HISTORY PAGE

THE HISTORY OF AIREBEAT RECORDS

Airebeat Records was formed as a local label in Leeds in northern England in early 1978, the name being derived from the river running through the centre of the city. The initial objective was to record and release a single by newly formed band "The Squares" in order to promote the band into independent charts, such as existed back then, with the ultimate goal being to secure the band a nationwide and beyond recording deal.

"No Fear", was released locally and beyond as a seven inch with picture sleeve on vinyl. It was put into local shopswhere it sold heavily. The band played a series of gigs to promote it and local radio play with interviews resulted. National distribution was obtained through Lightning and Rough Trade and the single was played on Radio One by John Peel. This was enough to secure the band a recording deal with American label Sire Records; the home of bands such as "The Ramones" and "Talking  Heads".

Due to the success of that project, other local artists came forward interested in further possible releases. These were necessarily limited as funding was always a problem. Some planned releases never saw the light of day. One example was a recording by all-girl group "The Straits", who were touring with "The Tom Robinson Band" at the time), being allocated a catalogue number number, (in this case "abt2"), yet the single was never pressed. Nevertheless a small catalogue was built up.

There were also later recordings by "The Squares", (some of which were released), under the name "The Bright Carvers", and others which similarly were never issued for release. Hence the planned production and release of two CDs containing these recordings.

The current remit is to make some of the original singles which have survived unplayed and in mint condition, available to collectors and the public alike, as well as to release previously unissued songs; and to provide an outlet for newer compositions and recordings, (see "Planned Releases").



THE SQUARES BIOGRAPHY

The Squares were formed in early 1978 in the city of Leeds in the north of England. Patrick Hogan and Kevin Bates had been friends since school. They had previously been in a four piece playing on the local circuit and around northern England with the sets featuring their songs. Patrick sang lead and harmony vocals and played bass guitar. Kevin sang lead and harmony, and played lead and rhythm guitar. They both wrote the songs. But always separately.

Lead guitarist, Brian Hogan, joined and suggested a different more upbeat type of set that was more in tune with what was happening in London, as well as a different look. A fresh new set of songs was written, (mainly by Patrick), and quickly rehearsed. Brian was also the impetus behind recording a self-financed single.

A lot of the released songs bear more than one writing credit, but this was more of a democratic decision rather than a reflection of the contribution of the actual writer.

Without a drummer at that time, exhaustive auditions were held, but no one seemed to fit the bill. The new songs required vibrant energetic beats to match a frenetic high tempo set. In the end, Kevin decided to play drums until the right person was found. This meant that the band was now a three piece; and bass and guitar would be very busy to fill any gaps. Vocals were down to lead and harmony only, instead of three-part. This probably added more of a raw edge anyway, and took the sound a step further away from polished pop.

A single was quickly recorded in less than three hours at a local studio. The resulting recording, 'No Fear', was released on local label Airebeat records, and most of the copies pressed were sold: a lot of them at packed out concerts. Half the pressing was sold to national distributors, 'Lightning' and 'Rough Trade', based in London. The single attracted local radio play and a couple of interviews on Radio Leeds. John Peel played the single one night on Radio 1 and it was heard by Sire Records President Seymour Stein. He obtained a copy from Rough Trade.

After this, he contacted the band. The single was in the Independent chart top 40. He was looking for a UK band to promote to coincide with Sire's new distribution deal with Warner Bros. So only 3 months after the formation of The Squares, the band had a recording deal.

'No Fear' was re-recorded in Air studios in London, produced by Tommy Ramone of The Ramones, (real name Tommy Erdelyi). Another track, 'Magic Love', was also recorded there, and later released on the Sire sampler album 'The Sire Machine Turns You up'.. 'No Fear' was released in September 1978 with the original Airebeat 'B' side recording of 'Nobody's Fool'. It was not promoted very well.

A second single was recorded in January 1979 at Rockfield studios in Wales, and produced by Hugh Jones. It featured the songs 'Stop Being A Boy' and 'This Is Airebeat''. Sire records' big mistake here was in not being able to decide which song should be the 'A' side. So unconventionally at the time, it became a double 'A' side. This caused confusion at the radio stations. It received heavy local play throughout the country and many plays on Radio 1 in the first couple of weeks of release, but different programmes played different sides of the disc.

