Concert: The Zutons in Manchester

Artist: The Zutons

Date: May 27, 2006

Opening Act: The Grates, The Little Flames

Venue: Manchester Academy 1

City: Manchester

Review by [David Adair]

The Zutons with support from The Little Flames and The Grates

The theatrical front lady of The Grates, Patience dizzily dances around while proffering punchy, Blondie infused by the exuberance of Be Your Own Pet’s Jemina Pearl’s vocal power. ‘Rocket Science’ playfully parades a fun spirited and powerful march aided by a looping keyboard element that turns the outfit into a quartet for tonight’s show. The sound that bounds along with rhythmic urgency is given a sharp shove by the looping guitar of John and the hounding percussion of Alana. The latter member recently pushed the boundaries of rock N Roll rebellion by remorselessly mowing down an owl and leaving it on the roadside for the wolves. However, tonight’s crowd will probably forgive her, due to her participation in creating a thrilling spectacle of new wave back-peering to coax memories of XTC and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Previous support slots for tonight’s headliners and a band called the Arctic Monkeys has helped the Eva Petersen fronted scouse quintet of The Little Flames, plant a seed of discovery in the minds of crashing indie rock devotees. Stampeding Melissa Auf Der Mar musical muscle holds aloft the lucid high pitched cries of Petersen to include gruelling energy in a potent display. The brazen sympathy sapping lyrics of ‘Goodbye Little Rose’ leave an indelible mark;

“All those tears you cried
Make you hard to like,
Go and earn your depression, won’t you?

This exposure of scouse rock with lurid gusto will help this outfit grow in size to match their big tension crushing sound.

The cherub-esque leader of The Zutons crew, Mr. David McCabe while looking as though he is the sort of person who would stop his car to help an injured owl has grown into a confident and commanding front man. The saxophone lunging ‘Why Won’t You Give Me Your Love’ opens up with swirling briskness and sparks the crowd into some graceful on the spot gyration. The hook scattered title track from second album ‘Tired Of Hanging Around’, gives the crowd a chorus to throw themselves into early on. The track that springs out of debut album ‘Who Killed The Zutons’, for its Dexy’s Midnight Runners pinch, ‘Remember Me’ helps proceedings bound along and is kicked up the keischter by Sean Payne’s drilling percussion. He never loses momentum and is the Sol Campbell of the outfit tonight, reliably manning the control desk of The Zutons’ psychedelic rock base.

The masterful ‘Confusion’ is a break from the eccentricity and illuminates the lively Liverpudlians’ ability to craft a slow and stirring pop song. The hardcore fan base who have followed this quintet’s rise from humble settings such as Liverpool Academy 3 and The Zanzibar are rewarded at the very end, with a quirky rendition of the Egyptian and snake charming instrumental hybrid of non-album track Zutonkhamuun’. This number used to be the focal point of their rugged early sets and the crispness with which it is performed, sees it close to achieving that accolade this evening.

[The Zutons Official Site]

[The Grates Official Site]

[The Little Flames Official Site]

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