The Clanger had the good fortune to catch up with Dave Hemingway of The South, prior to their gig at Bedford Corn Exchange at the end of November. Dave has been part of The South’s musical legacy from The Housemartins, The Beautiful South, through to The South, who are currently touring their new album ‘Sweet Refrains’.
Clanger: How’s the tour going ?
Dave: Well (I think!) The band are enjoying it and the audience seems to be, so yeah, good.
C: Favourite venue ?
D: Well we’ve played bigger venues in the past but we enjoy the smaller individual venues, like the old local theatres, they have more character.
C: What tunes are you playing on the tour bus ?
D: We all do mix tapes with about 20 tracks each, though mine doesn’t usually last!
C: Describe the typical South fan ?
D: We attract the older fan, people that have followed our music from when we began. I’d describe them as Loyal, yes we have a lot of loyal fans.
C: That’s a good type of fan to have…
D: There are younger fans too, ones that were subjected to our music in the car by their parents!
C: What’s the most unusual instrument on the new album ?
D: A Pedal Steel guitar, which gives a distinct sound…
C: Any surprise guests turned up at gigs ? In audience, or performing ?
D: Not yet on this tour. In the past we’ve had a few Corrie actors turn up in Manchester. Including
Simon Gregson – who our manager kept calling him by his characters name Steve (McDonald)! ‘Wanna beer Steve…?’
C: Any pre-gig routines/traditions ?
D: Not really, we just try and find the nearest hostilery and have a couple of drinks. That time
between the sound check and the show is a bit ‘limbo’…
C: Are there any logistical problems of having 9 band members?
D: Yes, mainly geographical – Three of us are from London, five from Leicester and I’m from Crewe, so with rehearsals we have to meet in the middle, usually Leicester.
C: Recommend a book?
D: ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’ by Robert Tressell from 1912. It’s about politics and the working classes and the disappointing thing is that things haven’t changed from those days to today.
C: Love the cover art to ‘Sweet Refrains’, how did that come about?
D: Thanks. Our Sax player Gaz is into photography and has a couple of friends that are bouncers! So that’s how that came about. You can look at it as Menacing or humorous, depending on how you see the photo.
The South play Bedford Corn Exchange Saturday 30th November.