Hi, I am Steve McAndrew (Symi Rock) and I am an experienced guitarist/vocalist/Songwriter/Lyricist currently residing in Linlithgow Bridge, West Lothian, Scotland having been born in
Kirkcaldy, Fife in October 1956.
My primary instruments are vocals and guitar of which I am self taught, having been originally classically taught the trumpet at school.
I started gigging around my home town of Burntisland and neighbouring Kinghorn and Kirkcaldy in the mid 1970's in various bands (see the biography page for further info) before gigging further afield around Scotland as a solo performer (guitar/vocals) where I performed a selection of covers, alongside a substantial amount of self penned original material. I toured Europe on two occasions, playing in Holland, Denmark and Greece and have had my compositions played on both local Scottish radio (Radio Forth, Radio Borders, Scot FM and Central FM), as well as national radio (BBC Radio 1 on The Friday Rock Show!). On one occasion I played a forty five minute support slot to ASWAD at Paisley Town Hall that was a good gig and was the biggest PA I have ever played through to date. Aswad were great and their professionalism shone through!
My wife and I regularly visited the absolutely paradisaical island of Symi in Greece (23 miles North of Rhodes) from 1996 until 2017, when we were fortunate enough to be able to relocate here. It is the location where the photos below were taken, and the inspiration for my songs Symi Wind (a song that I feel will strike a chord on the heart strings of every person who loves the island!), Dancing In The Bow Wave (inspired from a magical day when a pod of dolphins joined us on a round the island trip on the Triton excursion boat and put on a great show), St Gorgios (the majestic rocky mountainous cliff face backed aquamarine/turquoise bay on the East coast of Symi island) and Aegli (a song written and based on the long retired hydrofoil that was our chariot between Rhodes - Symi - Rhodes on so many occasions).
I would like to express my deepest love to my darling wife Linda for introducing me to the idyllic and wonderful place that is Symi, something that we can never get enough of and that we are fortunate enough to be able to enjoy on a daily basis. Although it can get cold, wet and windy over the winter, we were used to Scotland so it is more than bearable!!!
I released my first album containing Symi inspired material entitled Symi Wind in 2004, so named as it contained the aforementioned song Symi Wind. The additional tracks on the album are material I held from previous sessions and as a result, they are not born of Symi inspiration.
I do however intend to re-visit a project I initially commenced on my first visit to Symi in 1997, the writing of a complete album of conceptual songs about the island. I initially started working on the concept back in 2006 but ran out of steam and inspiration, mostly due to the avalanche of other collaborative Internet projects I became involved in. It has languished for many years with no additional progress and had the working title All Her Glory that has since morphed into Coming Home and I really must get back to furthering it's completion.
I have posted some samples from the project on the lyrics and sounds page that will give you a flavour of the love that I feel for the magical Dodecanese isle that is Symi.
Although I now play full solo amplified sets on a regular basis, there have been three that are highly memorable. The first was after having been invited to play at a 40th birthday party in April 2011, a fabulous gig made so much more special as I was playing an electric set on Symi for the first time and many thanks Rachael and guests for that. The second was on the occasion of my wife's birthday party celebration in September 2012, when we invited guests to join us on The Poseidon Excursion Boat and sailed to Taviri on Nimos Islet where we enjoyed the most legendary party and that to this day is still spoken about with such enthusiasm. (You can see for yourself here. The third occasion was when I played The Symi Festival in September 2013 and that I was so proud to have been invited to take part in and that I was so grateful for, as it provided me with such an excellent opportunity to give something back to the island that has provided Linda and I with so much joy.
Although currently suspended due to lack of time due to other commitments, you can read excerpts from my diary updates (and archives). As you can appreciate, there is a mass of work involved, although if the muse is not happening, it can't be forced!!
I extend my warmest love all my friends (past and present), including family and all the friends, both Symiot and otherwise that we have met on our many visits to Symi paradise, they being seriously, too many to mention, although just a few are...... Taxis, Eva ,Rula and Ike (Taxiarchis Apartments), my soul mate Giorgios (the accordion player and owner of Giorgio's Taverna - our regular eating haunt!!), with his supporting staff of Giorgio (the waiter and taxi-boat conductor!!) and Damiana, Yannis (the butcher of the upper town), Yannis (Rainbow), Lefteris and family (Kafenion), Wendy (Symi Visitor), Irene,Michailis and Family (St Nicholas Taverna), Nicoletta, Makis and the Triton crew, Captain Sostis and the Nicholaus crew, Hugo and the Hugoites, Jim (Popeye Man - as the Greeks call him!), the continuing ever-expanding circle, including Susan and Peter, Brian and Vera, Stuart (Guitar) and friends (good gigs!), The Pedi Posse (great to meet you all after sixteen visits to the island since 1997 and only the first visit to Pedi by night in September '04!!), The late Michael (guitar) and Lucy, Petros (accordion), Swedish Katerina, Swedish Maria, Alan and Diane, George and Julie Takis (Leather Shop), Tao (Mooring Man) and Pandora, Elpida and Yannis, the excellent artist Cobi Sanders, Pat (who has her first novel A Greek Summer available here) and her husband Andy, Dimitris (Architect), Kostas (Structural Engineer), Nondas (Guitarist), Lefteris (Bazouki) and Irini, more recently m y great friend Barry Hankey who is a very experienced walker on Symi (in addition to mainly Nissyros) and that I have had trhe pleasure of walking with a few times. Barry's web links are at https://barrysramblings.com/ , http://www.aartworld.com/photozehome.htm , and http://www.aartworld.com/GreekIslandWalkshome.htmthat Barry says haven't been updated for some time as he has been concentrating on his blog although great stuff anyway!
The site is the most comprehensive catalogue of all things I have done and continue to do as a musician whether it is via my biography, the technical info about my equipment and most importantly the complete page. There are also many images that I have accrued over many, many years and that really do need to be further updated with new additions, as the majority currently here are from many years ago!!!.
The site contains my sounds and lyrics page where you can see my many creations and contributions in the format of different projects and categories but also contains the most comprehensive and complete catalogue showing what my contribution was to the item, i.e. I wrote the lyrics, I wrote the song, played the guitar, sang etc, etc. It has taken a long time to compile and will remain a continually updated living record, expanded as and when I have written or been involved in anything new!
I was very heavily involved in a multitude of additional projects at the great Internet collaboration site at www.musicianscollaboration.com as is testified on my sounds page!If you want to find out what I did then register on the site and look for Symi Rock (formerly Pleasuredome) and all the projects are still there going back years!
Steve (Symi Rock)
Triton Excursion Boat
The Rainbow Bar (with Stuart) - Chorio