The House of Love at Scala
A quarter decade on from their late 80s heyday, The House of Love end their first UK tour in eight years, with a triumphant homecoming on the back of a positively received new album.
Formed in Camberwell in 1986 by Guy Chadwick, then already the stately age of 30 and one of the few rare examples of a musician flowering when most others have signed off, a towering inspiration to those tempted to throw in the towel with the impending encroachment of mid-life ambiguity. With Terry Bickers (lead guitarist) and crew recruited through the now defunct Melody Maker, they crafted some of the most tuneful melodies of late 80s indie, and softened the blow of the loss of the Morrissey and Marr combo. In undoubtedly the most competitive decade for independent music, they strode the streets with deserved swagger, and while never the bearers of garlands they were rarely matched by even the most appraised of outfits.
All started badly in King’s Cross. Chadwick’s amp blew. His roadie then tripped over the cables. Cue furrowed brows onstage, and audience nerves that the hailing of the returned king may not pan out as desired. Twenty minutes in, and normal service is resumed. It’s a slow build but the new album lead single, A Baby Got Back on Its Feet, cracks the smiles of both band and audience. From there on it’s a stroll through the title track of aforementioned opus, She Paints Words in Red, through Shine on, The Beatles and the Stones, Christine, Destroy the Heart and some of the finest tunes of the greatest decade for independent music. The righteous brothers of The Smiths, Pixies, Teenage Fanclub and all their glorious peers that now rest happy. The Camberwell boys have returned to reclaim their place in the pantheon.
Photos: Lucia Hrdá
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