I can remember when I first heard A House. It was five thirty in the morning and I was watching a video of The ITV Chart Show that I’d recorded over the weekend. I did a milk round and used to catch up in the half-awake state between the alarm and having to dash out to catch up with the float. The Chart Show often showed thirty second clips of quirky stuff you’d not find anywhere else particularly easily – and one of those was A House.
It wasn’t Endless Art. It was Take It Easy On Me. It was bloody brilliant. When I got paid that week I took my money to Pink Panther Records in Carlisle and located the 12″. And next to it was another 12″ by A House: Endless Art. I bought it unheard.
For me, there is only one other song in the world like Endless Art and that is More Endless Art, which was one of the other songs on the 12″. The original only features male artists. After some thought a sequel followed featuring only female ones. I devoured both. My family probably hated me: this spoken but rhythmic list of artists, some given full details and some passed by with a cursory word. At least I didn’t ‘sing’ along, at least not much. I don’t really have the accent for it.
A House were on my radar for a few years after that – probably starting 1992. I was never cool enough to be anywhere they were likely to be and in those pre-social media times the music press in the UK didn’t seem to give them much airing. Whenever I found anything by them I bought it. I have fond memories of being in a strange music shop in Bradford and coming across On Our Big Fat Merry Go Round, their debut LP. I wore out the vinyl on that one. I ordered Kick Me Again, Jesus via a small ad in Record Collector.
They split up as the mid 90s became the mid to late 90s. I didn’t know until years later but I’d guessed as I’d stopped seeing anything new to buy.
Endless Art is still the song of theirs I go back to most often. It doesn’t ‘take me back’ anywhere because every time I listen to it it still feels as fresh as when I first put the needle on that 12″ and heard that announcement, “All art is quite useless according to Oscar Wilde / Turner 1775-1851 …”