Tithe Barn, Dunster, Somerset 14th March 2015
Dunster based singer/songwriter Steve Pledger stunned audiences with his Striking Matches in The Wind album launch in the wonderful setting of the Tithe Barn in Dunster village. It is Steve’s second album and eagerly awaited by his followers. He gained a lot more that night!
Very few of us had heard the album beforehand, but were all aware that this was going to be an extra special evening with snippets heard from local radio stations before the launch and press interviews and reviews which were all positive of the album. Steve deserves success – not only blessed with a unique voice. but a drive of promoting himself that is unsurpassed by anyone. A near capacity audience had gathered from locals to far and wide.
Special guests for the evening included BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominee Ange Hardy who had contributed to the album track ‘There We Are’ and sang ‘John Ball’ – a capella duet with Steve, also fiddler Tanya Allen (‘A Heart Filled With Nothing To Do’), and Giles Newman Turner who ably assisted on harmonica on ‘Quit Blubbin in the Cheap Seats’, sadly Lukas Drinkwater was unable to attend as gigging elsewhere, but had also participated on the album.
Steve kicked off the proceedings with ‘Back to The Beginning’ off his first album – 14 Good Intentions – which was an up-tempo number getting the audience into the mood and setting the scene of what was to come. Emotions went up and down as Steve changed tempo and passion whether it be love or passion for the environment or issues which led us to ‘This Land is Pound Land’. The interval came too quickly – and so many people were talking in the bar area about how good the evening was. Steve’s lovely wife Becky was on the lights, selling CDs in the interval while supervising the bar, and generally everywhere! Totally supportive of her talented husband, Becky deserves a mention.
The second half contained tracks from both the new album and 14 Good Intentions, ranging from the amazing ‘Loving Condescension’ to ‘Beneath The Sun ‘ – I shouldn’t single out anything as every song brought its own identity with true grit.
The evening whizzed by and Steve had to come back for an encore which was Elvis Presley’s ‘If I Can Dream’. This had us all emotionally charged none the least Steve ,who could see his dreams were in reach, and he was on the rising ladder to them. We could all see that and all so very proud of him. The lad deserves it. A more gracious and caring man you couldn’t meet and it shows in his lyrics.
Both albums can be purchased from www.stevepledger.co.uk where you can also see where Steve is playing next and details of how to book him. A spring tour is being pencilled in for May/June time, so keep his website bookmarked!