Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Fifth Best Band in Hull?

Frontman Paul Heaton famously proclaimed the Housemartins the fourth best band in Hull, behind Red Guitars, Everything But the Girl and the Gargoyles. If I ever run into Heaton, I will forgo the customary handshake and immediately ask him who his No. 5 was. Could it have been the Bloody Marys? This, their first single, came out in the summer of '86, exactly the same time as the Housemartins' 'London 0 Hull 4.' So, I guess they didn't really have a chance to sneak into Heaton's top 4. Plus, they quickly left Hull for the bright lights of Bristol anyway, with drummer Matt Higgins of Red Guitars in tow, by the way.

The Bloody Marys never found success like the Housemartins did. In fact, they don't appear anywhere in my copy of 'Indie Hits 1980-1989: The Complete U.K. Independent Charts,' and the Bloody Marys called it quits in 1990. This double-A side debut, produced by legendary Hull resident Steve Larkmen at his Angel Music Recording Studio in nearby Saltend, is a nice bit of jangle and reminds us Paris remains a wonderful place to fall in love. "Paris" sounds a bit like the Housemartins, doesn't it? Must be something in the water. "Party Hour," on the other hand, seems right out of the Driscolls' songbook, and they were from Bristol. Hmm.

"Paris"
"Party Hour"

3 comments:

The Swede said...

A new name to me. You're dead right, Paris (or at least the tune of it) is very Housemartinsish. I'd have to say that 'Party Hour' strikes me as the stronger of the two selections though.

charity chic said...

The Spiders from Mars were from Hull but not sure if they count.
If so that relegates the Housemartins to sixth!

Brian said...

Completely agree, Swede. I would normally post the one song, but I thought Party Hour was better too.

CC, I would say they counted. The same producer that worked with the Bloody Marys was close to some of those Spiders, particularly Mick Ronson. They often collaborated.