The Zutons - Preston Guildhall - 6.5.06

I have a condition which cannot be remedied by doctors, herbalists or medical hotshots. To the uninitiated i've caught Zuton fever. Is there a cure? There certainly is. The first course of treatment is to familiarize myself with the two albums these Liverpudlian scallywags have released so far, then I take two tickets to their sold out gig at Preston Guildhall with my gig
buddy Louise and let the music gradually heal me.

As I wait for The Zutons to arrive I recall how consistently good this band are live. On the three previous occasions i've seen them i've always been blown away every single time. Moon faced lead singer David McCabe has even invited his nan to tonight's show and I can see her a few rows away having the time of her life. Good to see he's still as down to earth as ever with Dave putting family first without hesitation. The Zutons boundless energy emerges as this fearless five piece begin proceedings with their comeback single "Why Won't You Give Me Your Love" which is unashamedly rock'n'roll with the sassy sax siren Abi Harding a favourite with the lads admiring her from afar.

The Zutons don't ram the new album down people's throats. Instead they divide the material equally from both of their long players. Hence the luscious, harmonies delight that is "Pressure Point" with its bluesy style which builds to an impassioned climax. Dave gives the fans who saw them at Preston's Mill a shout out from their warm up gig for the V Festival last year. The excitable fans calm down for a few minutes during the honest love song "How Does It Feel" which has Boyan Choudhury suitably restrained on guitar. "Confusion" which like a lot of the band earlier material gets the most impassioned reaction with the crowd providing hand claps. "It's The Things That We Do" which contains the unsavoury line "cigarettes for breakfast" is another corker from their latest offering "Tired Of Hanging Around".

"You Will You Wont" is superbly executed with The Zutons becoming even more charismatic. New single "Valerie" sees the crowd surfers being ejected from the venue at an alarming rate. Quite a draconian measure as the soulful acapella finish is sumptuously divine. A hypnotic, dubby, sometimes trippy instrumental has Abi dancing around freely, while a bit of tribal drumming and surf guitar make space for the melodica moments.

I'm a healthy man after a few vital doses of The Zuton!!!

Nicholas Paul Godkin
Photos: Andy Stubbs

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