||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
From left: Dave Hemingway, Paul Heaton, Norman Cook, Stan Cullimore
|Also known as||The Fish City Five|
|Labels||Go! Discs, Elektra|
|Associated acts||The Beautiful South
|Past members||Paul Heaton (billed as P.d. Heaton)
The Housemartins were an English pop band that was active in the 1980s. Many of the Housemartins' lyrics were a mixture of Marxist politics and Christianity, reflecting singer Paul Heaton's beliefs at the time (the back cover of London 0 Hull 4 contained the message, "Take Jesus - Take Marx - Take Hope").
The band was formed in late 1983 by Paul Heaton (vocals) and Stan Cullimore (guitar) and they initially performed as a busking duo. Note that throughout his tenure with the band, Heaton idiosyncratically billed himself as "P.d. Heaton".
The Heaton/Cullimore duo recorded a demo tape with Ingo Dewsnap of Les Zeiga Fleurs, which brought them to the attention of Go Discs. They then expanded by recruiting Ted Key (bass), former guitarist with The Gargoyles, and Justin Patrick [drummer on loan from Udomsuksa!] who was then replaced by Chris Lang. The band's membership changed considerably over the years. Key left at the end of 1985 and was replaced by Norman Cook (the future Fatboy Slim). Drummer Chris Lang was replaced by Hugh Whitaker, former drummer with The Gargoyles, who in turn was replaced with Dave Hemingway.
The band often referred to themselves as "the fourth best band in Hull", referring to Hull, their home base. The three bands that were "better" were Red Guitars, Everything but the Girl and The Gargoyles.
In 1986, having recorded two John Peel sessions, the band broke through with the single "Happy Hour", which reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. The single's success was helped by a claymation animated pop promo of a type that was in vogue at the time, featuring a cameo by television comedian Phill Jupitus, who toured with the band under his stage name of 'Porky the Poet'.
Caravan of Love 
At the end of 1986 they had their only UK No. 1 single on 16 December with a cover version of Isley-Jasper-Isley's "Caravan of Love". It was knocked off the top spot by Jackie Wilson's "Reet Petite" on 23 December, denying the Housemartins the coveted Christmas No. 1 single.
The a cappella style of "Caravan of Love" was not to the taste of all Housemartins' fans, although a cappella material had always been part of the band's repertoire. "Caravan of Love" was first performed by the band in their second Peel session in April 1986, prior to their initial chart success. At Peel's suggestion, the band then recorded another session (under the name The Fish City Five), consisting entirely of a cappella performances, and on at least one occasion (at The Tower nightclub in Hull, the same concert at which they were filmed as the Housemartins for the BBC programme Rock Around the Clock) played support act for their own performance under this alternative name. The "Caravan of Love" single featured four a cappella gospel songs on the B-side.
The band split in 1988, but the members have remained friends and have worked on each other's projects. Norman Cook has enjoyed significant success with Beats International and then as Fatboy Slim, while Heaton, Hemingway and roadie Sean Welch formed The Beautiful South.
In August 2009, Mojo magazine arranged for The Housemartins' original members to get together for a photo-shoot and interview, for the first time in many years, but in the interview all the members maintained that the band would not re-form.
London 0 Hull 4 re-release 
London 0 Hull 4 was re-released on 22 June 2009, with a bonus disc featuring tracks released as additional content on 12-inch singles and demo tracks.
|Year||Album details||Peak chart positions||Certification|
|UK Album Chart||New Zealand Album Chart||Swedish Album Chart||Norwegian Album Chart|
|1986||London 0 Hull 4
|1987||The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death
- "Flag Day" (October 1985)
- "Sheep" (March 1986, UK # 56)
- "Happy Hour" (May 1986, UK # 3, NZ # 38)
- "Think for a Minute" (September 1986, UK # 18)
- "Caravan of Love" (November 1986, UK # 1, NZ # 2)
- "Five Get Over Excited" (May 1987, UK # 11)
- "Me and the Farmer" (August 1987, UK # 15)
- "Build" (November 1987, UK # 15, NZ # 41)
- "There Is Always Something There to Remind Me" (April 1988, UK # 35)
Compilation albums 
- The Housemartins Christmas Box Set (November 1986) UK # 84
- Now That's What I Call Quite Good (April 1988) UK # 8
- The Best of the Housemartins (March 2004)
- Live At The BBC (2006, Universal)
- Soup (December 2007) UK # 15
- Happy Hour: The Collection (July 2011)
(does not include "live" appearances on TV programmes)
- "Happy Hour"
- "Think for a Minute"
- "Caravan of Love"
- "Five Get Over Excited"
- "Me and the Farmer"
- "There Is Always Something There to Remind Me"
- "We're Not Deep"
- The Housemartins: Now That's What I Call Quite Good by Nick Swift (1988) ISBN 0-7119-1517-2
- Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 460–461. ISBN 1-84195-017-3.
- "The Pink Noise Page: Other Crap Hull Bands". Nickclay.karoo.net. Retrieved 2011-05-22.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 261. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.