Thursday, 26 September 2019

The South at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium

The South
 Princess Alexandra Auditorium, Yarm
22 September 2019
The New Beautiful South were created in 2008, a year after The Beautiful South came to an end. The name then changed again to the stripped-down version of The South. There have been more changes of personnel than names; the group is now fronted by Alison Wheeler and (former saxophonist) Gaz Birtles, who share the lead vocals.

Their repertoire features classic songs from The Beautiful South days, such as Rotterdam, Perfect 10, Old Red Eyes is Back, Bell Bottomed Tear and, of course, their top hit, A Little Time. There was also room for Dream a Little Dream and material from The South's own Sweet Refrains album, including Pigeonhole.

The singers were in great voice and the band on excellent form. The only oddity was the disparity between the respective lengths of each part of the show. There was no support but the first half lasted just a shade over half an hour. The second half was a little over an hour so the split seemed uneven and it seemed almost as if they were acting as their own support act during the first half.

Nevertheless, the second half was clearly crafted to gradually bring the dancers in the audience to their feet - and it worked well, with Alison and Gaz leading the way by example; they even came out to dance with the audience a couple of times.

It was a very entertaining evening and another feather in the cap of the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, whose range of events continues to expand at a very impressive rate.

News and tour dates can be found over at the official website for The South.

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