Into Music: The Zutons reform to play debut album in its entirety

After a break of almost nine years, it’s time to get that Zuton Fever back in your head, those indie blues revival rockers from Liverpool will be back on the road after a 10-year absence. The tour will coincide with the 15th anniversary of the release of their debut album ‘Who Killed…… The Zutons?’.

With eight nights already confirmed, the renaissance kicks off in Birmingham on 26 March 2019 and culminates in their hometown of Liverpool on Friday 5 April. The Zutons will be hoping to put the spring back into the step of fans who have been longing for another iconic live performance since the band quietly went their separate ways in 2009.

Hi everyone! Guess what we’ve gone and done? Yes, we’ve all knocked our heads together and realised we love each other and you lot too, so we’re getting back together to tour the first album in its entirety. So get ready ‘cos the tickets go on sale Friday 30/11/18.” @ZutonsThe

Following on from a number of impressive live performances throughout the festival season of 2004, The Zutons found themselves in the running for the coveted Mercury Prize, this is where I first found them. An advert for the album came on the TV and gave a short sound bite from a couple of the album tracks. With more than a passing reference to the Jimi Hendrix classic Crosstown Traffic, the intro to You Will You Won’t electrified my eardrums and that was enough for me to drift into HMV the very next day to add their CD to my collection, I don’t think I listened to another album for about three months, it was intoxicating.

The tracks were incredible. The album was a boisterous blend of raw vitality. From the infectious beats, harmonies & melodies served up by Boyan Chowdhury on guitar, Sean Payne on Drums and Russell Pritchard on bass, to the vulnerable voice of Dave McCabe, entwined with the golden tone of Abi Harding on saxophone, together they delivered a confident blend of indie-rock with a healthy helping of soulful blues… Did I already say it was intoxicating?

Although the Scouse five-piece would fall short in the Mercury Music prize-giving, their stock had already risen significantly through the U.K. and they were soon headlining their own shows to bigger crowds. I was fortunate enough to catch them at the Glasgow Barrowlands some months later, where that raw sound from the album was reproduced to amazing effect.

Maybe I look back on this album with a large slice of nostalgia in mind, my daughter would sing away to this CD word-for-word in her car seat when I was out driving. It was also just around that time when we (certainly I) started to change how we listened to music, moving from physical CDs to digital. The progression to digital was great and helped reduce the amount of space taken up in the house for albums, CDs and stereos, but it also took away the enjoyment of an album cover. Oh yeah, the album cover… A fold-out comic-strip-style story of the mystery behind Who Killed The Zutons? with shadowy figures and falling rocks and those four words you miss so much with digital music: “See inlay for details”.

Nostalgia or not, Who Killed The Zutons? is still an astounding album you can listen to again and again. Now I just need to work out how I can secure tickets for their performance in our very own Dirty Dance Hall at the Barrowlands in 2019, where the band will play the album in its entirety.

Martin Donaldson

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