A GAP emerged in the market for sardonic melodic pop when The Beautiful South split citing ‘musical similarities’ in 2007.
And since no-one has come to fill it, former members have come together again to record and tour as The South.
This version lacks founders Paul Heaton and Dave Rotheray - who in sales terms are said to be the most successful songwriting partnership since Lennon/McCartney.
It’s fronted by Dave Hemingway, whose affable banter and smooth vocals make this gig for Wave 105 competition winners a chummy and intimate affair.
Sharing the duties is Alison Wheeler, who is more than a match in wit and voice. Her rendition of Dream a Little Dream of Me - accompanied by a ukulele made out of a margarine tub - is a sublime if slightly surreal highlight in a short set crammed with favourites like Rotterdam, Song for Whoever and Old Red Eyes is Back.
The definitely-not-suitable-for-work version of Don’t Marry Her goes down a storm, and If Hemingway doesn’t quite hit the Heaton high notes to reach Ingrid Bergman’s kiss on Good As Gold (Stupid as Mud) it doesn’t matter too much.
A smattering of new songs including closer Thank You (for sticking with us, says Hemingway), lacked bite but seemed heartfelt.
Until Heaton and co can put their similarities behind them, this will do fine.