Welcome to this weeks newsletter! Last week we reflected on the 1980 ‘My Mind Goes Round In Circles’ tour and the live recording of the first show of the tour at The Venue in London. Thank you to everyone who listened to the performance on YouTube, and got in touch demanding we release the entire concert on vinyl or CD forthwith! We shall certainly consider adding it to the up coming release schedule. Please let us know what format you may prefer, and hopefully there will be enough demand to put together an exciting package. The interest in the archival story of Squire has been a nice surprise, and has prompted a deeper dig into the vaults to satisfy everyone’s curiosity.
Squire were honoured to be the first band of the 1979 'mod revival' to release a single. Get Ready To Go came out in March 1979, as the A-side of the first of a sequence of releases from the Rok label, with the catalogue number ROK1. The flipside was a completely unconnected band called Coming Shortly with their track Doing The Flail (ROK2).
The song was recorded during a four song session in October 1978 at Chestnut Studios, an 8-track studio located in a converted cowshed in Wishanger Lane, Churt, deep in the Surrey countryside about 60 miles south of London. The studio served as the only affordable facility for miles around and attracted all the local bands. The studio was owned by Tim Wheatley who was also in house engineer. For ‘tech heads’ it had a 1-inch Scully tape machine, Allen & Heath desk and plate echo! He designed his studio in the early 70s so it had a very dry sound, the trend at the time, which is evident on all the recordings made there. For instance, a few weeks before Squire’s session, The Cure, (who were on the same label as The Purple Hearts, Fiction Records!), recorded their 4-track demo at Chestnut, which included Boys Don’t Cry and Fire In Cairo on 27th May 1978, and Squire returned to Chestnut Studios in 1982 to record Girl On A Train. All the recordings carry a recognisable ambiance.
Anthony, Enzo, Steve and Ross rehearsed the songs in their familiar rehearsal space, the basement room at Horsell Village Hall in Woking,
The tracks chosen to record were Modern Love, written by Enzo & Steve, and Get Ready To Go, Getting Better and Livin In The City, and they were recorded in that order. The backing tracks were recorded with the band performing together live in the room, followed by guitar then vocal overdubs, during an eight-hour session.
The tape of monitor mixes, before the final balancing, so no reverb and guitars hard panned; Steve on left, Anthony on right, reveals the rough edge punk leanings of Squire’s 4-piece band sound. The casual banter before `Modern Love’, false starts of ‘Get Ready To Go’ and ‘Getting Better’ and the obvious sonic references before the start of ‘Livin’ In The City’ point to a band finding a way to fit the existing identity to the new songs, and getting used to the scrutiny of the recording process. The original lyric of ‘Getting Better’ has been simplified to a ‘lonely / no future’ narrative to match the frenetic punk attitude of the accompaniment.
Tapes of the finally mixed songs were sent off to venues and labels in London hoping to attract interest, and Rok Records approached Squire to release the track as part of a single series. The song was not only picked as the first single, but Squire were also invited to perform at the launch party under the Charing Cross arches, the venue that later became Global Village, where Squire played later in the year.
This picture of Squire, in Trafalgar Square, London for the launch of the ‘Get Ready To Go’ single in early March 1979, finds them standing together with all the other bands on the single series and shows them wearing Harrington’s and sta prest! (and white socks, loafers and button downs!)
Within a year the band had evolved to the line up that recorded the I-Spy singles and ‘My Mind Goes Round In Circles’, but this original sound was an important first step, and these first recordings stand as the signpost to the bands later trajectory, and remain part of the many sounds of Squire. Indeed the song ‘Get Ready To Go’ continues to be a firm favourite alongside the later material.
Here is a video of the rough mix of the band playing Getting Better, a much faster and looser version than the recording on the Get Ready To Go Album!
We have compiled a special playlist on YouTube that contains highlights of all the songs recorded on the day in October 1978 at Chestnut studios, Modern Love, Get Ready To Go, Getting Better and Livin’ In The City – Squires first ever recording session! Click on the picture below to hear the session!
Last year we re-released the ‘Get Ready To Go’ single, in coloured vinyl, to commemorate the anniversary of the recording, and the accompanying ‘Get Ready To Go!’ album, released on CD, vinyl and cassette, contains the embryonic material that Squire rehearsed along side these tracks recorded during this first group recording session! You can find a few copies of this gem still available here via the picture below.
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