Dublin, County Dublin
Steafan Hanvey, originally hails from Downpatrick, Co. Down, in Northern Ireland. A child progeny of traditional musicians (his parents having recorded two albums during the seventies) his exposure to all kinds of music began in utero. Citing influences today from his formative years as being everything from Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Soundgarden, Simon & Garfunkel to Luke Kelly, Willie Nelson, The Johnsons, Paul Brady and Johnny Cash, Makem & Clancy, perhaps the most important of all was the household itself, renowned at the time for its legendary sessions and where it wasn't long before the young Steafan was called upon for a tune or two himself.
In primary school too, his teachers would have him sing to his classmates. It was as a teenager though that Steafan began to explore realms of music other than ballads of immigration, love lost, and blooming heather.
At the age of 16, Steafan formed 50/50, a heavy rock outfit with childhood friends Kenny & Carl Papenfus of Relish. After three years of fronting the band and co-writing the material, sniffs of interest from CBS in Dublin and much frustration with the northern music scene, or apparent lack of, in those days, and indeed lack of venues for original rock bands, Steafan opted to take time out to continue his studies at university.
His third year took him to Seattle where he took the opportunity to study sound engineering. Immersed in the music of the time, producing demos for local bands as part of his course, he was able to witness at close quarters the rise and demise of grunge, culminating in the untimely death of Kurt Cobain. Although an enriching experience at the mixing desk, a certain amount of fatigue set in with the amount of Pearl Jam wannabees on the scene, and the realization hit that he missed what was going on at the other side of the window with the musicians. In the summer of 1995, love and university brought him to Helsinki. Not long into his stay in Helsinki, Steafan began to host his own radio show introducing fresh Irish acts to Finnish ears. (Irkku-aika/Lahi radio)
The mini-album 'Sole' was recorded in November 2000-March 2001, where Steafan finally got to work with Janne Viksten, one of Finland's finest recording engineers, who at the time worked at The Sibelius Music Academy. After much gigging in Helsinki and around Finland, Steafan relocated to Dublin and joined the circus.
He got busy recording his debut album "Steafan Hanvey and The HoneyMoon Junkies". This saw him team up with old Downpatrick bandmates the Papenfus brothers from Relish. The album was started in Dublin and was finished with sessions in between at studios in Newry, London and Helsinki.
Steafan teamed up with Kieran Lynch to mix the record. Kieran has worked on U2's "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" has also co-produced Elvis Costello's "When I Was Cruel" amongst others.
In 2004 Steafan visited NYC and Montreal to get a feel for different audiences. Back in Europe he opened for The Hothouse Flowers in Barcelona in March 2004, played the BelfEst music festival in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and opened for John Spillane, Eleanor McEvoy (Woman's Heart), Damien Dempsey and The Devlins amongst others at different shows throughout Ireland.
He has recorded 3 in-studio sessions at the BBC and 2006 saw him release his debut album in Ireland, which met with widespread critical acclaim. Ireland's HOTPRESS magazine gave the record 7 out of 10, calling it "a rare delight", and of the record's lead single, 'Hundred Days of Snow', "an uplifting swirl of dissonance and sunshine. On radio, it sounds infectiously sweet."
National television and radio appearances followed. The singles 'A Hundred Days of Snow' and 'My Woman' received strong airplay in Finland and in Ireland, making many national radio playlists. A national tour followed.
At home, Liam O’Maonlai, frontman of "The Hothouse Flowers" invited Steafán on 7 dates of his Irish tour. Later in the same year, Steafán made for Boston's NEMO music festival where he was 1 of 6 Irish acts invited to represent the cream of the Irish songwriter scene at that time.
In July 2008, “The Hats off Tour” took Steafán to the north-east coast of the US, to showcase the new songs, taking in venues like the Rockwood Music Hall NY, Pete's Candy Store in Brooklyn NY, The Radio Bean VT, The Lizard Lounge & The Burren in Boston, ending up in Chicago sharing the stage with "The Horse Operas" and "Grun tu molani".
The Autumn of 2009 took him back to NY & Vermont, and again this spring, where he played Arlene's Grocery with his full NY band. [Review: http://www.whatstheruckus.com/2010/04/live-steafan-hanvey.html] He also opened for The Hothouse Flowers at The Showcase Live in Boston and shared headlines with Vermonter songstress Myra Flynn and New York's Julia brown. Steafan wound up his tour with a second appearance at the renowned Scratcher sessions in NYC.
Steafan is currently putting the finishing touches to LP no.2 which has been mixed by Swedish producer, Tore Johansson [Martha Wainwright/The Cardigans/New Order and Franz Ferdinand.]
The record features guest appearances by Liam Ó Maonlaí, Ken and Carl Papenfus and France's own Bertrand Belin.
Steafan has just confirmed a headlining spot at Belfast's Féile an phobail at Kelly's Cellars on August 5th.
Look out for the launch of his new album early 2011.