Dave Hause – London Borderline

By Tom Aylott

The recent fire at the Sony/Pias distribution centre in north London cost many independent record labels the majority of their back catalogues and left them with the very real threat of going under.

London based indie-label Xtra Mile was one label determined not to be dragged down by what they referred to as “misfortune” and instead launched Fuck The Fire with Pledge Music. As well as offering fans a second chance of getting their hands on reprints of old favourites they announced a charity show at The Borderline.

With Xtra Mile poster boy Frank Turner currently on tour of the U.S. and other well known members of the Xtra Mile family such as The Xcerts, Crazy Arm and Ben Marwood otherwise occupied, it fell to familiar faces Beans on Toast and Christ T-T along with new signings Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Jim Lockey (Jim Lockey and the Solemn Sun) and Colin MacIntyre (Mull Historical Society) to show how important it is that Xtra Mile was not allowed to fold.

Entering a venue to be met with the site of a shaggy looking, gravel voiced man with no shoes and a ¾ sized guitar may surprise those not aware of BEANS ON TOAST’s brand of social commentary. It is tribute to his charm how intently the crowd listens as he sings the poignant ‘Wave Goodbye to EMI’, and even more so when they laugh along as he completely forgets the 2nd verse when singing about broken Britain. He finishes off with ‘New Number One’, a tribute to a blushing Lizzy B in the crowd.

JIM LOCKEY follows by demonstrating why he is a natural fit with Xtra Mile with his brief two-song set. The crowd warm to him immediately and it’s clear throughout ‘Wishing Well’ why this man has found fans in Ben Marwood and Frank Turner.

CHRIS T-T shuffles up on stage and before speaking a word of introduction breaks into haunting version of ‘Halfway Down’ by A. A. Milne – whose poetry becomes a theme of Chris T-T’s set. He tells the captivated room how he has now started doing children’s shows before moving onto emotional versions of ‘A Box to Hide In’ and the a capella ‘M1 Song’. Faster paced ‘Preaching to the Converted’ is next, before the more mellow ‘Elephant in the room’ and ‘A Hunstman Comes A-Marchin’ make appearances. He finishes as he started with another A. A. Milne effort to bring to a close a very articulate, political and entertaining set.

Next up, fresh off the revival tour comes DAVE HAUSE, showcasing songs from recently released solo effort ‘Resolutions’ and peppering the set with Loved Ones hits. While it would be easy to draw comparisons to label mate Frank Turner, it would be unjust on the quality and charisma he brings to the stage tonight. Highlights come in the form of ‘Prague (Revive me)’, ‘Pray For Tucson’, and album title track ‘Resolutions’. Hause is clearly (and deservedly) enjoying himself on stage and takes the time between songs to talk about driving on tour with Franz Nicolay, and also question Beans on Toast as to why he removed his shoes – to which he never got an answer.

The final act of the evening is Mull Historical Society’s COLIN MACINTYRE. There is something very recognisable about MacIntyre’s songs, but he doesn’t quite reach the heights set just before by Dave Hause. Despite the evening not finishing as strongly as it started there is no doubting the strength in depth Xtra Mile can boast and how their survival is of benefit to us all.