It was reviewed by the national music press like New Musical Express and Record Mirror, again citing different songs. To all intents and purposes, it looked like the band had two singles out at the same time. Anne Nightingale made 'This Is Airebeat' her record of the week in the national newspaper the Sunday Express, whereas, most radio stations tended to play 'Stop Being A Boy'.

To promote the single, the band went on tour with The Undertones, who were similarly promoting 'Jimmy Jimmy' at the same time. There were extensive adverts in the music press for The Squares' itinerary, as the tour carried on after the Undertones had finished, with The Squares headlining. By this time, the band had reverted back to a four piece with John Shepard on drums. Kevin played guitar and keyboards, as he had done on the recordings. The highlight of the tour was a gig at London 's famous Marquee club.

The Squares' second single sold quite well as a result of the local and national radio plays and the tour - it sold out in Leeds in one hour. But the distribution was not well organised. After the opening concert at Barbarella's in central Birmingham the day before release, it was not available in any of the main stores the next day. An opportunity not capitalised upon after a packed gig in England's second largest city.

The Squares went on to record more songs for Sire records that summer with a view to releasing an album, but though the songs were given catalogue numbers, and the artwork was accepted for the third single, mysteriously none of them were released.

Disillusioned with the lack of support, the band left the label and carried on writing and recording songs and touring for quite a few years afterwards. Notably they debuted their single ,Buddy Holly', with a television appearance on Yorkshire TV's prime evening slot 'Calendar' programme, with an introduction from Richard Whiteley. This record attracted the interest of Paul McCartney's MM music, who held a 'Buddy Holly' Week in London every year to celebrate the dead singer's music. Brian and Patrick were interviewed at a live festival by Capital radio in London before the single was played.

In recent times, Patrick and Kevin have been writing and performing Irish style music throughout venues around England, whilst Patrick continues to write and record his own songs. Brian is no longer involved in music.

Patrick still intends to put a band together to play at his local Leeds' annual Chapel Allerton festival, (first Saturday in September). One day it might actually happen.

PATRICK HOGAN

Patrick first began in music by joining three school friends to form a band. They were aged fifteen. Phil Cockerham was already an accomplished lead guitarist, and he became the driving force behind the band, that went under several names. They began at school dances and graduated to the pub scene. Later, they carried on as a three piece in workingmen's clubs, after Phil left.

The Squares were born in 1978 when, under Brian's (Phil's replacement) inspiration, the band changed their name and most of their songs. They had already recorded three tracks at a local studio, and one of those, 'Nobody's Fool', was used as the B–side for the new single that they quickly recorded. 'No Fear' was released in March 1978, and quickly picked up sales and attention, netting them a recording deal.

Patrick was now the bass player, lead singer, and principal songwriter, as Kevin had had to take up drums because nobody suitable could be found for that demanding role. Their music could loosely be described as power pop, and they were originally signed to American label Sire Records, the label on which they released several recordings; and later others of Patrick's compositions on local label Airebeat Records. In between that one, Brian's song 'Buddy Holly' was re–released by the Hype record label, using independent distribution. By this time, Ray Fensome had joined on guitar and Tim Mills on drums. It was in this guise that the band made their appearance on Yorkshire TV's evening news programme, 'Calendar', in 1981.

Brian and Patrick continued to play and record together over the years, if sporadically. For one year, they even did a Saturday night residency at the Regent, in Leeds with Kevin, until Kevin opted to go back into playing Irish clubs at the weekends. They released other recordings, but used the name the Bright Carvers, (inspired by Mervyn Peake's 'Titus Groan').

In 2005, Kevin asked Patrick to join him in a duo to play in the Irish clubs, mainly in the north of England. They named it 'Blue Horizon'. The gigs continued regularly, until other commitments caused them to play the last one, at the Balby club in Doncaster in December 2012.

This gave Patrick the impetus to write and perform his own material to fit into the type of music these clubs catered for. And due to that, he is currently recording his first solo album of self–penned Celtic melodic type songs, and is now tentatively airing some of these new songs, live and solo. Ironically, they are being produced by old friend, Phil Cockerham, after a chance meeting at one of Phil's folk gigs (see Forthcoming Releases).

It is envisaged to be the first of other planned releases.

Patrick also be published his first novel, 'First Plane Out' as a Kindle electronic book on Amazon in July, 2016. It is a comedy drama set in Bradford and Corfu, and can be read on any device or tablet using the free Kindle app: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/digital/fiona/kcp-landing-page  or downloaded from here:

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Plane-Out-Sydney-Blockett-ebook/dp/B01HX2Y1MA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1470390923&sr=1-1&keywords=first+plane+out

Or checked out at a dedicated Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/PatrickHoganFirstPlaneOut/

He expects to be publishing more after that one. Some stories first ('The Lottery Winner' was released early August, 2016 – see the ‘Releases’ page for updates), and then the follow up novel 'First Plane Back'.

