There was a time in the 1990s when it was difficult to walk in any supermarket, stand in any lift, or go to the house of any middle-aged couple, without hearing a Beautiful South song gently piping out through the speakers.
They were huge, 1996 Best Of compilation Carry On Up The Charts one of the biggest selling albums of the decade.
Formed by Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway (after the break up of their first band The Housemartins, which also achieved notable success), The Beautiful South had hits with songs like Old Red Eyes Is Back, 36D, Song For Whoever, Perfect 10, and their sole UK number one A Little Time.
In 2007, after 20 years, 10 studio albums, five greatest hits compilations, thirty-four chart singles, 15 million record sales and performing in front of millions of fans, time was called on The Beautiful South (“we’re splitting due to musical similarities”, joked Heaton) – but not everyone was ready to leave the party.
Hemingway and original lead singer Ali Wheeler decided they were having too much fun to get out the pipe and slippers and so The South was formed.
In effect it’s The Beautiful South minus Paul Heaton – who is sticking to a solo career – playing all the hits.
And the good news for fans is that on their latest tour The South are dropping in to a venue in these parts.
They play the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham on Sunday February 23, a gig which is expected to be a sell-out.
“This is a band who have sold out theatres around the country in the past 12 months so we are pretty sure the Lytham gig is going to sell out in double quick time,” said a spokesman for the show.
“So I know most promoters say this but tickets are very limited and early booking is advisable.
“The Beautiful South were one of the country’s biggest bands for a long time and their music is known by pretty much everyone, so it’s little wonder these gigs by The South are so popular.”
Tickets for the Lowther gig, priced £21, are available at www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk or by calling 01235 794221.