Story: Jack Foley
AT LONG last the wave of hype surrounding South looks to be gaining
When last we caught up with them, at London's ICA in March this
year (2003), Joel Cadbury, Jamie McDonald and Brett Shaw were
trialling new material from the forthcoming album, With The
Tides, yet the finishing touches were still being applied.
At 93 Feet East, on Wednesday, July 23, however, fans were given
a greater insight into what to expect - and have every reason
to feel excited.
A tight, 45-minute set yielded several new tracks, as well as
some old classics, and carried a great vibe throughout a typically
South, it seems, could be on the verge of big things - a point
given added impetus by the presence of XFM's Zoe Ball in the crowd.
Kicking off with a new track, South then got everyone going with
a couple of tracks from their debut album, From
Here On In, including the timeless favourite, Paint The
Silence, and the mesmerising Live Between The Lines,
with its shimmering guitars and building drum beat remaining as
beguiling as ever.
And then came the new stuff. The new single, Loosen Your Hold,
was typical of the quality we have come to expect; a slow-builder,
which plays up to the talents of all three members of the band
- Joel's vocals being offset by Jamie's in the background, while
Brett Shaw's drums maintaining a good background beat.
Sadly, there were no banjos on stage, but the guitars were as
strong as ever, which is a feature of the sound to expect from
All three are accomplished musicians and their melodies consistently
underline a wealth of talent just waiting to be discovered.
Another new single, Colours in Waves, is another excellent
taster - a heavier, more anthemic track, which was also played
at The ICA, and which bears all the hallmarks of another single.
If bands such as Longview and Athlete can secure a foothold in
the mainstream (and deservedly so), then South should have no
problem stepping up alongside them - it just needs that final
Similarly, tracks such as Fragile Lay display a more adventurous
side to the band's songwriting of late, mixing things up a little
and tossing in a slightly surprising chorus, which breaks from
anything that could be deemed 'the South sound'.
The night concluded with the traditional encore, and a cover
version of a Nick Drake classic, and what is rapidly becoming
one of the band's signature tunes, Dolphins Were Junkies - their
guitar makeover of Ian Brown's Dolphins Were Monkeys.
It marked an interesting watershed. Having been lucky enough
to interview the guys before the gig, they spoke of being a lot
tighter and more controlled on this second album, praising the
guidance of Dave Eringa, who serves as producer.
And this tightness was displayed throughout the main part of
the set - with the new songs shorter and crisper in length (the
album, apparently, clocks in at just under 45 minutes), and the
general attitude seeming a little more co-ordinated (there was
no instrument-swapping or role changes, as in earlier gigs).
With Dolphins Were Junkies, however, the band could finally
let go; sure in the knowledge that the hard part was over and
that, as ever, the fans had been won over by another quality set.
The album is due for a release later this year, or early next,
while the single, Loosen Your Hold, will be available to
buy on August 11.
In the meantime, fans can do their part in helping to get it
noticed, by emailing both Radio 1 and XFM and requesting that
Djs play it.
This can be done by clicking onto the revamped website - link
opposite - and following the request links (you can also hear
the new single, if you haven't done so already).
IndieLondon will, of course, be bringing you all the latest news
surrounding the release of new material (including reviews), as
well as an exclusive interview carried out with the band before
the gig on Wednesday.