Being an opening act is always tricky. You never know what to expect or how many people will turn up early in the hope of some good music. And then there are venues like O2 Academy Islington, where I’ve seen great opening bands playing to an almost empty room. So if challenges are your kind of thing, top of the list would be a one-man band opening for rock veterans Wishbone Ash.
But young Canadian one-man blues-rock machine Steve Hill is totally up for the challenge.
Far from the mainstream, Hill does things his own way and, in a world where most people try to follow others, we need those who take the road less travelled. His innovative approach to music lets him do and be whatever he wants on stage. He’s a singer, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, drummer, magician. Singing and playing guitar, he also plays bass drum, snare drum, and the audience (as they are clearly another one of his instruments).
A short, seven-song set offered a mixture of all of his released albums, called simply Volume 1, 2, and 3. Volume 3 was released just a few weeks ago on 6th of October. This performance, along with multiple dates through October and November, are part of an extensive UK promo tour.
One of the best parts of being a music photographer is being able to discover a new band and fall in love with them. That’s exactly what happened to me on that magic night. Somewhere between The Ballad Of Johny Wabo and the latest single Dangerous, I fell in love entirely with the music created by the one man standing in the blinding lights of O2 Academy Islington. When the last song of the set, a brilliant cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love, sounded from the stage, I looked around at the amazed audience. It was clear, that I wasn’t the only one to discover something that night. It was my all-time favourite song that once again gave me goosebumps, but this time played by just one man.
Steve Hill is currently touring as a support act for Wishbone Ash, and I strongly recommend you see him at one of his upcoming dates in a town near you. He’s one of my favourite discoveries of 2017.
Wishbone Ash – October 2017 UK Tour with special guest Steve Hill
Tuesday 31-Oct- 17 Princess Theatre, Hunstanton
Thursday 02-Nov- 17 Floral Pavilion Theatre, New Brighton, Wirral
Friday 03-Nov- 17 The Tivoli, Buckley
Saturday 04-Nov- 17 Whitby Pavilion Theatre, Whitby
Sunday 05-Nov- 17 The Lowry Manchester
Tuesday 07-Nov- 17 The Flowerpot, Derby
Wednesday 08-Nov- 17 The Irish Centre, Leeds
Thursday 09-Nov- 17 Bootleggers, Kendal
Friday 10-Nov- 17 The Jam House, Edinburgh
Saturday 11-Nov- 17 The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Sunday 12-Nov- 17 The Ferry, Glasgow
Tuesday 14-Nov- 17 Riverside Lodge, Morpeth
Wednesday 15-Nov- 17 ARC, Stockton-on- Tees
Thursday 16-Nov- 17 The Layton, Blackpool
Friday 17-Nov- 17 The Picturedrome, Holmfirth
Saturday 18-Nov- 17 ASHCON, Clitheroe
Steve Hill was live at O2 Academy Islington, 19th October 2017
Photography & Words by Edyta K