The Paul Heaton Interview
The Paul Heaton Interview:
Can you remember the moment when you first wanted to be a musician and when was the first moment when you realised you had that voice??
Probably when I first went busking in 1981 and I could see people's reaction to my music. As for the voice, like your spoken one, you're not really aware of any differences until you hear people impersonate you.
Who did you pretend to be, singing into your hairbrush in front of the mirror?
Marc Bolan, Michael Jackson (Jacksons Era), Al Green, Otis Redding.
You were born in Merseyside, lived in Reigate, Leeds and Hull, and was brought-up in Sheffield, but where do you call home?
My roots have been pulled up anywhere I've been happy. At the moment Manchester is my home but Hull is where my heart lies.
Why the Blades and not the Owls?
I was 5 when I made that choice, I don't know why I made it (United were a division below and both my brothers were Wednesday) but it was an extremely wise decision. One I've never regretted.
It's been documented that you were into the football violence in your younger years. What made you get out of that; the buzz went? Didn't think it was right anymore or did getting famous knock that on the head??
I wasn't ‘into' the violence, I just went to the match with people who liked a scrap. They smoked draw and read the Sun but I didn't get into that side either.
How did you meet the rest of your Housemartins?
I met Norman through friends in Surrey, Stan through an advert in my window in Hull and Hugh was recommended by a friend.
You used to refer to yourself as P.d. Heaton in the days of the Housemartins. What was that all about?
It was a nickname given to me by some friends in Manchester as in Paul David.
Everyone remembers the dance routine from the ‘Happy Hour' video. How long did that take to rehearse?
Is that right that comedian Phil Jupitas used to tour with the band?
Phil, or Porky as he was known, tour managed the band through our first ever proper tour, which was in effect the whole of 1986.
Hugh Whitaker's replacement on the Housemartins' stool was Dave Hemingway. He had a lovely voice. Who's the best singing drummer of all-time; Dave? Don Henley? or Phil Collins?
Dada Nii Okwabi - no contest.
Your next band The Beautiful South tasted success for nearly two decades. Why do you think you struck such a chord with listeners worldwide?
I write very catchy pop songs and still do.
A lot of the Beautiful South's lyrics were quite hard-hitting, concerning subjects like alcoholism and domestic violence. Do you think touching on touchy subjects in lyric form, gets the message across and did writing and singing about alcoholism, help you personally with your troubles with the drink??
I've spoken to people who've said the songs helped them through domestic violence but I've also accidentally glamourised alcohol in songs like Old Red Eyes. Personally I thought I was untouchable by drink. I now know different.
The Beautiful South split in 2007 due to ‘musical similarities', which was class! Does it make you feel proud that all the bands you've been in have always split on very amicable terms?
Yes it does.
Earlier this year, you toured Britain, playing in small pubs and got to each venue by riding a bike! What was the best and worst parts of that?
It was all good. Fantastic in fact! The only bad day was an 82 mile leg from Shropshire to South Warwickshire against a terrible wind in the pouring rain. Up and downhill, without a map. Still had a laugh that day even.
Was there any particular area of the country where you felt the best pubs were located?
Surrey was strong, as was Hampshire. Lincolnshire was holding on too! Yorkshire has been hit hard by Bistro culture though.
Your new solo album, ‘Acid Country' is out soon, what feel and sounds can we expect of your new release?
I've always admired your fashion sense and especially your choice of coat. Do you get them sent to you and what is your anorak of choice??
No, I shop like everyone. I had an Armani coat with a peaked hood in the early 80's. A sackcloth thing. I'd kill to get it back.
What are the your career highlights so far?
Receiving a standing ovation at the Pensioners Party in my local when Caravan of Love got to number 1.
First single ever bought?
Bought 2 the same day.
Thing Called Love - Johnny Cash
Hallelujah Day - The Jacksons
First album ever bought?
Sweet Soul Music. A compilation of 60's Atlantic soul.
Last album bought?
Admiral Fallow - Boots Met My face
Are you a vinyl, CD, iTunes or mp3 man?
CD and Itunes.
