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Swindells in 2013
21 November 1952 |
Ipswich, Suffolk, UK
Life and career
Swindells was born on 21 November 1952 in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Swindells grew up in the Bath and Bristol area, dropping out of art college to play keyboards with the rock band Squidd. Relocating to London in 1973 and living in squats, he recorded his debut solo album, Messages for RCA in 1974. Produced by his manager Mark Edwards, Swindells felt the production quality to be poor, despite the presence of quality musicians. A follow up album Swindells' Swallow was recorded, mastered and test pressings manufactured, but the deal fell through.
In 1980 he recorded another solo album, Fresh Blood, released by ATCO, but was dropped when it failed to hit sufficient sales, despite reaching No. 3 in the US airplay charts. Swindells would go on contribute songs to Roger Daltrey on "Martyrs and Madmen" and "Treachery", before temporarily turning his attention away from the music business. In 1983, Swindells switched careers to club promoting and party organising.
In the early 1990s, he decided to re-invent himself as a journalist, writing the internet column for Time Out under the name Spyder for many years, as well as a gadget/lifestyle colourmn for Attitude, before becoming the editor of the magazine's website. Throughout his career changes, Swindells continued to compose and perform music.
In 2003, Swindells played keyboards and sang lead vocals in the band Danmingo together with Jerry Richards, Jon Moss and Winston Blissett. Steve wrote all of the songs, apart from two band collaborations and one co-write with Stephen Meade (AKA Shanks) and the late Kent Brainerd. As of 10 December 2013, Steve has been number 1 on the Reverb Nation Singer-songwriter Chart For London for several days. Steve recently[when?] released the double download DanMingo album under his own name.
In 2009, Swindells was instrumental in the formation (or reformation) of the Hawklords, a musical collective of ex-Hawkwind members, playing a special show in memory of artist Barney Bubbles. The show was advertised as a benefit concert 'with a view to setting up a foundation/annual award for innovative album cover design, and a memorial plaque for him'.
In 2010, Hawklords performed a mini tour of the UK. In 2011, the group were active in several appearances across the UK, and a touring line-up underwent a full national tour in October 2011. In 2012, they announced they were working on an album, titled 'We Are One'. In May 2012, via the band's Facebook page, it was announced that, due to health reasons, Swindells would not be participating in the planned 2012 tour and he subsequently terminated his involvement with the band.
Swindells re-discovered two 'lost' albums from 1980: The Invisible Man, and Treachery. The Lost Albums were released on Flicknife Records on 27 February 2012. His 1980 album Fresh Blood was released on CD for the first time with the label Atomhenge/Cherry Red in August 2009. His 1974 album Messages, along with a bonus CD of the hitherto unreleased Swindells' Swallow, was re-released by Esoteric Recordings/Atomhenge on 26 November 2009.
Early in 2012 Steve put together an ad-hoc, 'all star' jamming band called The Plastic Sturgeons. Special guest musicians have included Guy Pratt and Dale Davis There have only been two gigs to date which were recorded by Roy Weard. As of 10 December 2013, The Plastic Sturgeons have been number 1 in The Reverb Nation London Jam Chart for several weeks.
As solo artist
- Messages (1974)
- Fresh Blood (1980)
- The Lost Albums (Double CD) (released 27 February 2012 on Flicknife Records).
- New Crescent Yard (2011)
- 'The Hanging Baskets Of Babylon'
- Two's a Crowd (1977)
- 25 Years On (1978)
- Weird Tape 1 (1980)
- Weird Tape 2 (1980)
- Weird Tape 4 (1981)
- Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Volume 1 (1982)
- Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Volume 3 (1985)
- Hawkwind Anthology Volume 1 (1985)
- Hawkwind Anthology Volume 2 (1986)
- Hawklords Live (1992)
- Hawkwind, Friends and Relations Volume 6 (1996)
- Levitation 2009 re-master (first 5 bonus tracks on disc 1) (2009)
- Live '78 (2009)
With The Hawklords
- Robert Calvert Memorial Concert, Kings Hall, Herne Bay 28 September 2008 (2009)
- Sonic Rock Solstice 2010 (various artists) (2010)
- Barney Bubbles Memorial Concert (2011)
- We Are One (2012)
Other album appearances
- Capdevielle Les Enfants Des Ténèbres Et Les Anges De La Rue (1979)
- Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart Earth Born (2008)
- Spirits Burning & Bridget Wishart Bloodlines (2009)
- "SpaceRockReviews". Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Atomhenge : artists : : : +". www.cherryred.co.uk. Retrieved 4 November 2009.
- "Esoteric Records : Steve Swindells".