Review: Paul Heaton & Jacqui Abbott Sheffield City Hall

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Alternative-rock band Dry The River, with their haunting harmonies, and Dai & The Ramblers with a vocalist who had a Chris Rea quality to his voice, and their fine vintage, honky-tonk country acoustic riffs, set the mood nicely for the top billing duo.

Paul and Jacquie looked hugely happy to be on stage. Abbot’s enthusiasm was infectious and Paul’s anecdotal tales kept the crowd amused.

The set was balanced in the mix of new and well-loved tracks, proving crowd-pleasing and having a good proportion of seated punters up on their feet, clapping, swaying and dancing along.

Tracks such as We’re Not Deep and One Last Love Song from Heaton’s extensive back catalogue of Housemartins and Beautiful South greats played early on and still sound as fresh now as when they were originally released.

A solid performance and testament to the durability of the songs and the triumphant combination of two artists who just work so hugely well together vocally.