UK bands pretty much love playing in San Francisco. Whether itís the cityís innate Anglophilic vibe or the mythological California state of mind, English bands dig the City By The Bay. And it was no different on Friday night as London groovers South returned to SF with a gig at Slimís, their first date in the fine city in over two years. The crowd has missed the trio, and from the bandís reaction, the feeling was mutual.
The last time South played here, they were still touring on their debut, From Here On In. Now, however, they have another album, the excellent With The Tides, under their belt and twice as much music to build a live set from and the gig was all the better for it. First album stalwarts like ìBroken Head I,î ìLive Between the Lines (Back Again),î and ìRecovered Nowî warmed the crowd, but it was still that albumís standout, ìPaint The Silence,î that really got the crowd moving. Newbies were also received well, with ìMotiveless Crime,î ìSame Old Story,î ìColours In Waves,î and especially the new albumís first single, ìLoosen Your Hold,î bringing the masses to a boil. Frontman Joel Cadburyís voice was on-form and guitarist Jamie McDonald seemed no worse for wear from his broken wrist that sidelined the band from their initial US plans last fall. By the time the band returned for their lone encore, a cover of Nick Drake's "Black Eyed Dog," they had played virtually everything the crowd wanted to hear and had left all they had on the stage. They had given all they had to give and the crowd had sucked it up like a sponge. South in 2004 is a good place to be, thatís for sure.