Critical Error

Critical Error were a wonderful psychedelic acoustic rock band. They formed in Exeter, Devon in 1985. Critical Error songs typically ranged from the alluringly whimsical to the furiously vitriolic. Their live performances are treasured memories where the music was compelling. The crowd would sit and listen, spellbound, rather than forming a mosh pit and going crazy.

Listening to the beautiful creations of Critical Error again, more than three decades later, it is clear they were an incredibly talented and well drilled unit. We admired them back in the day and appreciate, with the benefit of hindsight, just how amazing their songs and musical skills were.

Their classic live lineup featured Rosie Mullin on voice and tambourine, Steve Mavin on voice and acoustic guitar, Aidan Whiteley on lead acoustic guitar and Allan Veal on bass. There was no drummer, which remained a strong USP of the band throughout their live career.

A galaxy of stars make guest appearances on the band’s eponymous album. These guest musicians were all respected virtuosos and known names on the scene. They were all regular performers in various other bands and were happy to come and lend a hand, such was the regard Critical Error were held in. To be able to hear these songs once again after many years, performed by masters of their musical craft at the top of their game, is a great honour and a real pleasure.

Beneath the glossy surface of Critical Error’s apparent gentle acoustic meanderings lie some truly dark lyrics. These themes can have a sharp bite for the casual listener, whose wandering attention may suddenly focus during a song. The band’s members suffered some terrible personal tragedies, which became the inspiration for some of their songs.

Sadly, Steve Mavin passed away in March 1999 after a long, long battle with numerous complex health problems. He was just 47.

Rosie recently set up a facebook group called Remembering The Fabulous Steve Mavin. Feel free to click here or on the link below and join in, especially if you knew Steve.