NEAT RECORDS STORY with songwriter & producer Steve Thompson

Teesside based songwriter & producer Steve Thompson is planning an audio and video presentation of stories from his time as house producer at Neat records.

‘I’ll also add some studio out-takes and unreleased tracks’ said Steve.

In 1977 Thompson became house producer at Impulse Recording Studios in Wallsend and helped set up Neat Records earning him the title ‘Godfather of North East New Wave of British Heavy Metal’.

The first couple of releases at Neat were pop records, but with the Tygers of Pan Tang, Neat led the charge for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)- North East Division.

Before leaving Neat, Thompson also produced Raven and Venom. The North East trio became arguably the most influential bands of that period, especially in the USA. Metallica in particular recognising the influence the three North East bands had on them.

Steve recalled the Raven album sessions… Producing the Raven album was intense and rewarding. I’ve heard them described as ‘athletic rock’ and that’s just about right cos as they were recording I had to gaffa tape the headphones to their heads as they were just bouncing off their heads as they were banging ten to the dozen!’

Venom drummer Tony Bray said ‘When our first producer Steve Thompson heard us crashing through ‘In League with Satan’ he had the understanding that he was able to record something original and ground breaking. We didn’t, but that’s a good producer’.

What will we expect from the show Steve ?

‘This is an depth presentation of my time at the coal face of heavy metal. I want to paint a picture of what it was like to be there when these historic events happened. There are some interesting aspects to the story, some hilarious and some outrageous. This is a rock and roll story so beware if you’re easily offended’.

Thompson went on to write songs recorded by mainstream artists Sheena Easton, Elkie Brooks, Celine Dion and Wavelength who appeared on Top of the Pops with Hurry Home. The single peaked at number 17 after three month in the UK Singles chart.

In these covid times how will we be able to see the show ?

‘When lockdown eases I will present this story at a venue with reduced capacity. We’re also installing a state of the art camera and streaming system. You will be able to book tickets for the venue (limited numbers) or book a ticket for the live stream. More news will be released when I have it’.

Steve’s latest album is available on Cherry Red  www.thelongfade.xyz

For more details check the official site:

The Steve Thompson Band – Steve Thompson: Songwriter (steve-thompson.org.uk)

Gary Alikivi  March 2021.

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