Friday, 13 June 2014

Steve & Stevie - Steve & Stevie (1968)

Steve & Stevie aka Steve Kipner and Steve Groves were an Australian popsike harmony duo who released their only album (under this name) on the small, Toast record label in the UK in 1968. As is the case with most Australian and New Zealand bands from the sixties, the sound is very British like. A good comparison would be Chad & Jeremy, although this is possibly a little more twee! After being on my record wants list for a good ten years, I was lucky to find a nice vinyl copy in my local charity shop for a jaw dropping £4.

Groves & Kipner circa 1968
The whole of this album consists of both of the Steve's Davey Jones-like, chipmunk voices harmonising over a heavily orchestrated backing, courtesy of Gerry Shury (Rubettes, John Bromley, Polly Brown) listed here as Jerry Shuri. If there was ever a record to "File under Fading Yellow" then this is it! If you like one song then you'll like them all. Production was handled by Steve Kipner's father Nat, who owned Oz record label Spin and is famous for signing the Bee Gees in 1966 and producing their single "Spicks and Specks".

The first two tracks on the album, "Merry Go Round" and "Remain To Be Seen" were tipped as a single by Toast in the UK but failed to chart. There is not a bad song on here and picking a favourite is hard, but if pressed I may choose the dancefloor friendly, funky piano pop of "Liza", which would have made a killer single or possibly the equally fab "Shine" with it's arpeggiated harpsichord, groovy bass line and kitchen sink orchestration that builds into crescendo of dramatic campness!

Following the failure of the LP, Kipner and Groves relocated to the UK in 1969 and under the guidance of Maurice Gibb, changed their name to Tin Tin, releasing a couple of killer albums for Polydor records. But that's a story that deserves it's own blog entry...

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