Heaton songs, amongst friends and fans in the upper room of the Salford pub he owns, The King’s Arms. One of those friends, Jacqui Abbott, is back singing with him as she did in the most commercially triumphant period of his old band The Beautiful South. He finishes the gig with the 1986 no 1 single “Caravan of Love”, by his other ex-band, The Housemartins. The Isley Brothers’ original becomes Northern socialist gospel, fixing on a “dream” of freedom. Freed by Abbott’s vocal presence, Heaton shakes and emotes at the mic-stand like a preacher in rapture.
What Have We Become
The most obvious sign of the pub’s landlord is a gold disc for Blue Is the Colour, a million-selling Beautiful South album that Abbott sang on. She quit in 2000 to look after her young son, who had been diagnosed with autism. The band expired in 2007, Heaton wryly citing “musical similarities”.Independent