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Peace City West (2021 Remix) - Steve Cradock

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by David Vincent (subscribe)
Occasional blogger and sometimes freelance writer, hammering away in the West Midlands.
Published February 26th 2021
Peace City West is remixed and re-released
Steve Cradock, guitarist, ocean colour scene, paul weller
Guitarist, songwriter and producer Steve Cradock.

Ocean Colour Scene, The Specials and Paul Weller guitarist Steve Cradock is re-releasing his second solo album, Peace City West.

Out from 2 April 2021, Peace City West was originally released in 2011 and features collaborations with James Buckley (from the cult TV show The Inbetweeners), Paul Weller, Sally Cradock, Andy Crofts (The Moons, Paul Weller), The Real People's Chris and Tony Griffiths, and legendary 1960s singer PP Arnold.

When it was first released, the Steve supported the album with headline dates and a tour opening for Liam Gallagher's Beady Eye.

steve cradock, peace city west
The original 2011 cover artwork for Steve Cradock's Peace City West. The image is based on a photograph of Birmingham's iconic Selfridges building, in the Bullring.

Though Steve was never in doubt about the quality of the songs or the performances, he soon had regrets about the final mix - hence his desire to remix and re-release the album.

"We mixed it badly on a laptop in January 2011 and then it was finished, but listening back it just sounded bad because of the mix," says Steve today.

"So it was time to re-do that, get rid of the interludes and make it sound like it should've done, and put it on vinyl - those were the three things that were missing for me."

Working at his home studio, Steve set about the task of giving the album a new lease of life.

"The first track I tried mixing was The Pleasure Seekers, which is the second track on the record, and as soon as I heard the proper drums in it, that's what made me think it'll be worthwhile doing it."

The resulting fresh new mix breathes a new warmth into the 10-track collection, which opens with 'Last Days of the Old World'.

"I recorded [that track] at [Paul Weller's] Black Barn Studio's towards the end of the Kundalini sessions," explains Steve.

"I just thought 'I have to make an album now I've done that tune', it set me on the road to it."

'Last Days of the Old World' was written as a warning about society's increased reliance on social media and new technology.

"It wasn't made as a big statement, it was just a whimsical thought as these things are, but now it's a true bold statement isn't it?" he says.

steve cradock, peace city west
The cover of the 2021 version of Steve Cradock's Peace City West. Like the 2011 version, it features Selfridges in the Bullring, Birmingham.

Steve Cradock found fame as part of Birmingham's Ocean Colour Scene in the early 1990s. From their baggy-ish first releases, OCS soon became associated with Britpop with their Moseley Shoals album - named after the south Birmingham neighbourhood - one of the defining albums of the era.

Although Steve's continued to tour and record with OCS, he's still found time to continue to work with Paul Weller, playing live and contributing to all his studio albums since 1992.

In 2014, Steve also joined Coventry's revived The Specials, replacing the departed Roddy Radiation.

He's also worked with PP Arnold, Players and Liam Gallagher.

Steve released his debut solo album, The Kundalini Target, in 2008. Peace City West followed three years later, with his third solo collection, Travel Wild Travel Free, released in 2013.

The remixed Peace City West (Kundalini Records) is released on 2 April 2021 as a download, stream and vinyl.

For more information, see:

Above: The original trailer for Peace City West (circa 2011).
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Why? A great guitarist's great album just got better
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