The Bootiful South
The Bootiful South

As purveyors of soulful, melodic pop and rock with a slightly melancholic lilt, The Beautiful South have had a successful career with many hit songs and hit albums to their name.

Led by singer-songwriter Paul Heaton, the bruised romanticism, hopeful melodies and poignant story songs gave the spotlight to character stories and strong arrangements.

With elements of rock, funk, pop, soul and many different moods, a Beautiful South tribute has to cover a wide range of genres, with lively keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, as well as strong singers of both genders.Although this was their first concert, six-piece The Bootiful South gave Heaton’s songs vivid life, with heartfelt performances. As a first gig, it was also sold out, so the pressure would have been on the band.

Starting with a drum solo, the first set was started with the swampy funk of Perfect Ten – one of the group’s biggest hits – but there was also room for the ballads You Keep it All In, Prettiest Eyes, and Bell Bottom Tear.

A Little Time featured the audience singing along, as did Rotterdam. Window Shopping For Blinds was delivered with passion, but Song For Whoever with its singalong chorus, and Everyone’s Talking by Harry Nilsson showed the vocals of the three singers to the best effect.

Although this was their first concert, six-piece The Bootiful South gave Heaton’s songs vivid life, with heartfelt performances. As a first gig, it was also sold out, so the pressure would have been on the band.

Starting with a drum solo, the first set was started with the swampy funk of Perfect Ten – one of the group’s biggest hits – but there was also room for the ballads You Keep it All In, Prettiest Eyes, and Bell Bottom Tear.

A Little Time featured the audience singing along, as did Rotterdam. Window Shopping For Blinds was delivered with passion, but Song For Whoever with its singalong chorus, and Everyone’s Talking by Harry Nilsson showed the vocals of the three singers to the best effect.

Don’t Marry Her was also a showcase for communal audience singalongs, but the sad story of a local drunk regretting his life decisions hidden under one of the night’s more poppier moments in Old Red Eyes is Back closed the concert.

The enthusiastic audience demanded encores, which were duly delivered with One Last Love Song and Carry on Regardless.

As tribute bands go, they looked nothing like the band, but they had respect for the material and for their audience. If they are this confident as performers playing at their first gig, a few more live shows will help to iron out any performance issues.

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