You are most likely to know Dave Couse as the singer songwriter with Irish Indie legends A House, the band most remembered for the singles Endless Art and Here Come The Good Times. They also gave us five albums, which are widely considered to rank among the best Irish albums ever.
The response to Couse’s new album ‘The World Should Know’ in his native Ireland has enabled him to have a genuine artistic and commercial revival of Lazarus proportions. The first single Batman & Robin (a pop-tastic tale of friendship won and lost) was a true radio hit in Ireland, with heavy national airplay and spending 6 weeks at number one in the top Irish Indie show Pet Sounds’ Top 10. On the crest of this wave of recognition, ‘The World Should Know’ has been nominated for Irish Album Of The Year in the Meteor Ireland Music Awards (Ireland’s Grammys / BRIT AWARDS) with Dave also having been nominated in the category of Best Irish Male.
His new backing band, The Impossible have ignited a spark and passion unlike any Couse has known in years. They have proven to be sympathetic collaborators to Dave’s contrasting dynamic impulses to proclaim statements loudly and also deliver fragile, emotive lyrics. This is best exemplified on the album by songs like Beauty Is (a retort to the exploitation of youth by the beauty industry) and Celebrity (a diatribe against the dumbing-down of popular culture). A Celebration opens the album with a rallying call to make the most of every day.
As a survivor of a 20-year career in music, Couse is no stranger to the highs and lows it brings. A House formed in 1985 and it only took the release of two independent singles to convince the great Geoff Travis, of Rough Trade to sign them to his Blanco y Negro label. Their debut album, On Our Big Fat Merry Go Round was also released on Sire in the U.S. and the single Call Me Blue reached no. 3 in the Billboard College Charts in 1989 on the back of a U.S. tour with The Go-Betweens. They recorded I Want Too Much later that year with acclaimed producer Mike Hedges. A triumphant start to what would be somewhat of a bumpy but glorious 12-year ride for the band.
Back home in Ireland and the UK, A House went on to achieve great critical success with the release of their next four albums along with high-billing at festivals like Reading, Feile and Phoenix. Several sessions for John Peel's BBC Radio 1 show were recorded and the legendary man gave them great support and encouragement. After parting ways with Warner’s, A House became a corner stone of the fledgling Anglo-Irish indie label Setanta in 1991, paving the way for The Divine Comedy and others. The third album, I Am The Greatest (produced by Edwyn Collins) resuscitated their career prospects in a big way! This owed no small thanks to the singles Endless Art and Take It Easy On Me. Soon EMI / Parlophone were smart enough to snap up the album and re-release it. This was followed in spectacular style by Wide Eyed & Ignorant in 1994 and more British chart success with Here Come The Good Times and Why Me? Back in the arms of producer Mike Hedges, they relocated to France to record the swan-song album No More Apologies in 1996. Hailed by some critics as one of the finest albums ever made (an accusation the band was willing to live with). A House bade fond farewell in simple style, in the company of all those who loved them at Dublin's Olympia Theatre in May 1997. All told, the story of A House is one of triumph, because survival for such a long time in the music industry must be seen to be just that. A retrospective anthology of A House, called The Way We Were appeared in 2002 on EMI / Setanta.
Following the demolition of A House in 1997, Dave went off to spend some obligatory time in the wilderness working on several shelved projects. The Frank & Walters also enlisted Dave to produce their 2nd album The Grand Parade. At the request of the Irish Football Team, he produced a re-recording of Here Come The Good Times as their official song for the 2002 World Cup in Japan. It inevitably went to No. 1 in the Irish Charts and featured such musical luminaries as Aslan and Westlife,
Ultimately though, he always knew he had to come back to what he does best.
In 2003 Couse released his debut solo album, ‘Genes’, a collaboration with his long-term friend, Orange Juice / A Girl Like You maestro Edwyn Collins. A somewhat introspective affair, ‘Genes’ yielded new live favourites in the form of Familiar Feeling and Will It Ever Stop Raining? Quite different from A House, but still unmistakably Couse.
Couse & the Impossible’s ‘The World Should Know’ was released in Ireland in late October 2005 and seems poised to become the next glorious chapter in the career of one of rock’s great survivors and social observers.
A London show is planned for The Borderline in late January of 2006 with a UK release to follow in Spring.
THE WORD ON THE STREET:
“It's quite simply a stunning return to form and drips with the kind of caustic lyrics reminiscent of Morrissey at his best. Surely this is the album of the year!” Tom Dunne – Today FM
“Frankly it’s a minor disgrace that Couse is not international rock royalty. It is still perhaps, not too late to remedy this injustice.” Ed Power – The Irish Independent - Nov 2005
“Dave Couse still writes the kind of songs that most of his contemporaries can only dream of emulating.” John Meagher – Day & Night – October 2005