Posted 20 hours ago

Last Orders at the Liars Bar: the Official Story of the Beautiful South

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Pattenden was commissioned to "establish a different perspective of the Band"--to tell us more than what we already knew, that they came from Hull, they were partial to a drink or two, and they wrote funny, ironic pop songs (songwriters Dave Rotheray and Paul Heaton were particularly irked by that "ironic" label). As Pattenden follows the band from booze-drenched gig to, erm, booze-drenched gig, his readers might be forgiven for gleaning little more. Hull, to which the band remain firmly committed, is clearly an abiding inspiration; drink is a sine qua non; and as for irony--well, judge for yourself. Interspersing his adventures with the band with comment from Billy Bragg, Norman Cook and others, Pattenden provides an intimate, even loving account of a strangely uncommunicative pop tribe. -- Alan Stewart The Beautiful South, so the press release proclaims, are "the only 1 million-plus selling UK band not to have had a book written about them." It¹s that kind of perverse underdog pride which characterises The Beautiful South: a low-key, resolutely unstarry band, springing from the defunct Housemartins, who have nonetheless placed 19 singles in the charts, and a copy of their greatest hits album in one in every seven UK households. But at last music journalist Mike Pattenden has blown their cover, putting The Beautiful South in print with this intriguing portrait.

It would have been tempting to blame Will. It was usually Will. Will’s dodgy molluscs were the source of the food poisoning and it was Will who left the taps running and passed out on his bed. But this time it seemed unreasonable to hold him to account, not least because Will was dead.

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