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Steve "h" Hogarth

Steve Hogarth onstage at Marillion's weekend festival in Montreal Canada, April 2009.
Background information
Also known as h
Born 14 May 1959 (1959-05-14) (age 50)
Kendal, England, United Kingdom
Genres New Wave, Art rock, Neo-progressive rock, Pop
Instruments Vocals, Piano
Years active 1980–present
Labels Racket Records
Associated acts The Europeans
How We Live
Marillion
Website stevehogarth.com

Steve Hogarth (born Ronald Stephen Hoggarth[1] on 14 May 1959[2][3] in Kendal, Westmorland) also known as "h", is vocalist with the British Progressive Rock band Marillion. Hogarth was formerly a keyboard player and co-lead vocalist with The Europeans and vocalist with How We Live.

Contents

Early life

Hogarth’s father was an engineer in the British Merchant Navy. He was brought up on a council estate in Doncaster from the age of two. As a child he became interested in music, his earliest influences being The Beatles and The Kinks. He taught himself to play piano. Leaving school at the age of eighteen, Hogarth spent three years studying for a degree in electrical engineering at Trent Polytechnic. He was also a member of a band during this time, Harlow, who played working men's clubs. The band split in 1981 and Hogarth left his engineering degree, moving to London to further his music career.[4]

Career

Through an advertisement in the music press, Hogarth joined a band called Motion Pictures, who were subsequently renamed The Europeans. Initially joining just as a keyboard player, Hogarth also ended up sharing the vocal duties with Ferg Harper. Signed to A&M Records, The Europeans released two studio albums and one live album. On the first studio album, Hogarth sang just one track. By the second studio album, he sang five of the eight tracks.

In 1985, Hogarth and guitarist Colin Woore left the band to form How We Live, The duo were signed to Columbia Records. In 1987, following record company changes, How We Live's debut album Dry Land was poorly promoted, resulting in a flop. Hogarth imagined he would have to leave the music industry - for a time seriously considering becoming a milkman or postman (as he later related) - but a meeting with his publishers (and a certain amount of matchmaking by long time friend, Darryl Way, sometime of Curved Air) persuaded him to send a tape to Marillion, who were recruiting for a new lead vocalist following the departure of Fish in late 1988.

Marillion heard the tape and were interested enough to ask for a meeting with the singer. Later accounts of this first meeting record that Hogarth turned up at band member Pete Trewavas' house with his demo tapes contained in a red plastic fire bucket - the audition taking place in Trewavas' garage, due to the presence in the house of cats (see below). The band were immediately impressed by his vocal prowess. Hogarth himself, however, took a little longer to make up his mind, holding as he did at the time a potentially lucrative offer to tour the U.S. on keyboards with The The. In the end he accepted the Marillion gig, won over by the fact that Marillion wanted an equal partner who would input his own ideas.

Hogarth's first album with the band, released in September 1989, was Seasons End, their fifth studio album. Since then, Marillion have recorded another eleven albums with Hogarth on vocals, the most recent (as of early 2010) being Less Is More (album).

Hogarth has also released one solo studio album under the name 'h' called Ice Cream Genius. This album had contributions from ex-Japan/ Porcupine Tree synthesiser/keyboard maestro Richard Barbieri, former XTC guitarist Dave Gregory, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, bassist Chucho Merchan and percussionist Luis Jardim.

Subsequently, Hogarth's side-project, The H-Band, has played live across the UK and Europe featuring a variety of musicians, including former Stone Roses MKII guitarist Aziz Ibrahim, Massive Attack and The Bays drummer Andy Gangadeen, session musician Jingles on bass, Aziz's regular musical partner Dalbir Singh Rattan on tablas and Stephanie Sobey-Jones on cello. With Barbieri and Gregory, this line up recorded a double album entitled Live Spirit: Live Body in 2001 (released in 2002). Writing for a forthcoming second solo studio album occurred in December 2004.

Most recently, a solo tour entitled 'h Natural' saw Hogarth play around 20 dates in both the UK and Europe in Spring / Summer 2006, billed as an evening of music and conversation with Hogarth at the piano. Summer 2007 has seen a second clutch of these shows scheduled. These shows are being mixed and released for download, one at a time and for a limited period only, on Hogarth's new H-Tunes site.

Hogarth is violently allergic to cats - first learning this when hospitalised as a child after visiting a Liverpudlian Auntie "...whose house was full of 'em!"

Solo discography

  • 1997: Ice Cream Genius
  • 1998: Ice Cream Genius (Re-release)
  • 2002: Live Spirit: Live Body

Guest appearances

Personal quotes

I’m getting paid 10p per copy of every album I’m selling and they’re (EMI) selling it for 15 quid. That’s outrageous but it’s quite typical. [5]

References

  1. ^ Steve Hogarth, writer search at ASCAP ACE
  2. ^ "Marillion Biography". NME. http://www.nme.com/artists/marillion. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ marillion.com | BAND - Members - Steve Hogarth | The Official Marillion Website
  4. ^ Mick Wall Pre-Season Friendlies Kerrang! 23 September 1989
  5. ^ BBC2 The Future Just Happened, 12th August 2001.

External links

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