The Housemartins formed in Hull in 1983, and famously referred to themselves as “the 4th best band in Hull”. The founding members were Paul Heaton (vocals), Stan Cullimore (guitar), Ted Key (bass) and Chris Lang (drums), but the band’s membership changed frequently throughout its existence. Ted Key was replaced by Norman Cook (who later became internationally famous as Fatboy Slim) and drummer Chris Lang was replaced by Hugh Whitaker, former drummer with The Gargoyles, who in turn was replaced with Dave Hemingway.
In 1986 the band broke through with the single ‘Happy Hour’, which reached No. 3 in the UK charts. They released three albums: ‘London 0 Hull 4’, ‘The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death’, and the greatest hits compilation ‘Now That’s What I Call Quite Good’. A new collection, 'Best of the Housemartins' was released in 2004.
The band split in 1988, but the members have since remained friends and worked on each other’s projects.