Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Somerset House
Singer-songwriter Paul Heaton and the vivacious Jacqui Abbott, female lead singer with Heaton’s former band The Beautiful South, have teamed up after ten years apart to form a dynamic and remarkable duo. Accompanied by three guitarists, a drummer and a pianist/keyboardist, the group rocked with well-known hits and new singles at Somerset House last night.
On a stage bathed in purple light with blue and yellow strobes, the beautiful, melodious Have Fun was synonymous with the mood of the crowd, whose movements quickly progressed from calm to dancing and twirling like happy children.
With a great sound system, especially for an outdoor venue, both music and lyrics were delivered to perfection. Instrumentals were excellent and both Heaton and Abbott have beautiful, powerful voices, exquisitely showcased here. Their range is eclectic, with country, rock, reggae, pop, a little Beatles, even some Greek and Russian influence.
From the fast-paced country sounds of DIY and I Don’t See Them and the country rock hit Don’t Marry Her (with pink lights and whirling pink circles) to classic pop tunes like Good as Gold (Carry on Regardless), each was impeccably performed. With “s song I’d like to dedicate to you lot, to London,” the joyful, quick tempo of Happy Hour was exhilarating, while the strong rock beat of Perfect 10 lived up to its name.
The last piece before the encore was the very 50s-sounding Caravan of Love, after which the band returned without delay for the reggae/country A Little Time and You Keep It All In as eight enormous, sparking flares shot up from the stage, and an audience sing-along sounded surprisingly good. With red lights and matching gigantic balloons bounding from the stage into the audience, the exotic Heatongrad maintained the momentum, inspiring more exuberant dancing, which continued throughout to the finale Woman in the Wall.
Somerset House is a lovely outdoor venue and duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott were superb; a fun show and a tremendous crowd-pleaser.
Photos: Matthew Pull
For further information about Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott and future events visit here.
Watch the video for The Austerity of Love here: