Back in 2002, the Crocodile had a perfect storm of a show, and not-yet-Seattlest was lucky enough to be in attendance for a bill whose lineup still gets followed to this day.
The earnest indie rock of Mellowdrone, followed by the Brit-rock-with-tender-voices of both South and Elbow prompted Seattlest to spend more on merch at that show than has been spent since.
As album release cycles go, they all still tend to hit Seattle on tour around the same time (Elbow two weeks ago, Mellowdrone soon), but it's doubtful that oh-so-perfect lineup will ever be replicated.Part of what separated South right from the gate from the glut of bands from across the pond at the time was their inclusion on James Lavelle's Mo' Wax label. Known mainly for their more beat-oriented output, South represented a departure into traditional pop territory, with a band composed of live instruments as opposed to racks of gear. The marriage worked however, with 2002's From Here On In incorporating the occasional electronic effect on top of their Stone Roses-inspired rock and drumming that would have fit on other Mo' Wax releases.
Since that release, South has parted ways with Mo' Wax, and with it has dropped most of the electronic flourishes. While From Here on In seemed to find the band still trying to develop their musical identity amid a sea of influences, With the Tides saw them put a few stakes in the ground. Songs became more atmospheric, more moody, and more emotionally effective, with songs evoking longing, loss, and desperation while never turning into one big mope-fest. While initially written off by many as Radiohead wannabes, this album garnered more positive comparisons to that same Radiohead, Coldplay, and Doves.
South has a lengthily-named new album entitled Adventures in the Underground Journey to the Stars that Seattlest has yet to give a listen. Said in some ways to be a compromise between the prior two albums, we're looking forward to hearing the bulk of it live. South is one of those bands where the jury is still out on whether the world at large will embrace them, so best to see them while you can, before they either break up from the frustration or become the next Coldplay. They're even doing a free in-store so you don't have to make a financial commitment to hear what they've got to offer.
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