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12) The Housemartins London 0 Hull 4

Paul, Stan, Norman, and Hugh are hardly the names you would expect of a top selling band of pop stars but in 1986 The Housemartins were one of Britain’s biggest groups.

As per usual I had heard their first single, Flag Day, on John Peel and was mainly impressed with lead singer, Paul Heaton’s, vocals, this man had a voice and to be fair it’s still a great song.

The follow up, Sheep was okay, but they hit the big time with Happy Hour, its catchy with a good chorus but the clay video of the four of them down the pub on The Chart Show pushed them into the top ten.

This album debuted at number three and contained twelve tracks, the three mentioned singles and Think for a Minute released after the album was already out, a slow thoughtful number with excellent backing vocals.

The album is mainly fast guitar driven songs that hit you with an infectious chorus. They also manage to fit in one instrumental and Heaton again hits all the notes on a slow moody Lean On Me.

At the time they sometimes played a cappella as The Fish City Five and they took this forward as The Housemartins and scored a number one with Caravan of Love.

It’s enjoyable enough but their second album was already showing diminishing returns and Heaton was restless and soon moved on, wonder what happened to Norman Cook?



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