Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10
There is parody, then there is worship, both perhaps from the same root, the same cared for bud growing with high aspirations in the soil, one though grows in a very different direction to the other, one can be twisted, bent out of shape and seen as more than the object of desire, the other can stand out and be seen arguably as a natural progression, the thought process that the original might have taken had it had an artist’s fertile imagination behind it.
Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire might not have been his finest offering to the world of music, not a criticism when you consider his very genuine and substantial output in the 1970s and 80s, yet it one that resonates perfectly, the look and social comment on a world that saw the late 20th Century become a powder keg of advertising and political demagogues search for power and the outcome of the disease of selfishness become all too real. It was a catchy song, written by one of America’s finest.
In Steve Thompson, that same desire burns bright, a man who can take an audience down a road they are not expecting and quite possibly the only person who could both praise We Didn’t Start The Fire and update it to the point where it actually becomes bigger than the original, a hard ask, a monumental task, one that even a die-hard Billy Joel fan will look upon and smile and understand that the world didn’t end in the 1990s and that humanity is still being used as an experiment into which advertising, political leaders of glass and stone are still ruling the roost.
Steve Thompson captures the feeling of Mr. Joel’s song and gives it a tremendous boost, the world is still on fire, there are still people out there willing to fan the flames of hopeless lost causes, but Steve Thompson is there to remind us that the world is worth saving, that there can be justice for all.
The E.P. blends itself beautifully with the tracks Bloodsweatfleshbone, Love Machine, Mr. Nobody and They’re Not Telling Me adding great colour to the proceedings, however as a possible, a strongly fancied contender for song of the year, We Didn’t Start The Fire is a truly great song brought to life with typical Liverpool awareness and love; the fire may be raging but the world still turns when a musician can update a classic and make it breathe through the smoke.
Ian D. Hall