THE HOUSEMARTINS LAID A CLUTCH OF HITS THAT RUFFLED FEATHERS, AND AFTER THEY FLEW THE NEST, SOME OF THEIR MEMBERS’ CAREERS REALLY TOOK OFF. JIM KEOGHAN FINDS OUT IF THEY WERE AVIAN A LAUGH…
Few album titles so succinctly capture a band’s attitude as The Housemartins’ debut, London 0 Hull 4. The four, a reference to their self-depreciating belief that they were the fourth-best band from Hull, the zero a cocky assertion that London hadn’t produced any bands of note to rival that Kingston quartet.
“Smartarses with a sense of humility; that was us,” laughs Paul Heaton, songwriter and lead vocalist with the band.
The Housemartins burst through the confines of indie and placed themselves slap-bang into the heart of the mainstream. Their year was 1986; one that saw them enjoy a chart topping single, a Top 5 album and very nearly saw them capture the much-coveted Christmas No 1 spot.
They had come a very long way in a relatively short time. Just a few years earlier the band had been a duo, two mates who busked around Hull.
“I was a student at the university and I lived in the same street as Paul Heaton, so knew who he was,” says Stan Cullimore, songwriter and guitarist with the band. “He’d advertised around the city looking for musicians so I got in touch and we really hit it off. We were two lads with loads in common who were obsessed by music and had a real desire to make it as musicians. So we began writing, independently at first busked around the city and then started …
by JIM KEOGHAN
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- ALBUM REVIEW: London 0 Hull 4 by The Housemartins