was formed in late 1983 by Paul Heaton (vocals) and Stan Cullimore (guitar), and they initially performed as a busking duo. They 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 Chris Lang. 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 #3 in the UK singles chart. The single's success was helped by a animated pop promo of a type that was in vogue at the time, featuring a cameo by TV comedian Phil Jupitus, who toured with the band under his stage name of 'Porky the Poet'.
The Housemartins debut album, London 0 Hull 4 was released in 1986. At the end of 1986 they had their only UK #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 number 1 single.
The band’s second album, The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death was released in 1987. 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. Paul has called upon Norman to help, and he can be seen to be referred to as ‘Rhythm consultant’ on the 1998 Beautiful South release ‘Quench’.
In August 2009, Mojo magazine arranged for The Housemartins original members to get together for a photo-shoot and interview. The bands debut album, London 0 Hull 4 was re-released on 22 June 2009 as "London 0 Hull 4 Deluxe", a limited edition package, with a bonus disc.
Chris Lang Chris Lang is now best known a writer, actor and producer for British TV. He has written for British television shows including Alias Smith and Jones, The Bill, Casualty, Soldier Soldier etc. He served as an Assistant Producer on Sirens, Lawless, and Amnesia and as an executive producer on Torn. He has also written two episodes of popular series Primeval. As an actor, he has appeared in such shows as Paul Merton, Drop the dead donkey, Jo Brand through the cakehole etc. He has also worked as a voice actor for films, video games (such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), and cartoons. His voice work in children's television series includes the voice of Pigling Bland in The world of Peter Rabbit and friends, and voices for almost all of the characters (except for Kipper) in Kipper the dog.
Prior to his (now extensive) TV work, alongside his brother Nick Lang, Chris Lang was a drummer in the unsigned new wave rock band The Acidicx, later becoming a member of The Housemartins (for whom he also played drums) alongside school friends Quentin Cook (AKA Norman Cook - Fatboy Slim) and Paul Heaton. Lang left the band in 1984 to be replaced by Hugh Whittaker.
Ted Key Ted Key (b. Anthony Matthew Key, 1 July 1960, Hull) was the original bass player in The Housemartins. He was replaced in 1985 by Norman Cook. Key originally played with a local band called The Gargoyles, which links him to several other Housemartins members… Hugh Whitaker Hugh Whitaker (b. 18 May 1961, Hull) is the former drummer for the indie band The Housemartins. He replaced original drummer Chris Lang and drummed for the band's first album, London 0 Hull 4, and its attendant single releases. He left the band before the recording of their second album, The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death. Whitaker left the band on amicable terms and even participated in the video for the band's first single without him, "Five Get Over Excited", wherein he was kidnapped by his replacement, David Hemingway, and locked in a hessian sack.
Stan Cullimore Stan Cullimore – not to be confused with the footballer of the same name! (b. Ian Peter Cullimore, 6 May 1962, Hull) played guitar, between 1983 and 1988, for The Housemartins. Cullimore studied maths at the University of Hull, graduating in 1984. He answered a local newspaper advert in 1983 placed by Paul Heaton that said 'Trombonist seeks street musicians' around the city. After leaving the band, he ran a whole food shop for about five years.
Norman Cook Quentin Leo Cook (b. 31 July 1963, Bromley) was raised in Reigate, Surrey, and was educated at Reigate Grammar School. He played drums in Disque Attack (a British new-wave-influenced rock band). When front man Charlie Alcock was told by his parents that he had to give up the band to concentrate on his O levels, Cook took over as lead vocalist. At Reigate college he also met Paul with whom he formed the Stomping Pond frogs. At 18, he went to the Brighton Polytechnic to study a BA in English, politics and sociology. Although he had begun DJing some years before, it was at this time that he began to develop his skills on the thriving Brighton club scene.
Known as DJ Quentox (The OX that Rocks) Cook and DJ Baptiste started putting on Youth Club Hip Hop jams in Brighton, sowing the seeds of the City's flourishing Hip Hop scene today. These primitive 80s block parties are recalled in the music documentary 'South Coast' which documents Brighton's cult Hip Hop scene from its grass roots to the present day.
By 1985 Paul Heaton had formed a band called 'The Housemartins' and Quentin was better known as Norman. Their bass player (Ted Key) quit on the eve of their first national tour, so Cook agreed to move to Hull to join them. By the time the band eventually split in 1988, Heaton and the band's drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form 'The Beautiful South', and Cook moved back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred.
David Hemingway David Hemingway (b. 20 Sep 1960) was in the same class as The Housemartins' future drummer, Hugh Whitaker at school. The two shared an interest in drumming, and one day, when the class were asked who would like to learn drums, they put their hands up first. Hemingway followed Whitaker into bands, first the Newpolitans with David Rotheray on bass, and then the Velvetones.
His break came when he got a call from Rotheray telling him Whitaker had left The Housemartins. Rotheray recommended him to Housemartins guitarist Stan Cullimore, who phoned him. He was working as a purchase ledger clerk at the time for the Crystal Motor Group. Hemingway quit his job on 6 March 1987, and soon found himself in the recording studio, recording the band's second album, The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death.
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