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Baker's Dozen

Perfect 13: Paul Heaton's Favourite Albums
Adrian Lobb , August 16th, 2017 07:30

Paul Heaton ex of the Housemartins and Beautiful South guides Adrian Lobb through 13 favourite albums - there's a lot of soul in there, but which ones did he nick?


Buzzcocks - Another Music In A Different Kitchen
I was 16 and girlfriend-less. I didn't keep a proper diary but I wrote in all these books with Surrey County Council Education written on the front. I just used to write and write and write. A lot of them are about rejection, and a lot of them are quoting Pete Shelley's lyrics from this album. 'What Do I Get', 'I Don't Mind', 'Boredom'. He was a massive influence on me when I was 15 or 16. We saw them on the Old Grey Whistle Test and the punky-y programme So It Goes, with Tony Wilson. They looked brilliant and me and Adey had a guitar but didn't have an amp. He would try to work out the chords from watching The Old Grey Whistle Test. I remember trying to work the chords out to 'In The Streets', 'Today' by The Jam.

But the Buzzcocks ones were fairly easy. There were just two chords to the song 'Sixteen'. You can hear, if you listen to the guitar at the start of 'Me And The Farmer' by the Housemartins, it is exactly like the playing on this first Buzzcocks record. It is just two strings at the top of the guitar going: "De-ner-de-ner-de-ner". All I could play was that sort of Pete Shelley – or was it Steve Diggle on that one – lead. I liked the way it sounded. I was just learning at the time and then stopped learning and concentrated on singing.

Also, with the singing, I had seen The Buzzcocks and The Undertones making records that my mum would like. We went to see The Undertones with my mum, I think down in Torquay when we were on holiday in 1978 or 1979. She liked Feargal Sharkey and she liked Pete Shelley. For some reason, she also liked Malcolm Owen from The Ruts. But in general, she liked tuneful, poppy punk – and I think that was a bit of an influence on me. The seemed to be getting the message across to someone like my mum, and I thought that was the sort of pop music I would like to make.