Student drummer selected by Idlewild star for new band

Drummer Steven Morrison was chosen by Rod Jones. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Drummer Steven Morrison was chosen by Rod Jones. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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IT would be a dream come true for any budding musician. A 19-year-old studying an HND in music performance at Stevenson College has already performed with Idlewild star Rod Jones’ new band.

Steven Morrison is also about to start recording an EP and an album with Rod’s band, The Birthday Suit, next week.

It’s been a whirlwind year for the teenager since he was picked to join the band on their UK tour, following an audition at the college last spring.

His performance on the drums has impressed Rod so much that he is now a permanent member of The Birthday Suit, who hope to perform at this year’s Wickerman Festival.

Rod was guitarist in Edinburgh-based Idlewild, who had a string of hits and played with the likes of the Rolling Stones, before becoming the musician in residence at the college. He set up indie/rock band The Birthday Suit in 2010 after Idlewild announced they were taking a hiatus.

Steven, who lives in Livingston, said: “Being on tour was probably one of the best experiences of my life, especially as a musician. When you get a taste of what your life could be like, it’s something to set your sights on.

“I turn 20 in September this year so the only way I could probably describe the last few months is quite surreal.

“Hearing about Rod’s stories and him playing with the Stones, it’s pretty cool to be on board with him. You can’t really get any bigger than the Rolling Stones.”

The three-week tour last month included performances in Newcastle, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, London, York and Manchester.

The band will start recording the four-song EP and the new album at the college’s Music Box next week. The EP will be released at the end of June and the album in late September.

Steven, who has been playing the drums for six years, said: “You get used to playing with each other a lot more being on tour than you would at rehearsals, so I think I’m at the stage now where I’m ready for the festivals. I’m more excited than nervous about them.”

He added: “If I keep going the way I am, hopefully I will be able to make something of myself. I want to get into a bit of session work and possibly teaching at some point in the future, once I get more experience under my belt.”

Rod, 35, who lives in Leith, auditioned about ten drummers at the college last year, but said Steven “stuck out as the man for the job”.

“He’s unbelievably quick to learn and improvise, and he’s been a pleasure to work with,” he said. “Steven was the first one to audition, after which I didn’t really need to audition anybody else. He really stood out.”