He has also written a play 'Not A Care In The World', which has been submitted to West Yorkshire Playhouse for its first reading.



KEVIN BATES

Kevin began his musical education with piano lessons at the age of seven. Along with Patrick and Phil Cockerham, (both his classmates at St Thomas Aquinas Grammar school in Leeds), they formed a band at the ages of fifteen. Patrick and Kevin would later go on to form 'The Squares', along with Patrick's brother Brian.

Phil is currently an active live performing folk artist with three released albums to date (see philcockerham.com).

After playing several local gigs and school dances, Phil left to form his own band, Jobe St Day, which concentrated on more heavy type music, and was relatively successful for a while.

Kevin was a major songwriter in The Squares, along with Patrick. Brian contributed the occasional song, but was more concerned with the sound of the band and the arrangements, as well as the dynamics of the live set.

Kevin quit The Squares in 1979, after the tour following the Rockfield studios recordings of 'Stop Being A Boy' and 'This Is Airebeat'. He had become disenchanted with having to play drums and tour, when he wanted to settle down and have a quiet life. He did return for the occasional gig though.

Although he gave up touring, he did join a band called 'The Cascades' around 1980, playing keyboards and singing Irish/Country type music around the clubs and pubs, and he found himself racking up two or three gigs every week-end plus other special occasions. Along with a full time job, this workload took its toll, and the band split around 1985.

For short while Brian, Kevin, and Patrick played as a trio at a Saturday residency in a pub in Leeds, and recreated their original three-part harmony sound, performing some original songs, but also a variety of covers.

Kevin then reunited with former 'Cascades' front man, John Ford, to form a duo called 'Misty Blue', and the rounds of week-end and special occasions gigs began again. They even played at the christening of Patrick's daughter Eloise, in September 2000. They were very busy and much in demand until, John eventually moved back to Ireland in 2005.

It was then that Kevin asked Patrick to take his place to continue with the live work, and he did so. They played most week-ends and at other times until other commitments caused them to stop in December 2012.



BRIAN HOGAN

When Phil Cockerham left, Patrick and Kevin to pursue a different musical direction. They carried on gigging as a three-piece for a year with Alistair Atkinson on drums. At this time, Brian was completing his degree studies in London, and occasionally popping up to play lead guitar at gigs. When he returned to Leeds, he joined the band full time. It wasn't long before his experiences of punk and pub rock in London caused him to rethink the band's whole outlook in terms of type of music, dress sense, self promotion, etc. It was his idea to concentrate more on power pop with a heavy edge, and most of the live songs were ditched and a new set written.

It was also his idea to record a single and release it with a picture sleeve. It was this move that clinched the band's first record deal with Sire records.

After the Sire years, Brian and Patrick continued to record and play together, releasing recordings as 'The Squares' or later as 'The Bright Carvers'. Patrick had moved to guitar and Brian Clark had joined to play bass; with Dave Lee on drums. Dave later played with various bands, including 'The Ukrainians', who were formed by an ex member of 'Wedding Present'.

Brian and Patrick also teamed up occasionally with old band member and friend Kevin Bates.

The last line–up of The SquaresAfter the Sire years, (apart from Patrick and Brian) After the Sire years, included Andy Rawson and Stef Khachaturian After the Sire years. The last gig was played on November 23rd at the Lockwood in HuddersfieldAfter the Sire years. This was less than a week before Patrick's only child Eloise was born After the Sire years, and he wanted to take time off. So too did Brian, who was nearly electrocuted by a live mike stand during this performance.

Brian's son Declan is following in his footsteps. Declan Hogan currently plays bass with indie band Klein Schweine.

Paddy Hogan playing at a venue in Burley Leeds. Click to get a centered picture in the screen.

Paddy Hogan playing at a venue in Burley Leeds. Click to get a centered picture in the screen.

Paddy Hogan playing at a venue in Burley Leeds. Click to get a centered picture in the screen.

Paddy Hogan's image on the cover of No Fear. Click to get a centered picture in the screen.

Paddy Hogan and Brian Hogan on the way to a rehearsal. Click to get a centered picture in the screen.