The South perform at O2 Islington Academy this weekend
- Credit: Archant
10 years and a new line up since The Beautiful South split, the reincarnation of the group come to Islington on November 4
It has been a decade since The Beautiful South went their separate ways. From the ashes of the pop group rose a new venture from some of the original members: The South. They may have dropped the “beautiful” in name, but are still keeping its legacy alive with the new line up.
Original members Alison Wheeler and Gaz Birtles have stayed on, and since singer Dave Hemingway left earlier this year, Birtles has moved over to vocals.
They’ve now settled into a full team of musicians: Phil Barton (Guitars), Steve Nutter (Bass), Dave Anderson (Drums), Karl Brown (Percussion), Gareth John (Trumpet), Su Robinson (Sax) and Andy Price (Keys).
“This is our first tour with Gaz having taken on the singing,” says Barton. “He was sax player of The Beautiful South from the start so knows the songs really, really well and can really get inside them. So far the reaction has been amazing. The lad can definitely sing! We’re also trying out a couple of Beautiful South songs we’ve not played live before and they’ve been going down great too.”
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Their next show brings the group back to the O2 Islington Academy on Saturday November 4.
“When we first played at the Islington Academy back in 2009 my daughter was nine and came along and sat up in the balcony. Her verdict? ‘I thought it was very good, Dad, but I did fall asleep.’ Children always keep you grounded!
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“Being a Londoner, the home gigs usually mean there’s plenty of family and friends in the audience, which can make it strangely a bit nerve wracking, don’t ask me why, but in a good way.”
The group are revisiting all the hits from a career beginning in 1989: number one single A Little Time, Perfect 10, Rotterdam, Don’t Marry Her and more.
“We’re all really enjoying this tour,” says Barton. “Geniuses though they are, with Dave and Damon retired from gigging, this new line up reshuffle with Andy Price on keys and Su Robinson on sax has added a different, new dynamic into the mix and it’s working really well.
“We’re all really enjoying these shows and the Islington Academy is always a big one when you see it in the diary and we’re all really looking forward to it.”
The South play on November 4.