After a long wait for their new release, The House of Love were finally touring their seventh studio album, ‘A State Of Grace’, their first in almost a decade. Sole remaining original member Guy Chadwick presented a strong new lineup since 2020, following the departure of other members including original lead guitarist Terry Bickers.

The band opened on their eponymous 1988 debut album with ‘Road’; twangy guitar transformed into feedback, spinning out of control against Hugo Degenhardt’s crashing drums, lifting it beyond the constraints of the recorded song. ‘Christine’ from the same album, after a mis-start, was played without some of its echoey shoegaze reverb, instead having a more shrieky drone throughout, although reverb appeared in other parts. They then performed ‘Hope’, missing its cascading guitar chords but still remaining beautifully poignant.

The band next moved onto their new album with ‘Light Of The Morning’; a Bob Dylan influenced vocal with heavy country and blues guitar. After the hammer on and pull offs of their third single ‘Shine On’, they played new song ‘Sweet Water’ with its dirty blues riff, guitar solos and thunderous drums. They also did their new title track, ‘A State Of Grace’, with Echo & The Bunnymen guitar, ending their main set on their 1992 album ‘Babe Rainbow’ with the stripped down tribal drumming of ‘Burn Down The World’.

The House of Love returned for an encore with new single ‘Clouds’, featuring high backing vocals from Harry Osborne (bass), and finished back on their debut album with ‘Love In A Car’, which transcended into joint guitar shoegaze psychedelia to end the show.

25/09/22: The House of Love @ The Garage, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.