Beautiful South’s Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott to play Sunderland Empire

Jacqui Abbott and Paul Heaton
Jacqui Abbott and Paul Heaton

Former Beautiful South stars Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are to play Sunderland Empire.

They will tour with their eagerly-awaited third album Crooked Calypso later this year, with a date on Wearside on Thursday, November 23.

Paul and Jacqui last played live at their Beauty In The East show at Hull’s 23,000 capacity KCOM Craven Park Stadium last month.

The pair will release their third album Crooked Calypso on Virgin EMI on July 21.

As well as new singles, I Gotta Praise and The Lord Is A White Con, the tour is set to delve deep into Paul’s 30 year back catalogue as a songwriter as they perform classic songs by The Beautiful South and the Housemartins.

Paul is one of the UK’s most successful songwriters with 10 million album sales under his belt.

He first came to public attention in the early ‘80s as front man of Hull-based indie pop band The Housemartins (the same group that spawned Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook), who are best known for their third single Happy Hour and their No 1 acapella Isley Bros cover Caravan Of Love. The Housemartins released two albums London 0 Hull 4 and The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.

In 1988 Paul formed The Beautiful South, who released 10 hugely-successful albums including Welcome To The Beautiful South and Choke.

In 2001 Heaton took a break from The Beautiful South and released his first solo album Fat Chance with The Beautiful South calling it a day in 2007 citing musical similarities.

Jacqui Abbott was lead vocalist in The Beautiful South from 1994 to 2000 and she sang many of their signature hits including Rotterdam, Perfect 10, Don’t Marry Her and Dream A Little Dream.

Paul went on to release two further solo albums: The Cross-Eyed Rambler and Acid Country.

In 2011 he wrote a musical called The 8th based on the Seven Deadly Sins and asked Jacqui to sing one of the parts. They have since released two acclaimed albums as a duo: What Have We Become in 2014 and Wisdom, Laughter and Lines in 2015.

•Tickets for the Crooked Calypso tour at Sunderland Empire go on sale on Friday, July 7 at 9.30am in person at the Box Office on High Street West, from the Ticket Centre on 0844 871 3022 or online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland