"Sadly Giving Back The Keys" The Times Of London
Nick Kelly 05 March 1997

Breaking up is indeed hard to do, as A House found out last Friday night when they played an emotionally charged farewell gig in their home town. The band has always enjoyed a passionate following, and the mood of celebration at the Olympia was tempered by a sense of sadness that grew more pronounced as the show wore on, leaving grown men and women in tears by the time the final curtain came down. For these faithful fans, the show probably spelt the end of an integral part of their adolescence as much as it signaled the dissolution of a pop group.

The evening had started in a low-key manner, with a short acoustic set by Harvest Ministers. Local indie darlings Revelino, who count John Peel among their fans, were also on the bill. Their sturdy, if unspectacular, brand of classic guitar-pop revealed a group au fait with the dynamics of melody, vocal harmony and traditional song structure, especially Radio Speaks and Happiness is Mine, which have the Byrds and the Pixies, respectively, as their tutors. To judge by the critical plaudits bestowed upon their second album, Broadcaster, Revelino could yet graduate with chart honours.

Mainstream commercial success eluded A House to an almost Pimpernellian degree. Their career spanned 12 years, five albums and three record companies, but to little chart success. Between the opening salvo, Kick Me Again, Jesus (their first and arguably finest single) and the closing stubborn declaration, I Can't Change (from last year's swansong No More Apoogies), cells from every orgin of A House's imperfect body of work were re-animated.

The haunting cadence of the bruised cri de coeur, When I Last Saw You, would put a lump in the most hardened of throats, but Dave Couse's unashamedly confessional mode of songwriting often crossed the line between profundity and triteness, as on Cry Easily, for example.

Couse himself has never harboured doubts about his ability to transform feelings of vulnerability and emotional insecurity into poignant artistic expression. He remains, however, a decidedly affable character by virtue of his acerbic, ironic Dublin wit. Rest assured he will be back in some shape or form to wipe those tears away.