Steve Mason (musician)
Performing at the Summer Sundae festival, Leicester, August 2010
|Also known as||King Biscuit Time (1998–2006)
Black Affair (2007–2008)
|Genres||Folk, electronic, rock, trip hop, experimental jamming|
|Labels||Regal, Poptones, V2, Double Six|
|Associated acts||The Beta Band|
Mason started his music career as the lead singer and one of the founding members of The Beta Band. According to Q magazine, after leaving the band Mason was so deep in debt at one point that he was forced to take a second job on a building site. The singer was also crippled by a depression that only recently lifted.
Mason released solo material as King Biscuit Time, including two EPs on Regal Records and one album on No Style Records, an imprint of Alan McGee's Poptones record label. Mason has also worked under the name Black Affair, and has released one album under this pseudonym on V2 Records.
On 19 April 2009, The Sunday Times reported that Mason was working on a new album with the record producer, Richard X. This album, Boys Outside, was released in March 2010 and is the first album under Mason's own name. The first single, "All Come Down", was released as a download at the end of November 2009. Q gave the album a 4/5 rating. According to Rob Fearn, the album "relocates Mason in a grand tradition of indie boys doing idiosyncratic electronic pop, a line stretching back through Hot Chip, New Order, Talk Talk and Brian Eno". Fearn argued that the album, "totally different from what he did in King Biscuit Time and Black Affair", might be seen as a "welcome return to a stripped-down songcraft". It is "...not just a work that can finally measure up to [Beta Band's] The Three EPs, but is a sign of a "bold new start", according to the critic.
In 2013, Mason released Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time. The album covers topics as diverse as his recent struggles with depression and loneliness, the suicide of David Kelly (former weapons inspector in Iraq) and the London riots. The Independent called it "his most rewarding release since the Beta Band".
The Beta Band
King Biscuit Time
- Rob Fearn. Q magazine. June 2010. Albums review. P. 126
- Alexis Giles (19 April 2009). "Time and Place: Steve Mason". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 30 July 2009.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 302. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Official website
- Steve Mason fansite at betaband.co.uk
- King Biscuit Time's official site
- King Biscuit Time discography at MusicBrainz
- King Biscuit Time at AllMusic
- Interview with Steve Mason at TLOBF after release of Boys Outside
- Steve Mason: Out of the blackness – Interview in the Guardian 6th April 2010