“The House On The Hill”
was probably Audience’s most celebrated
album and was their first collaboration
with the very famous and trendy Gus Dudgeon
(who came to fame with his work with Elton
John) as producer which proved to be a
meeting of complementary minds and humour
lasting through the next Audience album
and Howard Werth’s solo career.
Audience was a band whose appeal is as
fresh today as it was when they were influencing
the hippest scene of the early seventies.
They were described variously at the time
as a “Progressive”, “Underground” or “Art
Rock” outfit, although their uniqueness
actually defined any pigeonholing, but
their influence was wide spread.
Audience was formed in early 1969 from
the remnants of a psychedelic/soul band
known as “The Lloyd Alexander Blues Band”.
Their original concept was based around
Howard Werth’s strong powerful voice and
unique electric nylon strung guitar, plus
the blaring echoing sax and flute of Keith
Gemmell. Together with the underpinning
heart beat of Trevor Williams’ stomping
bass and Tony Connor’s inventive drum
work (his live drum solos had to be seen
to be believed).
The initial musical spark was built around
a mixture of highly incongruous styles,
including medieval folk, bossa nova, soul,
rhythm and blues, and jazz.
It worked well, but soon developed into
something of its own whilst getting louder
and more suited to the larger venues at
which they were increasingly being asked
to play alongside such acts as Led Zeppelin,
Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and many more.
By the time of “House On The Hill” (1971)
Audience were at the peak of their creative
style. Opening song “Jackdaw” is a truly
powerful track with Werth’s vocal complemented
by Zappaesque Fuzz bass and clarinet from
A lot of people have likened the moody
spine tingler “I Had A Dream” to Bob Dylan’s
“Knockin’ On Heavens Door”. However, when
you realize that it was written and recorded
quite some time before Dylan’s classic,
it becomes quite apparent how far Audience’s
Though Audience disbanded before they
could consolidate the huge success they
so richly deserved, their name and reputation
has lived on through those initiates around
the planet who were fortunate enough to
see them live or listened to their original
vinyl releases before they were finally
Howard Werth’s voice pairs well with Keith
Gemmell’s ubiquitous gruff sax. Much of
their overall strategy was later to find
success in some of the music of Roxy Music
and David Bowie.
“House On The Hill” is one of the early
seventies golden moments. Listen and enjoy.
Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew