A well-intentioned birthday gift, but one that didn’t quite hit the mark (apologies Moo, but thank you all the same). I didn’t quite have the musical awareness in the late ‘80s to notice a band like The Housemartins, although I probably heard them in the background of my youth.
I don’t doubt The Housemartin’s ability to craft good songs – Happy Hour is a perfect example of this – but the one big obstacle for me is Paul Heaton’s voice. It has such an unusual, high-pitched nasal quality that I find it hard to listen to without wincing. I always thought the same with The Beautiful South.
One thing I do like about this album is the title – and there’s an amusing message in the inner sleeve: “The Housemartins say: Don’t try gate-crashing a party full of bankers. Burn the house down!” Amusing, only in retrospect, as drummer Hugh Whitaker was later jailed for arson attacks on a business partner.
Hit: Happy Hour
Hidden Gem: Flag Day