March 20, 2012
Former Housemartin and Beautiful South main man Paul Heaton will celebrate his 50th birthday by taking his acclaimed rock opera The 8th onto the road this July. Performing two different shows each night – The 8th followed by a career spanning set of greatest hits – Paul will will be accompanied by star of US hit series The Wire – Reg E Cathey, Ivor Novello winning artist Cherry Ghost, ex Beautiful South singer Jacqui Abbott, Los Campesinos! vocalist Gareth Paisey as well as sweet soul singer Wayne Gidden, Scottish singer songwriter Aaron Wright, The Earlies Christian Madden, Hull country & western singer Mike Greaves and the gospel tinged voices of Yvonne Shelton and Steve Menzies.
The 8th is one of the longest songs ever written and was one of the hits of last year’s Manchester International Festival 11. A song in eight chapters, it looks at the seven deadly sins through a series of scenes taking place in a single poverty-stricken neighbourhood, one where a new, thoroughly modern sin, The 8th is able to insinuate itself into every person’s life…
The performance of this electrifying musical will be followed by a set of some of Paul’s Greatest Hits as he is joined by the performers of The 8th for a tune packed journey through his back catalogue featuring tunes from his Beautiful South, Housemartins and solo career.
Given a theatrical narrative by award-winning playwright Che Walker (Royal Court and Young Vic) and directed by Paines Plough’s joint artistic director George Perrin, The 8th features a cast of performers from across many musical genres who join Heaton for some very special shows in July.
The staging of the show at the Manchester International Festival last year was a massive success, with three sold out shows across the event.
The 8th – the album – is released on 2nd July on Proper Records.
The staged version of The 8th was commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Paines Plough and premiered at MIF 2011. www.mif.co.uk.