Carry On Regardless
The South are the remnants of what was once The Beautiful South, who you may or may not remember had a string of big hit singles throughout the 90s. They finally split in 2007 due to “musical similarities” after which Dave Hemingway & Alison Wheeler (Vocals) and Dave Stead (Drums) decided to carry on with new musicians and changed the name to The New Beautiful South before settling on The South. On a sunny afternoon we find them playing the main stage at Guilfest in front of an average sized crowd but then this is Friday, usually a quiet day here.
It’s easy to forget just how many hits The Beautiful South had as pretty much every song they play today jogs the memory. There are some problems, the sound is too quiet and with the breeze carrying the sound away from the stage it makes them sound even more lightweight than they actually are. They go down well but whilst the band are tight the overall performance is rather lack lustre, Wheeler and Hemingway don’t do too much in the way of stage craft but then I guess the songs don’t lend themselves to it. As the set progresses the more I think they miss the presence of Paul Heaton and they seem to really have to try to get the crowd going.
Wheeler has a good voice and Hemingway isn’t bad but it’s all just a bit too ‘nice’, there’s absolutely no edge to them at all. Each to their own of course but I find myself losing interest towards the end despite a strong finale of ‘Perfect 10’, ‘Keep It All In’ and ‘Good As Gold’. Decent fayre for a sunny afternoon and no doubt satisfying to the nostalgia fans in the crowd but it has to be said that 65 Days of Static (who followed on the main stage) completely blew them away.