Late Night Stargazing

More TV music documentary-inspired loveliness tonight.

The other night Channel 4  showed an absolutely fascinating portrayal of Paul Heaton, main man of The Housemartins, The Beautiful South and…er…Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbot.

Broadcast to coincide with the recent release of Heaton’s best of album, the self-deprecatingly titled The Last King of Pop, there’s some wonderful moments in it, including Norman Cook shock when he finds out that he’s won an Ivor Novello award and Heaton hasn’t.

The documentary shows Heaton in an honest, reflective, often self-critical mode, confessing that:

  • sometimes he had missed the mark with some of his lyrics, chiefly on 36d
  • that when Jacqui quit The Beautiful South to have kids, he could have done more to help her and allow her to keep performing
  • he has battled with alcohol in the past
  • that he should have called time on The Beautiful South six or seven years before he finally did.

I’m with him on the first point (and you could happily add Perfect 10 to that too), and the last; I lost interest in them after their fifth studio album, 1998’s Quench. They soldiered on without my support for a further four albums and eight years.

I’m aware that The Beautiful South are one of those bands who divide opinion; I love a lot of their earlier stuff, but the majority of my friends would recoil in horror when they spotted them in my CD collection.

But give this a listen; a single from 1994, a poignant tale of a couple who still love each other after being together for many years. It’s just lovely.


The Beautiful South – Prettiest Eyes


If you’re in the UK, you can watch the documentary on 4OD, or by clicking here (for a limited period).

More soon.

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