Saturday, 13 December 2008

In concert: The Zutons


Unfortunately, no-one has been able to assist with my mystery regarding this gig - who were the support act? Similarly unfortunately, Thursdays much anticipated first-gig-as-paying-punter-for-ages was cancelled - although personally this actually worked out well as I was feeling so ill I wasn't going to be able to make it in any event.

Therefore, as there was going to be a gig review this weekend anyway, I might as well post the one that's been sat in "drafts" for ages awaiting an answer.

The Zutons - Carlisle Sands Centre, 27 November 2008

They've - somehow inadvertently - become a 'Bites favourite. Might be a bit co-incidental that they've often been gigging near me as I too have been parading round the counties. But, after seeing them in a forest, at a park (in a festival), and not forgetting Dark Sprout seeing them on an island (in a festival); seeing them in an inside venue was inevitable at some point.

It's the first time I've been to The Sands Centre for a gig - so wasn't entirely sure what I should be expecting. The sports hall does convert quite nicely into a music venue all said and done, with a nice large area for standing plus a gallery. I would say though that it's still inescapably a sports hall - the painted lines on the floor giving that away. Also, the very high roof means it loses a bit of the intimacy you'd hope from for a venue with not a huge capacity.

Still, it does mean that The Zutons - being such a loud band - have someone to lose the sound in; without much of an echo, with is good. Mind you, I was in the pit throughout, so my hearing was distorted to say the least!

With the performance then, I'm not sure what can be said that can't be said before. The set list was pretty much the same as at Delamere - with all the favourites in there. What I haven't noticed before was the careful planning to have the gentle swaying sometime acoustic bit in the middle of the 1hr45 minute set. Songs like Pressure Point and of course Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Confusion to change to move just at the right moment.

Balance that with getting the crowd going with Valerie and You Will you Won't was exactly what I expected - but in a good way. It proved that they are a good live band, and have enough well known tracks to ensure that everyone has a good time.

One thing that is worth particular comment was their ultimate finale in the encore, featuring what can only be described as a three-minute three-drum solo. Normally such a phrase would strike fear into all - but it was really good. Sean Payne - with assistance on either side - managed to produce something that had to be unique (drum solos always are) and powerful. I'm surprisingly myself by saying I liked it so much.

Even though The Zutons are not a band I would rush out to by an album for, I have enjoyed their gigs enough so that if we meet again I'm sure I'll make an effort to visit. Which is a good sign for sure.

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