Saturday, February 10, 2007

UK Early-80s Indie Pop - part 8

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


willenvelope said...

Two awesome bands. I got into them both in the early nineties, so I'm perhaps overly sentimental about non-prime works like HOL's "Babe Rainbow" and JB's "Waiting for the Love Bus" (or something like that--the one with the great song "Penguins," probably yet another song I ripped off, this time on "Puffins").

The Pogues could beat up the Waterboys could beat up the Jazz Butcher could beat up the House of Love could beat up the Decemberists.

Jon said...

I lost track of the JBs after the first few albums.

I reckon the House ofLove could have probably beaten up the Waterboys and the JBs tho'. The JBs were far too nice to beat anyone up, and the kind of band you could take home to introduce to mother!

deb said...

oh my goodness, I used to see the Jazz Butcher in London when I lived there! At the Town & Country, I think. Or maybe the North London Poly. Can't remember now.

Thanks for the memories.