B – is for the Beautiful South

Saturday 23rd August

This was always Paul Heaton’s band.  He was originally in the Housemartins but split to create tongue in cheek ‘The Beautiful South’ (he was unapologetically from the North), a collective where all members of the band would share everything.  There were three singers and Paul wrote all the lyrics but was happy to give co-writes for the music.  They released their first album, 1989’s Welcome to the Beautiful South and it was a real breath of fresh air.  Clever pop-songs with catchy melodies and very cryptic words; they were an immediate hit.  It had seemed a long time since such classic pop songs were in the charts “A little time”, “Rotterdam”,“Perfect 10” and many others soon followed.

The band seemed quite fluid but always held together by Paul, even though he was fighting his own battle with alcohol which he documented in songs like “Old Red Eyes is Back” and “Liar’s Bar”

The band split up in 2007, and Paul has since pursued a less popular solo career.  But if you are feeling a bit down, just listen again to songs like “Don’t Marry Her, F%$k Me.”  The perfect antidote to all the rubbishy hip-hop and r’n’b nonsense that parades under the name of popular music.