with Et Tu Bruce
Friday, Jun 28, 2013 8:00 PM CDT
Mayne Stage, Chicago, IL
18 years and over
By this stage of the rock ‘n’ roll plot, most bands that made their first mark in the 1960s are either at home tending their gardens or peddling nostalgia to finance their ex-wives. Very few are enhancing their legendary reputations with new releases, fresh songwriting and tireless touring. That’s where the Zombies come in.
Underpinned, just as they were in those early days, by the individual and collective brilliance of vocal craftsman Colin Blunstone and keyboard virtuoso Rod Argent, the Zombies are simultaneously celebrating the past and seizing the future. Not for them the option of sitting home and spinning yarns, as they’d be quite entitled to do, of making their undying hit singles, sharing UK bills with Dusty Springfield, US shows with the Beach Boys, or following the Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions for Sgt. Pepper to make an album that would reverberate for generations to come.
“Last year,” says Blunstone, “we played in the UK, US, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Japan and the Philippines. It was incredible.” 2013 contains a new live album, three separate American tours in it (not to mention a festival in Central Park, a cruise with the Moody Blues and much more) and the group are constantly in demand for the prestigious US network television music shows, interviews and radio sessions. Talk about just desserts for dues paid.
The amazing new chapters that the Zombies have added to their story in recent times have created a momentum that gets greater by the year. The group have finally received their due as the great undervalued masters of the original British invasion, with rave reviews and acknowledgements about their influence from an inventory of modern artists, from Paul Weller to Dave Grohl.
But far from resting on those laurels, the band are forging ahead, with a bulging 2013 datebook and an enthusiastic commitment to start work – just as soon as there’s time – on the 2014 release of what will be the much-anticipated follow-up to 2011’s Breathe Out, Breathe In.
Meanwhile, there’s The Zombies Live In The UK, a new ten-track collection recorded on the road last year, and released in May to coincide with the British leg of their 2013 itinerary. Sony Music release a similar live album in the US as part of their Extended Versions series around March 2013.
“We’re very excited about the way the band’s playing,” says Argent. “Colin’s voice is as strong as it ever was, and I feel that my voice is better than it used to be, because I’ve worked on it. Our chops, both playing and singing, are better now than they were before.”