NEW ALBUM : PAUL HEATON & JACQUI ABBOTT – NEW ALBUM ‘N.K-POP’ – release date 30 September ’22




‘Still’, a track taken from the album is out now

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott will release their fifth studio album ‘N.K-Pop’ on EMI on 30th September 2022. ‘N.K-Pop’ adds another clutch of deliciously barbed pop songs to Heaton’s Ivor award winning song collection. Paul & Jacqui’s previous album ‘Manchester Calling’ went straight to No 1 on its release in March ’20.

The first track that will be made available from ‘N.K-Pop’ is arguably the most heart rending song Heaton has ever written, a beautiful ballad entitled ‘Still’.  A track that he hopes will raise awareness for an important cause and the charity Sands, as Heaton explains…

“I wanted to write a song for folk who have lost a child, whether by miscarriage, stillbirth or in infancy. It’s a common occurrence and, for every one story you may hear, there are 20 or 30 left untold. Whilst totally understandable we, together with the stillbirth charity Sands, want to direct people to talking. Many only feel able to talk to their partner about the loss, but talking to someone equally distressed can be suffocating. It has to be good to talk to people outside, because otherwise that loss can overwhelm you. I can’t say that’s wrong, because grief has strange ways of shaping and defining you. As a song, Still had to be quiet, meditative, and simple in it’s arrangement, to hopefully reflect and understand those emotions.”

N.K-Pop is produced by long-time Heaton collaborator John Williams, who produced the previous four Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott albums – ‘What Have We Become’ (’14), ‘Wisdom, Laughter & Lines’ (’15), ‘Crooked Calypso’ (’17), and ‘Manchester Calling’ (’20). ‘N.K-Pop’ was recorded at Blueprint Studios in Salford, Manchester. The album features Paul & Jacqui’s regular band – Jonny Lexus (guitars), Chris Wise (bass), Pete Marshall (drums) and Stephen Large (keyboards).

The full tracklisting of ‘N.K-Pop’ is 

  1. The Good Times
  2. Too Much For One (Not Enough For Two)
  3. Who Built The Pyramids
  4. I Drove Her Away With My Tears
  5. When The World Would Actually Listen
  6. Still
  7. I Ain’t Going Nowhere This Year
  8. Sunny Side Up
  9. Baby It’s Cold Inside
  10. New Fella
  11. My Mother’s Womb
  12. His Master’s Game

Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott and their band will headline two big stadium shows this month with special guests The Proclaimers and The Lathums –

22nd July        ST HELENS  Totally Wicked Stadium

23rd July         DONCASTER Keepmoat Stadium

A full UK tour will be announced in due course.

Paul Heaton’s songwriting genius was recognised at the prestigious Ivor Awards 2022 where noted author/radio DJ Stuart Maconie presented him with a long overdue gong for ‘Outstanding Song Collection’. Heaton is one of the UK’s most successful songwriters with some 15 million album sales under his belt. He first came to prominence in the early 80s as front man of The Housemartins (the same group that gave us Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook).  The Housemartins released two albums ‘London 0 Hull  4’ (’86) and ‘The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death’ (’87).  In ’88 Heaton formed The Beautiful South, who released 10 hugely successful albums – ‘Welcome To The Beautiful South’ (’89), Choke (’90), ‘0898 Beautiful South’ (’92), ‘Miaow’ (’94), ‘Blue Is The Colour’ (’96), ‘Quench’ (’98), ‘Painting It Red’ (2000), ‘Gaze’ (’03), ‘Golddiggas, Headnodders & Pholk Songs’ (’04) and ‘Superbi’ (’06).   In 2001 Heaton took a break from The Beautiful South and released his first solo album ‘Fat Chance’. The Beautiful South called it a day in 2007 citing ‘musical similarities’.  Jacqui Abbott was lead vocalist in The Beautiful South from ’94 to 2000 and she sang many of their signature hits including ‘Rotterdam’, ‘Perfect 10’, ‘Don’t Marry Her’ and ‘Dream A Little Dream’.  Paul Heaton went on to release two further solo albums: ‘The Cross-Eyed Rambler’ (’08) and ‘Acid Country’ (’10).  In 2011 Heaton wrote a musical called ‘The 8th’ based on the Seven Deadly Sins and asked Jacqui to sing one of the parts.  They have since released four acclaimed albums as a duo: ‘What Have We Become’ (’14), ‘Wisdom, Laughter and Lines’ (’15), ‘Crooked Calypso’ (’17) and ‘Manchester Calling’ (’20).  In 2019  Paul released a career spanning compilation of his biggest hits entitled ‘The Last King Of Pop’.

2022 saw Heaton reach a significant birthday, which he celebrated in typically idiosyncratic style by putting £1,000 behind the bar of 60 carefully chosen pubs across the UK and Ireland so that fans could have a drink on him.


“…richly observed, gently acerbic vignettes about the vagaries of British life, delivered over a mix of steadily uptempo pop, folk, ska and soul…” The Guardian

“…the record is awash with sparkling, instantly memorable melodies.” Uncut

“….a songwriter still brimming with inspiration, curiosity, wit and righteous ire….Musically too it’s a striking album…a kind of Soul-infused Americana, to take on Ska and moody electronica…” Record Collector

“…his plainspoken sincerity, tempered with a wry, compassionate wit, ensure that his songs speak to the heart.” Classic Pop

“…wry lyrics in diverse, celebratory sonic settings.” iNews

“…another winner, stuffed with cheering tunes and biting wit.  You won’t know whether to hum along or laugh out loud.” Mail On Sunday

“Beautiful South duo celebrate the beautiful North.” Mojo

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