With the Pandemic putting a stop to Live music around the world for most of 2020/21, it is with a huge sigh that THE SOUTH are now back on the road making Beautiful live music again (see what we did there).

This fantastic band perform the songs of that great British pop institution, The Beautiful South, to the thousands of fans of these timeless classics. 

The South are an impressive 9-piece outfit who feature former members of The Beautiful South including singer Alison Wheeler and lifelong sax player Gaz Birtles. Since Dave Hemingway, the original singer, left the group at the end of 2016, Gaz has moved across to front the band with Alison and taken on vocal duties. And mighty fine he sounds too.

And it’s Alison Wheeler we spoke to recently about the band and the current tour. Of course we couldn’t resist looking back to the Beautiful South days when she shared a stage with Paul Heaton.

But first, as seems to the be the norm nowadays, we had to find out how lockdown had been treating her personally, and what came out of it professionally.

With changes in the line up, it could have been time to put their feet up and take a well deserved rest, but with amazing support from their loyal fans, it was time for The South to regroup and have a rethink. 

Right under their nose was an obvious choice. Up stepped long time sax player Gaz Birtles to take centre stage and take over the male vocal duties. As well as performing with The Beautiful South and within The South, Gaz has also had success in his own right as a singer songwriter. Quite handy he should also know the back catalogue of Beautiful South songs too!

Also welcomed into the fold, comes the amazing keyboard player – Andy Price, with years of experience playing along side Ska legend Laurel Aitken, Blues guitar maestro, Ainsley Lister. Happy Mondays’ Bez. The Drifters. Jersey Budd.

The South – Alison Wheeler (Vocals), Gaz Birtles (Vocals), Phil Barton (Guitars), Steve Nutter (Bass), Dave Anderson (Drums), Karl Brown (Percussion), Gareth John (Trumpet), Su Robinson (Sax), Andy Price (Keys)

They also welcomed to the band sax player Su Robinson. Su has had a wealth of live experience with such legends as Prince Buster, The Specials’ Horace Panters band, Uptown Ska Collective as well as sitting in with The South on the few occasions Gaz Birtles couldn’t make it.

Long time trumpet replacement for Tony Robinson, Gareth John, is now established as a permanent fixture. His past glories include working alongside members of the Happy Mondays, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, The Specials, Vintage Trouble and many more.
With the new reshuffle complete, The South are a full team again and raring to go!  Their live show promises to continue to celebrate and perform the classic Beautiful South songs along with songs from The South’s debut album ‘Sweet Refrains’ and maybe even new material in the future too.  

Since the demise of The Beautiful South in 2007, this exciting live band have spent 11 years touring the theatres and festivals of the UK up and down the country, bringing back the full sound and arrangements of these treasured songs  –  A Little Time (the number one single), Perfect 10, Rotterdam, Song For Whoever, Old Red Eyes Is Back, Good as Gold, Don’t Marry Her plus many more singles and album tracks as well as a few choice South originals. These songs span an impressive 18 year career starting way back in 1989! 

So, it’s time to Carry On… Regardless! and catch THE SOUTH live when they get to us later this year. They play the Princess Royal Theatre in Port Talbot on Thursday 11th November. To see the full list of dates, and grab yourself tickets, just go here – THE SOUTH.

And you can follow the guys on their socials below…..

The South


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