STOCKTON'S Steve Thompson has written songs that have been recorded by a long list of greats – Celine Dion, Sheena Easton, Elkie Brooks, The Hollies, The Searchers, Colin Blunstone and Elaine Page, to name a few.

Now he's releasing The Long Fade on May 30, an album he says has been 50 years in the making, with new versions of the songs he wrote for the artists mentioned above plus new songs. The Steve Thompson Band will launch the new album with a show at The Cluny, Newcastle, on May 30.

Steve Thompson Songwriter also features Steve telling the stories behind the songs and regalin the audience with anecdotes from his time in the music industry, working closely with an equally impressive list of producers such as Gus Dudgeon (Elton John, Chris Rea); Rodger Bain (Black Sabbath); Christopher Neil (Mike & The Mechanics, Marillion, Gerry Rafferty) and Peter Collins (Rush, Gary Moore, Bon Jovi).

In a long and varied career, Steve also wrote and produced some key recordings during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, including Raven, Venom (both huge influences on rock giants Metallica) and Tygers of Pan Tang, who at one time featured another collaborator of Steve’s - guitarist John Sykes, who went on to join David Coverdale in Whitesnake.

Steve was born in Consett and his musical career began there with his first ever gig at the Freemasons Arms with his band Bullfrog back in 1969. Since then he has worked largely as a songwriter and producer.

For The Long Fade, contributors have come forward from Steve’s past as a songwriter and record producer, such as Steve Lamb of Tygers of Pan Tang, Tony Bray of Venom and John Verity of Argent. But it’s not a heavy metal/rock album. The album contains Steve’s huge pop ballad hit, Hurry Home, juxtaposed with another hit for Tygers Of Pan Tang, Paris By Air via blue-eyed soul for Celine and Sheena.

As Steve reflects; “My band did a cracking gig at the Georgian Theatre, Stockton, last March. The band members were well chuffed. But then musicians started to leave, falling like dominoes. Eventually there was just me, a bass player and a girl singer left and there’s not much you can do with that. So, we went into a studio and started recording. Eventually, we attracted new people and the project became The Long Fade.”

* Tickets for The Cluny gig are £10 in advance available from the box office or online from