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Live Music Review: The Zutons at Rock City

4 April 19 words: Kevin Stanley
photos: Nigel King

I’ma goin’ out, sick of stayin’ in, off to see The Zutons at Rock City. Go ’ed don’t be a divvy it’ll be a sound gig. And don’t swerve the support acts either soft lad.

The Zutons

First up on stage are Queen Zee, also from Liverpool - energetic, full of angst and personality. They’re very loud punk rockers, reminiscent of Motley Crue - they’re a great warm up act and I really enjoyed listening to them. 

The second support act are The Fernweh – a funky, folk five piece with a bass-playing lead singer and a saxophonist (where did they get that idea?) Their sound is fairly soft but it occasionally explodes with rock guitar solos.

The Zutons

Long time coming… but no one seen it coming… in 2009 The Zutons were riding the crest of a wave on the back of three successful studio albums and several sell out tours, when they suddenly, but very quietly left the music scene, without explanation. Now a decade later they are back and playing the entirety of their debut album, plus a few of their biggest hits.

The Zutons have always had a very distinct sound - a mix of indie rock guitars and a saxophone. It might not work on paper but at a live performance it’s something pretty special. A bit of Boyan’s 1960s surf rock inspired guitar solos, Dave’s distinctive Scouse vocals and Abi’s pulsing sax is alls I’m askin’ for. And I got it.

Tonight they kick off with the high-paced Zuton Fever and Dirty Dancehall before slowing things down a little with the always popular Remember Me. The Rock City crowd respond favourably to this opening trio of tracks. Rock City is such a fantastic live music venue, intimate and with a knowledgeable audience who really love their music.

The Zutons

Valerie – the band’s most commercially successful hit – really invigorates the crowd and by the time the gig hits Pressure Point and Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love? everyone is wondering why The Zutons ever stopped doing what they do so well…including Dave, Abbie, Boyan and the rest of the band, who - feeling the love from a crowd that knows all their songs - are clearly growing in confidence as the gig and the tour goes on. Confusion, Don’t Ever Think (Too Much) and Moons and Horror Shows with an extended jam ending round off the main set.

Hello Conscience and You Will You Won’t make up the encore. After a late night of loud music I’ll no doubt wake up asking myself why do I feel like death just for having a good time? But it was a boss gig and it’s ace that The Zutons are back.

The Zutons played Rock City on Tuesday 2 April 2019

Rock City website 

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