciting challenge. Between 1980 and 1981, Tagus carved out a fine reputation for their mixture of innovative original titles and well crafted rock covers. However, in the prevailing post punk atmosphere of the time the band were unable to find real success and they folded just a year before Marillion sign-posted the revival of interest in progressive rock.

Putting aside the disappointment, Steve followed up a lead from a band called White Noize who he had crossed paths with on the London circuit. The group were a hard rock outfit with a large following in South East London who were looking to broaden their sound, and in October 1981 the band returned to live performance with Steve as frontman. During the next two years the group changed their name to Fortune and success quickly followed. By 1982 the group had established a residency at London's famous Marquee Club, and interest from Jack Barrie the club's owner (and close associate of Yes in their early years) led to an appearance at the 1983 Reading Rock Festival supporting Marillion and Black Sabbath. Albums were subsequently recorded for both EMI and Phonogram, but in 1984 Fortune disbanded following the collapse of a recording deal.

Fortune live at the '83 Reading Festival

Fortune - Live at Reading 1983

 

Steve on stage with Ben Matthews

Steve on stage with Ben Matthews of Thunder fame.

 

A disappointed Sing Sing (Steve 3rd from left) after narrowly missing out on top spot in '87.

Second placed Sing Sing in '87

In the aftermath Steve was offered the job of lead vocalist with Airrace, an outfit featuring John Bonham's son and managed by Peter Grant of Led Zeppelin fame. However, along with an offer of the same position with the progressive outfit Pallas, Steve rejected the approaches and formed Zero One Five with ex-members of Tagus and Fortune. Once again Steve came close to realising that elusive record deal, this time with the independent label Cherry Red. This time it was musical rather than business differences which put an end to plans, and in 1985 the band folded.

In a dramatic development, 1985 saw ex-members of Fortune come together with some new musicians in an effort to relaunch the bid for international commercial success. This time it was hard rock with a pop blend, and the name of the band was Sing Sing. The years of 1986 and 1987 saw Sing Sing touring the UK and Europe, and recording material for various continental based record labels. 1987 also witnessed Sing Sing coming second out of 2000 acts in the UK to secure the runner up spot in that year's Yamaha sponsored talent search. The second place was costly with the group missing out on a trip to Japan's Budokan Theatre to support Darryl Hall & John Oates by one solitary point. 1988 saw another lengthy UK tour and a consecutive second placing placing in that year's Yamaha UK Band search. At this point Steve decided it was time to move on, and 1989 saw a concerted effort to achieve success as a solo artist and recognition in that year's Yamaha competition for his top thirty placed title "Running From A Storm". As the new decade dawned, and somewhat disillusioned by ten years of effort trying to make it as an original artist, Steve decided it was time to turn his attention to other areas.

Between 1989 and 1993, Steve went back to his roots and relearnt his stage craft by performing covers in a variety of musical formats including the highly successful club duo Candy-O, and the excellent showband State Of The Heart. In 1992 Steve met his wife Kim through State Of The Heart, and their mutual interest in blues music led to the formation of Carter Patterson. From 1993 until 1995, Carter Patterson gigged extensively on the London pub circuit carving out a fine reputation for their rootsy rhythm and blues. At the same time Steve and Kim established their own showband Station To Station and explored other musical areas (Steve in particular with the excellent Yes flavoured recording project entitled Just).

 

Steve  & Kim in Carter Patterson

Steve (2nd left) and Kim with Carter Patterson

Steve with regrown barnet with Fragile in '99

Steve on stage with Fragile

So as the 1990's came to a close, the one constant in Steve's musical life came back into sharp focus with the 1998 Open Your Eyes Tour. Just as the classic Yes line-up of the seventies had first inspired Steve to get involved in music, there now remained only one dream to realise.. to perform Yes music before the century came to a close. That aspiration has now been achieved, but the success of Fragile and the pleasure it brings has inspired Steve to continue with the project. Steve is clear in his reasons for doing so "We do it because we love Yes music, and because it brings us and others, immense joy. Those who doubt our motives misunderstand us, and if we wanted only commercial and financial success there are countless Abba and Beatles tributes to join!. The argument that we are trading on the success of others is facile, to play Yes music is a challenge and no mean achievement in itself. As with classical music, the Western European tradition is one of re-interpretation and longevity, Fragile continues that legacy by performing the music of YES."

On to Part II | Back to Band Members

Member Pages:- Steve | Jon | Mitch | Max | Robert| Tom

 

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