Saturday, 2 March 2013

Desert Island Discs 43 London 0 Hull 4 The Housemartins

43 London 0 Hull 4 by the Housemartins 1986

As with Wilder this is here purely on the basis of time and place. This time first year at Leeds poly.

Having said that I still smile whenever I hear this

And I can still get a bit emotional when I hear this

Flag Day - Housemartins

To some extent they came across as a bit of a cartoon band with their made up names and sing along songs , a bit like the monkees , but with a political message that made Billy Bragg look like a social democrat.

They had that amazing ability to write hook driven pop songs and in Paul Heaton were blessed with a singer whose voice had a deep soul feel.

London 0 Hull 4 is one of those rare lp where it could easily be a greatest hits as for once the every track a potential hit holds true

For my first year at poly I lived in halls of residence in Leeds .  Some old govt buildings set around an acre that wasn't quite an acre. For some reason a lot of people in our Hall went home for the weekend and so a relatively few of us had the run of the place. This was one of those lps that was a permanent soundtrack to those times and one that would prompt spontaneous ferocious dancing where ever we were

The delights of youtube has unearthed this Whistle Test feature of the band

Part 2 is worth watching for the both the smashie and nicie dj but also as a reminder of how great they were live

You can buy the debut lp from "the 4th best band in Hull" here which is expanded to include their cracking b sides


  1. I almost met my maker at a Housemartins' gig when blamed for a skinhead getting knocked to the floor during wild crowd surges. I suddenly found myself surrounded by a bunch of skinheads, a few of whom had knives. Fortunately, my friend, a six foot and a few inches skinhead managed to disarm the situation. So now, when I hear the Housemartins, I get Anxious.

  2. Gosh, I haven't listened to this in ages. Got plenty of play around my house when first released. I guess when Beautiful South's lush & sophisticated stylings came along they superseded Housemartins bubblegum jangle in my taste department. But listening now I'm reminded there were some great moments, particularly on the slower tunes. I completely overlooked this one...

    #43 - ELTON JOHN - Madman Across The Water (1971)

    - TJ also profiled this album as one of his picks earlier...
    This was one of the first albums purchased as youngster, and I vividly remember picking up the blue album with the big letters in our local hole-in-the-wall record shop. Bought it 'coz I liked the singles Levon & Tiny Dancer. However, it evolved into something of a ground-breaking experience as it was the first time I became aware of the art of "The Album." Every track a perfect little story song every bit as good as the singles.

    Note: I'm probably docking this LP several notches because of his later reckless and chaotic "career"... This was before flamboyant MOR Elton. It's easy to forget his beginnings as a sensitive singer/songwriter and his astonishing gift for melody peaking during those first few excellent albums. Taupin's character sketch/narratives abtruse yet somehow extemely moving; Gus Dudgeon/Paul Buckmaster's bombastic arrangements have oft been critisized, but I think they're perfect.

    Indian Sunset (live '72):
    All The Nasties:

    PS: Phil... Girl On A Wire popped up while driving today on one of my many comp CD's. I'd forgotten about Swan Dive. I have "June" but nothing else. I see they have quite a back catalog which I must check out, including your last pick. EBTG an apt comparison, coming up later!

  3. Indifferent to Housemartins and Beautiful South; I think it's Heaton's fault but don't quite know why...
    Agree with you about Elton TT; after that wonderful decade he went on to become a precious twat. I think he regards himself as r 'n' r royalty now. I see a pantomime Queen Mum... Shame as he has made some interesting music in collaboration recently; unfortunately, for me, his well is poisoned..

  4. Like Tim, I prefer the less cartoon like Beautiful South, but The Housemartins were still an excellent band and 4-0 really does boast a strong set of songs.
    #43 David Bowie - Aladdin Sane. Next month sees the release of the 40th anniverary edition of this which is quite scarey.From it's release until well into the 80's this was my favourite album.Every track is Bowie at his best.Also the last time the classic Spiders appeared with him. This is my all time favourite Bowie track
    The first couple of singles from Bowies new album sound very good indeed. A must buy.

    1. Looking forward to the new Bowie. Sounds like the return of a songwriter rather than a fashion icon. I preferred an earlier work...

  5. And ive gone for a later one. New lp does sound good. I did wonder if there would be another one. Not sure about this return to form thing as reality and especially heathen were non too shabby


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