THE SOUTH TONIGHT: Savoy
By Amanda Mills
The South Tonight are a Christchurch-based four-piece who have sympathetic musical backgrounds. Singer/guitarists John Kelcher and Richard James were members of Flying Nun bands Sneaky Feelings and Mainly Spaniards respectively, while bassist William Field was in The Spencerville Project and drummer Marc Howe is the bassist for klezmer-rock band Surfing USSR. ‘Savoy’ is their debut album together, weaving elements of the Flying Nun alt-rock trip with post-punk, country, and even a little bit of disco. The sound though is definitely alt rock, with contemporary lyrics that come across as stories that affect everyone. The music takes in jangling guitars on You Me, and Roxy Music-style saxophone on Dream in Black and White, while When I Levitate could have come straight from new wave pop, with tight harmonies and synth lines weaving throughout the song. With harmonic nods to Humphreys and Keen’s ‘The Overflow’, ‘Savoy’ is a smart, mature album that sits easily within the local alternative canon, and is a sharp reminder that not all interesting Kiwi alt-rock belongs to bright young 20-somethings.