House Above The Sun At The Fiddler's Elbow
"People call us House Under The Sun, House of the Sun, House of the Rising Sun... “ says House Above The Sun singer and guitarist Jim Moreton between songs.
Judging by their cool and very assured showing this evening, the confusion won't last much longer. Our prediction is that their name - and we're talking the right one now - will be on everyone's lips before very long.
Why? Well, first of all is the way they deliver their fusion of classic rock, and Americana live. For such a new band they are implausibly well drilled, their two guitars, bass and drums line up arranged for maximum dynamics. Their opening tune 'Tonapah' is a prime example of this, dropping to quiet intimacy and then rearing up like a Cobra ready to strike, Jim declaring proudly “they can keep the money / I'll keep my heart”.
Jim's wife and fellow front-person Ariel picks deftly at her acoustic, beautifully complimenting Jim's grittier, bluesier playing that echoes John Squire's at times, Brian Jones or Jimmy Page at others. Drummer Davide Mongruilli and Sam Thiery lock in perfectly to create some precision rhythm backing that is infectious and lively while remaining relatively far back in the musical shadows.
No wonder then that they feel confident enough to joke with the appreciative crowd that has gathered to see tonight's headliners Micko Westmoreland & The Mellotronics. As well as Jim complaining with good natured humour about the confusion over their name, Ariel opens up about her Netflix addiction. It all adds to their confident charm.
But all this would mean nothing without songs, and luckily HATS – as Jim helpfully suggests might be an easy way to remember it – have them by the bucket-load. When they lean more towards the country side of things, such as 'Where Eagles Dare', they sound even more heartfelt and engaging. Probably the catchiest and most immediate moment is their set, though, is the recent single and tonight's closer 'Runaway Devil'. Imagine the vivaciousness of bluegrass combined with the cheeky blues rock of early AC/DC, and you're close.
So, as we probably need not say, remember that name. House Above The Sun. You'll be hearing a lot more.
Pic by Chris Patmore