Home | Magazine | Interviews | Profiles | Live Reviews | Re:View | Features | Reviews | Photography | News | Gigs | Comments
Pennyblack on facebook link Pennyblack on twitter link
Magazine A-Z

Subscribe to our twice monthly newsletter which will keep you informed of new reviews, interviews and radio shows as they go online

More By
House Of Love

Band Pictures (15)
Band Discussion (0)
Band Page

magazine home
live reviews
website of the month
album / single reviews

Contact us
If you would like to get in touch, please contact John Clarkson, the editor.

Current Writers
Adrian Huggins
Adrian Janes
Andrew Carver
Andy Cassidy
Anthony Dhanendran
Anthony Strutt
Benjamin Howarth
Bill Gray
Carl Bookstein
Chris O'Toole
Cila Warncke
Daniel Cressey
Dave Goodwin
Denzil Watson
Dixie Ernill
Dominic B. Simpson
Fiona Hutchings
Gillian Fish
Harry Sherriff
Helen Tipping
Jamie Rowland
Jeff Thiessen
John Clarkson
Jon Rogers
Lisa Torem
Maarten Schiethart
Malcolm Carter
Marie Hazelwood
Mark Rowland
Mary O'Meara
Matt Williams
Melanie Smith
Neil Bailey
Nick Dent-Robinson
Nicky Crewe
Owen Peters
Paul Waller
Richard Lewis
Sarah Johnson
Tom Fogarty
Tommy Gunnarsson
Tony Gaughan

Current Photographers
Andrew Carver
Anna Gudaniec
Katie Anderson
Matt Williams

Write for us
If you would like to contribute to the pennyblackmusic online magazine, please contact John Clarkson, the editor.

House of Love : The House of Love
Author: Cila Warncke
Published: 06/12/2012

By the time opener ‘Christine’ fades, a terrible injustice is apparent. How, in a world where The House of Love existed, did Oasis become the most famous band on Creation Records? This stylish three-disc reissue fails to answer that question but is, in every other respect, a triumph.

To be fair to Alan McGee, Creation only released the House of Love’s eponymous debut, which is repackaged here along with two discs of B-sides, rarities, demos and live cuts. But on the basis of this one album the London-based outfit led by songwriter/vocalist Guy Chadwick were a far better thing than their all-conquering MOR successors. Nor do te House of Love’s subsequent hard-drinking, drug-guzzling, member-shedding antics while on Fontana diminish in any way its luminous musical legacy.

The House of Love came together as the result of a ‘Melody Maker’ ad, and Chadwick’s ambition to create a band that sounded a bit like the Velvet Underground. According to the excellent liner notes in this release Chadwick was consciously aiming for the 60’s sound embodied by the Beatles, the Doors, and Love. There is a certain style on many of these tracks that suggests the heady days of early pop, especially cuts like debut single ‘Shine On’, which boasts vocal support from Andrea Heukamp; the shimmying ‘Destroy the Heart’, and the referential ‘Loneliness is a Gun’.

What jumps out to a modern listener, however, is a skein of musical relationships including ear-pleasing parallels with contemporaries Echo & The Bunnymen (‘Happy’ – a song Chadwick calls the only good thing to come out of a wrecked marriage) and the Jesus & Mary Chain (‘Flow’, ‘Happy’). Perhaps more significant is the debt owed the House of Love by the likes of Editors and Interpol, who echo the elder band’s rather dark slice-of-life lyrical preoccupations and driving sonic structures.

Part of the bittersweet splendour of the House of Love is that that this stellar, splendid debut catapulted them towards fame and catastrophe at equal velocities. McGee is quoted in the liner notes saying: “I loved them and was gutted that they never stayed on Creation. For one year they could have taken on anybody live.”

These days a band riding high on a fabulous debut would be swaddled in contracts and management, barricaded behind a fortress of publicity, and protected from the hazards of success. Twenty-odd years ago, though, the House of Love was free to freefall, which lends these songs a certain poignancy.

It is cause for celebration that the House of Love reformed and recently announced they have completed, mixed and mastered a new album. But before you listen to anything new, buy this and appreciate where it all began.

Add a comment about this Article

Subject Header:


Your Name:
Your Location: i.e. London, UK
Your Email Adderss (Optional):
Your Website (Optional):

Magazine Reviews
She Paints Words in Red , CD : Adrian Janes
Days Run Away , CD : Anthony Strutt

Free Subscriptions
RSS Feed Articles
RSS Feed Reviews
drag this icon into the podcasts library in itunes to subcribe to this show Podcasts

You tube
View Pennyblackmusic writer Sarah Johnson's series of 3 videos taken at the Pennyblackmusic Bands Night on 26/3/2011.

Featuring :
Nick Garrie
Hall of Mirrors
Anthony Reynolds