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A bit about Steve Shy, my friendship with him, and why I am doing all of this.

If you were to ask Steve Shy to describe himself or to talk about himself, he would usually respond that he was quite ordinary and didn't know what the fuss was about. Typically humble and dismissive, he would often joke that no one would be interested in his funeral when he goes, and we certainly proved that point was way off the mark!

Aside from being humble, he was many things: caring, kind, compassionate, nonjudgemental, fair, supportive, very very funny - but above all, he was an extraordinary man, who led a life on his terms, subtly changing the lives of others for the better, simply by being himself.

His three main loves in life were his wife and kids, Man United, and of course... music. Steve would always say, there were only two kinds of music, good music and bad music. Originally being into soul and funk and the northern soul scene of the time, he attended the second Pistols concert at the Free Trade Hall, and that was the gig that changed his life. It is perhaps telling of his genuine nature that he didn't pretend he was at the first gig, like so many others!

Steve was never one for dressing in stereotypical 'punk' attire, he was a true punk in that he had a punk heart. He was punk in the way that he viewed the world, treated people, considered others and interacted with them, and ultimately, changed lives and attitudes, and most certainly, influenced our behaviour and how we all love and look out for one another.

Like a lot of people from around that era of his gig nights, I met Steve in Gullivers as just one of those familiar faces that you'd see in there on the regular and eventually would forge a friendship with, out of familiarity. Only with Ste, it wasn't just about his banter and his constant insistence of getting the round in, sometimes before you'd even arrived, it went much deeper.

Steve was something of a father figure to me, and I know that many others had a similar closeness to him. He was one of those people who made you feel safe, made sure you got home safe, and had that old-school gentlemanliness about him.

Oftentimes, I'd go to visit him and as I walked through the door, he'd walk to the mantelpiece tapping a twenty-pound note, and say "There's your taxi fare home" and I'd always joke and say "Charming, I've only just got here!" But I knew what he meant and the same scenario would always play out, whereby I'd say I wasn't taking the money because I didn't need it but the next day I'd be looking for something in my handbag, or a coat pocket, and he'd have snuck it in somewhere while I was in the loo. Bless him. He just loved to feel like he was taking care of you.

In fact, it was this caring nature that genuinely helped pull me back from some of my darkest times, as Steve would often just know what you needed and how to make you feel better. Just by being himself. He accepted people for who they were, without judgment or conditions. So long as you weren't bitchy or mean to others, his friendship and his loyalty and his support was yours for life.

The support he gave to the bands he staged all came from his own pocket, making sure they were looked after, had drinks, cigs and pizza, and of course, taxis home. Often the parties continued back at his house where he made the best chip butties, from a proper chip pan of course. And over the years the roll call of lodgers he took in constantly astounds me, each time somebody new says that they lived with him for a while, too.

We all miss Steve's presence in our lives. On the wider scale, some folk miss seeing him knocking about at gigs, such was his friendliness toward everyone he recognised, as well as new faces he welcomed into the fold; and those of us more fortunate to have been like family with him, miss his regular daft phone calls, the jokes and Facebook statuses, and sometimes repetitive but nonetheless entertaining anecdotes. In that vein, I suppose it is hard to be sad that we've lost him, because ultimately, we have been so blessed and fortunate to have had a Steve Shy in our lives. I mean, imagine sharing a planet with eight billion people at the same time he was alive, and the vast majority of those people NEVER encountered his magical presence?

I guess that's why I was compelled to preserve his legacy, from those initial stages of filming him, before he was at the end of his end of life, to as far as it's gone now, and beyond.

So, where is all of this going?

In the here and now I am looking for funding and sponsorship to enable me to be able to continue these events; I am also making plans toward returning to the documentary I started to make in 2019 as well as making a start on a publication in a similar vein of Shy Talk, where I can platform grassroots artists of all genres, in conjunction with the events.

In the longer term I am striving for all of this to lead to some sort of foundation formed in Steve's memory, be that either in the physical realm as a rehearsal and/or learning centre for struggling musicians and other creatives, or a grant they can apply for in his name. That, to me, would be the true meaning of a fully-cemented legacy.

Either way, this is just the beginning of the journey for the ShyTalk Legacy project.

Thank you for reading,

Yvette xxx


Steve (and I) enjoying a shandy in Gullivers, approx. July 2022.

We didn't know it at the time but this was his last trip to his much-loved pub where we'd forged our, and many other wonderful friendships.

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