Friday, 7 August 2015

Audience - The House On The Hill, album review

Another Favourite

This fine 1971 album, the band's third, has just been given a new release. It is distinctive for the rasp of Howard Werth's vocal, who also plays guitar, and the saxophone, clarinet and flute playing of Keith Gemmell.

I have to be honest that its personal distinction is entirely for the title track that I recall seeing for the first time on The Old Grey Whistle Test. Gemmell's sax is put through an echo/repeat - a popular effect of the time, and a time when saxophone in bands itself was increasingly common. Gemmell graces that sax playing with some trilling flute a la Ian Anderson, and when the sax returns for a solo slot over Williams' bass and Connors' drum interlude, the echo effect is the clincher for the song's lasting impression on me, breaking into a raucous rise above bass again, Werth joining with howls, before returning to the main melody. A classic.

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