Musical genius Paul Heaton talks of his strong links to Doncaster's history after announcing a 2022 town gig

It may well have been Bolton 3, Doncaster Rovers 0, this week, but the Keepmoat will be ringing to the distant sounds of London 0, Hull 4, next summer.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 9:11 pm

Announced on Monday, the musical genius of Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott will be coming to Doncaster as part of a two-date 2022 stadium tour.

The pair will be supported by The Proclaimers and The Lathums so it’s a not-to-be missed date for your diairies.

And it’s certainly a treat for fans as Paul has only played in the town once before, but he has very strong links to the area and he talked about this, lockdown, writing and inspiration when we caught up with him this week.

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Paul and Jacqui will be performing in Doncaster next summer

Paul, aged 59, started his chart career as the singer-songwriter and frontman of the Hull-based Housemartins, who formed in 1986.

They had a string of hits over just a three year career and went their separate ways in 1988.

Paul then formed the highly successful Beautiful South and it wasn’t until they disbanded and he pursued a solo career that he then joined forces with vocalist Jacqui Abbott.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

The Beautiful South

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Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott announce gig at Doncaster Keepmoat stadium

Having just completed a huge tour you would think it would be time to put their feet up but Paul is already planning the next album which we should hopefully see some time next year, and may even get a brief taster of it when he visits Doncaster.

Firstly we asked him if he was daunted by big venues and if he preferred somewhere with a smaller capacity.

"It depends. I don’t mind either, stadium or intimate gigs.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

"I once went on a tour around the UK on my bike, performing in pubs along the way and I really enjoyed that.

"I don’t want to sound big headed but I’ve probably outgrown that sort of place now.”

And what about lockdown, did you cope?

“I was personally alright, it really wasn’t much of a change, I just sat around mostly.

The Housemartins

"I live on a really nice street and we got together every Saturday to play bingo.

"I did write a bit but I usually go away and write.

"I go to Holland to do the lyrics and Gran Canaria to do the music, but of course I wasn’t able to do that last year.”

Paul and Jacqui are already in the process of putting together their next album.

"We’ve got 19 songs to rehearse and we will then present them to the record company in about April. It will probably be out later next year.

"If we release a single we’ll play that at Doncaster, we usually play five or six off the new album.”

The first album from The Housemartins

And can we expect plenty of the classics too, which you pulled out of the bag during the recent tour?

“Well I can still sing Happy Hour after 35 years, but some tracks are too high now.”

And are you looking forward to coming to Doncaster?

“I think I’ve only played in Doncaster once and that was with The Beautiful South, so yes.

“I’ve got quite a lot of history with Doncaster. I joined in the miners’ strike in the ‘80s and I have kept in touch with a lot of people from Hatfield Main.

"That time had a big influence on my politics.

"I used to go to Thorne for the Darley’s beer.”

And where does most of your influence for your lyrics come from?

“Some people like to got to the country and paint or do poetry but that’s no use for me to have no-one around.

"I get influence from everyday people.

"I just see people out on the street or stood at a bus stop and I can create a story around them.”

Anyone that would like to see Paul and Jacqui perform, and trust me you will not be disappointed if you do, they are performing at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, July 23.

Tickets are expected to sell fast as they are only priced at £35 and go on sale on Friday, November 26, at 9.30am via gigsandtours.com and ticketmaster.co.uk

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.