The Zombies Live at Wimborne Tivoli Theatre 31st May 2013

The latest in my occasional concert reviews…maybe I’ll go back to some old classics if I kept the notes,, sometime. Meantime, hot off the press….

There are few bands from the 60’s with critical acclaim still touring in 2013, but happily The Zombies remain one of the few. Both 67, the leading lights are keyboardist Rod Argent and vocalist Colin Blunstone, and you’d think they were a decade or two younger. I was too young for the The Zombies in the 60’s, though I was aware of them, and knew She’s Not There, but by 1972 they made an impact on my musical life: I got into the group Argent in late ’71, when legendary Alan Freeman played Hold Your Head Up and I recorded it on my reel to reel tape, and then in early ’72 I actually used my pocket money to buy Colin’s “Say You Don’t Mind” which I was mad on for a while. In those days, singles were almost 50pence, compared to about 79pence downloads now. The equivalent would be about £5 now I guess, cost of living adjusted, so you really had to want a single enough to save up for it!

Mores great singles followed for another year, then that was about it until I started going to Florida on holiday in the 90’s when oldies radio heavily played a song called Time Of The Season which I loved. Turns out album Odessey and Oracle is a bit of a referenced classic by hip acts young and old (Weller to Foo Fighters to Vaccines), and listed in Greatest album charts, despite stiffing on first release. Back together again, the Zombies have produced decent stuff over the last few years and are an actual active 60’s band making good music. Hooray!

So, Wimborne Tivoli’s theatre, I’m ashamed to say I’d never been before, despite living down the road, it’s a charming sort of 1930’s art deco venue, and just the right place to see a 1960’s charming arty act. Colin Blunstone’s honeysweet vocals were the big question, as some of the solo stuff in particular has challenging ranges, and I wasn’t sure if he’d get that final note in Denny laine’s Say You Don’t Mind. He did! Coming over as a likeable slightly-gangly Bambi figure, not much of a stage mover, that was more-or-less how I remembered him on now-tragically-lost (as far as I know) Top Of The Pops performances, and didn’t mind at all as his voice was the Main Thing.

Argent’s TOTP performances are also (as far as I know) also now-tragically-lost, but Rod Argent gave a couple of Argent’s keyboard-driven rock classics of theirs that brought a nostalgic tear to my eye, it was great to hear those largely-period-sounding organ sounds again, and Rod came over as an outward-going likeable crowd-pleaser. Great co-musicians, long-time and recent, it was a good evening, and quite varied, from the jazz-flavoured early Zombies and recent stuff, a bit of rock, gentle ballads, Gershwin & Little Anthony covers, and of course the psychedelic classics along with a great Alan Parsons Project song. It was always going to be a tough ask to do a strings version of Say You Don’t Mind, so we got a more uptempo version, and we got a fairly accurate version of Dave Stewart’s What Becomes Of The Broken-Hearted (Colin sang lead on it) which I was never that excited by, the single version being a bit 80’s synthalong. Colin’s much better than that, so I would have preferred a stripped-down version of voice and organ, if I can nitpick a bit. Other than that, I say, if you get the chance, go along! I’d also add, at £18 a ticket, that’s the biggest concert bargain you’ll find anywhere, never mind for 60’s pop legends. There’s a little combo from then called the Strolling Stones, I think, who charge about £18 too. Per track.

These were my faves on the night, but there were plenty of others I enjoyed without knowing:

  1. Time Of The Season
  2. Hold Your Head Up
  3. She’s Not There
  4. God Gave Rock ‘n’ Roll To You
  5. I Don’t Believe In Miracles (+ = 5. Goin’ Out Of My Head)
  6. Summertime
  7. Old And Wise
  8. Say You Don’t Mind
  9. A Rose For Emily
  10. Tell Her No
  11. This Will Be Our Year
  12. Care Of Cell 44
  13. I Love You
  14. What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted
  15. You Really Got A Hold Of Me.

4 thoughts on “The Zombies Live at Wimborne Tivoli Theatre 31st May 2013

  1. Very interesting review. Thank you, John!
    Zombies are very gifted musicians. I heard they released some new material last year. One of their songs even reached the bottom of my Top 50 chart. They still sound very good.

  2. I’ve just downloaded Odessey and Oracle. Going to listen to it tomorrow.

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