INTERVIEW: McCormick | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Middlesbrough man McCormick (given name Steve) has been a familiar face on the Teesside music scene for a good few years now, playing his own shows as well as some prestigious support slots. The first time I encountered him he was peddling his acoustic talents on the same bill as Norman Blake and Euros Childs’ band Jonny at the Westgarth Social Club circa 2011, and he’s steadily built a reputation for writing catchy choruses that plenty of chart musicians would kill for. He’s also known for making some interesting videos, including a particularly energetic one for his song Goosebumps which saw him jogging down the coast with Redcar steelworks as a backdrop.

Now he’s about to release his new single, New Tattoo, which was written and recorded in 2019 and, lyrically, is a follow-up to his last song. Steve explains: “The single I released previously was a track called The Girl I Knew Before, and I thought it would be interesting to write a part 2. Girl I Knew Before was basically a breakup song, whereas New Tattoo is about a guy who finds out his ex is now missing him and is determined not to look back, hence the line ‘I don’t want to want you anymore’. I still can’t decide if it’s a happy or sad song, but it does have my trademark big chorus!”

Steve’s last album, Changing, was released in 2015 and since then alongside his acoustic solo exploits he’s also been working with some old bandmates. “I took the opportunity to record an EP – Girl on the Bus – and three singles (Why Did I Have To Do That, Something To Believe In, and The Girl I Knew Before) with Pete Gifford and Hugh McGouran, who were part of the first band I was in during school and sixth form,” says Steve. “We were originally called Oasis (way before that other bunch) and featured a chap called Ged Rodgers on vocals, who was the brother of the Free and Bad Company singer Paul. We thought we were good! Hugh and I were then in a band that toured around the UK, Ireland, Zambia and did some TV in Paris.

We ended up getting together again after Hugh took me out for several beers and convinced me that they were the missing link. Although the style of song remained the same, it took on a slightly more raw style.”

Given the current UK lockdown situation, it’s obviously difficult to predict what the near future will hold for musicians, but Steve does plan to release a couple more songs.

“A track called The Secret will be next, possibly followed by a reworked version of Girl On The Bus over the next few months,” he says. “I have also just recorded a new version of the song Goosebumps. I have no idea what will happen regarding playing live at the moment, although I am planning on doing a live stream over the next few weeks which should be interesting!”

New Tattoo is released on 10th April. Track is available on Bandcamp as well as the usual digital sites.


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