Steve Hogarth's pre-Europeans bands

Harlow & The Neutrinos

 

 

Harlow 

Harlow

Five-piece power-pop combo Harlow were formed in Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1977.  The classic line-up (pictured) comprised (back row) Ben Connor (Drums), Steve Ross (Bass Guitar) (front row) Steve Hoggarth (Keyboards & Vocals), Des O'Connor (Vocals & Guitar) & Vojo (pronounced Voy-o) (Guitar)  The band started out playing Working Men's clubs in places like Rotherham.  Steve recalls "It was hard work.  We didn't make it any easier on ourselves by steadfastly refusing to play covers. It used to get us into all sorts of trouble."  Apparently there was one particularly bad night in Rotherham when the band played to a bar room full of rough sailors:  "We used to do two sets a night, and in between sets I was in the toilets, and this huge bloke came in and said he would knife me if we didn't do 'Delilah' by Tom Jones in the next set! "Next set, first number we do is 'Delilah'. The band had no idea how it went and I only knew the first verse, but it didn't matter. Once we started, all these sailors just took over and finished the song by themselves!"

Click here to enlarge

 

 

In 1978, Harlow recorded a 5 track demo of original songs with Mike Kemp at Spaceward Studios near Cambridge (where Europeans recorded 'Someone's Changing' the b-side to 'The Animal Song').  The tracks were 'Nothing to You', 'What if I told You', 'Going Back', 'I'll be Laughing' & 'Midnight Train.'

Later that year, the band recorded a Hoggarth original called 'Harry De Mazzio' with producer Dennis Taylor and Jonathan Hodge.  A small number of 7" singles (with 'Nothing to You' on the reverse) were pressed by Pepper Records, a subsidiary of United Artists.  Copies are very hard to find, and it is listed as the eighth most collectable Marillion item in Andre Rostek's 'Collector's Guide to Marillion & Fish' book, valued at approx 100 euros.

 

Steve

 

 

Around the same time, Harlow ran into an old rock n' roller called Vince Eager, who used to do a 'Tribute to Elvis Presley.'  He was looking for a backing band to play with him on a European cruise liner.  Having never been out of the country before, the band agreed, but only if they could play their own material to the passengers before the main 'Elvis' show!  The band were playing in a nightclub in the back of a cruise liner called the Tor Scandinavia that sailed from Felixstowe to Gothenburg then Stockholm to Amsterdam.  On the h-natural dvd, Steve tells a story of how the original bass player attacked the other members of the band with a broken glass.  Steve suffered a nasty injury, and came very close to losing the use of his thumb.  The incident inspired the lyrics at the end of Marillion's 'This Strange Engine' (1997) and also the little bandages that he used to wear on stage round his fingers throughout the Euros' career!

 

 

Harlow Pink Promo Shot

Vojo introduced a new bass player friend of his, Steve Ross, to the rest of Harlow "in the hope that we would continue as a band after that horrible incident on the cruise."  Soon after, a second single, 'Crazy, Crazy, Crazy' was released in Holland only in February 1979.  The A-side was written by new bassist Steve Ross, and was produced again by Dennis Taylor (and 'Resistance') at Magritte Studios in London.  The B-side 'You'll Never Love No One' was written by Des O'Connor.  A couple of copies recently surfaced on auction site ebay (120078048120 & 270069094713) selling for £18 and £39.  A third single featuring Going Back b/w You And Your Mother was planned but never surfaced.

 

Click here to enlarge

 

The Neutrinos 

Harlow decided to move down to London in 1980.  Unfortunately, lead vocalist and guitarist Des O'Connor then quit, and returned to live in Doncaster.  The remaining members changed their name to The Neutrinos and recorded a number of demos with Jonathan Hodge and Darrel Edwards, including the songs 'Dancing By Numbers' and 'In Black and White.'  Vojo remembers "we started to get interest from some major labels." Sadly it was not to be, and the band began to break up.  Drummer Ben Connor and bassist Steve Ross stayed together and decided to form their own band.   

Steve Hoggarth gave up his day job designing industrial motors and moved into a flat in Shepperton, London with his girlfriend.  He began checking the 'wanted' ads of the music press, and saw that a band called Motion Pictures were looking for a keyboard player.  Colin Woore spoke to Steve on the phone for while:  "He seemed to be on the same wavelength as us and into the same kind of music.  Ferg and I went to meet him at his place and we all hit it off.  He could play well and sing too - just what we wanted."  Steve joined the band and they changed their name to EuropeansSoon after, he also shortened his surname from Hoggarth to Hogarth.

