Welcome to the new Squire fan club newsletter!
Squire have just completed a fantastic UK tour during April, May and June, with Secret Affair, The Truth and headlining by ourselves. We met and spoke to so many people who reminisced about previously being members of the Fan Club back in the 1980s and they all urged us to re-establish a new forum to share information on new releases, tour dates, special news and other exciting and interesting things going on – so here we are at the first edition after a hugely long break, and I hope you will enjoy receiving these in the future. If you bought the vinyl edition of September Gurls (more about that later) you are probably holding a specially printed one off copy of the newsletter that’s been sent out with all the records, in the style of the original newsletter all that long ago!
Of course back in 1983, it was the postman who delivered the typed copy and this time it makes sense to send it by email. We have your email address because you bought Squire records recently. Of course if you don’t want to receive anything, you can immediately unsubscribe. On the other hand, if you know people who would love to receive news from Squire tell them to get in touch and we will add them to the list. We hope to continue with news every six weeks, so you won’t be bombarded by information, but I hope it will keep you up to date with what’s going on. And if you have any special interests or want to share stories, then please suggest items we can add to the news.
The first and obvious thing is that 2019 was the 40th Anniversary of the first Squire record release, Get Ready To Go, the Bridge House Mods Mayday live album which featured three Squire songs, and subsequently the I–Spy singles Walking Down The Kings Road and The Face Of Youth Today. At the same time Squire were part of the burgeoning mod scene and we were playing the various gigs and tours, from small pubs and clubs in London to wider tours, first with The Records in May 1979, and then with Secret Affair in June and then September – December 1979. Exciting times that captured the spirit of the Mod Revival alongside all the other bands of course, and then were all catapulted into the mainstream with the release of the movie Quadrophenia!
Well it seems that we’ve been just as busy this year! First with the live show in on March 31st Bangor, Northern Ireland, a welcome and always anticipated concert, and then with Secret Affair on their 40th Anniversary tour during April and May which took us across the country from Southampton to Glasgow and back, in particular the Mods Mayday event in London, and then finally celebrating the anniversary of Quadrophenia together with the original cast and The Truth on 1st June in Chesterfield! What amazed us was how many fans had seen us back in the 1980s, and there were some very surprising stories, for instance, the number of fans at the Carlisle date that had attended the Get Smart record signing in Bowness-on-Windermere in 1983!
The people who had every single release and bought along all the records for signing; fans who had waited 40 years to see us! and just as encouraging, the new fans who had discovered us directly by hearing the records on radio or on line, Facebook forums, or though someone else’s records collection and were seeing us for the first time!
The band have been amazing on the tour, Anthony played his blue 12 string Rickenbacker and sound rang out, giving Squire that vibrant pop jangle that makes the band as a three piece stand out like there’s a million guitars! Alongside Anthony was the welcome return of Jon, who played bass on Get Smart and September Gurls, and adds the vital harmonies that are key to the songs live performance. Of course if you had seen Squire since the 1999 Mods Mayday you may ask well last time I saw Squire it was James on bass and Kevin on drums, what’s happened?? Well James is never far away! He has expanded his role at Soho Radio so you can catch his exciting Soho Garage show from 2-4pm live every Friday, and again on Mixcloud. He has some amazing guests and live sessions, is an oracle, knowledgeable historian and raconteur about all music and all things Soho - and he plays fantastic records, including Squire! He is also playing with Wendy James, Transvision Vamp, and Moto Vamp, and will be guesting with Squire on selected future dates, and on record, expanding his role on guitar and keyboards. We are also welcoming Ray into Squire at his time while Kevin is unfortunately too unwell to play live. We hope he gets well enough soon. Ray had previously played alongside Jon in their band Drums & Wires and is a perfect fit, as everyone who saw us on tour would agree. The revised line up has added a new vitality and vibrancy to the songs played live, and also because of everyone’s availability, has allowed Squire to play dates further afield than we would previously have been able to consider. And on that note, if anyone would like to see Squire play live in their area, please put us in touch with your local promoter because we are keen to play!
So 40 years on and Squire is almost as busy as we were in the beginning. And this is because there are new records! Yes, finally September Gurls has been re-released, but not only in its original format of mini album, but has been extended into a full album, The new five songs were written at the same time as the originals, Debbie Jones and Can You Tell Me When, but never made it onto record. The new recording sessions gave us a perfect opportunity to revisit songs from the same era and spirit, and they were also performed and recorded in exactly the same way as the original tracks, using analogue tape and mixing desk, and I think they retain the same kind of feel and mod / power pop ethos as the original songs, Indeed, Circular Motion has already been earmarked as a possible future single release! The album was released not only on CD, but also on vinyl, as a special limited edition of 150 red, as well as 150 black vinyl records.
The popularity of the traditional format is such that, we have to take our turn at the pressing plant alongside the major labels and unfortunately it meant that the record delivery was delayed by a precious 2 weeks… which felt longer than the original 35 years since the original release…. Nevertheless, here it is, with a fantastic sleeve designed by Paul Bevoir, who also designed the Eight Miles High 7 inch single from 2015, and of course, played in Squire at the 1999 Mods Mayday event at the Forum in London, and guested on various dates in California in 1985, and also performed with Anthony and Ed Ball and Simon in Boys About Town (where we also performed the song The Reasons Why live on radio in San Francisco in 1985). So Squire remains a big happy family!
So what’s next for Squire? Well, to celebrate our 40 years we are going to release a further 7-inch record, already in production, and news of that will come in the next newsletter, and together with that there are two further LP projects in the pipeline. So this summer, we are all hard at work recording new tracks for what I hope will be a long anticipated release. On stage, Squire are already booked to play in London on 31st August, and have 3 dates, and hopefully more, with From The Jam in November. This is an exciting combination, because Squire’s first date with Anthony was supporting The Jam at the Guildford Civic Hall in May 1978, many of the songs played at the 1979 Mods Mayday were already in that set, as can be seen from the set list in the Hits From 3000 Years Ago CD release booklet. So we’re half way through 2019, and already looking forward to a procession of new releases and live dates to keep us busy. And we truly hope that 2020 will continue to see the band grow in stature and reputation! We already have live dates penciled in for next year and you will find plenty of exciting news as we update you on new records and other projects planned for the future.
You can find Squire records on Bandcamp, directly from Facebook to this website and on Amazon. You will also be able to buy other items such as Tee shirts, badges, and some extremely rare items we’ve uncovered, such as a few original Get Smart posters and Does Stephanie Know flexi discs, and we will add other interesting items as and if we find them.
You can also help us to understand what you are particularly interested in, for instance archive recordings of previous concerts or videos. On top of all this Anthony’s solo works, previously unavailable outside Japan are due for re-release and combined with that is a fascinating catalogue of promo material we have uncovered that contextualizes not only the songs, but for Japanese fans, interviews and items in Japanese!
You can get in touch with Squire at the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Facebook / Squire, or on the Squire Facebook fan page. There is also the website Squirenet.co.uk and Hilorecords.co.uk.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at a gig sometime. Please introduce yourself, bring records for signing or get a photo, we love to meet everyone!