The Zombies at IndigO2
Formed in 1961, The Zombies, a pop-psychedelic outfit from St. Albans, are now finally earning their dues from their 60s heyday. Three major singles had been their enduring legacy, yet glowing retrospective critical assessment of their 1968 album Odessey and Oracle has ensured a more lasting appeal. Amongst others, Paul Weller and Dave Grohl have referenced the work as a major influence, the former consistently listing it as his favourite album.
Last night they played two one-hour sets, broken with a lengthy interlude, the first half including five tracks from Odessey, including the magnificent Time of the Season (much loved by television advertisers). Interspersed with their original tracks were tracks from the later careers of singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent. Blunstone’s Old and Wise (recorded with the Alan Parsons Project) and Argent’s God Gave Rock and Roll to You (later a worldwide hit for Kiss) were rousing highlights, enthusiastically received by a mixed audience of 20-something hipsters and gracefully-aged original fans.
The tight musicianship should come as no surprise from a group so accustomed to the material, Argent’s lengthy and blistering Hammond organ solos and sometime Kinks’ bassist Jim Rodford’s subtle rhythms being of particular note. However, the crucial component is Blunstone’s glorious voice, the depth and beauty of his presentation belying his 67 years. His interaction with the audience, and Argent’s, was reassuringly old-fashioned, a gentle and informative introduction given to every track. Three pieces were played from the critically lauded 2011 album Breathe Out, Breathe In, all well-received with A Moment in Time being the most impressive.
But it’s the biggies that the crowd wanted, and we were indulged utterly. The night closed with She’s Not There and their first ever recorded track, a version of George Gershwin’s Summertime. Both showcased Blunstone’s enormous vocal range, the crowd roared their appreciation, and many a wide smile was splayed across the faces of the devotees heading into the Greenwich night.
Photos: Lucia Hrda
For further information and future events visit The Zombies’ website here.
Watch the video for Time of the Season here: