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STEVE HUGHES

Neo-Prog • United Kingdom


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Steve Hughes picture
Steve Hughes biography
An English drummer with a long, prolific career. Born in West Suburban London in 1975 and encouraged by his father, he learnt to play the drums at the age of 13, before going to attend the London College of Music in 1992. One year later he abandoned his studies for what appeared to be the dream of many young musicians: becoming a Rock star. After his stint in some Jazz-oriented bands he joined Big Big Train in 1991 and served the band tirelessly for the next 12 years. Inbetween he also became a member of the legendary The Enid, touring with the band and recording two albums. In 2004 he joined John Mitchell's Kino, while helping former The Enid bandmate Nick May on his Whimwise project. After a long absence from the progressive surrounding, he returned in 2015 with an album full of light symphonic textures and ethereal arrangements, ''Tales from the Silent Ocean'' (F2 Records), showing his talent as a composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist and receiving help from a list of fellow prog musicians, like Sean Filkins and Stuart Bell.

Steve Hughes official website

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Once We Were Pt 1Once We Were Pt 1
Import
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$13.78
$14.95 (used)
Once We Were Pt TwoOnce We Were Pt Two
Import
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$12.06
$14.93 (used)
Tales From the Silent OceanTales From the Silent Ocean
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$17.99
$11.98 (used)
Dark Shadows & Mountain Peaks by Steve HughesDark Shadows & Mountain Peaks by Steve Hughes
CD Baby.Com/Indys
Audio CD$46.44
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STEVE HUGHES discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

STEVE HUGHES top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 40 ratings
Tales From The Silent Ocean
2015
3.81 | 31 ratings
Once We Were - Part One
2016
3.84 | 12 ratings
Once We Were - Part Two
2016

STEVE HUGHES Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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STEVE HUGHES Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

STEVE HUGHES Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Once We Were - Part Two by HUGHES, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.84 | 12 ratings

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Once We Were - Part Two
Steve Hughes Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars

In December 2016, Steve followed up May's 'Part One' with 'Part Two', and one can see why, as musically it follows a very similar style to the first one. The line-up is pretty much the same as well, although we are down to just two additional guitarists this time around (Dec and Keith), and Steve provides all the bass himself as Alex Tsentides didn't return. Nine songs at more than fifty minutes in total length, but no massive epic this time, and only one song breaking the ten-minute mark. This is an even more accessible album than 'Part One', and again there are some incredible passages (such as on 'Life's A Glitch') where the syncopated rhythmic attack really lifts this album to quite a different level.

ProgArchives classify Steve as neo-prog, and I totally understand why that decision has been made, but if it was sent to me to evaluate for Crossover then it would be a strong yes from me as it has such superb melodies within it. This is totally accessible and enjoyable prog music that just makes me smile every time I play it. There are hints of Jadis, hints of Camel, hints of Bruford, and even hints of fusion at times, but overall this is just an incredibly solid, incredibly enjoyable prog album.

I haven't heard Steve's debut album, but on the basis of these two I am going to have to go back and discover that, as both the 'Once We Were' albums are wonederful from beginning to end

 Once We Were - Part One by HUGHES, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.81 | 31 ratings

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Once We Were - Part One
Steve Hughes Neo-Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars

Towards the end of 1991 I received a demo tape from a young Dorset prog band who wanted to know what I thought of their music. That band was Big Big Train, the tape was 'From The River To The Sea', and their drummer was Steve Hughes. In the very dim and distant past I saw Steve perform with both Big Big Train and The Enid, and consequently always thought of him as a drummer. So, when this album arrived my initial reaction was "surely it can't be that Steve Hughes", but indeed it was. This is the first of two albums, if you hadn't worked it out from the title, and this was released in May 2016, with part two following in December the same year.

I fully expected that Steve only provided drums and vocals, so I was somewhat surprised to see that he also provided bass, keyboards and guitars. He did of course also utilise some guests, and some names immediately stood out for me such as Dec Burke (Frost*), Keith Winter (Shakatak) and Alex Tsentides (The Enid), and the overall feeling is very much of a band, not a project. With a few guest guitarists, it isn't possible to say just how much of the guitar on this album was provided by Steve himself, but I do know that he is the only keyboard player, and he is no mean slouch in that area at all.