 

Harlow Discography 

 

 

 

AUGUST 1978

Harry de Mazzio (Steve Hoggarth)

b/w Nothing to You (Des O'Connor)

 

7" single with red A-side & text 

'Demonstration Record - Not for Sale'

(no picture sleeve)

  

Pepper Records UP 36547

AUGUST 1978

Harry de Mazzio (Steve Hoggarth)

b/w Nothing to You (Des O'Connor)

 

7" single (no picture sleeve)

 

 (this copy signed by Steve Hoggarth)

 

Pepper Records UP 36547

FEBRUARY 

1979

 

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy (Steve Ross)

b/w You'll Never Love No One (Des O'Connor)

 

7" - Dutch Only Pressing 

(Picture Sleeve same on both sides)

 

GIP Records 4061

 

 

Harlow Promo Shots 

 

 

 

Harlow Eye

Alternate street shot

Contact sheet

Band / Eye / Logo Promo Shot

Alternate Band Photo

Contact Sheet dated 05/08/1977

 

The Songs 

Harlow & Neutrinos guitarist Vojo used to have a website at www.vojomilosevic.com where he posted a number of mp3 samples to listen to. 

This doesn’t appear to be up and running anymore, but you can hear the soundbites here:

 

Most of the songs feature Steve on lead vocals.

 

Harry De Mazzio 

By far the best Harlow track, this is a great power pop effort, and could have been a very successful single.  Steve and Des share the lead vocals, and the backing vocals are great too! Vojo's guitar has a great hard rock / dirty blues sound to it.  All in all a very well produced song

 

Nothing To You   

Described by Mario Panciara in his book "45 Revolutions (1976/1979)" as: "a quasi-Power Popper, but includes an adventurous section which borders on Progressive/Hard Rock. The playing is flawless, the vocal harmonies are extremely well performed and Dennis Taylor's production is bright and effective"  Very good drumming too!

 

Crazy, Crazy, Crazy 

Not a bad little post-punk rocker, although it doesn't really do much bar the repetitive but catchy chorus.  I quite like the 80s style synthesizer sounds.

 

You'll Never Love No One 

The b-side of 'Crazy, Crazy, Crazy' is a fairly straight rock riff with vocals shared between Steve and Des.  Vojo's guitar is particularly prominent, and there is a very formulaic pop middle eight.

 

Going Back  

A very Supertramp-esque keyboard driven song with Steve singing quite high! 

 

You & Your Mother 

A pretty cheesy guitar led song exploring the old "is it you or your mother going out with me?"  problem!  This is the sort of thing that  would have gone down very well in northern working men's clubs!

 

Crystal Palace 

Not a great song, and the worst lyrics of the lot!  "Your cherry lips and your Monroe hips could leave the teachers in a different world...I can still see you on the games afternoons playing netball out in the yard." 

 

Dancing By Numbers 

This Neutrinos song is more akin to the early Europeans tracks such as Drink Pink Zinc!  Steve's vocals have a more obvious 'edge' than his Harlow delivery!  This has more of a ska / two tone feel as well as another blistering lead guitar solo!

 

Black and White 

Again, it is Steve's shouting vocals that stand out in this second Neutrinos number.  It is a fairly straightforward rock riff with a heavy hammond organ sound in middle eight.  Sadly the drums don't sound as tight as other efforts.  Reminiscent of the Euros' Tunnel Vision and Joining Dots.

 

Bibliography 

A Collector's Guide to Marillion & Fish

 

Mario Panciara '45 Revolutions (1976/1979) Volume 1 UK/Ireland'

Vojo Milosevic's website at: http://www.vojomilosevic.com/ (no longer working)

Andre Rostek A Collectors's Guide to Marillion and Fish

Mick Wall : Kerrang Magazine 23rd September 1989 (Interview with SH)

'h natural' DVD.  Available now from http://www.marillion.com/music/solo/h-natural-dvd.htm 

 

Thanks to Vojo Milosevic for further biographical corrections (May 2007) 

& John Attewell for images from 2009 Marillion Weekend Museum (May 2009)

 

Back to Articles