Nearly 50 years since their formation, one of the great bands of the 1960’s, The Zombies, are still going strong, something they proved with room to spare at the De La Warr Pavilion, in Bexhill, on Wednesday evening.
Despite the recent tragic death of bass player Jim Rodford, the band have regrouped and carried on right where they left off.
Starting off with a couple of familiar covers ‘Road Runner’ and ‘The Look of Love’, The Zombies were soon into their stride, with the five piece band seemingly enjoying themselves on stage, something that is always good to see.
The ninety minute set was a journey through The Zombies extensive career, with classic singles such as ‘Tell Her No’ played side by side with tracks from the bands most recent album ‘Still Got That Hunger’.
‘Edge of the Rainbow’ was the stand out track for me from that 2015 album, a really good song, showing that the band still have 'it'.
Both Rod Argent, and Colin Blunstone, who are both now in their early 70’s, show no real sign of their age. They were both in fine fettle and looking very fit for their years.
Rod Argent was frequently prowling the front of the stage, encouraging the audience to clap and sing along to the songs.
But the most gratifying aspect of the evening, for me at least, was the quality of Colin Blunstone’s voice. It is still as powerful as ever, and he was reaching those high notes with consummate ease. A joy to behold.
Something that was borne out during a great rendition of his solo hit ‘I Don’t Believe In Miracles’, which followed ‘Say You Don’t Mind’.
Another Colin Blunstone vocal offering was ‘Old and Wise’ from his time working with the Alan Parsons Project. I had no idea it was his voice on that track, and as it turned out to be a favourite song of my companion, it was nice surprise too.
As with all bands of this longevity there are always stories to tell, and Rod Argent’s between song banter gave us a real insight into the stories behind some of the songs, and albums.
This was especially the case when introducing three tracks from probably the bands most respected album, 1968’s ‘Odessey and Oracle’, which finished with a great version of ‘Time of the Season’.
An extended version of Argent’s 1972 hit ‘Hold Your Head Up’, which included a snippet of ‘Oh I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’, was preceded by Rod Argent imploring us to sing the right words to the chorus.
It was nice to have it confirmed that I’d been singing the correct words for the past 46 years!
‘Hold Your Head Up’, and indeed the whole performance, proved that Rod Argent is a very underrated keyboard player, who probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
The main set ended in inevitable style with ‘She’s Not There’, which had many of the audience standing up and dancing.
We were saved the usual band going off and then coming back on scenario, as The Zombies simply asked if we wanted one more song, to which the answer was an emphatic ‘Yes’.
And so a very enjoyable evening ended on a high, and very appropriate, note with a rousing version of the Argent song ‘God Gave Rock and Roll to You’.
A very fitting end to a excellent performance, which deserved the standing ovation that it received.
Find out more about The Zombies by visiting their website: thezombiesmusic.com