The House Of Love ‘Never’

I reckon we’ve all got bands or records we love, that we know secretly, arn’t, maybe, really, that good but we love them regardless. This is one for me. I bought this on 12″ towards the end of the summer 1989, along with some more 1989-ish records. I played this one endlessly. As a song it found The House Of Love caught in a difficult place. They were set up by the music press as the next big thing after the demise of The Smiths, but The Roses and Mondays blew this kind of guitar pop away. The House Of Love looked outdated compared to the baggy trousers and flared jeans of that year. Poor Guy Chadwick. He always seemed to have a look on his face that said ‘this isn’t going to work’. He was caught between his first lp (on Creation) that critics and skinny white boys loved, all shimmer and ‘sonic cathedrals’, and this single, which was *gulp* rock-y. The press slated it, and everyone else was going dancey. He was caught with a talented guitarist Terry Bickers, driving the band round the bend, soon to be dumped out of the van mid-tour at a service station. And it got me, caught between living at home for the summer and going back to a student life in Liverpool. And although I suspect it isn’t really that good I still love this song , with it’s 80s drums intro, clunky lyrics and out-of step-with-the-times-ness.

08 Never.wma

Wild Billy Childish

‘I’m Mr Wild Billy Childish and I’m your man’, sings the man himself in Bugger The Buffs. I remember reading about Billy Childish back in the late 80s/early 90s in the NME, but never went any further with it. In those pre-internet days, you had to make a trip to a record shop, and gamble on them having what you were after, and then decide which records to spend your small amount of cash on. He next cropped up for me in 2002/3 when I read about his then band the Buff Medways and the lp Steady the Buffs. Bought it, listened to it, thought ‘Christ, this is lo-fi, sub-Kinksy stuff’, and filed it. I went back to it a year later and began to get it, and have been buying into Billy ever since. When I joined e-music I realised there were tons of his albums on there and Damaged Goods run a really good download and internet shop. Which must be completely at odds with Billy’s no-plastic, back to Edwardian times outlook and agenda. I managed to see him live twice last year- once on a weekend in London for a friends 40th, when I persuaded the group to trek up to Stoke Newington to watch Billy and the Musicians of the British Empire play a basement club. They were on fire. The second time he came up to Manchester to open a blues and poetry festival. He read poetry and played blues, and sold me a couple of his books. He’s a completely honest and direct performer, dressed in period clothing, a one man cottage industry of paintings, books, poetry and songs. He’s Mr Wild Billy Childish and he’s my man. The song here is from last year’s 30 year round-up compilation ‘Archive From 1959’, and it’s as a good an introduction to his rock ‘n’ roll side as you’ll get.

04 Archive from 1959.wma