We were all saddened to learn of Steve’s passing yesterday and we pass our condolences and love to Steve’s family at this time.

Steve performed at Acapela 20 times over the last 7 years and his annual visit of 3 sold out concerts were always eagerly anticipated by the Acapela team and audiences. He could have played much larger venues in Cardiff and South Wales but after his first visit he always returned, loving the intimate atmosphere and the welcoming crowd at the venue.

When he first agreed to perform at the venue we all knew that this was going to be very special night, what we did not know then was how much his performances and his support over the years would impact on the future of Acapela.  Because he played Acapela for three nights and returned each year, it raised the venues profile dramatically and as a result other famous names and bands followed. Steve’s support, enthusiasm and interest in the venue is certainly one of the reasons that Acapela has achieved such success in becoming one of the best loved music venues in the UK.

He was the ultimate professional, always striving for perfection, always keen to ensure that his audience got the very best performance. On his first visit (the first night of 3) I think it’s fair to say we were in awe and were run ragged by his drive for the perfect set up.  When he eventually went on stage, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief and with some trepidation nervously stood in the shadows – thinking that as a venue we may perhaps not have reached the very high standards he set!

At the end of the concert, after a long standing ovation and thunderous applause, he came off stage and took time to tell me “what an incredible experience that was”. On stage that night he was superb. I particularly remember his performance of his classic “Sebastian”.  It still sends shivers down my spine. I don’t think I have ever heard a live performance of a song that has ever had such a huge impact on myself and an audience. When the song finished an emotional Steve thanked everyone, telling them that he could not remember such a reaction to the song from an audience – he was right the applause was long and deafening as everyone in the venue rose to their feet as the final chords rang out.

That was a start of a beautiful relationship between Steve and the Acapela audience as he would return giving equally incredible performances year in, year out.

Steve brought many great musical memories in his career to so many, he also brought so many personal musical memories to the very many of his fans at Acapela who attended his gigs over the years in the chapel.

I always enjoyed chatting to Steve on his visits, he was appreciative of the way our team looked after him, was excited to hear about the venues growing popularity and interested to learn about it’s history and the places to visit in the local area. I will especially remember the short chats I had with him as he waited on a chair outside the stage door. Here he would wait as the lights went down and everything was checked so that he could go on stage. These chats lasted no more than 3 or 4 minutes each night, however on every occasion he would ensure that I knew he was grateful for everything we did and took time to ask me if I was happy with everything. Of course, we always were as we were so pleased and honoured that such a musical legend chose to support the venue every year.  He often discussed with me where he planned to visit locally tomorrow or where he had visited today, often asking me for ideas as to where he should visit as he had a free afternoon the next day. He was knowledgeable about so much and had such a tremendous desire to learn more.

We will miss you Steve, your music, your professionalism and above all your support for Acapela over so many years.

THANK YOU STEVE – for everything.


Paul James  – Programme Director