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Harrow Times - August 2012

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Pinner band Southgate and Leigh lands further gigs with Joan Armatrading

By Rosy Moorhead                                                                                                                                                        10:55am Thursday 23rd August 2012 in Music

NewsPhillipa Leigh and Phil Southgate impressed music legend Joan Armatrading

For most of us, the best we can say about this summer is that we watched other people doing sports and avoided getting drowned in the torrential rains. But Pinner-based band Southgate and Leigh have been having a rather better time of it than most – not only did they win a competition to support music legend Joan Armatrading on tour, but they were also invited back to join her on a few more dates.

“It’s been great fun,” says Phil Southgate. “We played with Joan Armatrading in Aldershot in June and it was amazing. Then they got some additional gigs added to the tour and we were lucky enough to be the ones to be asked. We’re really excited and flattered to have been asked back, it’s a really big deal for us.”

Phil and his partner Phillipa Leigh, who covers the vocal side of things, rejoined Joan in Cheshire last week, and have a further two supporting slots in Cumbria and in Scotland. “The gig in Macclesfield was magical,” says Phil, 38, “and we got to watch Joan perform again – she’s absolutely brilliant.

“She watched our set,” he continues, “I didn’t notice she was watching but Phillipa did! When I’m playing I sort of go into a trance-like weirdness and only think about all the scary stuff afterwards. But she came over to us when we’d finished and was really nice.”

The excitement continues when the pair are joined by their full band, including James Harrison from Watford on guitar, for their slot at the Hullabaloo Festival in Cheltenham this bank holiday weekend, where they will be playing songs from their debut album, Where We Are , on the main stage. Then they’ll be finishing the summer off with an intimate gig at Daisy’s in the Dark, the night-time incarnation of Daisy’s in the Park, the cafe in Pinner Memorial Park.

And then is it time for a rest?

“No, we’re working on our second album as we speak,” says Phil. “We’re really focused on sculpting all our ideas into finished songs. We’ve got loads written already and now it’s a case of getting them produced and ready to release.”

  1. Southgate and Leigh play the main stage at Hullabaloo Festival in Cheltenham on Monday, August 27 at 4pm, and at Daisy’s in the Dark, West House, Pinner Memorial Park, Pinner on Friday, August 31. Details: southgateandleigh.com