Support: Gavin Glass
Sixth time seeing Paul (including once with The Beautiful South) and this was without question the best yet. Be warned though if you come to his gigs expecting to hear Beautiful South songs then you will be disappointed as it's his solo albums that are played as well as some classic Housemartins tracks.
In the sweaty surroundings of Dublin's Whelan's Paul provided a barnstorming performance tonight which the raucous crowd really lapped up. Yes the Housemartins songs got the biggest cheers but the solo stuff just gets better and better the more you hear it and they all got a good reception here. Starting off tonight with Mitch from his first album was a surprising but most welcome start. I really adore that LP and wish he would play more from it. Next up were a couple of tracks from his second album before the first songs from his new and quite superb album Acid Country were aired. The sixth song played tonight stopped everyone in their tracks as the opening lyrics of Caravan Of Love were sung. To say Whelan’s started screaming would be an understatement. I think everyone in the place sung along with Paul drowning him out to his obvious delight. I admit I wasn’t expecting to hear that particular song again but hey I ain’t complaining.
Some of my favourite Heaton solo tracks were played in a row, Deckchair Collapsed, Little Red Rooster, and God Bless Texas but it may be no surprise that one of the other main highlights tonight was another Housemartins song. Me And The Farmer is possibly the best song from that era and the crowd was yet again jumping. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful stuff.
Everything Is Everything and the Clash song (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais closed the main set, and for the encore we got the title track from his latest album before yet another surprise; Get Up Off Our Knees. Ok now this was getting silly, I mean come on, he played yet another favourite Housemartins song. Finishing with Poems from his debut solo album just rounded off the gig in great style (haven’t heard it live before…I think).
So a storming gig from the great man. You know what annoys me though? Paul Heaton should be classed as a national treasure but seems to have been passed over in recent years. His lyrics are outstanding and his music infectious. The only downside for me was the noise of the crowd during Gavin Glass's set. I really thought he was an excellent performer and deserved more respect rather than the drunken fools chattering away and completely ignoring him. I liked his set so much a bought a couple of his CDs at the back of the venue afterwards. Hope to see him again soon. As for Mr Heaton there can be no doubt I will be seeing him for many, many years to come.
Ticket: April 10th 2011
Ticket Price: €19.50