Musician, tutor and performer

Born: September 9, 1946;

Died : October 10, 2019

DAVID Adam Stevenson, known to many as ‘Steve’, who has died aged 73, made rich and varied contributions to the cultural life of Glasgow throughout his lifetime, across many fields.

Born in Shetland, he was adopted at the age of three and brought up in Cambuslang and East Kilbride. He attended the prestigious Hamilton Academy and upon completing school, his love of art and architecture, as well as mathematics, found an outlet when he went to work with the well-known firm of architects, Keppie, Henderson and Partners.

His creative streak found an outlet in performing music, and in 1969 during the folk revival he sang with the trio HMS (Henry, Moira and Steve) with friends Moira Craig and Henry McPherson. They performed traditional songs to David’s guitar accompaniment and in an acapella setting. The group performed at folk clubs and the Aberfeldy Folk Festival.

With these same friends, David got involved with the Whitehills Theatre Group in East Kilbride, based at The Byre Theatre. A performance of Wind in the Willows saw David take on the role of Toad, while Moira Craig played Mole.

Later, David’s career moved to a new phase when he worked as a tutor at the University of Strathclyde, teaching and demonstrating technical drawing and computer aided design.

Around this time, 1974, he also joined the Strathclyde Theatre Group (STG), when they took their epic production of The Golden City to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning a Fringe First award. David was to go on to act, direct and design many performances over more than 30 years with the group.

In 1976, a production involving David called Whaur’s yer Willie Wallace Noo also featured the acting talents of a young Peter Capaldi.

In a performance of Lysistrata for STG, David created a scene for a dead hero which featured the choral refrain ‘it wasn’t the cough that carried him off, it was the coffin they carried him off in’ repeated with increasing vigour to the point of hilarity.

STG’s activities also extended to anarchic street theatre revues, and David wrote and created the Great Hot Custard Reply which delighted audiences around the pavements of the city. Only later did the company learn that the unusual title was in fact an anagram of Strathclyde Theatre Group.

David met Aileen Ackland through their work with STG and they married in 1981, initially living at a flat in Hotspur Street, then later on the Boturich Estate in Balloch. They separated in 1987 and divorced in 1989, but remained on good terms and stayed in touch.

In 2012, David featured prominently when STG took part in a Sky TV series Nation’s Best Am Dram.

Singing was another outlet for David’s creativity; he joined the Voicebeat world music choir in 2007 at a time when attendance was low. He quietly encouraged other singers and supported the group by becoming ‘quartermaster’, ensuring supplies of refreshments and materials were always on hand.

It was during his time with Voicebeat that he took part in a songwriting project about the Kelvingrove Bandstand, and came up with the song Fizzing on a Friday Night all about Glasgow’s fondness for drinking and carousing.

Later, David was a founding member of Govanhill Voices choir, supporting and encouraging singers to take part in the group.

Another of his passions was model railways, and he was a member of Glasgow and South Western Railway Association and the Model Railway Club. This chimed with his interest in local history and architecture. Among his plans was a recreation of the former Gallowgate train station, which is mentioned in TS Eliot’s poem Skimbleshanks. David thoroughly researched Eliot’s life to ascertain whether he had ever visited the area.