The South

The South are an impressive 9 piece band who feature former members of The Beautiful South including singer Alison Wheeler and lifelong sax player Gaz Birtles.

Since Dave Hemingway, the original singer, left the group at the end of 2016, Gaz has moved across to front the band with Alison and taken on vocal duties. They play the songs made famous by The Beautiful South and bring back the full flavour and arrangements with this exciting live band.

After a successful year of touring the theatres and Festivals of the UK up and down the country, The South are keeping alive all those timeless songs –  A Little Time (the number one single), Perfect 10, Rotterdam, Old Red Eyes Is Back, Good as Gold, Don’t Marry Her plus many more singles and album tracks as well as a few choice South originals.  All performed again live, these songs span an impressive 20 year career starting way back in 1989!

Come on!  Let’s Carry On… Regardless!

The South are:
Alison Wheeler (Vocals), Gaz Birtles (Vocals), Phil Barton (Guitars), Steve Nutter (Bass), Dave Anderson (Drums), Karl Brown (Percussion), Gareth John (Trumpet), Su Robinson (Sax), Andy Price (Keys).


The Banquets

The Banquets are a unique sounding rock/pop trio based in Leeds. They have just started out on their musical adventure, and are ready to make 2019 the year they officially start gigging up, down and across the country!

The Banquets’ sound is a simple mix of rock, blues, and pop music, and they try to maintain the great tradition of British rock. The musical influences of the band stretch far and wide, and go right back to the early 20th century blues scene. Their sound is hugely impacted by the music that has flowed out of America over the last century, and like most British music, it reflects back that sound and rubs in some northern British magic. Although on the surface they might appear to be an acoustic outfit, they aim to make as big a sound as possible. Their sound often leans towards the ecstatic, and they pursue it at every opportunity. At the heart of the band’s music is the desire to make people happy. At the end of the day, they want to have a good time and want the crowd to have a good time with them.

This year is a big one for The Banquets as they have about 20-30 songs ready to go, and will be recording in early April, with the intention of putting an EP and eventually an album out. They will be gigging across the country as they try to raise their profile, and will be putting themselves across social media. They have already produced two music videos with Entheos Media Group, and will be looking to record some more with them in the near future. Watch out and listen!

Band Members

Gemma Russell-Hills – At the front of the shop is the enigmatic and exceptional singer/songwriter Gemma Russell-Hills. Gem is the driving force and energy in the group, writing most of the band’s lyrics and making sure the boys deliver exactly what she dreams. She comes from a very musical background, with her dad filling their house with rock & roll throughout her childhood, and with many members of her family being involved in the local music scene in Cleethorpes.

Leon Russell-Hills – Leon Russell-Hills is the band’s guitarist. He taught himself how to play the guitar from an early age, and hasn’t looked back since. He is the creative force behind the band, and provides simple and catchy tunes for Gem to lay melodies and lyrics over, whilst writing some of the lyrics himself. Coming from working class roots and having no musical education or musical inspiration in his family, Leon really does epitomise raw talent.

Francis Watson – On percussion is Sir Francis Watson. Fran is a pure music man. Both of his parents were professional musicians, and his sister is a singer in a four-piece acapello group. He has been to Music College both in Birmingham and Leeds, and has been in many bands over the years. Fran is more than just percussion though: he can play a plethora of instruments, and in the band, offers both backing singing, arrangement and fine details to the music.

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