Amazingly, the album starts with a song that is more than half an hour long! What is immediately apparent right from the off is that here is a musician who not only knows exactly what he wants to achieve, but can make that happen and ensure that the listener is taken along for the ride. This is progressive music that is touching on many bases, from eclectic through crossover and fusion into a rhythmic drum-driven style that I have only previously come across in the music of Bill Bruford. Drummers think of music in a quite different way to other musicians, and there are passages that could only be written by someone who has that as a first instrument with a rhythmic attack where the other instruments must keep up. There are elements of Camel at time, but really this is quite unlike anything else around and is one hell of a long way from when I first heard him. Superb

 Once We Were - Part One by HUGHES, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.81 | 31 ratings

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Once We Were - Part One
Steve Hughes Neo-Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars UK composer and musician Steve HUGHES is a rather well known name in progressive rock circles, known for his tenures in bands like Kino and The Enid, as well as his past in the current progressive rock darling Big Big Train. In 2013 Hughes launched a solo career with the release of the album "Tales from the Silent Ocean". "Once We Were-I" is his sophomore studio production, and was released by Progressive Promotion Records in the spring of 2016.

Hughes' own description of his music is progressive ambient art rock. Personally I'll opt for eclectic to be a better description of the contents, as there's a whole lot of music at hand here that couldn't be described as ambient other than in minor parts. The key ingredients appear to be classic symphonic prog and neo-progressive rock, with a subtle addition of elements from folk music and jazz here and there, explored in a context that, at least in sum, comes across as hard to accurately define. Those fond of sophisticated progressive rock with strong ties to the symphonic and neo-progressive aspects of the genre appear as a likely key audience for this production, and at least for me, this is a recording that is well worth spending some time getting familiar with.

 Tales From The Silent Ocean by HUGHES, STEVE album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.83 | 40 ratings

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Tales From The Silent Ocean
Steve Hughes Neo-Prog

Review by E-Dub
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars About 5 years ago I discovered the band Big Big Train. Their music just overtook me and I proceeded to buy their entire back catalog and have participated in all of the pre-orders since their amazing release The Underfall Yard. Since then, I have been watching current members and past members very carefully. When something is released, my interest is piqued. First it was Sean Filkin's War And Peace & Other Short Stories, and now it's former drummer Steve Hughe's Tales From The Silent Ocean.

I have to admit that I bought this on a complete whim. I bought it directly from Steve and I had a good feeling about this one,...and I was right. Tales From The Silent Ocean mixes a lot of styles, but it's got that classic progressive style, but it doesn't sound outdated in the least. Assisting him is the aforementioned Sean Filkins on vocals, with whom he shares vocals with Steve. Numerous instruments are handled by Steve himself; however, he does have help from guitarist J.C. Strand, as well as other musicians.

The opening track 'Will We Ever Be Free?' is a 9 1/2 epic that swirls with different styles from classic Genesis to even some Tool-esque segways. Different moods make appearances throughout. You could have a pretty intense section, but it'll give way to something so ethereal and beautiful. Isn't that what we all want with our progressive music? How would Genesis' 'In The Cage' sound without that soaring synth section in the middle? The album is full of outstanding tracks, however. The opener, '50/50 Zone', 'Sunshine Willow' and 'Willow's Lament' just really stick.

The concept of the album isn't something arbitrary or something we can't relate to, but it deals with the real problem of depression and how it not only affects them, but how it affects those closest to you. With the album's concept, it's easy to understand why Steve explores different mood swings. Manic one moment, tender the next.

Surprises are how multi-talented Steve Hughes is and how he handles a variety of the album's instrumentation. Yes, we know what an awesome drummer he is, but there's definitely more to him. From concept to execution, Tales From the Silent Ocean is top notch prog. You can tell that he poured his soul into this one. I'm sure he's curious as how it's going to be received, but once the word spreads, people will see that this is a quality project. Hopefully this is just the beginning of a successful career.

Thanks to apps79 for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

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