James Stevenson has had a long and distinguished career playing guitar as a hired gun for the great and the good - his first “gig” was playing in the Kim Wilde video for Kids In America. Current gigs include playing at The Alarm’s annual event - The Gathering, rhythm guitar for The Cult and a full UK tour alongside Woody Woodmansey (Bowie’s Spiders From Mars Drummer), Tony Viscounti and Glenn Gregory of Heaven 17. He’s also found time to release an album - Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over - and has now released this single.
There are some very impressive resumes amongst his backing musicians including Barriemore Barlow (Jethro Tull); Chris Bell (Thompson Twins, Spear of Destiny, Big Country, Hugh Cornwell); Geoff Dugmore (Killing Joke, The Waterboys); Glenn Matlock of Sex Pistols fame, Mark Taylor (The Alarm, The Cult and Simple Minds) with saxophone being provided by none other than Steve Norman from Spandau Ballet. With this much talent on show, it will come as no surprise to find out that the songs on this single are superbly played and Stevenson clearly knows how to write a decent song - Suzy’s Problem is a bluesy number obviously featuring some great guitar work but unfortunately, I think the song is let down by Stevenson’s so-so vocals. This is a major drawback with the album (reviewed last year on this very site) and makes me wonder why Stevenson didn’t go down the Slash route of hiring lead vocalists with a proven track record and yet still being the mainman of the project. A decent single but with reservations about the vocals.
Review by Adrian Grainger