Some classic songs, some charming whimsy - it wasn't all shoe-gazing and thrash!
The House of Love
The House of Love were another one of those brilliant bands that produced some brilliant singles, and then disappeared (although they reappeared briefly a few years ago). Had they come after the Stone Roses and Oasis, then they could probably have made a living from music - but in the early and mid-1980s a career in a middling rock band was harder to come by than it seems it is today.
Essentially the band of the phenomenally talented Guy Chadwick, they were born in 1986, inspired by the Jesus and Mary Chain, and named after a book of short stories by Anais Nin. Their first eponymous album was released on Creation in 1988, and the first single from it, their third single, 'Christine' went to number one in the UK's independent charts. Their fourth single was 'Destroy the Heart', voted single of the year in John Peel's festive fifty! Then they signed to Fontana, for a signifiant advance, got diverted by traditional rock and roll hedonism, and despite continuing to make some pretty great records, eventually fell apart.
A very special band.
The Jazz Butcher
I went through a phase of seeing the Jazz Butcher live in a series of tiny venues, including Alan McGee's Living Room club when it was in the upstairs room of a pub on the Tottenham Court Road. They were always entertaining - intellient and humerous lyrics, well-played guitar-based songs. John Peel liked them because they name checked Liverpool football players and their first single was called "Southern Mark Smith". They never quite made it to 'cult status' but they should have. I expect they were massive in Japan or something...
Pat Fish - aka the Jazz Butcher - and his guitarist Max Eider are still gigging around the Northampton area, and further afield.
special bonus track
- Black Eg - Coney Island Nightmare (1992 demo cut up by Pat Fish) mp3