The Housemartins


The Housemartins

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Housemartins


Img_capt = From left: Dave Hemingway, Paul Heaton, Norman Cook, Stan Cullimore
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias =
Born =
Died =
Origin = Hull, England
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Indie rock, College rock
Occupation =
Years_active = 1983 – 1988
Label = Go! Discs, Elektra
Associated_acts = The Beautiful South Fatboy Slim
URL =
Current_members =
Past_members = Paul Heaton Stan Cullimore Norman Cook Dave Hemingway Ted Key Chris Lang Hugh Whitaker
Notable_instruments =

The Housemartins were an English pop band that was active in the 1980s. Many of the Housemartins' lyrics were a mixture of Marxist politics and Christianity, reflecting Paul Heaton's beliefs at the time (the back cover of "London 0 Hull 4" contained the message, "Take Jesus - Take Marx - Take Hope").

Career

Forming

The band was formed in 1983 by Paul Heaton (vocals), Stan Cullimore (guitar), Ted Key (bass) and Chris Lang (drums). The band's membership changed considerably over the years. Ted Key was replaced by Norman Cook — the future Fatboy Slim — and drummer Chris Lang was replaced by Hugh Whitaker, former drummer with The Gargoyles, who in turn was replaced with Dave Hemingway.

The band often referred to themselves as "the 4th best band in Hull", referring to Hull, the city in England where the band formed in 1983. (The three bands that were "better" were Red Guitars, Everything but the Girl, and The Gargoyles.)

Break

In 1986, having recorded two John Peel sessions, the band broke through with the single "Happy Hour", which reached No.3 in the UK charts. The single's success was helped by a claymation animated pop promo of a type that was in vogue at the time, featuring a cameo by TV comedian Phill Jupitus, who toured with the band under the stage name "Porky the Poet".

Caravan of Love

At the end of 1986 they narrowly missed out on the Christmas No.1 single with a cover version of Isley Jasper Isley's "Caravan of Love", when it was knocked off the top spot by Jackie Wilson's "Reet Petite" on 23 December.

The "a cappella" style of "Caravan of Love" was not to the taste of all Housemartins fans and was even derided by some as a sell-out. However, "a cappella" material had always been part of the band's repertoire. "Caravan of Love" was first performed by the band in their second John Peel session in April 1986, prior to their initial chart success. At Peel's suggestion, the band then recorded another session (under the name The Fish City Five) consisting entirely of "a cappella" performances, and on at least one occasion played support act for their own performance under this alternative name. The "Caravan of Love" single featured four "a capella" gospel songs on the B-side.

Split

The band split in 1988, but the members have since remained friends and worked on each other's projects. Norman Cook has enjoyed significant success with both Beats International and then as Fatboy Slim, while Heaton, Hemingway and roadie Sean Welch formed The Beautiful South. Despite repeated requests from fans, they have never reformed.

Discography

Albums

*"London 0 Hull 4" (June 1986, Go! Discs, UK #3)
*"The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death" (Sep 1987, Go! Discs, UK #9)
*"Live At The BBC" (2006, Universal)

Singles

* "Flag Day" / "Stand at Ease" (October 1985)
* "Sheep" / "Drop Down Dead" (March 1986, UK #56)
* "Happy Hour" / "The Mighty Ship" (May 1986, UK #3)
* "Think for a Minute" / "Who Needs the Limelight" (September 1986, UK #18)
* "Caravan of Love (Single)" / "When I First Met Jesus" (November 1986, UK #1)
* "Caravan of Love", "We Shall Not Be Moved" / "When I First Met Jesus", "So Much In Love", "Heaven Help Us All (Sermonette)" (12" single)
* "Flag Day" / "The Mighty Ship" (February 1987, US issue)
* "Five Get Over Excited" / "Rebel without the Airplay" (May 1987, UK #11)
* "Me and the Farmer" / "I Bit My Lip" (August 1987, UK #15)
* "Build" / "Paris in Flares" (November 1987, UK #15)
* "There Is Always Something There to Remind Me" / "Get Up Off Your Knees" (live) (April 1988, UK #35)

Compilations

* "The Housemartins Christmas Box Set" (November 1986) UK # 84
*"Now That's What I Call Quite Good" (April 1988) UK # 8
*"The Best of the Housemartins" (March 2004)
*"Soup" (December 2007) UK # 15

Videography

"(does not include "live" appearances on TV programmes)"
* "Sheep"
* "Happy Hour"
* "Think for a Minute"
* "Caravan of Love"
* "Five Get Over Excited"
* "Me and the Farmer"
* "Build"
* "Always Something There to Remind Me"
* "We're Not Deep"

External links

* [http://thehousemartins.com/ Fan site]


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