You’ll have to forgive the stream of Housemartins-related posts of late but after a 20-year famine the re-release of London 0 Hull 4 has produced a bit of a ‘martins feast.
I’m still to find a newsagent in Melbourne selling the air freight copy of Mojo with the Housemartins reunion interview. Whilst this is a tad frustrating, I was sated somewhat to discover that the Mojo website currently has a section devoted to Paul Heaton’s scrapbook collection. It should come as no surprise that a man who collected crisp packets would keep a fastidiously-ordered scrapbook of Housemartins-related newspaper cuttings, but there are great rewards to be had from Paul’s OCD tendencies.
His scrapbooks contain everything from cuttings of Norman and Paul’s first band (the Stomping Pond Frogs), record label rejection letters, early Housemartins reviews, Smash Hits and Record Mirror features to a lovely felt-tip picture of the band (replete with a sheep) by a six year old fan. The Housemartins versus The Sun battle (in which the right-wing rag accused them of the 'crimes' of being gay and middle-class out of spite for their open attacks on Thatcher and the monarchy) is all there, as is a lovely piece written just before they split up and giving the reasons why.
I’m not sure how much of the clippings feature in the Mojo magazine article itself (can anyone reading in the UK let me know?) but for those of us waiting for the next clipper to reach the far corners of the Empire this is a nice taster.