Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
There are people on this Earth who just by their very presence and their dexterity of wit you cannot help but be thankful for, to be alive at such a time when they are putting thoughts down on paper, their verbal sparring and showing more flair than a 1970s fashion parade, marks them out as beautiful and unbelievably talented.
Not for them the sinkhole which infects so called talent shows, those programmes that are built for easy entertainment and television ratings, but for the love of the written word turned poetic fervour and finally into a song of craftsmanship and commitment; this is where the Crooked Calypso is to be found beating and one in which Paul Heaton + Jacqui Abbott once more reside.
Paul Heaton’s eye casts a long shadow when it comes to capturing the lyrics that you wish people in certain positions in society would take notice o, from the religiously blinkered, those to whom divorce is perhaps seen as a money making exercise rather than the pain of separation, the shy introvert who falls for his friends soon to be wife and the lonely woman who sees life in darkness due to her husband’s untimely passing; these are the real, the everyday people that should be praised musically and not forgotten, the music canvas that Lowry himself offered when he showed life in Northern England or George Orwell when he blasted in writing the situation amongst the poor as he made his way to Wigan Pier.
However it is always with a grin, the adept and cynical stare and the look down the creativity of life that Paul Heaton excels in and as he has shown before, he goes up a notch when musically embraced by Jacqui Abbott, a woman who truly brings out the very best in one of Britain’s finest observers of life.
In tracks such as She Got The Garden, The Lord Is A White Con, He Can’t Marry Her, the brilliant back to back songs of Market Street, which praises elegantly and with great fun Manchester’s pull and effect on the world, and Since My Dearest Husband, Crooked Calypso is a genuine and remarkable piece of artistry which takes many a digital picture of modern Britain and then pours scorn on those who cannot see that the world is not theirs but belongs to the everyman and the every woman.
Crooked Calypso is a tremendous moment in music, one that defies with a smile and great abiding lyric, the partnership between Mr. Heaton and Ms. Abbott is one of the cornerstones of modern storytelling.
Ian D. Hall