The Zutons Hit Fever Pitch at Manchester’s Albert Halls

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The Zutons are infectious, and have been sorely missed as they Bring Zuton Fever to Manchester

Having been off the scene for over a decade Zuton Fever returned to Manchester’s Albert Hall’s.

Over 2000 people eagerly fill the Venue to capacity, since the initial announcement of the tour, Who Killed The Zutons, has gathered momentum, growing from a handful of events growing into more venues along with a healthy dose of festival appearances. Can it really be 15 years since their debut album was unleashed for the masses to enjoy. Personally, for me this album ranks amongst one if not my favourite debut albums of all time. One of those that you had to listen to from end to end.

We have two support acts this evening with an early start not long after the doors open, so it is quite heart-warming to see that over half of the venue is full, for the first band who have travelled down from Blackburn, The Illicits, put on a performance that won’t have done their process any harm. A great rock-n-roll performance certainly appreciated by the early bird fans.

Main support for the evening was provided by Queen Zee, hailing from Birkenhead, they brought their own brand of Queen Rock to an almost full Albert Hall’s, another one of those hard working bands, that are gaining notoriety upon the live scene around the country, a vibrant and slick performance, got the crowd nicely in the mood for tonight’s long awaited host’s. Keep an eye out for these guys as they are on their own headline tour and already booked into a few festival slots.

As tonight’s host’s take to the stage to transport us back to 2004, an era that saw the forming of Facebook, Michele McManus win pop idol, Robbie Williams released a greatest hits album, as well as The Darkness, Busted and Dido winning Brit awards.

As the crowd await the band on stage, the atmosphere, has the feel not of nostalgia more like the welcoming back a long-lost friend, one that has Sorley been missed. As the unmistakeable strains on Zuton Fever begins to emanate over the audience, the band seamlessly roll back the clock. Dirty Dance hall and Remember me, complete the opening gambit, its clear the band have not lost any of their polish.

For some it may have been a little early, for others it was a chance to savour, possibly one of the best ever hi-jacked songs of all times, Valerie, for some in the audience the Amy Winehouse version is the only one they know, but for the vast majority this is the definitive version, performed in all its splendour, from a band that had plenty more to offer.

It is as if the band have been doing the circuit over the last few years as they give a performance that transcends the years that have passed, Railroad and Havana Gang Brawl, have the crowd in full flow, the band had a great flow and its plain to see they are fully enjoying and embracing the opportunity to straddle the gap in years.

The songs keep coming, You’ve got a friend, Pressure point, Why wont you give me your love, see the band cutting loose, electric guitar licks, sublime saxophone from the never aging Abi Harding, impeccable drumming, keeping everything in check along with a forceful bass driven though out very track. A band in full flow and in their Element.

Don’t ever think and the classic Moons and horror shows end a wonderful set, its obvious that there’s to be an encore, as the band reassemble on stage Hello Conscience reconnects the band and audience, as we go into the final song of the evening Dave McCabe has lead the front line, his voice is the gel the glue that binds everything the comes from and through the Zutons, not only a wonderful writer but a brilliant performer of what he produces, the final song of the evening is You will you won’t. what a fitting way to end the show, both band and crowd in harmony in full flow, as they take a well deserved bow the band seem to be revelling in the adulation of a very happy crowd.

With the offering of new work on new music on the horizon, more and more gigs popping up, the future is looking good for the Zutons. Brit pop has missed these guys, tonight’s crowd was a real mix of ages, many from the first time around and many having their first taste, the music and the band certainly have the staying power, catch them on the road and in the Fields soon.

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