Gig review: Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Dalby Forest

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott closing their set at Dalby Forest. CREDIT: DAVID HARRISON
Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott closing their set at Dalby Forest. CREDIT: DAVID HARRISON
0
Have your say

PAUL HEATON and Jacqui Abbott are no strangers to Dalby Forest but it is no surprise they keep getting invited back when they deliver like this.

Listening to these two showcasing their distinctive and contrasting voices in such surroundings is ideal summer evening fare.

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Dalby Forest

Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott at Dalby Forest

Although there are plenty of songs from their latest album - Heaton starts out with The Lord is a White Con - they quickly cover all bases with The Housemartins’ Sheep and Beautiful South’s One Last Love Song.

They are not afraid to try completely new material on the audience either while the addition of a brass section is warmly received, Heaton introducing them with their Yorkshire aliases including references to Nora Batty and Geoff Boycott.

As part of the Forestry Commission’s Forest Live concert series, the duo continue with I’ll Sail This Ship Alone.

Unlike some of their other songs, Heaton concedes there’s no geography relevance whatsoever in singing Manchester.

Fans enjoying Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

Fans enjoying Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott

However, he does anyway and there is no ill-feeling from the crowd just like there isn’t when he mocks all those who have “brought your collapsable chairs out of the Range Rover.”

He reveals Abbott is “fighting on” with a bad back before she goes solo on Rotterdam before dedicating a brilliant Liars Bar to your “drunken selves.”

There is a genuine sincerity when he admits they never thought they’d be playing to these types of crowds again. Thankfully, they are.

Silence Is, DIY, Old Red Eyes is Back - still one of my all-time favourites - all follow along with She Got The Garden, another cleverly written song from the duo’s third album Crooked Calypso.

There was a fair few kids in the audience but that was never going to stop the crowd demanding the ‘rude’ version of Don’t Marry Her.

I Gotta Praise offered a change in tempo before heading back to a perfect Perfect 10 which allowed Abbott, once more, to display her unerring quality.

A rousing Good As Gold (Stupid As Mud), though, is arguably the highlight of the night and, with Song For Whoever similarly well-received, the audience could easily leave sated.

But, of course, there was more including the beautiful Need A Little Time as well as anthemic Happy Hour and the traditional Caravan of Love send-off, just yet more reminders of how vast and timeless Heaton’s back catalogue truly is.