Steve Nieve

Steve Nieve was the longtime keyboardist/pianist/organist for Elvis Costello's backing band the Attractions, and his versatility and extensive training made him an excellent fit for much of Costello's increasingly ambitious post-Attractions music. Born Steven Nason, Nieve attended the Royal College of Music and successfully auditioned for the Attractions in 1977 when he was 19. In 1980, Nieve released his first solo venture, the EP Theme Music From Outline of a Hairdo, which appeared on Jake Riviera's F-Beat label (to which Costello was signed at the time). Nieve went on to release two proper full-length solo albums, 1983's Keyboard Jungle and 1987's Playboy, both for the U.K. Demon label. In between touring and recording commitments with the Attractions (which grew less and less by the latter half of the decade), Nieve did session work with numerous other fellow new-wavers, including Nick Lowe, Kirsty MacColl, Madness, the Damned, Tim Finn, Nick Heyward, Hothouse Flowers, Graham Parker, and Squeeze (who hired Nieve as their touring keyboardist in the early '90s). Nieve also teamed with ex-Attractions drummer Pete Thomas in the house band for Jonathan Ross' BBC talk show. Through it all, Nieve continued to work off and on with Costello, more frequently than most of Costello's old associates. During the latter half of the '90s, their continued compatibility reached a new level on a series of acclaimed duo concert tours; Costello revisited the breadth of his enormous catalog with only Nieve's elegant, multi-hued playing for accompaniment. During this period, Nieve also gave solo concerts on occasion, as documented on his Knitting Factory live EP It's Raining Somewhere (recorded in 1995, released in 1999). He also composed two classical operas, Parasite and Welcome to the Voice; the former was co-written with French cinematographer Muriel Téodori and premiered in Paris, and the latter was performed at the 2000 Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival in New York, featuring Costello and the Brodsky Quartet. In 2004, Nieve released his fifth solo disc, Windows, inspired by the sights and sounds he encountered during years of touring.
Steve Huey, Rovi