Steve Hogarth

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Steve Hogarth
Steve Hogarth onstage at Marillion's weekend festival in Montreal Canada, April 2009.
Background information
Birth name Ronald Stephen Hoggarth
Also known as H
Born (1959-05-14) 14 May 1959 (age 57)
Kendal, Westmorland, England
Genres New wave, art rock, neo-progressive rock, pop rock
Instruments Vocals, piano, guitar, hammered dulcimer
Years active 1980–present
Labels Racket Records
Associated acts The Europeans
How We Live
The h-Band

Steve Hogarth (born Ronald Stephen Hoggarth[1] on 14 May 1959[2][3] in Kendal, Westmorland) also known as "h", is an English singer-songwriter and musician. Since 1989 he has been the lead vocalist and occasional keyboardist/guitarist with the British rock band Marillion. Hogarth was formerly a keyboard player and co-lead vocalist with The Europeans and vocalist with How We Live. AllMusic has described Hogarth as having a "unique, expressive voice" with "flexible range and beautiful phrasing".[4]

Early life[edit]

Hogarth was born in Kendal, Westmorland. His 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. They recorded the single Harry de Mazzio on the Pepper record label in 1978. The band split in 1981 and Hogarth left his engineering degree, moving to London to further his music career.[5]


In London, after responding to an advertisement in the music press Hogarth joined the band Motion Pictures. They were subsequently renamed The Europeans. Initially joining just as a keyboard player, Hogarth later shared the vocal duties with Ferg Harper. Signed to A&M Records, The Europeans released two studio albums and one live album. Hogarth sang just one track on the first studio album but sang five of the eight tracks on the second album.

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 unsuccessful. Hogarth considered leaving the music industry and becoming a milkman or postman. However, a meeting with his publishers arranged by a friend, Darryl Way, a founding member 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 of cats in the house (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. As he later recalled in a 2001 interview by Classic Rock, he had a choice "between the most hip band in the world, and the least...". In the end he accepted the position with Marillion, won over as the band wanted an equal partner and were offering a potentially permanent arrangement.

Hogarth's first album with the band, released in September 1989, was Seasons End, their fifth studio album. Since then, Marillion have recorded a further thirteen albums with Hogarth on vocals, the most recent being Fuck Everyone and Run (F E A R) released in September 2016.

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 Luís Jardim.

Subsequently, Hogarth's side-project, The H-Band, has played live across the UK and Europe featuring a variety of musicians, including former The 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.

in Spring / Summer 2006 Hogarth undertook a solo, 'h Natural', during which he played around 20 dates in the UK and Europe . It was billed as an evening of music and conversation with Hogarth at the piano. These shows were mixed and released for download, one at a time and for a limited period only, on Hogarth's H-Tunes site.

On 14 May 2010 Hogarth performed at the Relentless Garage in London to celebrate his birthday. On the following two days he also performed in Liverpool and Sheffield. To coincide with these shows a CD was released featuring some of the best tracks taken from his H Natural shows. This collection is called H Natural Selection and was available at the shows and from the Marillion website.

In 2012 Hogarth joined forces with Richard Barbieri again, releasing an album as a duo called Not the weapon but the hand.

In 2014 it was announced that Hogarth was releasing two volumes of diaries, written between 1991 and 2014. The first was released in June 2014 by Miwk Publishing and is called 'The Invisible Man'. Volume 2 followed in December 2014.

Personal life[edit]

Hogarth has three children; a daughter called Sofi and a son called Nial with his first wife Sue,[6] and a son called Emil in his current relationship with Linette.

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!"[citation needed]

His hobbies include football and he is a Manchester United fan.[7]

Musical inspirations[edit]

Hogarth has cited The Blue Nile, Paddy McAloon, Mike Scott, John Lennon, David Bowie and Joni Mitchell as musical inspirations, and Peter Gabriel, Sting and Massive Attack as artists he would like to work with. On Sting, Hogarth has commented: "It's weird how few artists mention Sting and pull him out but he's such a brilliant talent."[8]

Solo discography[edit]

  • 1997: Ice Cream Genius
  • 1998: Ice Cream Genius (Re-release)
  • 2002: Live Spirit: Live Body
  • 2010: H Natural Selection
  • 2012: Not the weapon but the hand (with Richard Barbieri)
  • 2013: Arc Light (with Richard Barbieri)

Guest appearances[edit]

Personal quotes[edit]


  1. ^ Steve Hogarth, writer search at ASCAP ACE
  2. ^ "Marillion Biography". NME. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  3. ^ | BAND - Members - Steve Hogarth | The Official Marillion Website
  4. ^ Montesano, Jeri. "Seasons End". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  5. ^ Mick Wall Pre-Season Friendlies Kerrang! 23 September 1989
  6. ^ "Our dad's a rock star". BBC News. 26 April 2004. Retrieved 13 Nov 2011. 
  7. ^ "Marillion man advises Moyes". Manchester United. 23 June 2013. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "An Interview with Marillion's Steve Hogarth". Huffington Post. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 20 July 2014. 
  9. ^ BBC2 The Future Just Happened, 12 August 2001.

External links[edit]