Friday, April 28, 2006

The Mountain Beat Me...

Photo copyright : Jim Hobbs

King Biscuit Time - Paperhead

MEDIC!!!! We’ve got a man down… This one’s not to the reaper though, thank god, but the news that Steve Mason has decided to call it a day feels a bit like somebody has died. Via a message sent out from his My Space page, Mason called time on King Biscuit Time, his most recent incarnation following the demise of the Beta Band. He said, “Peace to you all. I'm out of here. It's been amazing but I've had enough. The mountain beat me and sadly you too. That don't mean you should give up. It just wasn't me. Over and out, Steve.”

With no official explanation, I’m only speculating, but I reckon the industry he despised so much finally chewed him up. Nobody who saw the documentary filmed around the making of the Beta’s swansong album ‘Heroes To Zeroes’ could be left in any doubt what Mason had come to think of the music biz. He hated it with a passion and no longer wanted to play the game to try and make his band successful. Though sad, the demise of the Beta Band was tempered by news that Mason was resurrecting his solo project King Biscuit Time, and starting a label, No Style, in collaboration with Alan McGee. This seemed like a match made in heaven – two mavericks joining forces, with Mason in control and able to express himself without worrying about the often soul destroying demands of a major label. It hasn't worked out like that. The announcement came a day or so before the release of his latest single ‘Kwangchow’ which was garnering favourable reviews and seemed to set things up perfectly for the tour around the release of the debut King Biscuit Time album ‘Black Gold’ on May 15th.

I’ve posted the track ‘Paperhead’ from ‘Black Gold’, which to me is everything Mason was about, combining the vocal refrain from ‘Baker Street’ with synth lines and effects that seem to come straight from a 1970s kung fu flick. A bizarre union indeed, but in his hands it makes perfect sense. The man is a genius and will be sorely missed.

What next then? I have a fantasy of him opening a karate dojo in a remote mountain range somewhere in the world, dispensing sage wisdom and organising bongo jams at night. Maybe he’s already planning his comeback. Wherever he is, I hope he’s OK.

Steve Mason – one of the good cunts.

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1 comment:

niall said...

what the fuck?