According to Q magazine, after leaving the band Mason was so deep in debt at one point that he was forced to take a second job on a building site. The singer was also crippled by a depression that only recently lifted.
Mason released solo material as King Biscuit Time, including two EPs on Regal Records and one album on No Style Records, an imprint of Alan McGee’s Poptonesrecord label. Mason has also worked under the name Black Affair, and has released one album under this pseudonym on V2 Records.
On 19 April 2009, The Sunday Times reported that Mason was working on a new album with the record producer, Richard X. This album, Boys Outside, was released in March 2010 and is the first album under Mason’s own name. The first single, “All Come Down”, was released as a download at the end of November 2009.
Q gave the album a 4/5 rating. According to Rob Fearn, the album “relocates Mason in a grand tradition of indie boys doing idiosyncratic electronic pop, a line stretching back through Hot Chip, New Order, Talk Talk and Brian Eno”. Fearn argued that the album, “totally different from what he did in King Biscuit Time and Black Affair”, might be seen as a “welcome return to a stripped-down songcraft”. It is “…not just a work that can finally measure up to [Beta Band’s] The Three EPs, but is a sign of a “bold new start”, according to the critic.
- Steve Mason, Glasgow ABC (susanlemay.wordpress.com)
- Review: Steve Mason at The Institute in Birmingham (coventrytelegraph.net)