Sophia, Soul Rebels and Southgate

After popping out of the yurt on the Green, bedazzled by the curious show inside, want for some normality rushed through me, that and the simpler fact I needed a cider or three.

Where better than our dependable Southgate, where if the fun was to stop, you’d be wondering if you were in the right pub? Although the vibe inside differed to the customary acoustic, folk, rock, punk or jazz, as Sophia and her Soul Rebels delivered some fine covers of soul classics; Motown, Atlantic popularised in those swinging sixties and moving onto modern anthems of The Brand-New Heavies and others.


Sophia not only has the palatable, soulful voice to execute some of the hardest vocals known to pop, but an obligatory diva persona blended with entertaining banter, and a proficient backing band to compliment it. She single-handedly eased through The Supremes and Vandellas, soothed the crowd with Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding songs, and controlled a series of soul masterworks.

Hosting only a minor audience than usual here at the crowded Southgate, she made it a night to remember. It may’ve been a show more suitable for a function, than our gypsy-canal type watering hole, but what a function it’d be. Again, Deborah and Dave have shown diversity in the acts they book, pushing the awesome Vince Bell gig today, for example. I declare The Southgate remains the number one most faithful and reliable venue for live music here in the Vizes, or so help me the god of hats.


Mike Barham was there, pushing for a gossip headline I reckon, with a sweeping opinion about……. ah, I’m not a tabloid Mr B, let’s not go there…… (yet!)

We hope to see Swindon’s Sophia and her gang in our town again soon, with universal appeal they’ll convert any pub or venue into an episode of Soul Train!

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