The Squares

April 1, 2013

squares

As I tipped another boxful of stuff into the skip my eye was drawn to this record. It seems that “Buddy Holly/I may be bitter” was released in 1981 as the last of 4 singles by The Squares. According to the back cover they even had a fan club then. A quick “google” didn’t really unearth any info about the band apart from a few copies of this for sale in the £10 – £20 range. I still chucked it back into the skip the next day though, but not before I had scanned the picture sleeve and listened to the A side

As if more proof were needed that information found on the Internet when visiting Wikipedia (or even here??????) may or may not always be truthful and accurate I point you to a Wikipedia entry for a mid 1980s band also called The Squares. I reproduce it below. I think they’re taking the p*ss. What do you think?

The Squares are an English band formed in Huyton, Liverpool in 1985. The Squares consist(ed) of Mick Dubbin (vocals/guitar), John Bukta (guitar), Gunter Schalke (bass) and George Plainfield (drums).

History

Before founding The Squares, Michael Dubbin and Gunter Schalke were in cult 1980s band The Roms, and released one now deleted album, Grooving On the 9d in March 1982. However, though critically acclaimed (The Huyton and Prescot Reporter called them, “Whiston’s next big thing “), the album only reached Number 184 in the UK album charts and so the band failed to recoup the £1,000 that the band had signed to Pilch Lane Records for. The band folded soon after.

After a chance meeting in a Huyton fish and chip shop in May 1984 Dubbin teamed up with ex-school friends, John Bukta and Ged (George)Plainfield, to form The Huyton Squares, playing cover versions of pop hits in local bars and cabaret lounges such as The Blue Bell, The Seel Arms and The Hillside. With Huyton-born Les Burberry joining them on bass they recorded one EP called Live at The Oak Tree featuring their first self-penned composition “(Go) Get out of Prescot, Baby!” on their own River Alt Records label.

When Burbery was arrested in the summer of 1985 following police investigations into the rioting at the Heysel Stadium, Brussels, the band were left without a bass player. With local press interest growing the band found themselves with a string of gigs as far afield as Kirkdale and Speke, but no bass player. After auditions failed to unearth a replacement Dubbin stumbled across Schalke who was now selling training shoes from the back of van in Liverpool city centre. Schalke was only convinced by Dubbin to rejoin the band when Dubbin agreed to drop the “Huyton” from the band’s name as he was now living in Croxteth.

As The Squares the band rehearsed solidly through the summer of 1986 before embarking on a low-key tour of Scotland and Northern England. In December 1986 the released their first “Squares” single, “Jingle Jangle”, which was voted record of the week in the New Musical Express.. In January 1987 they signed to Polydor Records and under the production wings of Ian Broudie they recorded 3 tracks for their E.P. The Inflatable Inflatable. in Liverpool at The Picket studios. The E.P.was released to critical acclaim in April of that year. The record was played extensively by John Peel on his Radio One show and reached number 28 in the BBC Top 40, as well as inclusion in that year’s Festive Fifty.

Bolstered by the response to the EP Dubbin and Bukta embarked on a frenzy of song writing at the later’s parents’ caravan in Abersoch North Wales. Songs written during the 3 week session in early January 1988 included “Is Rice”, “The Lid”, “Farting Around” and soon to be legendary “All the way from Moscroft”. All of the songs on their seminal debut album were either written in this session or derived from fragments recorded on Bukta’s tape recorder on their return to Liverpool before the start of February.

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