Reviewer: Craig Barber
Some voices are just made to go together. Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott are one such pair, having pursued solo projects they have regrouped and are back recording together.
Fresh from Glastonbury the duo take to the Obelisk Arena as the sun beats down on the early afternoon festival-goers. Despite the heat and the hour there’s a large crowd drawn to hear the former Beautiful South frontage perform together again.
Like any act with an extensive popular back catalogue there is always the quandary of how to mix the new material with the expected classics. Heaton and Abbott plump for the populist route and while including numbers for their new album, mainly populate the set with crowd pleasing classics.
The pedigree of the pair’s performance history is clear, both commanding the large stage and arena, Heaton even embracing the power of social media to take live tweets, while gently mocking the cross-generational spread of the Latitude demographic.
Some of the younger revellers may not have been even born when Rotterdam(or Anywhere) first hit the charts 18 years ago, but hearing it performed here it sounds as fresh as ever, Abbott’s vocals soaring crystal clear, while other Beautiful South hits such as Old Red Eyes Is Back and Don’t Marry Her sit comfortably alongside The Housemartin’s Me And The Farmer – an apt choice for this rural setting.
A sprinkling of songs from their latest Album What We Have Become also went down well with the crowd, suggesting that this renewed partnership is a welcome return to the festival stage.