Gig Review and Photography by Sophie Jones

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Arriving terrible late to the venue after hitting traffic most of the way there. I arrive at a sold out Civic Hall with half an hour to spare before Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott took to the stage. There are fans gathered outside for a cheeky smoke and a few alcohol fuelled revellers enjoying some lively banter.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

As I make my way in to the sold old venue I manage to squeeze my way down to the front. I noticed quite quickly I was the youngest person in attendance, it was like a case of “Where’s Wally”. A few puzzled looks here and there but nothing untoward.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

The stage is covered in various scarves and flags with dim blue light casting across the venue, creating the mood. The lights go down and the band walks on, shortly followed by Paul and Jacqui, The room erupts with cheers for them both. They came out and went straight into record opener ‘Moulding of a Fool’, followed by ‘The Right in Me’ and then onto The Housemartins track ‘We’re Not Deep’.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

So far the evening was filled with classic tracks from the 90’s and the room was lapping it up with massive sing-a-longs and no doubt it was to continued for the rest of the evening.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

As they both took a moment to have a breather Paul spoke with the room, plugging that on December 12th we could see them in the ‘Hope for Christmas benefit gig‘ in Manchester supporting Trade Unionists who help those who have fallen on hard times.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Continuing to chat with the audience Paul goes on to describe his creation that was the ‘Good as Gold’ video saying “I went for a wee in a puddle and when I finished the elephant went and drank it, later on the elephant went for a wee and Dave dared me to drink it”. Unfortunately I couldn’t hear if he did drink the wee or not due to the large amounts of groans and eurgh sounding noises, which is a little frustrating as it was a fascinating story. As if by magic, the next number up was ‘Good As Gold’.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

It was a real nostalgia event playing greats from yesteryear – from both The Housemartins and The Beautiful South – until they went into ‘DIY’ off their recent album ‘What Have We Become?’ Itself a popular record entering the charts in the top three.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Chants started from the fans aiming at Paul to take his jacket off. “Off Off Off” accompanied by stamping feet, Undoing the top button Paul quipped “if I take my jacket off then you’ll want my shirt off, I know how this works”.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

The likeable duo finished their set with ‘Let Love Speak Up Itself’. As soon as they left stage the noise level from the fans rose, chanting for more. Jacqui came back on stage to play a fan favourite ‘Rotterdam’. It was time for her to shine; and shine she did with perfect vocals.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Paul then joined his Beautiful South partner on stage to perform the Housemartins’ ditty ‘Happy Hour’ before returning once more for a second encore ending the perfect night with ‘Perfect 10’ and ‘Caravan of Love’.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

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