Photo: Kishi Yamamoto
Born in Wellington, Shropshire, UK, Steve Beresford began piano aged 7. He studied a classical repertoire up to age 15, until being encouraged to investigate orchestral music in preparation for reading music at university. He also spent much of his time playing the Hammond organ in a soul group, covering the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and Motown hits.
On completion of his university course, he stayed in York, working in theatre groups and working men's clubs, but also playing and promoting improvised music with the likes of Derek Bailey and Han Bennink. In 1974 he moved to London and has been involved in hundreds of music projects, from free improvisation, through jazz, to pop, reggae and film scores, ever since. According to Steve:
"...being involved in improvised music was the single most important factor in developing my understanding of music. Playing improvised music was a liberating force, a culture where you could ignore conventional rules, build up and formulate your own individual technique."
Once a member of the little recorded Three Pullovers, Steve is perhaps best known for his early activities as a member of Alterations. Begun in 1977, other members of the group were Peter Cusack (guitar), David Toop (flute) and Terry Day (drums and percussion). The group became known for including more and more electric instruments in their performances. Steve is also well remembered for his Flying Lizards connections and for working separately with Toop as General Strike.
Steve's encounters with the Slits around the time of the birth of On-U Sound saw him inevitably cross paths with the label's supremeo, Adrian Sherwood. Recruitment into the ever swelling ranks of the New Age Steppers soon followed, when it became apparent that the musical visions of Steve and Adrian were particularly complementary.
Various other outings with Sherwood followed between 1980-85, including as a guest musician (together with as David Toop) on Prince Far I and The Arabs' "Cry Tuff Dub Encounter Chapter III", as The Circuit, with African Head Charge, Playgroup, Dub Syndicate and work with Akabu on their "Watch Yourself" single (ON-U MIX1).
As an arranger, composer, player, performer, improviser and organizer Steve has continued to work on many projects and collaborations with an ever increasing number of people and instuments, ever expanding his free-form and experimental music CV.
(Edited and supplemented from Steve's biography formerly at www.kabukikore.net/steveberesford/biog.html)