Desert Island/Isle Of Mann Discs - What 5 albums would you take?
1 - Belle - Al Green
2 - Soul Man - Sam and Dave
3 - Give ‘em Enough Rope - The Clash
4 - Boots Met My Face - Admiral Fallow
5 - Down in Mississippi - J B Lenoir
What is your fantasy band?
Lead Vocals - Al Green
Guitar - Duane Allman
Bass - Duck Dunn
Drums - Pretty Purdie
Keyboards - Stevie Wonder
First gig attended?
The Stylistics 1976
First gig played and its abiding memory?
Leatherhead Surrey rehearsal rooms. Drummer too pissed to play.
Best gig played?
Belfast Ulster Hall
Favourite gig venue?
Anywhere - Belfast
What state do you think the Music Industry will be in 10 years time?
Favourite radio show?
Favourite tour cuisine?
Favourite tour drinks?
I once read an article where you had a basement full of football memorabilia. Do you still have that and what is your most treasured possession??
I have, they're all treasured.
First football match attended & its abiding memory?
Sheffield Wednesday v Burnley. Steve Kindon was being booed.
The back of the away end at Kenilworth Road, Luton
Favourite away ground?
Favourite ever match?
York City v Sheffield Utd 1980's Division 4. Cooperman, a famous Sheffield United fan, ran on the pitch and wrapped a 50-yard scarf around Tony Kenworthy. He ended up looking like a mummy.
Worst ever match?
Walsall at home, the last game of 1980-81. We needed a draw to stay up. County got a penalty in the last minute and scored. Then we got a penalty, which would have kept us in the Third Division, but Don Givens missed. I smashed up my radio and cried my eyes out.
Favourite ever goal?
Inter 1 Juventus 1 - Aldo Serena diving header for Inter [1988 - 1989]
1 - Henri Francillon
2 - Hans Peter Briegel
3 - Tony Kenworthy
4 - Uli Stielike
5 - Riccardo Ferri
6 - Rivelino
7 - Franco Baresi
8 - Geoff Salmons
9 - Alessandro Altobeli
10 - Michel Platini
11 - Johan Cruyff
Manager - Giovanni Trapattoni
Hero in football?
Tony Currie - he brought a light to SUFCs dark
Terry Curran, played for Sheffield Wednesday then later joined us. We lost 4-0 to them one Boxing Day and he destroyed us. We were top of the league but our season fell apart after that.
Why do you feel England were so poor at the World Cup in South Africa?
The players aren't good enough
What state do you think English Football will be in 10years time?
Down to 2 professional divisions
5 Favourite Films of All-Time?
1 - Free Willy 1
2 - Free Willy 2
3 - Dead Man's Shoes
4 - Guys & Dolls
5 - The Piano
Favourite TV show?
Match of the Day
Not Mark Lawrensen
What 5 Books will you always go back to?
1 - Black Gangster - Donald Goines
2 - Look out Whitey - Julius Lester
3 - Deep in a dream- The Long Night of Chet Baker -James Gavin
4 - The Mind Machine - Colin Blakemore
5 - The Story of the Blues -Paul Oliver
Most money won on a bet?
Heroes in Life?
Malcolm X and Huey P Newton
On tour with Madness:
26 November BLACKPOOL, Empress Ballroom
27 November GLASGOW, O2 Academy
28 November NEWCASTLE, O2 Academy
30 November MANCHESTER, Apollo
1 December SHEFFIELD, O2
3 December HALL, Arena
4 December LEICESTER, DM Hall
5 December LEEDS, O2 Academy
7 December NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
8 December BOURNEMOUTH, Intl Centre
10 December READING, Rivermead
11 December BIRMINGHAM, O2 Academy
13 December CARDIFF, Arena
14 December PLYMOUTH, Pavilions
15 December BRIGHTON, Centre
17 December LONDON, Earls Court
24 hr cc hotline: 0844 811 0051 & 0844 826 2826
PAUL HEATON TAKES A TRIP AROUND AN ‘ACID COUNTRY’
Out now on Proper Records