“Get Down” by STEPHEN SIMMONDS (Diesel)
I was in my first year at uni when this gem was released late in 1998, and GLR (my favourite station at the time) had it in heavy rotation.
Given GLR’s slightly elitist bent, that’s probably one reason it wasn’t a hit… but the mad conspiracy theorist in me has another. He reckons the powers that be felt the British public could only cope with one black Swedish soul singer at a time. And since Eagle-Eye Cherry already had that gig, Steve had to take the fall. Sad, really, ‘cos it was a cool tune – driven by a groove kind of reminiscent of Omar in his more esoteric moments (and there were times when Stephen’s voice reminded you of Omar too).
I got to interview Stephen at the time this single was released, and found him to be quite a wise, level-headed bloke – impressions that were confirmed when I then saw him sing live at Sound in Leicester Square. I hope he’s still making music, because we need more free spirits like his around.