Stoney broke the mould

MARK Stoney is a classic case. He makes sussed, relevant, good music. It acquired widespread acclaim and he pulls - and wows - a crowd. Success should follow, surely.

Yet, almost a year since Stoney released his rather special debut album The Scene & the Unseen, low-key through gigs and his website, the payback could come via the USA. Mark spent the first part of the year writing there with some very worthy company, tastemaker DJ Nic Harcourt having championed Stoney via his LA-based KCRW radio show.

Now the adopted Sheffielder (originally from Croydon) is back and looking likely to go for the bigger push.

This week he began a tour that landed him at Barnsley’s Arches last night ahead of a return to Sheffield’s Plug on Monday. It culminates in a useful BBC Radio 2 Maida Vale Session for Dermot O’Leary on November 10 as well as a London showcase. To coincide Jailbird becomes a single on November 5 with the album getting a mainstream release a week later on the SonicRoar label.

Part of the problem before was possibly that Mark, now 26, didn’t have a category into which he could easily fit. Since the success of so-called modern poets like Just Jack and Jamie T it may be his urban images and steady off-road arrangements could find the masses this time.

Support is from Neil McSweeney and The Furze.