Papering overthe cracks
To lose one guitarist sounds like misfortune; to lose two would be considered carelessness. Fiona Shepherd finds Guy Chadwick honest and succinct about The House Of Love‘s ﬂoating membership.
The House Of Love have a new single out. It’s called ‘You Don’t Understand‘. It‘s a fine punchy death-to-unbelievers diatribe with a magnificently blatant steal from the Spencer Davis Group‘s ‘l‘m A Man‘. Great. There‘s an album. Babe Rainbow. in the pipeline. No doubt it will contain numerous crepuscular voyages of the kind we‘ve grown to love and expect from our shimmering guitar heroes. Super. BU'l‘. . . what we really want to know at this particularjuncture is. what is it with you and lead guitarists. Mr Guy (.‘hadwick‘.’ First Terry Bickers departs in a messy splurge of acrimony (and a good thing too. else we‘d all be drifting rudderless. trying to fill the Levitation-shaped hole in our lives with some inferior starship enterprise). and now his replacement Simon Walker ﬂies the coop. This isn‘t normal; guitarists don't come pre-packaged from the Tesco freezer department. Fortunately. Guy knows how to placate his questioning public — by coming clean.
‘I think when Terry left the group that was it really — we sort of became a three-piece and we had to work in that way. When we came to start recording the album last year it didn‘t really work out. He [Simon] got frustrated and I got frustrated and basically at the end of the day his playing style didn‘t suit my songwriting style. Because he was a friend of the band before he joined. it was a situation that could be worked with. When it came down to the crunch as to what he wanted to do and what we wanted to do it was just felt that it was a good time to knock it on the head.
‘lt wasn‘t a Terry situation: it was much more amicable.‘ he adds hastily. ‘lt was really disappointing the way it all worked out ultimately. It did rock the boat a bit. but it was just one of those things that had to be dealt with. It's something that will never happen again because it‘s caused too many problems in the past.‘
The fact that Simon‘s temporary replacement. ex-Woodentop Simon Mawby. looks like
- 4%. 1. A .1" .'
becoming his permanent replacement will be as much of a relicfto House Of Love fans as it is to the group. Yet while a volatile line-up is not something to be courted. at least it keeps them on their toes. After six years together it would be easy for l louse Of Love to disable themselves with complacency. 'l'his. (iuy agrees. is one of the worst crimes a band can commit against themselves. "l'he thing that I found about Simon Walker was
that he does have a tendency to be very
complacent and I just can‘t stand the idea that you just get into a routine ofplaying a certain way and
that‘s the way things are going to be forever. lfyou
get one person that‘s just quite happy to carry on doing the same thing and disregarding everyone
else‘s intentions and musical ambitions. ultimately
turbulence will come.‘
You could spend hours going into all this ‘anatomy of a band' business with House Of Love but. fraught history or not. Guy would rather discuss the present moment. ‘You Don't Understand‘. and the current tour because he maintains ‘we‘ve got a lot ofeatching up to do. We've got a good record which we're really happy
r. 5" 4, '
House of Love: ’spocilic and driving' with and we‘re in a position now to tour in a really positive frame of mind. We haven‘t been in this position for four years.‘
It hasn‘t exactly been four years in the creative
: wilderness or anything. but many felt. with
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justification. that the post-Bickers l louse Of Love took a while to dust themselves down. In an effort to redress the style/content balance. their shows pared down their previously fussy arrangements to almost garage—style basics. and away with astral majesty. Then there was an eighteen-month hiatus. and then ‘Girl With The Loneliest Eyes‘ last year— an utterly sublime way to herald your return. Now this latest batch of material resonates with confidence.
‘lt used to be a bit impotent in its wash of noise: now it's a bit more specific and driving.‘ Guy states succinctly. emulating his rediscovered musical directness. It seems he has no further use for flowery wallpaper in The House of Love.
House ()fLove play King Tut's Walt Wait I fut. Glasgow on Fri 10 and Sat 1 I.
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