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House Of Love, The

The House Of Love were a strange union between thirtysomething Guy Chadwick – a seen-it-all songwriter who’d already spent a decade in failed groups – and the youthful vigour of his accomplices, particularly guitarist Terry Bickers.

For a while – at the back end of the 80s – House Of Love seemed the men most likely to leave the rest of the indie pack trailing.

Arguably the first ‘post-C86’ band, the band hit the ground running after signing to Alan McGee’s Creation label in 1987 (at the urging of McGee’s then-wife) and releasing a pair of singles – Shine On and Real Animal – before unveiling Christine.

With its hypnotic drones, layers of guitar reverb and blissful vocal harmonies – and influences ranging from The Velvet Underground to Roxy Music and The Beach Boys – Christine helped establish The House Of Love as one of the defining guitar bands of the late 1980s.

Their dark, trippy, self-titled debut LP was the indie highlight of the first Smiths-free summer (1988).

Second guitarist Andrea Heukamp had recently quit, but even on its own, Terry Bickers’ chiming guitar still had a muscular feel at odds with Chadwick’s fragile vocals. The bubbling jangle of Never was glorious, as was I Don’t Know Why I Love You.

Sadly the band were about to hit several walls, and shoe-gazing milquetoasts and Madchester would soon cruelly steal their druggy vision and musical thunder.

There was an overcooked second album – the product of a deal brokered with Fontana by McGee. Meanwhile, the band’s drug intake got out of hand and, in 1989, Bickers quit amid rumours of nervous breakdowns or a suicide attempt.

The band struggled on for a few more albums, before eventually splitting up in 1993.

In 2003, The House Of Love reunited, with Bickers reinstated in the lineup.

Guy Chadwick
Vocals, guitar
Terry Bickers
Guitar, vocals
Andrea Heukamp
Chris Groothuizen
Pete Evans
Simon Walker
Simon Mawby