This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Allow me to add a couple more names to Biscuit Boy aka Crackerman‘s double-barrelled moniker: Paul Heaton aka the leader of Beautiful South.
Or perhaps that should be ex-leader — rumours of the band’s demise have been swirling for some time, and this debut disc from Heaton and veteran sidemen Martin Slattery and Scott Shields (Black Grape, Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros) suggests he’s at least dipping a toe into the solo pool. Thankfully, Beautiful South fans will find the water’s just fine. And plenty familiar. Fat Chance is basically a Beautiful South CD — same smooth soul-pop grooves, same sly, wry lyrics about love (or lack thereof), same bittersweet butterscotch vocals from Heaton. Only now he doesn’t have to split the pie so many ways. By any other name, though, it’s still nothing short of beautiful.