Gig review: Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott tour What Have We Become @ The Lowry Theatre, Salford

What Have We Become, the brand new tour from The Beautiful South’s dynamic-duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, took Salford’s Lowry by storm last Friday.

Featuring classic tracks, Paul’s definitive humour and of course, standing ovations from the nostalgic crowd, the gig was a hit.

It was a perfect combination of old The Beautiful South and Housemartins classics mixed with their fantastic new tracks such as Costa Del Sombre and D.I.Y.

The gig saw the pair reunited in line with the release of their anticipated new album, which has already claimed the number three slot in the Official Albums Chart.

On the night the crowd went wild right on cue, as the pair – alongside their band – took to the colourful stage to deliver yet another passion-driven performance.

One member of the audience even screamed ‘let us dance’ to which the ever-witty Paul replied, ‘we can’t stop you moving your feet’.

Whilst the audience were jovial throughout the gig, they were particularly animated when Paul introduced I’ll Sail this Ship Alone, his daughter’s favourite track from his The Beautiful South days, before delivering a faultless vocal performance which left the crowd teary-eyed.

Although Paul chatted about his daughter’s favourite tracks, he also talked about their biggest ‘dad cringes’ and said: “I’ve been warned by my daughters tonight that I’m not allowed to dance.

“They always say my moves are embarrassing, but I am a believer that it’s very important to have a good jig,” before he followed it up with an impressive soirée of his best dance moves.

D.I.Y, the first-released single from What Have We Become – which has begun its climb to the top in the singles chart – was a definite crowd favourite, as people jumped onto their seats, clapping their hands above their heads as the opening chords played out into the theatre.

Jacqui told MM how excited she was to hear the track played on the radio in her local shop.

“I was standing in the queue and the next minute the opening tune to D.I.Y. played out,” she said.

“I was sort of like, ‘oh my god, this is our song’ and if I’d have been with my mum, she would’ve told the entire shop ‘that’s my daughter on the radio’ but I just stood there, enjoying the moment and appreciating our music, which I still do after all this time.”

Amongst the performances of the night was Dream a Little Dream of Me, a track which Jacqui performed in the early days of The Beautiful South.

Although Jacqui delivered the vocals perfectly, she had never performed the track to a live audience before but showed no signs of nervous as she delivered it to the joy of the crowd.

The duo – and their amazing band – left the audience awestruck following their stunning acapella performance of the Housemartins classic, Caravan of Love, which they performed as part of their impressive, audience-demanded double encore.

And the pair took the gig as the perfect opportunity to thank their loyal fans for their continued support throughout the years.

“I never really get the opportunity to say thank you to you all, but thank you for all of your support, it’s always appreciated,” said Paul.

Paul then went on to talk about their new album, comparing it to Manchester legends Oasis.

“Oasis are one below us in the charts,” he boasted.

“The £8.99 you pay for an Oasis album will what? Pay for more private education in London?

“The £7.99 you pay for ours will buy each of us a pint, so do the right thing tomorrow, look how much they all want a pint” he said, grabbing on to one of the back-up vocalists and joining in laughter.

Image courtesy of BBC, via Youtube, with thanks

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